10,000 Vinyasas

Archive for April, 2011

Some Fun Poses…

by on Apr.29, 2011, under Yoga, Yoga practice

I really wish I were a more consistent photographer, but I rarely can be bothered to take pictures, even when I have a decent camera phone as I do now. Recently, I was invited to a photo shoot at the studio, where some actual professionals took pictures of us. I was expecting a head shot only, but they wanted us to pose as well. Here are some that I did:

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Certification Complete

by on Apr.24, 2011, under Acro Yoga, teaching, Yoga, Yoga practice

Well, as of yesterday, I’m officially done with teacher training, following a brief and painless meeting with our trainer. I note that this certification has really very little to do with how good a yoga teacher one is, and it was only for the value of the credential that I undertook to obtain it. It was the only ambition that I had regarding my yoga practice, and now it is over. Seems that I can now consider teaching at resorts in exchange for free or reduced stays, which would be interesting, I guess. I did actually learn some new stuff during this training, and I enjoyed getting to know many of the trainees (“yoga brings people together”). Despite the above, I did feel an unexpected sense of accomplishment when I exited from the meeting yesterday. Not that I’m looking to expand my teaching much at this point; my “other” job has been busy and I also have many other interests and projects that take up time. Nonetheless, I get enormous gratification from teaching people yoga, and my life would be quite empty without it. Sure, it sometimes infringes on practice time, but the psychological benefits are tremendous. That was one point of agreement I had with our trainer.
(practice notes) I’ve been doing more Ashtanga, both on my own, and in led classes lately. The style really is cathartic; it burns away mental impurities and leaves me feeling relaxed and joyful for the rest of the day. At the same time, it’s challenging enough to retain my interest and record my progress, at least in my head. I’m picking up a lot of good practice tips from Lisa Long’s led class. Oh, and acro’s going well too.

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Two Year Anniversary of Teaching Yoga!

by on Apr.13, 2011, under teaching, Yoga, Yoga practice

I just realized that it’s been two years since I started teaching yoga, and wanted to comment on that. During the last two years, I’ve consistently taught at least 3 classes a week, and for most of that time, taught one or more private lessons averaging twice a month. I’ve watched as my teaching has grown more confident and my classes have gotten larger, for the most part. I now have what I consider to be the best teaching schedule, at the right times and places, and so I don’t spend a lot of time traveling or finding subs when I have schedule conflicts. I’d have to say that teaching yoga has become one of my great joys in life; it is just so much fun to help people discover the benefits of practicing yoga, and to think that I have something to offer, well, I still find that kind of amazing. Part of me still wonders sometimes why people come to my classes; I guess I have a little of the “imposter syndrome” when it comes to teaching yoga, and this is probably because I started teaching only after I took a weekend yoga teaching course. Of course, what I didn’t realize was that I had accumulated quite a bit of knowledge about yoga that wasn’t reflected in the brief formal teacher training, and so I do feel that one should have a strong yoga practice before beginning teaching. From my teacher training (the 250 hour one), it’s clear that some people who want to teach yoga don’t begin this way, to their detriment. At any rate, I no longer have that little gasp of apprehension when I face a large class, or some other yoga teacher appears in my class. From the howling success that I’ve had, I’m glad that I started teaching by trying to modify Primary Series, because I believe in the Ashtanga system, but at the same time, its full application to a mixed-level class has some challenges. A balance between authenticity and not scaring off beginners, is what it boils down to. From here, I’m looking forward to wherever this second career will take me. Namaste!

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Bob’s Red Mill Scottish Oatmeal: First Impression

by on Apr.08, 2011, under Cooking, food, product review

I got this from Amazon, using their 15% off discount for Subscribe and Save. It comes in small plastic bags, and looks somewhat like steel-cut oats. Anyway, I tried it this morning; here’s my first impressions: interesting texture. Reminds me of the Cream of Rice hot cereal I used to eat when I was a kid. Thick and hearty when prepared with 1% milk. Good flavor; easy to make. Highly recommend. Of course, this stuff isn’t cheap; as I’ve mentioned before, buying your own cereal ingredients from bulk bins is the cheapest way to go, and offers the most control. Still, it’s good to have some variety.

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Counting In Sanskrit, and the Benefits of Ken’s Teaching

by on Apr.06, 2011, under teaching, Yoga

For awhile now, I’ve been trying to learn to count in Sanskrit during Suryanamascar. It’s kind of difficult, especially the B, since the count goes up to 17, and the words are relatively unfamiliar, mostly because I learned Ashtanga Primary Series from Ken, who did not count, but instead used descriptive words to get students into the poses (no doubt reflecting his background in teaching yoga at the gym, which was where I met him). It has become clear to me recently that the benefit of learning Primary from this kind of teacher turned out to be that I can quite effectively take new (or newish, I guess) students into the poses easily, using descriptive words. During my attendance at some of the community classes we are required to teach and go to, I noticed that other teachers don’t necessarily have this facility, to their detriment. What this did for me specifically was to allow me to more easily move into teaching, since I had basically memorized without trying, the descriptions of the large number of poses in Primary Series. So, back to counting: I’ve been practicing it during my private lessons, and last night felt confident enough to count the last “B” all the way through (I made it funny by using my “Pattabhi Jois voice”). It was fun, and added a new dimension to teaching. In other notes, I’ve been expanding my pose repetoire to include some Second Series poses, like Dhanuasana, Ustrasana and Bhekasana. I’m sure my longtime students appreciate the variety; I sometimes feel like I’m in a bit of a rut teaching the same order and kind of poses every week (then again, it’s modified Primary, so it should be mostly the same, I suppose).

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