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:  http://www.drmccall.com/yoga/bodyyoga.pdf)
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!

Namaste.

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