Yoga Teacher Training – Weekend #5

I thought the past YTT weekends were awesome… Well, they’re about to get “awesomer” (yes, I know that’s not a word…)!!!

The topic of the past weekend was Vinyasa Krama.  Vinyasa Krama (not to be mistaken for “Vinyasa Flow”), is the intelligent sequencing of a practice with a specific intention or goal.
“Vi” = in a special way
“Nyasa” = to place
“Krama” = system, step, order, sequence, series, progressing step-by-step

Basically, in Vinyasa Krama, each asana (pose) is picked and placed in a specific order purposefully.  There’s a rhyme and a reason for the way each asana is sequenced.  There are three main reasons for this “intelligent sequencing, placed in a special way” are to:
1. Reduce the risk of possible injuries in a particular asana or yoga practice,
2. To adjust one asana from another, and
3. To create the energetic effects desired within the practice.

Anyone can put a bunch of asanas together and call it a “yoga class”; but to design a Vinyasa Krama class, one must plan and choose each asana with a purpose.

Our yoga practice on Saturday KICKED MY BUTT!!!  We stayed in certain poses for up to 5 minutes!  One of the asanas that we stayed in for 4 – 5 minutes was the active pigeon (think pigeon pose with the back leg off the floor and foot flexed while you fold forward).  My back leg started to shake so much!  Since Shanon advised that before coming out of a pose, ask ourselves why we wanted to come out of it, I had a nice dialogue within myself; my physical-self said, “Oh my goodness, your leg is shaking violently!  You can’t hold it any longer,” but my mind said, “You’re okay.  You’ll be fine.”  “No, I can’t do this,” my physical-self whined… but my mind stayed calm and said, “Sure you can.  You’re already doing it.”  It took me back to the internal dialogue that I had within myself when I was in labor (over 8 years ago).  After the practice, I felt so strong, accomplished… unbreakable!

We ended our Sunday session with Restorative Yoga which I was grateful for because I was still sore from the previous evening!  My only experience with Restorative Yoga was a couple months ago at a yoga studio about 15-20 minutes away from my house.  I recall not enjoying it AT ALL, so I figured I would have the same experience… boy, was I wrong!  We stayed in each pose for quite some time, but when Shanon cued us to begin coming out of the pose, I was thinking, “Aw, man!  That wasn’t long enough!”  I didn’t want that practice to end…  So after my new-found love for Restorative Yoga, I came to the conclusion that either the environment of my first Restorative Yoga class was not conducive to the practice, or I must be evolving…  Or maybe a little bit of both.

The topic of Vinyasa Krama continues for the next two YTT weekend sessions… I’m so in love with this experience!


So until next time… May your days be bright and your heart be light!


Yoga Teacher Training – Weekend #4

This post should have been published at the end of April… With so much going on, I just sat down to finish this one… Weekend #5 post to follow soon…


I’m really loving these YTT (Yoga Teacher Training) Weekends!

I was so excited going into this weekend because we were going to be covering Twists and Inversions (and of course, more Human Anatomy which I absolutely love!).  I love twisting asanas because it feels so good on the spine… It feels like I’m giving myself a chiropractic session!  Also, I love what it does to the digestive system.  The “wringing out” motion of twists leaves me feeling so “cleared”!  I’ve been doing Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand) and recently started working on my Salamba Sirsasana (Supported Headstand), so I was ready and eager to have the whole day (Sunday) dedicated to Inversions.

The lecture portions on Friday, Saturday and Sunday were really eye-opening.  Twists do more than just wring you out.  I learned that they have the energetic ability to center and ground you.  Twists, if done improperly, can cause your disks to bulge (ouch!) among other things.  It’s extremely important to keep the spine straight when twisting.

As far as inversions, I never realized how unsafe some of the poses could be!  Sarvangasana, for example, can cause the ligament in the back of the neck to stretch (and once ligaments are stretched, they remain stretched).  Being that the ligaments, the muscles, the bones and the disks in the neck work to protect the spinal cord starting at the base of the head, stretching out the ligament is probably not the most favorable thing to do!
(Here’s a great article on the dangers of certain asanas:
I must admit, headstands are a bit addicting… but I’ve promised myself that I will practice this pose sparingly (maybe once every other leap year at most) if I feel the deep desire to do so.
We tried a lot of the inversions in class just for a little bit (so that we understand, as Yoga Teachers, how they would feel).  Shanon also guided us in trying out some great modifications of the poses.  One of the poses that I absolutely love (which is one of the safer poses) is Viparita Karani (Jack Knife).  This can also be done against a wall with a bolster as a prop, but I love how this pose feels away from the wall.  Holding this pose for several minutes creates such an uplifting energy… I will be doing this pose more often!

The weekend ended with relaxation and some pranayama (Prana Shudhi, Kabhala Bati, and breath manipulation).  After our “Namaste”, I left feeling so energetic, like I could conquer the world!

Until next time… May your days be bright and your heart be light!