Monday, December 17, 2012

YTT Update; Week 10

I briefly thought about doing a YTT update every week, but I thought I would run out of things to say. I am also pretty surprised that we've just finished week 10 of the 14 week program. I don't know how I would have found time to post a yoga recap every week. It would have been two lines. "Today we learned about the bandhas and the skeleton. It was good."

Maybe you didn't know this, but if you are in yoga teacher training that runs through December, its pretty likely you'll end up having two weeks off for "winter break", and here we are. Week 10 has just ended and we are on YTT winter break. Class will resume after New Years. I'm a little sad, but I'm not complaining. I'm planning on using this extra time to play with sequencing and try and memorize some more of these dang Sanskrit names. Lucky for me, their memorization is not essential for earning my certificate - but it would help. :)

We're finally learning how to put classes together, which is pretty cool. Yesterday my group and I split an hour long class four ways. I did the beginning and baby warm up. It was so cool and scary to teach a group more than one pose for the first time.
I was standing in the front corner, drinking hot green tea and looking at my notes every now and then. I wish I'd walked around a little bit, but no sense dwelling on it now.
The week before we'd partnered up and taught one on one, but teaching a group is so different. So many critiquing eyes & ears!
I practiced my section the night before to make sure I could figure out what to say and that it ran about 15-20 minutes.
Getting up there and actually teaching though - is so unlike just running through it aloud in the middle of the kitchen floor.

Last week we also learned a little about pregnancy yoga and I was inspired. I was already interested in pregnancy and children's yoga - maybe its just my demographic - but after our guest teacher last week, I definitely want to get prenatal yoga into my repertoire. We sat there with our arms straight out, thumbs pointing up, for four minutes. The goal was to learn to focus your energy elsewhere, so no matter how badly your shoulders are burning (and, oh, how they burn), your focus is completely out of the shoulders. It was pretty incredible and inspiring, and I'm certain that kind of practice would be exponentially helpful during labor.
Any preggie ladies out there, I highly highly suggest you look into prenatal yoga. You know I'll be first in line when its my turn.

The last thing we covered before running off to celebrate the holidays with our families was the psychology of yoga - or, more specifically, ethics.

One of the other topics we discussed re: yoga ethics was hands on adjusting, and whether or not it should be limited and based on what. There are some adjustments that will make people downright uncomfortable. Any man or woman may be uncomfortable if an instructor came up behind them in down dog and pulled the student's hips towards their own. Other adjustments could involve getting right up into someones very very personal space - like in standing splits, or sometimes even a knee adjustment from warrior 1. We really learned to limit the hands on adjusting to only things one knows will not make their students uncomfortable. 

It was kind of a surprise to me that, apparently, there is a problem with yoga teachers taking advantage of their opposite sex students - specifically male teachers to female students. When you think about it, its really not such a huge surprise because there is this perpetuated stereotype that male yoga teachers are sexy (not all are, by the way). That doesn't really change the fact that I was a little repulsed.
On the one hand, I can definitely see a student/teacher relationship working out. In this hypothetical, both are consenting adults. On the other hand, I feel like that's kind of an abuse of power. What do you think? Is there a distinction between dating any fitness instructor versus dating a teacher versus dating a yoga instructor? Is there a double standard for men and women? Since yoga often becomes a form of therapy for some people, could a parallel be drawn between dating a yoga teacher and dating a therapist? So many questions! I'm interested in what other folks think here.

I'll *hopefully* be done with my teacher training the next time I do an update, which is pretty incredible. When I first decided to go for it, becoming a certified yoga instructor seemed so far off in the distance. Now I'm really beginning to feel like this is a part of who I am and what I do. I cannot wait to start teaching for real!

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