I wanted to share some thougths I have on a personal practice and it's importance as a yogi and as a teacher.
First off, go to other teachers classes. This is paramount as you will learn even from a rookie teacher, you will learn. You will learn how it feels to be a student in case you've forgotten. As a student you are expected to do what the teacher asks (within reason) and follow along. Even if it's in a class that isn't exactly your cup of tea. This is discipline and we all need to be reminded of this from time to time. This also helps you break out of your comfort zone.
Example: You are doing a sequence along with the class and they are holding poses a lot longer than you are use to. It's hard and somewhat annoying to you. This is a perfect oportunity for growth. For tolerance and acceptance. For breath work (pranayama). For muscular development. Need I go on?
Or perhaps: A pose you never do because you really don't like it. Oh man, this one gets me. If I am asked to do camel pose I groan audibly. I truly cannot stand it. I have learned to stop that attitude immediately and just do it! I know it works me in areas I need it and I know I avoid it because I am lazy. We all like to do what we are good at and avoid what we are not. It's human nature. Once I get over my dislike I am actually excited about the possibilites of working parts of my body that really need it. Think of a pose you don't like and work it into your person practice. see what arises from this little experiment and write me about it. I love hearing from students!
Ok. Back to some real hadns on personal practice, I'm talking about one on your mat in your home all by yourself with a dedicated twenty minutes to one hour or more to it. No phone, no kids, no putting clothes in the dryer. Just you and your mat.
Give this a go:
Put on a new playlist. Get warmed up and begin to have a little fun. No agenda except move your body in an organic and natural way via your yoga asanas. See what happens. If you really want to challenge yourself after you've had time to play, get out the timer. Work through 5-8 asanas while you time your holds of one minute each. If you are a vinyasa flow kinda person (like me) you may be shocked how long that is. It's very different to do a full one minute hold all along. You have no one else there to look at, no teacher talking about God knows what, nothing to keep you entertained. Just you and the asana. Dang. Is this hard? Yup, it is. Deal with it. Count your breaths. Settle in to the pose. Enjoy the challenge. This is where growth takes place, outside of your comfort zone challenging your mind, body and breath.
I had a million things on my to do list today and this "holding asana for one minute each" wasn't on it but I'm glad I did it. It was my own little experiment and I enjoyed it. My hamstrings enjoyed it. My shoulders and hips did too. My body knew what poses to do and my mind accepted the one minute challenge. Pranayama got me through it and I got sweaty and am now eager for the days events. I really enjoyed my little class and felt like an accomplished badass who help oses for a full minute. I have proof. LOL! As I organize for my next YTT-200 in Costa Rica I have a million things to do. I get less jacked outta shape about my "to do list" when I have had a good yoga class.
As promised, here's a sequence that can get you to revolved bird of paradise pose. Now, mind you, BOP is some serious balance pose and fleixbility in the hamstrings is paramount if you plan on getting into it fully. It's a bit hard for me even when my hammy's are happy. And then to top it all off we are gonna twist. So, there's that.
Revolved BOP. Now thats serious so please advise your students of that and always offer a strap.
After the students are warm and ready for some more sequences, after a full standing sequence (like my blog on dancing warrior a week or two ago) add these super awesome poses that will get you there:
humble warrior w gomukasana arms
revolved trikonasana (use a block maybe)
parsvotannasana as a short transition into a long deep lunge, then to lizard
bound lizard (back knee off the ground if possible. intensity99 bam-pow)
bound revolved parsvakonasana
May vinyasa through to other side or just continue on. If you continue on know that these are a lot of poses to do in one sequence. Especially poweful if held for one minute each. Having said that, do not rush through. 30-60 seconds is great. You will be sweating. It's work but it's worth it. I personally think the most challenging pose in here is bound lizard. You may omit, it's a nice sequence without it. Enjoy.
revolved trikonasana again
bound revolved trikonasana
revolved hand to big toe pose
Now let's head to the floor for some BB a little FF and supine spinal twists. a happy baby and a well deserved Savasana.
Debbie Krejci E-RYT 500
Yoga Teacher Training Mexico, Costa Rica, 2019
Yoga Maya Uvita