I felt good going into the second weekend of my In-Depth Yoga Studies & Teacher Training program with Shanon Buffington because I felt like I knew what to expect and because I had met a lot of the students during the first weekend and through Facebook (good ol’ Facebook!).
Friday night was a review of our homework and lecture on forward bends and related anatomy. I was feeling confident about my homework because I was sure that I got all of the answers correct… Well, I was wrong. I had most of the answers right, but on a few, I was way off. I found myself feeling “below average” for my inability to get all of the answers correct. I was able to brush off that feeling, so I just dismissed it as a non-issue.
Saturday was a very hands-on lecture: As we learned the anatomical aspect of each forward bend asanas, we got up and tried these poses. One of the first asanas that Shanon used “models” for, was Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Dog). She asked one of the students to demonstrate it, and the rest of the class observed her proper alignment (basically, the proper way to do the asana). Shanon then asked me to demonstrate my Adho Mukha Svanasana. I was more than happy to demonstrate it, since I have been practicing yoga for 16 years. To my surprise (and a blow to my ego) however, she pointed out to the class how my “shoulders were crunching into my neck”. She then provided me with verbal instructions on how to make adjustments to make the pose correct. I was shocked at how much more challenging this “simple” pose was once I was doing it properly! Although I was glad to know the proper way of doing this pose, I started questioning my yoga practice and abilities. Again, I decided to push this out of my mind.
Saturday ended with an asana practice focusing on forward bends. Being that Shanon and informed us of the effects of forward bends (it brings the energy down, which means if you’re super hyper/energetic/busy mind/etc, this will be a good practice for you; however, if you have a tendency to be down or struggle with depression, this is NOT a favorable practice), I made sure I listened to her cues for breathing techniques that we should do if we don’t want our energy coming down even more (I was feeling a bit emotional and down that day). I didn’t feel any dramatic effects of the practice that evening.
We finished the weekend on Sunday with another practice after the lecture/demonstration session. As I packed up to leave, I slipped out of the studio quickly and quietly because I was feeling a bit introverted.
The next few days after that, I continued to observe my mood, energy and behavior…
After a Vinyasa class on Tuesday evening (where we did some forward bending asanas and ended with an inversion), I awoke on Wednesday feeling DEPRESSED! I didn’t want to get out of bed, and I had very little energy to stay awake for more than an hour at a time. Everything overwhelmed me and I felt like I couldn’t face the world!
Wow… Never underestimate the powerful effect of yoga!
(P.S. – After a couple of days, my energy and mood was back to normal.)