300-Hour Yoga Teacher Training: Week Two

Before I begin this week’s blog, I want to let you know why I’m writing about my 300-Hour Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) journey:  First of all, I’m using it as a journal so that I can document the changes that I make throughout this program.  Secondly, I’m hoping that any yogis out there that are considering going through a YTT — whether it’s their first YTT or an additional 300 hours after their initial 200 hours — can use my blogs to make a decision on whether or not they’re ready to commit to a program.  Lastly, I want to speak to the Christian community out there, that you can absolutely be a committed, God-fearing, Jesus-loving Christian and go through a YTT without feeling like you have to denounce your faith.  In fact, Yoga is not a religion but rather a tool to enhance your faith.
Now let’s get into Week Two of 300-Hour YTT…

I learned from the first week that I can’t be super rigid with my YTT schedule.  Being that I’m taking an online YTT that’s taking place in Thailand and (Bali) Indonesia, I haven’t been able to participate in any of the live online trainings (I’ve been watching the sessions that they record during the live trainings).  The good thing is that I can study whenever I would like.  The bad thing is (also) that I can study whenever I would like.  I went from being super organized to the point of getting too rigid the first week to being very laid back this week.  I got more reading done, but I found myself strolling in and out of my home yoga studio/office and taking more breaks than I really needed.  I woke up later and started my yoga practice later which made coordinating “quiet times” in the house more tricky (my family uses the blender for smoothies every mid-morning).  Even though I have an extremely supportive family who are more than willing to modify their morning schedule to minimize noise during my 2-hour yoga practice in the mornings, I just didn’t want to inconvenience them in this way.  Somehow, I got all of my yoga and meditation practice done every day (except for last Tuesday because I woke up feeling a bit dizzy).  Towards the end of the week, I decided to try using my wireless earbuds during the yoga and meditation practices which worked out great!


Each day felt like they were just flying by. I would get sidetracked with some things around the house and by the time I sat down to study, it would already be 4PM!  I started feeling down that I couldn’t keep up with the daily schedule that I created for myself.  On the flip side though, I was learning more and more about yoga philosophy and even about God’s will for me.  In the book that I’m currently reading (Inside The Yoga Sutras), the author (Jaganath Carrera) compares having an inaccurate view of yourself is like looking at your reflection in a cracked mirror.  The cracks represent our non-virtuous tendencies and traumas, so looking at yourself through a cracked mirror and believing that that’s exactly the way you look is the same as believing that you are those tendencies (i.e.- I am lazy, I am selfish, I am worthless, etc.).  Once you fix the mirror so that the cracks are gone, you are finally able to see a clear, accurate image of yourself.

The way that we can apply this to our lives as Christians is this:  We are not the sins that we struggle with.  We are not lazy, selfish, impure, impatient, prideful, etc.  These are the things we may struggle with, but these do not define us.  We need to “clean up” and “fix” the mirror with the Word of God so that we can see our true reflection.  God has made us fearfully and wonderfully (Psalm 139:14).

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
Psalm 139.14

One of the ways we can begin to “restore the mirror” is by opening the Word of God and incorporating the scriptures into your yoga and meditation practice.  If you don’t know how to do this or you would like to see how I practice these things, join me in my monthly virtual Scriptural Yoga & Biblical Meditation workshop and/or pick up a copy of my book, “Be Still: The Power of Biblical Meditation.”

As I start Week Three of the 300-Hr YTT, my goal is to figure out a certain consistency without being too rigid.  I will let you know next Monday how this week went!

With Gratitude,
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300-Hour Yoga Teacher Training: Week One

As I mentioned in my blog last week, I started my 300-Hour Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) last Monday.  I was so excited to start my advanced studies to further my knowledge and to grow as a Yoga Teacher. For those of you that are not familiar with YTT programs:

200-Hour YTT is like getting a bachelor’s degree in Yoga, and 300-Hour YTT is equivalent to a master’s degree. 
Here’s my little home yoga studio… it’s still a work in progress. 😊

I woke up on Monday morning and went downstairs to my yoga room to begin my first yoga practice which was recorded from a live session (I chose to take the entire program using the recordings from live sessions because of the time difference; when they have their yoga practices and lessons in Bali and Thailand, it’s around 2 or 3 am here in Texas!).  After an hour and a half (which is how long the asana practice is), I started my reading and writing assignment.  I ended the day with the required 30-minute meditation practice.  I felt great about how the first and the second days went, and I was pretty confident that I would be able to keep this up… Until Day Three came.

On Wednesday, I had a harder time getting up in the morning, but I forced myself to get up and stick with my new schedule.  The yoga practice that morning was a lot more challenging (with headstands and side crow among many other physically challenging poses).  There were a few poses I opted not to do due to my wrist injury, but I did the entire practice while my core was shaking. 😅  I was so happy to go into savasana, especially because I knew I had to get ready to teach my Wednesday virtual class at 11AM.  After teaching my class, my daughter and her friend wanted to go to our community pool/water park, so I drove them over and checked her friend in (visitor’s pass).  It turned out that I needed to stay the whole time because in order to have a visitor, a resident 18 or older needed to be there the whole time.  So I attempted to doing my reading and assignments on my phone; but after an hour of trying to focus in the middle of Texas summer and a lot of visual activity all around me, I gave up and just waited for the girls to be done.  After 3 hours, we finally got back to the house, which at that point, my energy was completely gone.  I found myself reading the same line about the Sutras over and over again.  I knew my brain was pretty much done for the day (and I had developed a headache by this time).  I got upset at myself for compromising my study hours to prioritize other people’s needs — which is a common occurrence for not just me but many moms —  because I was pretty much saying that my life and my goals are less important than other people’s goals.  So lesson learned.  Stick to my schedule.

On Thursday, I had just enough energy to get through a meditation practice.  That sun and the heat from the previous day really drained my energy!  “Tomorrow will be a more productive day,” I told myself.

On Friday morning, I woke up and started a load of laundry, and I went into my home yoga studio to do my yoga practice.  When I came out of the room, my husband asked for my help… WITH CLEANING THE FLOODING!  THE WASHER HOSE HAD COME LOOSE AND THERE WAS WATER EVERYWHERE!!!  😭  So my husband and I spent half of the day into late afternoon cleaning up that mess.  By the time I sat down to study, it was the evening.  Another day gone; but I wasn’t as discourage as I was the day before.  Perhaps, I learned the lesson that although I need to stick to my schedule, I still need to be prepared for unexpected disruptions.

The plan was to study from Mondays to Fridays and take the weekends off; but it worked out that I was able to catch up on my reading and studying on Saturday while my husband and daughter went out to run some errands for a few hours.  This felt like a “Don’t worry, I got your back” wink from God.  😍🙏

Today begins Week 2, which I’m still in the middle of Yoga Philosophy.  Come back next Monday for a recap of my second week!  😃

With Gratitude,
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Learning Never Stops

I became a 200-Hour Certified Yoga Teacher in 2013.  Since then, I’ve completed a handful of other certification programs, taught over 2,500 hours of Yoga in the form of classes, workshops, and certifications.  Through all of my experience taking and teaching Yoga, there is one common thread:  I’m still learning.

I have wanted to take a 300-hour advanced yoga teacher training (AYTT) to obtain my 500-Hour status with Yoga Alliance, but I felt like that was not good enough of a reason for me to enroll in one.  I didn’t want my motivation to be a status but rather for the pure joy of learning.  I did my own studies by reading yoga-related books and articles, and I became a regular listener of podcasts for Yoga Teachers.

I’m not sure if the reason why I didn’t enroll in a 300-HR YTT is because I truly wanted my reason to be a calling toward a certain program or if it was because I was afraid of committing 300 hours of my life to another YTT.  YTT’s are hard.  It causes you to grow in ways that you may not have wanted to because during YTT’s, you’re faced with… YOU.  You have to do the work to go through a transformation so that you’re able to grow in your journey to your authentic-self.  It gets messy.  There are often tears shed by classmates (or even by you).  But at the end of the program, you’re not the person that you were when you walked into your first session of a 200-Hr YTT.

It is exhausting to go through that much transformation while completing all your reading and writing assignments, and learning how to teach yoga in front of your classmates.  I think this is what I was nervous about:  All the reading and writing and practicing and… LEARNING.  But I also didn’t want to not learn (if that makes any sense).

I was thisclose to registering for a 300-Hour AYTT twice.  One time, I was supposed to meet with my future teacher and had my tuition ready to send to her.  I was excited about enrolling in her program, but it turned out that I had schedule conflicts that I just couldn’t resolve.  This happened two years in a row.  So I inquired about another AYTT.  The second studio is a well-known studio in the Southeast Region of the US.  They even offered to waive my application fee because I would’ve had to make housing arrangements each time I attended the sessions because it was a few hours away from where I lived.  In the end, I decided not to enroll in any of the programs… Until now.

Due to COVID-19, Yoga Alliance has granted all RYS (Registered Yoga School) to temporarily offer their programs online, preferably via livestream.  So, I started doing some research on yoga schools that I didn’t consider previously due to them being out of state or out of the country.  I wanted a program with flexibility with an option to take classes online and offline… and then I found one.

I enrolled in an AYTT program based out of Surat Thani, Thailand and Bali, Indonesia.  It’s crazy to think about going through an entire 300-Hour program without physically being present, but I’m really excited to start my program this morning!  I won’t know how I need to schedule out my e-learning yet, but what I do know for sure is that I’m going to dive in head first, with the mindset that I will learn something everyday.  Learning has to happen daily so that we can be better and do better.

Learning never stops.

Never stop learning because life never stops teaching.


With Gratitude,
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My Personal Struggles of COVID-19 (and how I combat it)

Everyone in this entire globe has been affected by the pandemic of COVID-19.  Life as we know it, has been turned upside down.  Whether or not you have been infected by the virus (or personally know someone that has been infected), the past three months have created many challenges in everyone’s lives.  Here are my top three struggles that has come out during this time:

  1. I got Zoomed Out!

    girl, computer, work, fatigue, office, woman, stand-alone, girl ...Struggle: Most people I meet in a social setting think that I’m an extrovert.  Not that I’m being deceptive, but when I have to “work a room,” I make a conscious decision to be positive, get to know people and make people feel seen and heard.  As much as I love to make people feel special, it really drains my energy.  The reason why this is important for you to know about me is because my struggles during quarantine did not include going batty over not seeing people in person.  I actually loved the time of “stay-at-home order” because I felt like it gave me permission to stay at home; but with staying home, I couldn’t get out of all the Zoom call requests!
    Solution: I started to limit my Zoom call acceptances to 2 calls per day, and they could not be back-to-back.  As an extrovert by nurture and introvert by nature, I quickly realized that I needed at least 30 minutes in between calls to energetically recover and regenerate.  This simple decision helped me maintain my energetic boundaries as well as increase my ability to mentally show up for each Zoom calls.

  2. I lost half of my income!
    Empty wallet | ✅ Marco Verch is a Professional Photographer ...Struggle: As a yoga teacher, fitness instructor and pilates instructor, the studios and gyms I taught weekly classes and monthly workshops at had to temporarily close their doors. Most health and wellness instructors and teachers are independent contractors for studios and/or part-time employees at fitness facilities, so we don’t get paid time-off.
    Solution: I chose to count my blessings and focus on the things I can be grateful for.  My husband makes enough for me to not work (some of the money I make goes toward my wellness business-related expenses).  I’m not an essential worker that is required to put myself in danger everyday (A deep, sincere thank-you to all the essential workers!). I don’t have as many expenses when I stay at home.  I can teach some classes virtually.  I was able to successfully transition all of my private clients to meeting virtually.  My monthly workshop has also been transitioned to virtual workshops.  There are people who have lost jobs and their entire income.  I pray for them everyday. 
  3. My daily routine has been thrown all over the place!
    Struggle: I’ve heard from many people (without young kids or having to work) that it’s getting easier to stay up late and harder to get up early.  For people with kids, they’ve had to add being a homeschool teacher/daycare worker/nanny to their already-existing responsibilities.  For me, I’ve been busier than ever with teaching my classes online, moving half way across the country, writing my second book, getting ready for an upcoming advanced yoga teacher training in a couple of weeks, and getting furniture for our new house.  These days, I don’t have a consistent routine other than waking up, reading my Bible, praying, meditating and practicing yoga.  Other than that, my day-to-day activities varies.

Solution: I decided to enjoy this time of slight disorder and semi-chaotic life.  This sets the perfect environment for me to truly practice stillness and being present. I also started taking walks around the lake and enjoying short yoga asana practices during sunsets.  When I’m outside (especially near lakes and beaches), it immediately calms me down and helps me to become fully present.

I’ve been making a daily decision to be okay with my new normal.  Even through my struggles of feeling like my life is on hold, I must be present and live each and every moment… because even in this new reality, our lives continue on.

What are some of your own struggles during this pandemic?  I would love to hear from you!

With Gratitude,
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The Process of Transformation

Last week, I talked about the cost of discipline and how creating a habit takes more than 21 days like many of us had been previously informed.  Although the being disciplined is not the most fun or comfortable route to take in life, it is the more productive choice and an essential decision to make in order to improve who we are.

I used to teach a 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training program which would take 9-10 months for my students to complete.  On the first day of the program each year, I reminded my students that becoming a certified yoga teacher is secondary and that the self-transformation through the process is the primary benefit that they will experience.  At the end of the program, they have all agreed that they’re not the same person that they came in through the door on the first day.  I’ve had students that seemed to be polar opposites or conflicting personalities become best friends by the end of the program.  I’ve had students who seemed to “have it all together” break down and experience a sense of authenticity and vulnerability that they say they’ve never felt before (you can read more about it in my book, BE STILL: The Power of Biblical Meditation“).  I took a break from running my 200-Hr YTT program last year so that I can focus on publishing my first book, and I am in the process of writing my second book which will be completed either by the end of this year or the beginning of next year; but once I am ready (and my schedule allows me to commit to teaching 200 hours), I will resume teaching my program… in Texas!  (Check out my blog next week for details on Texas.)  Now getting back on topic of transformation…

The reason why my students experienced a transformation is because they committed to learning how to be a good teacher; and part of being a good teacher is to be a good student.  Yoga is not something you can teach or regularly practice half-hearted.  Being a Yoga Teacher means you are also doing the work to get deeper in your journey towards authenticity.  As a teacher to future Yoga Teachers, I always say that I am not an expert as there really is no such thing (that’s why it’s called a Yoga Practice, not Yoga Perfection).  Even the greatest gurus in Yoga are learning and growing.  With learning and growing comes discomfort, facing your fears, and doing the work necessary to heal from past hurts, traumas and tendencies that do not serve us for our highest good (which is to meet who you were created to be since the beginning of creation itself).  I have had to face many obstacles (pride, bad habits, fears, etc.) in order to change and to grow… so that I can continue to change and grow.  We must be intentional about constantly transforming to be better versions of ourselves.  We never stay the same;  We’re either striving to get better or allowing ourselves to get worse.

The process of transformation is hard, and it won’t happen overnight; but if you keep persevering and staying disciplined, you will be able to look back and see how much you have grown!


With Gratitude,
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10 Year Challenge

I’ve been seeing a lot of these “10 Year Challenge” posts on social media lately.  I’m sure you also have seen your fair share of photo posts of your friends (and maybe strangers) of what they looked like in 2009 and what they look like now.  Here’s mine:

Other than gaining about a dozen gray hairs, a few wrinkles and having less elasticity in my skin, I don’t feel like I look too different in these photos; but the person that I was in 2009 is definitely not the person that I am today.

In 2009, I was working full-time as an Analyst for a Fortune 500 Company, songwriting and recording at night, singing in a Christian band… and exhausted, insecure, and unhappy with a lot of things in my life.  I was dealing with feelings of inadequacy in all aspects of my life (feeling like I wasn’t good enough of an analyst, a musician, a wife, a mother, a friend… the list went on and on).  I had gone down from a size 12 to size 2, but I still felt like I was too big. I was obsessed with working out, losing weight, putting strict restrictions on food, etc.  Needless to say, 2009 was a very trying year for me.

2010 was a year of rebuilding myself.  With the support of my husband, I left my comfortable, well-paid job to focus on spending more time with my family.  I decided to do contract work so that I can take summers off to spend with my daughter instead of sending her to summer camps.  I made sure I only worked when her school was in session.  I also started taking Mixed Martial Arts class to work on my inner strength (the outer strength came with it naturally).  I also returned to practicing yoga more regularly.

2011-2012 were spent soul-searching.  I tried my hand at being a consultant for an MLM company (which I realized that I was pretty good at but was not passionate about).  I tried starting a resume-writing business and an event planning business.  I just couldn’t figure out what I wanted to put my energy into professionally.  I experienced a lot of highs and lows those two years, but by the end of 2013, I had successfully gotten back into the fitness industry as a Zumba Instructor and Dance Fitness Instructor.  I also decided that I was going to become a Yoga Teacher.

In 2013, I completed my 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training.  This changed everything for me.  I experienced a transformation from within that shaped the way I began to view life.  I became more calm and grounded.  Life stopped being about DOING but rather BEING.  My relationship with God began to become deeper and more intimate.  I heard God’s voice through His Word (The Bible) so much clearer.  I became more in tune with the Holy Spirit.  I felt more connected to Jesus.

2014 was a year of experiences.  I completed an aerial yoga instructor certification and opened Dallas’ first Aerial Yoga Studio with two business partners.  I learned how to run a studio, train the staff, do payroll… all the while homeschooling my daughter and spending time with my family.  I had to kiss my social life goodbye, but that year was a pivotal time for what was to come.

In 2015, I experienced transitions of many kinds.  The lease was up on our aerial yoga studio, and we had to relocate due to a change in landlord who wanted to use our space for his business.  We tried so hard to find a new location to reopen; but after looking and negotiating with various building owners/management for months, we decided to close our studio.  Around the same time, my husband was offered an opportunity to transfer to their Charlotte office.  After many prayers and a visit to North Carolina, we made the move to North Charlotte in October.

I started to become known as the “Aerial Yoga Master Trainer” (training future instructors) as I began to certify instructors in North Carolina (as well as Texas) in 2016.  By this time, I had “perfected” my aerial yoga teacher training manual as well as my teacher-training skills.  This was the first time since leaving the corporate world that I started to make a decent amount of money.  I loved traveling to Texas to certify instructors while making a lot of money in the process.  I realized that year that I had a knack for training instructors; so I started to pray for greater things for the upcoming year.

I launched my own 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training in the beginning of 2017.  It was challenging to write the manual, teach while learning and researching, but I was eager to meet that challenge.  I learned a lot about myself and others while I ran my 200-Hr YTT and 30-Hr Aerial YTT in 2017 and 2018.  I felt that I found my calling professionally, and I was convinced that teaching, training and certifying future yoga/aerial yoga teachers was what I will be doing until it was time for me to retire (although I don’t think I would ever completely retire).

2019 became the year of accomplishments.  God had placed a desire in my heart to write a book about biblical meditation in 2017, but I pushed that desire aside for two years because I didn’t think I knew enough to actually write a book about it.  But after wrestling with whether or not I should author a book for a couple of months, I started writing it in the beginning of March which the publication goal date of October 1.  I actually ended up publishing my book in September all the while completing a certification training to become an IMX Pilates Instructor!

From 2009 to 2019, I was able to experience many challenges that sometimes tested my character deeply which helped me to mature and become stronger.  I also experienced some amazing things such as going on a 17-day roadtrip with my family (which was the beginning of many long vacations we have been blessed to take), choreographing and leading flashmob dances for high profile events, moving to a new state, gaining wonderful friends, mentoring teenagers, taking a short sabbatical, writing and publishing my first book, teaching yoga and meditation at retreats in beautiful places…  This decade has been awesome!

I may wake up with more aches and pains than I used to; but this has been the most favorite decade of my life because I was able to trade in some of my youth for invaluable experiences, much growth, wonderful memories, and a zeal for life that I have never felt before!  I am in a place in my life where I can decide to be still, listen to God, make some tea, and enjoy everything life has to offer!

As you reflect on your “10 Year Challenge,” I hope you’re able to recognize all the blessings that have come out of this decade.


With Gratitude,
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Yoga Teacher Training – Weekend #7

Wow, it’s almost as if I’ve fallen off the face of the earth!

After Yoga Teacher Weekend #6, life got extremely hectic and I just couldn’t keep up with my blog. There were 6 more weekends, and in between Weekend #7 and Exam Weekend, the number of fitness classes I was teaching went from 2 to 8 along with selling our home and moving into a temporary dwelling place… and I was rear-ended by a pizza delivery boy who was driving 40 mph!  I was able to finish my contact and non-contact hours to graduate the training with close to 230 hours and 97% on my written exam.

As part of our exam, we had to each create and teach a short yoga practice with an assigned theme from our teacher.  We were evaluated by our peers as well as our teacher, and everyone did well.

Since becoming a 200-Hr Yoga Teacher, I’ve been teaching 2-4 yoga classes per week, and scaled back to 2 fitness classes a week.  I’ve also had the privilege of leading over 200 women in yoga at two different women’s events, a private yoga class for PepsiCo… and I got certified to teach Aerial Yoga (yoga on aerial hammocks).  I’ve been co-teaching and assisting in aerial yoga workshops out of town, but I’m about to launch my own aerial yoga workshops here in Dallas.

We’re getting ready to (finally) move into a house that we’ll be buying (we’re under contract) in a location closer to everything my family and I do (our old house was rather far from a lot of the activities we were involved in)… My next blog will contain some things that I’ve learned about myself and others through my journey in Yoga.

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

Yoga Teacher Training – Weekend #6

Sorry so late… I should’ve posted this several weeks ago:

Hi, I’m Jheni.  And I’m a Pitta Kapha.
This is my lead-in to weekend #6 of the Yoga Teacher Training!

We continued are discussion on Vinyasa Krama and the methods to create the most efficient and effective practice for each individual according to their needs.  It really is pretty methodical in that every asana should be intentional (whether the pose is used as a warm-up, forward bend, backbend, twist, lateral, extension, or a counterpose), and it is put together elegantly.

Vinyasa Krama spoke to the analyst in me, but learning about the chakras, doshas and prana vayus blew my mind!

I think out of all the things I learned this weekend, figuring out my prakriti (your ayurvedic constitution) opened so many doors to my inner-self.  (Find out what dosha you are by taking the Dosha Quiz)

So yes, as I stated in the beginning of this blog, I’m a Pitta-Kapha.  Shanon, our teacher, had us take the Dosha Quiz twice: Once for when we were younger and once for the way we are presently.  My results showed that I currently have a Pitta imbalance, so my goal will be to decrease the amount of Pitta.

At the end of the weekend, we partnered up and practiced reading each other’s pranayama vayu.  We took turns observing each others breathing to see if there were any possible blockage in energy.  Apparently, I do not have any blockage (although I believe emptying my bladder beforehand would’ve made it more comfortable for me!), but the girl that I partnered up with had a blockage in the Pran (also known as “Prana”, the first vayu in Prana Vayu).  It was really interesting how just by observing the breath, you can determine energetic blockages within a person!

We’re meeting in two weeks (instead of three), so my next post should be up soon!

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


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:  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!