Monday, April 30, 2007

Yoga Teacher Training, Day 5, Module 2

I don't know but I've been told,
I don't know but I've been told,
Yoga is good for your soul,
Yoga is good for your soul,
Sound off,
Sound off,
1,2,
1,2,
3,4,
3,4,
1,2,3,4,
1,2,3,4!

Now how does that made-up yoga marching drill fit into to our class today? I'll tell ya. I was the drill sergeant, and my classmates were the unfortunate victims of my five-minute yoga bootcamp! That was one of the "chants" we sang call-and-response style during my five minutes of ruling the world as a domineering drill sergeant. (I know, I know...for those of you that know me, it really isn't a far stretch! I've been accused of being Ms. Bossy Britches more than once.)

Anyway. I'm sure you're thinking, Yoga bootcamp? What the hell? So here's how it all went down...

To make a point about the importance of vibrancy and personality in teaching, Dolly had all of us teach a five minute segment of class as anyone but ourselves. We could be a bigger, louder version of ourselves, or some other character completely. All we had to do was focus on being the personality while teaching whatever asanas came to our heads. The sequence or screwing up didn't matter. Dolly called us up at random and we had to work with the students in whatever position they were in when the person before you finished.

It was a terrifying, wild, hysterical experience! We had an Aussie explorer and a Scotsman, a Rastafarian and a valley girl, a hippie, a girl with multiple personalities, a New Yorka, and more. Even though I am totally not an actress and not into being the center of attention, there was a certain sense of freedom in being able to teach as someone else. I was scared sh*tless, but I have to admit that it was kind of fun being able to scream at everyone and order them around like a drill sergeant! Drop and give me a chaturanga, people! It was an interesting exercise, to say the least. I think we all got a lot of insight into the "performance" aspect of teaching.

Practicing at the Wall
For our group practice, we worked at the wall for an hour and a half. Dolly showed us shoulder openers and ways to do Triangle, Half Moon, and several other asanas at the wall to allow deeper stretches, openings, and twists. It enabled us to see how with a small class, or with beginners, for example, you could leverage the wall to allow them to really feel a posture without having to focus on balancing. It was also great because I'm sure I wasn't the only one super sore in the lower back from working on Forearm Balances and Scorpion. Working at the wall was still a challenge, but at least it wasn't the typical highly active Power Vinyasa practice. I don't think I could've mustered another Up Dog even if someone paid me to do it.

Don't judge a book by its cover...will I ever learn this?
Today we read a homework assignment in which we were supposed to write a paper from our 85-year-old selves to ourselves now. Many of the papers were tear-jerkers, and I was completely taken aback by the eloquence of Melody's paper. I just never expected to hear such great writing and storytelling from her, such depth and emotion. This is not the first misinterpretation about a person I've had this week. I've gotten to know Adrienne a little bit, and the more I talked to her, the more surprised I was to find that my original impression of her was totally, completely off. But I never would have known if I hadn't taken the opportunity to get to know her, to begin to scratch the surface of who Adrienne is.

I definitely have a tendency to make snap judgements about people and based on my perception, and often dismiss the thought of even getting to know them. Now I see why I have so few friends. Instead of looking for 100% like-minded people, or basing my level of interest in a person on the way they look, I should be more open to getting to know others and appreciating their individual personalities. At minimum, I should at least work on opening myself up to the idea that so many people have something to offer. This is yoga off the mat—this soul searching, this dissection of oneself. It might take months or years, but yoga really does seep into your life in the best ways if you just let it. I think that in the long run, I'll be a less judgmental, more compassionate, connected person because of yoga.

PS: Snaps from today at lunch...we've been blessed with glorious weather so we've been lunching on the lawn outside the studio.

Marge and Rashida















Kelley and Juliana
(with an empty Camille's pastry bag after our cookie run!)















Adriennne















Marcia and me


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