1. TRAINED UP MY STAMINA IN A SHORT TIME
I used to not be able to do 2 back to back 1h classes. Or should I say, I feared it. I feared that I would become too tired and have no energy for anything else. Now with all the weekend 2.5- 3h morning practices we did during YTT, I found myself able to power through 2 back to back regular classes much more easily. The other day, I went for my regular practice at the yoga studio and did 2 back to backs without feeling tired! Sometimes it really just takes a little bit of faith and trying to actually see that you can actually do it. 🙂
2. TAUGHT ME TO OBSERVE AND LISTEN MORE
I found myself being more observant to the teacher’s vocal cues as well as how they sequenced their classes.. especially the regular classes at the yoga studio i attend.
I would try to observe what the focus of the class was that day, whether it was more hips focused or heart opener focused etc. It was interesting to see how my participation and thoughts changed now with YTT as compared to before.. when i was just going though asana after asana.
As Jess said, there’s really a difference when you’re just a yoga practitioner and when you become an instructor. The view moves from inward (self) to outwards (surroundings/ students).
I think I’ve somehow moved my view a little bit more outward to my surroundings.
3. TAUGHT ME THAT DRISHTI IS IMPORTANT
I note that in certain poses, if Drishti is not maintained, it will cause my mind to wander and then I will fall out of balance or fall out of the pose. This is especially true in one legged standing poses and inversions like pincha maryuasana. I remember when I first started learning pincha at The Yoga Mandala, my Drishti was all over the place. Alexis had to constantly remind me to keep my line of sight between my elbows or else I won’t be able to kick up. I initially found it very difficult to keep my drishti on the mat because it was so close to my face and a the mat was just patch of black I was going cross eyed just looking at the black space. Finally an epiphany came when I saw a white spec of lint on the mat. I picked it up and decided to use that as my focal point for my pincha. It was super effective!
4. TAUGHT ME THAT YOGA IS ALOT ON BODY AWARENESS (AND TECHNIQUE)
I remember when I first tried to get into super soldier. I thought it was a crazy pose because the then me could only reach my foot and hold it like a quad stretch. When I attempted it again (after a really long time) during our YTT, I realised there was so much technique involved in it and that all I needed to do was to note the techniques and attempt to execute them correctly (assuming my body is ready and open) 1. getting my shoulder under my standing leg 2. revolve my chest as I grab my foot 3. Rotate my hip outwards such that the knee points to the sky. It was later on I found that the sanskrit name of Super Soldier was actually Viparita Parivrtta Surya Yantrasana. Parivrtta in itself which means revolve, explains it all.
In trying to get into a bharadvajasana bind, or any other bind for that matter, its important to open the shoulders and close the gap between the arm and the body.
There’s also alot of other subtle things that I’ve learnt to be more aware of due to our learning sessions and adjustment clinics. Things like having a micro bend in your elbows and knees, and tucking in the tailbone and the ribs (think vogue) and engaging the core. All these help to refine the asanas we were doing with better understanding.
5. REMINDED ME AGAIN THAT PRACTICE AND ALL IN COMING
I’ve seen that happening so many times with our YTT batch mates! Its an awesome feat seeing each of them taking turns to achieve new highs in their practice, reach poses that they previously felt was unattainable.
It is true that our new found knowledge on asana techniques and with proper warm ups to open up specific areas and practice will help hone the asanas we’re doing.
To greater heights with these guys 🙂
Signing off again with a Namaste!
Sept 2018 Weekend YTT
Writing my backdated thoughts from 23 October 2018