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.
I'm a visual sorta girl and I love lists. While looking for something to post in the kitchen to help me and my students with my foods to eat and to avoid (doshically speaking) I came across these online so I decided to share. I find eating a really perfect "ayurveda diet" pretty difficult, TBH. I try everyday and I do know that all the little changes I've made are actually big steps toward a healthy gut.
Heathly gut= Healthy life.
Now to deal with the mind and all the stresses of life. ugh.... As that's a large part of health too. Things I've found that help with stress:
GRATITUDE. Just be thankful you've found a plan that can lead to health and don't stress about being perfect with it all.
MEDITATION. Sit, breath, and relax. Focus ont eh breath. The inhales and the exhales. Slow and deep. Even. Do this for a few minutes. If this is hard. Count with the inhales and exhales. eg. Inhale 1, exhale 2...
YOGA. Just do it. It doesn't have to be sweaty and you don't need any fancy clothes.
This sequence is known as the dancing warrior.
Of course you can modify it any which way you like. Sometimes I add the "bend twist and open" from the 3 legged down dog for more hip opening. It is a nice hip opener, strength builder (especially in the legs), lateral stretch, and an all around easy flow to follow and build upon.
I'll be posting another sequence soon that I've created to follow this, with a peak pose of bound revolved side angle. Any guesses as to what will be in the next posting about the sequence?
There's still time to register for the ytt-200 in August. Only two weeks and it WILL change your life!
YTT in the Osa Link below:
A great place to visit after the YTT in August/September while in the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica.
Corcovado National Park. Natural beauty and wildlife abound.
Low season is a great time to visit, so plan a few extra days for additional fun on your trip.
The link below is to Yoga Maya's Pinterest Ayurveda Board. I have a lot of boards on many things. Tons of boards on Backbends, Standing poses, Abdominals, Yin, and so on. Just tons of Yoga, Meditation and many more. Please follow me and see what we add. If you are not on Pinterest, you really should consider it. I'ts a great way to keep ideas fresh for your personal practice and teachings.
In our Yoga Teacher Training Abroad we are enjoying some Ayurveda. I've been studying, researching more and more since my Sri Lanka YTT-200. I had the privalege to have an eval done by an Ayurvedic Doctor. Had another one done in Mexico by an Ayurvedic specialist as I delved deeper and deeper into herbs, spices and oils (among other things) that really helped a few issues I'd been having.
My Ayurveda training in Nashville is coming up muy pronto and of course I am in it to win it.
Enter more of Dr. Lad:
Dr. Lad is the leading authority on Ayurveda for us Westerners if not the entire world. He has a wonderful website with many of hours of lecture; we all could learn a lot from this man. I love his books and found this part of his website especially interesting. Thanks for sharing BTW Dr. Lad!
Charts and graphs interest me and make my learning easier. Here's a wonderful little chart to help Vata people focus on food and habits to calm their imbalances. We all have imbalances. Well, almost all. Who's perfect?
If you are really into Ayurveda you may find the link to many lectures on different subjects immensly helpful. Enjoy!
Do you know how to do a sun a? how about a sun b?
These are basics of a vinyasa class.
Mi amiga Stacy and I are having fun doing a few at sunset on the beach. We stayed in our "warrior one's" for a bit long but other than that this is exactly how a sun a and b are done. 5 breaths in the down dog position. One breath in each asana.
Try it yourself along with us.
Follow this format for a SUN A:
Inhale arms up reaching towards the sky
Exhale, diving down into a forward fold
Inhale extend the spine
exhale chaturanga dandasana
Exhale Down dog
5 breaths here
Inhale look to the front of the mat
Exhale walk, step or just there (you are now in a FF)
Inhale extend the spine
Inhale reaching towrds the sky.
tadaaaaa!!!!!!! sun a complete!
Do 5-10 of these every day. And feel how warm you become. Add a few Sun B's in there after your Sun A's and get stronger and stronger.
I know we've talk about this before but it is so important I want to go over it again.
Waking up the spine gently in the beginning of yoga is imperative.
You don't have to do it robotically. You can incorporate it into a super slow sun salutation. Honestly, however you do it (as long as it's gently) is probably fine. Just begin with these movements.
~Extentsion and Flexion of the spine.
Work with your breath and love 5 or more times each direction.
~Stretch out the side body. Laterals. Again, breath and reach, exhale and release the reach. 5 times or more each side.
~Twists! I save these for last as they are the most taxing on the body. Twist away! Inhale and lengthen the spine. Exhale (KEEPING THAT LENGTH) and twist.
Now that you have had this gently time to feel how you feel in the spine, begin your yoga practice.
Here it is!
Vamos a la Playa chicos!
Debbie Krejci E-RYT 500
Yoga Teacher Training Mexico, Costa Rica, 2019
Yoga Maya Uvita