I’ve mentioned before that I am a part of the Assisting Team at Firefly Yoga and I just love it. Love love love! It was my favorite weekend during Yoga Teacher Training (as physically exhausting as that was) and I enjoy being part of a person’s practice in a unique way. I still look at it as teaching and being in the practice, just using my hands and connecting with other yogis. I just completed the Baptiste Assisting Course at Lyon’s Den in NYC and it kicked my ass hard but I loved every minute of it.Read More
It’s true what they say about Yoga Teacher Training - it is life changing. I completed my 200 HR training this past weekend and I have been floating on air ever since. This training broke me down. I have ugly cried, said things out loud I never thought I would say, really dove into the parts of me that needed to be addressed that I’ve avoided, pushed my body to the limit, and acted like a complete fool and loved it.
You’d think, what does this have to do with teaching yoga? For me, it’s helped me let go of insecurities and worries I had about teaching and once you drop that baggage, it just makes you feel lighter and freer to just be yourself and have fun.
We all got to teach a Community Class Saturday morning and I had so much fun. I woke up that morning feeling so calm and at ease. I was part of the first group to teach in the morning and afterward someone said “I bet you’re relieved to get that over with!” and honestly, I wasn’t really nervous to begin with to feel any kind of relief. I came to realize in the last week that THIS IS WHAT YOU’VE BEEN WANTING TO DO!! Why the hell do need to be nervous???
I love Yoga! And I’ve made it clear that I want to share that love with others and share that empowering feeling it’s given me. Why be timid, shy, or second guess about it? This is who I am so just put it out there! I was so relaxed. I got some great feedback from my teachers and fellow trainees that’s only going to help my teaching even more. I can’t wait to teach again.
I’m going to continue learning and training. I signed up for a Baptiste Assisting Course next month so I get more hands-on assisting training. I really like assisting and would be happy spending an entire class just assisting people. The yoga studio has a Mentorship program I’m going to apply for and I’m even considering their 300 Hour Teacher Training.
I’m also going to ask around about getting on substitute lists for different studios. The truth is I would love to just teach at one place (preferably where I trained), even if it’s just one class a week but I don’t want to limit myself in case that’s not in the cards. I don’t plan on leaving my other jobs any time soon so getting as many teaching gigs as possible is not a priority. When I was younger, I used to want to be one of those yoga teachers who taught several classes a day at different studios and just being so cool. Now I just get tired thinking about it LOL!
Overall this has been an amazing experience and the women I trained with have been A-W-E-S-O-M-E! I am so glad to have them all in my life now and they have taught me so much. I truly believe that it was meant to be that the nine of us came together at this time to go on this journey. I can’t wait to see where we all go from here.
You know the posture, you see it when you go to a coffee shop - people sitting at a table working on their laptops and their posture is HORRIBLE. I know, I got the Laptop Posture too. I also sit like this at home if I'm working on the coffee table or at my desk. I may start sitting upright with a straight spine but as the minutes past my shoulders start to drop forward and I'm leaning in close to my screen damaging my already screwed up eyes even more.
This blog post is not about how to correct your Laptop posture, screw that! You're gonna keep doing it, I'm gonna keep doing it. What I would like to share is a little relief with ways to give your shoulders and your back a little breaky-break from the hunching over-ness. Bonus is that you don’t even have to stand up to do these - while the full pose involves working the legs too, we’ll just stick with the top half with the following three poses.
My shoulders are chronically tight. Garudasana (Eagle Pose) is my arch nemesis. If you want to hear me do some really loud ujjayi breathing, stand next to me while doing Eagle pose. But guess what? Eagle post is a great way to loosen up your shoulders and upper back. You can try this by giving yourself a big hug across your chest, your elbows should be stacked on top of one another. From here, without moving your elbows, lift your forearms up until the back of your hands touch (or not…in my case). Oooooooh do you feel that?? Here’s a lovely pic of my friend & yoga teacher, Julia, demonstrating how this looks.
Gomukasana (Cow Face Pose) is next. This time, our hands are go behind our head and back. Lift your right arm up and reach between your shoulder blades, like you’re trying to scratch an itch you can’t quite reach. Take your left arm, rotate it to the front, bend your elbow and reach behind your back and clasp your right hand (or not…in my case). BREATHE!!! All this tightness can make you unknowingly hold your breath, I know. With every inhale you take, your chest opens more, as your chest opens, your shoulder blades might start to get a little closer and, eventually, your finger tips will touch and you would have loosened any tightness in your upper chest created from so much hunching over.
Prasarita Padottanasana I (Wide-Legged Forward Bend) is done with your hands clasped behind your back. Again, you can do this sitting in your chair and just bend over, lifting your hands off your lower back toward the ceiling. Again, this is not physically possible for me. I can barely get my hands 2 inches off my lower back. Instead, I grab a strap which widens my grip about 2 feet (you can make your grip even wider) and allows me to reach overhead. What matters here is I am getting that opening stretch in my shoulders. Just remember that when you come back up, do it slowly so you don’t make yourself dizzy.
There you go, easy enough right? Next time your shoulders need some love, give some of these unique stretches a try!