Yoga Teacher Training: Week 2

Transitioning away from the fall produce of apples, sweet potatoes, and squash; I can see just over the horizon that Spring is arriving! Biddi and I saw a Robin two weeks ago, but none since then. She has a few Little Golden Books that mention Spring and in The Two Little Gardeners, they mention the Robin arriving with Spring. She got the brightest smile on her face when I asked if she remembered when it was hot outside!

I don’t have any new recipes lately. After making butternut squash soup half a dozen times in a month, I down-shifted to simpler cooking methods: roasting veggies. We had asparagus the other day that was so fresh! I tossed it with a quick vinaigrette with herb d’province and some warmed rice. Also we made tacos with vegetarian refried black beans, and cauliflower roasted with just garlic and light olive oil. The fewer steps, the better as far as I am concerned!

Asparagus with Red Pepper and Onion

Another reason I am loving simpler cooking and recipes- I am exhausted every second of the day since I started my yoga teacher training!

Before I began the teacher training, I was doing 2-3 classes a week: hot yoga, Ashtanga, and heated flow. Now I am trying to maintain 2 of those classes, and add in the full-day of teacher training. Also a required hour-long self-practice and 2 required drop-in classes a week at the studio the is doing the training! So yoga 6 days a week!

The self-practice is so mentally exhausting. Which is crazy, because I was typically doing an hour by myself in any given week prior to the training. But now, I am making a plan for the practice and mentally running through what I would be saying to a class as I practice. Which is really stressful and as a result, draining.

In my yoga practice I am growing, of course, which is nice. I can do a supported headstand easily. Not in the Ashtanga style of floating my 2 legs up together, but I am hopeful with time I will be able to accomplish that. I never really wanted to do a headstand, but Light On Yoga describes it as an essential pose, so I tried it for the first time in a year and went up on my first try. I am looking forward to being able to do it as a tripod headstand, away from the wall. And I am one tiny boost of confidence away from being able to do a forearm headstand from dolphin pose.

And I am slowly learning all the Sanskrit terms for poses and yoga definitions. It is a lot for a brain that is approaching middle-age! My poor, rickety, old synapses are like “Seriously? You need to codify this information right now? couldn’t you have done this when you were 20?” But I am so glad I am going through this now. I considered a teacher training probably 5 times in my life, but I think this is the perfect timing for me. And with age comes wisdom, confidence, and hopefully better skills for teaching yoga than I would have had 10 or 15 years ago.

And I have to meditate 30 minutes a day! I waver between loving it and avoiding it, but I can tell I am growing as a result. I am much more relaxed. It is totally uncomfortable to sit with one’s own thoughts for 30 minutes, I never realized how much noise I have created to avoid myself! I always thought of myself as being comfortable in my own skin, but now I realize that isn’t quite the case.

As the meditation brings up strange thoughts and memories, so the physical yoga practice brings up suppressed and/or forgotten injuries, which are now buried under scar tissue. For example, a few years ago I was struck by a hit an run driver as I crossed the street as a pedestrian. In the moments following the accident, when I realized I was ok and began to process what had happened, tears streamed down my face and I kept saying, “Why would he do that? I had a walk signal, I was in the crosswalk! People are bad.” In the most basic spinal twist the other day, I felt my broken ribs from that accident. The sharp pains brought up so much emotional baggage that I had buried. To move on, I have to reclaim the faith in humanity that I lost that day. I am trying to move beyond it, find faith in people again, and heal from the long-buried trauma. I have been setting my intention in yoga classes to open my heart and to be open to the grace of the universe.

On to my afternoon routine: meditate during B’s “nap,” grocery shop, cook, take a 75-minute yoga class, try to stay awake past 9:30!


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