Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Absorbing It All

Last week was very busy. It was last weekend of training. On Friday we did our last freedom practice for about 45 minutes or so. Almost all of us used that time to practice the VINYASA class that we were going to teach the next day. I was taking it extra easy and being nice to my left hamstring. I could feel a positive energy in the room. Everyone was in high spirits. My mind went into a flashback mode and landed on the Friday evening on September26Th when we all started with our training. That night we heard the word freedom practice for the first time (I know I did!). When Sloane told us to do the freedom practice we all kind of looked at each other and started doing whatever we felt like doing. But the freedom practice on last Friday of the training was something unique and very special. We all started flowing. We came a full circle!
Exam went well and everyone scored an “A”. Sloane gave a big hand written review of our practical exam to each one of us. She said some nice things about my accent which was nice. I always feel a little self conscious about my Indian accent, not sure if people are understanding what I am saying or not. But, Sloane’s remarks put me to ease.
The class I taught started out with 5 minutes of meditation. It was my job to relax my students who were nervous about the exam (my students were my fellow trainees). The sandalwood incense sticks help set the mood for the class. I started out with kapalbhati. I spent a little longer in warming up before going into 2 rounds of traditional sun salutes followed by 2 sun salutation B. I included sequence involving a lunge, prayer twist, pyramid poses and another small sequence with eagle. In the closing postures I taught locust, bow and janu-sheershasan. To me, it was big challenge to put it all in just half an hour. I hope the class was balanced and not too much of just one thing.
Reflecting on the whole training, I enjoyed the weekend when we all attended the Beryl Bender Birch workshop. I really enjoyed the freedom practices. In the last month, we all took turns and taught each other sections of the class which was very enjoyable. Everyone got their turn to teach centering, warm-up, sun salutations, sequences and closing postures. The parts that I did not quite enjoy in the training were hours spent on anatomy. Remembering the names of those muscles was scary!
Now that the training is over, the main focus will be shifted on getting a few teaching assignments. I am not planning to leave my part time job as a software developer at all. Let’s hope I get to teach what I love to practice. I noticed that we don’t really practice pranayam apart from UJJAYI breathing. I would love to include any one pranayam technique in every class I teach. I don’t know if that is going to be practically possible. Until then I can enjoy my day dreaming.
I plan to start reading the “yoga sutra” book written by my great grand-father more than 40 years ago. My mom mailed me that book from India last month. I have not been able to read it yet. Every time I open the book I start feeling too proud to read it calmly. All the time I was growing up, copies of that books were in our attic (yeah, you read it right.). I vaguely remember my great grand-father. He was 6 ft. tall, light complexion and bluish-green eyes. All features quite unusual for Asian Indian. It is amazing to know that he used to practice yogasanas for 4-5 hours at a stretch. I never spoke with my mother about him. Its only now after I started taking yoga more seriously that I started asking questions to mother about him. That book I have is a token of my family heritage. I do not think that I will ever be able to read it with an unbiased mind. When I visit India next time, I am going to spend a lot of time talking to my mother and my aunt about their grand-father.
On a closing note, I would like to write about a funny but thought provoking incident. We went to hang out with our friends after I finished my training and got excellent score. I said to our friends that they were talking to a registered yoga teacher. The very next morning, Ira, my 5 year old told me that she heard what I said to my friends and that she was not proud of me as I was boasting. I was too stunned to explain to her that I may have been just too excited! I am sure my daughters will keep my feet firmly on the ground.


Linda-Sama said...

thanks for leaving your comments on my last post! can I mention your name to that studio in FM, TX?

email me: linda.samaATgmailDOTcom