Saturday, May 7, 2016

More Anatomy, Poses and the Bhagavad Gita - YTT Weeks 15-16

April 27th and 29th:

We finished our Anatomy lecture with Judy and I have to say, I'm happy it's over.  I had her final PowerPoint ahead of time and that helped, to make notes on, while I listened and I was thankful she sent it over.  I am definitely a visual learner and need something to write on while I watch, so it did help.  We received an assignment for a presentation, on our Anatomy test day, that I am still a bit confused about, but I will figure it out.  I'm just happy this section is over!

April 30th:

We learned some new poses today - headstands, shoulder stand and plough - all inversions again.  I loved learning headstand, and the correct way to get into it, and that I've been doing it correctly all of these years!  I was also happy that I could still get into it, using my abs, even though I am super pregnant.  It was fun to practice!  I took it easier today than I have in the past, only because when I do too much on Saturday I am dead to the world on Sunday.  So I would try something once and then take it easy.  I'm learning to back off, it's not easy, but I'm learning to listen to my body.  :)

I made flash cards for these poses, here, if you'd like a copy.

May 4th:

Tonight we listed to a lecture about the Bhagavad Gita from another teacher at Desert Song, Alisa.  She was awesome!  She talked about her life, her experience with YTT and then just a little about the Gita, but it was so entertaining and fun.

And get this, we got to leave EARLY.  That never happens!  15 minutes early felt WONDERFUL on a Wednesday night (when we normally have to stay until 9:30).  We always go over time and I have to pack up and feel terrible about wanting to leave on time (Lemon waits up for me!) so I loved that we got to leave a bit early.  It was a beautiful night!

Here are some notes I captured from her lecture that I'd love to share:
  • Taking the seat of the teacher:
  • You join a lineage, stepping into a stream of wisdom and you step into it, it affects you and you are affecting it, putting your own experiences into it.  Shifting of roles, from being student to being teacher.
  • Think of it as “sharing” instead of “teaching” yoga.  Everything feels as though you have to impart this BIG wisdom to the group but really you are just sharing ideas.
  • Yoga is different than regular teaching, it is very personal and touches people fundamentally, and feels like there is a greater responsibility when you teach yoga.  It’s different.
  • Why is it that every YTT class hands you the Gita and the Sutras?  It’s good to be familiar with, can be used as a theme for teaching and something you can return to over and over again.  But there is nothing in the Gita about poses, there is discussion about meditation and equanimity.  “Yoga is skill in action.”
  • The idea of the appropriate response to the situation, when you are faced with a hostile person or difficult matter you have a choice of your response, what yoga and the Gita teaches – because of our practice we can find the appropriate response. 
  • Change the way you think instead.  Shift your thoughts completely.  We can adjust how we think about stuff, our minds can do incredible things when we just shift our thoughts.
  • That’s the story we tell ourselves, it’s not the truth, just the story.  So, just make up a new story.  Make it better, make it different.  Change your story.
  • All aspects of your life can fit together, you can be a yoga teacher and whatever your job is, they can mesh together.  Like a “dovetail” in furniture, they mesh.
  • Gratitude.  Come back to the present moment and be grateful.  Bring yourself back to the present, what is important, don’t think about the future, now what’s the next step.
  • Between the stimulus and response there is a space and in that space we have a choice about our response and that choice is what gives us our freedom and growth.  So something comes in and we have a response right away, but if we can cultivate that space there, and have discernment, and stop and think for a little while and think about it than that is sometimes better.  When we can stop, pull back and think on it then the ability to use discernment then the answer will arise.  What resonates for you may not for someone else.
  • If you have something to say, you take a step, you take a breath and you say it.  Don’t doubt that there’s someone out there that wants to hear it.
  • Don’t be afraid to take the seat of the teacher, take a breath and say what you’ve gotta say.
  • When all else fails, just love them.  Just love them.  Great quote to live by as a teacher.  Embrace everyone with a lot of love.
  • Taking the seat of the teacher:  Appreciate the intrinsic goodness of each student, not try to fix them.  A good grounding in the Yamas and Niyamas, in teaching you can apply these without even saying them.  Offer them an invitation and bring the concepts into your workplace/environment.
  • How can you bring yoga into your life/workplace?  Can you join the two?
  • You’re always a yoga teacher.  It is both a blessing and a responsibility to be mindful of that, a code of conduct.  Ascertain the needs of the student at the time, don’t do what you want to do in class.  Step back from the moment so that you can come to your decision, what is my duty here?
  • Ahimsa starts within, it starts with you.  Take care of yourself first and then you can offer to others.  Take a class and then you can give back to your students.
  • Lead by example and then branch out to the people in your lives.
  • When you are out there, presenting yourself, you are all part of this stream, this lineage.
  • While you are in YTT, this incubator, at the same time that you are doing this there may be something else that you want to cultivate, another path that is sort of dormant.  Maybe this will steer you in that direction instead.

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