Foundations And Practice
Week three is in the books. The foundation is laid. Breath energizes and focuses the mind, creating rhythm as a guide through practice. Locks of internal energy gates stabilize and strengthen. Gaze focuses, eliminating all distractions. The only space that matters is the present.
In other words, I am one quarter of the way through Yoga Teacher Training (YTT).
Our YTT foundation is built on Ashtanga Yoga. Ashta meaning eight. Anga meaning limb. Yoga meaning union. Therefore, the “Eight Limbs of Yoga” lead to freedom and a state of joy and peace. Each limb sprouting over time as we are nourished through practice, practice, and more practice.
For three weeks of YTT, the sequence has been built piece by piece. Sun salutations and standing postures, transitions to seated postures and finishing postures. Practicing rigorously along the way. In its regulated sequence, Ashtanga ultimately promotes independence. So, it is only fitting I closed week three practice teaching a full short-form sequence of Ashtanga Yoga for the first time.
"The expert in anything was once a beginner."
Closing my YTT manual, I just went for it.
As I guided my student through the sequence, I studied myself. In my teaching, I noticed areas of strength – encouraging my student through the poses, as well as, areas for improvement – sometimes hesitating to remember what to cue next. As I cued the breath, the movement and the gaze, I did my best. The flow of my student was reassuring. In the end, I was content. I felt empowered. Excited about how confidently I could lead after such a short time of learning.
These personal insights are derived from one of the “Eight Limbs of Yoga,” and are meant to harmonize our inner self. In addition, to studying ourselves, doing our best, and being content, we create harmony by staying humble and having cleanliness, literally and within our hearts. Just as this is engaged in on a yoga mat, it can be applied off the mat in our relationships with others. All it takes is practice.
Three quarters to go…the journey to a state of joy and peace continues.