Readiness and Commitment

As part of my yoga teacher training, I’ve been studying the yoga sutras from the book The Path of The Yoga Sutras by Nicolai Bachman and Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by B.K.S. Iyengar.

 

The first chapter of Bachman’s book, is on Atha, Readiness and Commitment, which is translated as an indication of auspicious beginning. Beginnings are often exciting and scary. It takes readiness and commitment to get through the various feelings of beginning a new journey. Bachman discusses how it is important to have an open heart-mind to allow the information to flow in without learned barriers getting in our way. He also discusses how commitment provides stability and structure allowing us to return and maintain a consistent yoga practice.

 

This chapter reminded me of the readiness and commitment one must take when embarking on a journey to improve their health. Instead of seeking instant gratification, we must take the time to truly understand what it is we are seeking then learn what works for our bodies and lifestyle. I believe this is where most people give up and lose steam.

 

 
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Whether you’re trying to lose weight, gain muscle, start a yoga practice, improve your current performance or whatever your goals are, the following steps will get you there as long as you have patience.

 

1      Self-refection 

During self-reflection, ask yourself questions until you get to the heart of what you desire. What is it you truly want? I’ll use the example of want to lose 10 pounds. Why? What will life be like without those 10 pounds? It might not be the loss of 10 pounds that will make you happy, but feeling comfortable in your body will. Write down all of the reasons why want to accomplish your goal.

 

2      Self-experiment

This one might take time, but remember this isn’t a sprint. What will fit your lifestyle? Perhaps you don’t have time to workout for an hour, five days a week, but you have time to fit in 30 minutes. What can you get done in 30 minutes that will give you the biggest bang for your time? Write down a few actions that will fit your lifestyle and help you reach your goal. Then take action. If they work great. If not, try something else.

 

3      Commitment 

Now that you’ve taken the time to figure out what fits your lifestyle and is enjoyable, it’s time to commit. Commitment requires you to be consistent, which over time will result in progress. This is where you find the time to do what must be done to reach your goals.

 

Learning, integrating, and repeating positive habits to improve your health over time requires readiness, commitment, and patience. In time you will reach your goal. Then you can set new goals as you continue on your journey.

Yoga Teacher Training Weekend #3 Recap

Guys, I’m halfway through my yoga teacher training! I can hardly believe it. After this weekend, I’ll have three months left. It crazy how fast it is going by.

  

 
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Friday

Friday’s YTT began like it does every Friday, we started with an hour long vinyasa class followed by feedback. In the beginning of our YTT when we started giving feedback, I wondered if the instructors would take our feedback serious and they actually do. I gave the teacher feedback three weeks ago and she actually implemented it. For this teacher, I told her when she walked around it felt like she was pacing which was distracting. This time she was more purposeful in her movements.

The second part of our training was a workshop on chakras and reiki. The teachers that taught this workshop had a calming presence that I really liked.

During one of the activities, we paired up with a partner and without touching and our eyes closed sent positive and bright vibes to the other person. My friend and I didn’t feel anything other than the heat from yoga class and bright lights from the overhead. Next, we were told to shut ourselves off from each other and to not send any vibes out. We felt coolness and darkness rush over us. We were shocked. We realized that the heat and brightness we felt minutes earlier was the energy we were sending out.

 

Saturday

Saturday started with a vinyasa class and feedback. We covered the iliopsoas in our anatomy discussion, pose breakdown, and assist. For our philosophy and self-study, we discussed the yamas and niyamas and what resonated most with us.

I can honestly say I resonated with several of the yamas and niyamas, but the one that really hit home was tapas. Tapas is focused on self-discipline and asks us to continually grow and improve ourselves. This includes anything that will prompt us into a positive change. When we engage in tapas we feel heat from the burning of impurities. You become heated when engaging in exercising, when breaking old habits, when changing direction in life, or any other positive change.

After our self-study discussion, we broke into small groups and taught an opening sequence, sun A, and sun B then discussed how to cue a creative sequence. We ended our day with a short meditation.

 

Sunday

Sunday started with a short meditation discussion then we broke off into small groups and created a guided meditation that will be shared with the class. We participated in a vinyasa class, either by taking the class or observation, and provided feedback.

After lunch, we learned the different poses for each chakra, demonstrated the poses, provided modifications, and how to assist. I really enjoyed that class. We ended with a meditation in the legs up the wall pose.

 

Homework

For homework, we were required to practice 5 sessions of yoga, 3 at the studio, each week and 5 sessions of 10-minute meditations. We read parts 1 and 2 of the yoga sutras and wrote a page on the sutra that we resonated most with, and how we can apply it to life. We were also asked to refine our practice teach sequence.

 

This weekend

This weekend we will discuss part 1 and 2 of the yoga sutras and how it resonated with us. We’ll cover pose breakdowns and self-study. We have a chakra flow and breakdown workshop. This will be our second weekend covering chakras and I’m really starting to get into them.

We also have a lotus flow workshop that sounds interesting. I’m loving the workshops. It’s fun to learn the different aspects of the yoga world.

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.

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.