Yoga Teacher Training Weekend #2 Recap

It’s hard to believe my second yoga teacher training weekend was three weeks ago. The training weekends are super busy and go by so fast. For the past three weeks, my entire family has been sick. I’ve haven’t been able to keep up with my studio practice and have had to settle with home practices. The great thing about yoga is that you can practice it anywhere.

 

 
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Friday

Friday night started as usual with an hour long vinyasa flow. The teacher was upbeat, fun, and positive and the class was packed! After class, we took a short break and gave the teacher feedback on her class. The owner of the program is huge into feedback. For every class we attend we are required to give feedback on what to keep, what to stop, and what to start. At first this was difficult, but it has gotten easier over time. When we practice teach, we also receive feedback, which I love.

After yoga, we discussed our reading assignment. We also discussed what yoga means to us and how this will help us off the mat and as a yoga teacher. We ended the night with a short meditation.

 

Saturday

Saturday morning started with an hour vinyasa flow then feedback. We discussed moments over the past few weeks when we noticed any type of negative feelings or actions and what we did or could have done to shift it into positive feelings or productive actions.

We reviewed the spine and the four types of movement. We discussed assisting, why we assist, when to assist, and when not to assist.

After lunch, we discussed avidya, or an incorrect comprehension. Avidya is the filmy layer that coats our clarity. It is the story or stories that we tell ourselves. They’re the limiting beliefs we have about ourselves and our environment.

We got into small groups to brainstorm an opening sequence. My group wasn’t able to finish our brainstorming session when it was time to practice teach it to the entire class. My teammates were too shy to teach it, so I did it. Guys, I was nervous! I walked around the room and assisted while teaching. I was so excited I did it, and I wasn’t terrible.

We ended Saturday with a yoga nidra, yogic sleep, meditation. This is a deep relaxing mediation. It was the best meditation. I highly recommend you YouTube it.

 

Sunday

Sunday morning started with a discussion on meditation. Then we talked about using mantras in our meditation practice. We meditated then began an hour and a half yoga session followed by feedback.

We took a small break then observed a yoga class and gave our feedback. After lunch we attended an Ayurveda workshop. Ayurveda is a 5,000-year-old holistic healing system that focuses on mind and body connection. The workshop was interesting.

This Weekend

This weekend is my third yoga teacher training. We’re going to discuss our reading assignments, anatomy, pose breakdown, practice teaching, philosophy/self-study, and we have a chakra and reiki workshop. It should be a fun weekend.

Keys to Success: 5 Elements for Healthy Habits

Last week, I discussed how to make healthy habit changes. This week I’m covering key elements needed to lessen the difficulty of incorporating new habits.

Think of it as a game plan to creating long lasting health habits rather than winging it.  

Consider these elements when implementing new healthy habits:

 
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1.     Focused, but flexible.

Before beginning any new habits, have a solid plan and a short back up plan. If you’ve decided to change your eating habits, have a few meals and snacks planned and those ingredients stocked. Meal prep once a week for meals you don’t have time to make. Also, have a plan for when you forget your lunch at home or you’re running errands all day. Perhaps you have a local restaurant or grocery store that you can pick up a quick healthy meal.

Schedule and plan your workouts ahead of time, so when you get to the gym or park you don’t waste any time. Also, have a backup in case you aren’t able to workout at your usual place. This is where being flexible and having a backup plan is needed.

  

2.     Create a successful environment.

Create an environment that is congruent with your goals. If you’re wanting to eat more fruits and vegetables, then stock your kitchen with fresh and frozen produce. If you want to increase your physical activity, make sure you have clean workout clothes.

 

3.     Trust the process.

Our bodies are sometimes slow to show changes. One week you can lose a few pounds and the next two weeks half a pound. Then the fourth week, you can lose a few pounds again. It’s frustrating, but a reality.

If you are putting in the work, changes are happening. The scale is not the only instrument to document change. Take photos, notice how your clothes feel, and use a measuring tape. These four measurements will give you a better overall picture of what is happening.

 

4.     Each day (or meal) is a do-over.

Take this process one day, or one meal at a time. If you overeat at lunch, get back on track for your next meal. If you skipped your workout, get back on track the next day.

 

5.     Above all, be consistent.

Consistency is huge. What you do day in and day out ultimately determines whether you succeed or not. One overindulgence or skipped workout will not derail you. Overtime you will be successful.

How to Create Healthy Habits for Weight Loss and Wellness

Creating new habits is not an easy process, but it is doable.

Whether your goal is weight loss or improving wellness, creating healthy habits is a strategy that can help you reach your goals. The key to creating lasting habits is to start small, choose one that will jump start whatever goal you’re working on, and stay consistent.

 
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For weight loss, record your food/drink intake for 7 days and include the amount of food eaten and when.

Next, look over your food log and take note of your food preferences and meal pattern. It’s important to consider your lifestyle, likes, and dislikes. You don’t want to change your lifestyle too much or too drastically.

Make a list of habits, and pick one that is easy and will have an impact on reducing calories.

Stick with that habit for 2 weeks. After 2 weeks, ask yourself if the habit change had any positive affect on your life. If so, continue the habit and add another one.

Continue in this manner until you reach your goals. Once you have reached your goals, you will want to continue with your healthy habits. At the bottom of this post, I’ve included a habit tracker you can print or upload to the Goodnotes app to keep track of your habits.

 
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I’ve listed some habits for you to consider if you’re wanting to improve your health and lose weight:

  • -Lift weights

  • -Drink more water

  • -Walk and move more

  • -Eat more produce

  • -Get 7-9 hours of sleep daily

  • -Keep a food and exercise log

  • -Cook or prepare most of your meals at home

  • -Eat protein at most meals

  • -Swap regular soda for diet soda

  • -Cut out liquid calories

  • -Monitor progress

  • -Snack less often

  • -Start meditating

  • -Practice yoga

  • -Keep a gratitude journal

Keeping track of your habits is a great way to stay consistent and accountable. Click on the link to download your habit tracker.

What healthy habits are you working on?

 
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6 Strategies for Weight Loss

In order to lose weight, you must be in a calorie deficit. There are countless different strategies that will create a calorie deficit. The trick is to figure out which one works for you and your lifestyle.

I’m going to discuss 6 strategies that do not require you to restrict specific foods or food groups. Unless you have a legitimate health condition, disease, or allergy, I don’t recommend restricting food groups. Most people that restrict food groups for the sake of losing weight typically are unable to maintain it for long.

The strategies are listed from easiest to hardest to implement. Again, reflect on which strategy you think would work for you and your lifestyle, then experiment for at least a month.

 
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1 – Healthy habit change

To implement a healthy habit change, record your intake for a week to see where you can make some healthy changes. Pick one super-easy habit to implement for 1-2 weeks, such as adding a serving of protein to all meals. After 1-2 weeks, add another easy habit, such as drinking ½ your bodyweight of water in ounces.

 

2 – Intermittent fasting

In order for this strategy to work, you cannot replace the calories you skip. So, if you fast through breakfast, you cannot add in those calories later in the day.

There are several ways to execute this strategy, but I recommend starting with 16:8 approach. This means you will fast for 16 hours and eat during the remaining 8 hours. The timeframe is up to you. When I fast, I usually do it from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. and I eat from 12:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

 

3 – Meal plans

I know many professionals balk at using meals plans, but if it works for you then great. I have several clients that like the structure of eating from a meal plan. It takes out some of the decision making and stress other strategies can cause.

 

4 – Calorie and protein tracking

Calorie and protein tracking is a good strategy for individuals that like a mix of flexibility and structure with their intake. This is a great plan of action for individuals that are transitioning from meal plans to eventually intuitive eating.

 

5 – Macro tracking

Macro tracking is great for people that want complete flexibility in their food intake. This method requires people to track all three macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein, and fat. This strategy is also great for individuals that don’t mind tracking every detail of their food/drink intake.

 

6 – Intuitive eating

Intuitive eating is the most difficult for someone to apply in a calorie deficit unless they have a complete understanding of nutrition and portion control. They would also need to completely be in tuned with their body’s signals.

I created this post after reading Alan Aragon’s AARR June/17 issue. The AARR article goes into more detail and even lists pros/cons of each strategy.

Which strategy have you used in the past?

My Yoga Experience and Yoga Teacher Training #1

I discovered yoga over 10 years ago when I was in the middle of my dietetic internship. I was completing a wellness rotation that required me to audit outpatient wellness classes from one of the local hospitals in Las Vegas.

I chose to audit a yoga class to see what it was like. Back then I was a runner and I thrived on intensity. When the teacher asked me what I thought of yoga, I mistakenly told the her I thought it was nothing more than stretching.

The teacher smiled sweetly at me and promised a session that would have me sweating. Needless to say, she kicked my behind.

It was hard, but also the best.

It reminded me of the runners high I would get from running long distances, but even better. I felt and still feel an emptiness almost like I’m being cleanse from the inside out. It’s amazing.  

For the last couple of years, I’ve toyed with the idea of becoming a certified teacher, but did not voice it until earlier this year. I was nervous to tell my husband, but he was completely onboard and supportive.

 
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 I went into yoga teacher training with no expectations. My goal was to be openminded to whatever came my way. My first weekend of classes was fun and exhausting. My classmates and I jump straight into yoga sessions, philosophy, pose breakdowns, and practice teaching.

For homework, we were required to read sections from 3 text books, memorize Sun A and Sun B sequences, practice yoga 5 days/week with 3 days in the studio, meditate at least 5 minutes a day, and write 1-2 pages on the stories we tell ourselves (our limiting beliefs).

The week after yoga training I had a difficult time catching up with chores and work and getting back to my routine. I completely felt lost with my workout schedule. As much as I love to lift weights and practice yoga, I don’t like to spend too much time working out.

I had to switch my training schedule for the third time in 2 months. I changed weight training days to full body 2-days/week, 3-hour+ yoga sessions, and 2 40-minute yoga sessions a week and so far, it’s working out.

My next yoga teacher training classes is this weekend. I’m super busy, but I love it.