Tag Archives: practice

Beauty Report: The return of my personal yoga practice

yogapracticespaceSince completing the Forrest Yoga Foundations Teacher Training, I am so grateful that my personal yoga practice has returned. My strongest intention going into the training was to get my personal practice back on track. While I received far more than this, one of the greatest gifts has been to get back on my mat every day, now for 33 days in a row.

It’s oddly common to hear yoga teachers talking about the loss of their personal practice when they begin teaching professionally. It really doesn’t make much sense: how can you teach something you no longer practice, no matter how many years or decades you did it before? Lack of logic aside, I couldn’t seem to motivate myself to get on the mat. The excuses were legion: I don’t have time (of course I do!) I’m not in the mood (ew!); my apartment isn’t really set up for it (ok, but there’s alternatives and creative solutions to this); I am tired (yoga will help get you untired); and on and on it went. Somehow, I equated the little bit of mat time I got through my various teaching gigs to count as practice. It’s not!

Our personal yoga practice is so much more than simply doing poses. What I’m finding out is that personal practice, especially daily personal practice, is a commitment to myself and a deep care-taking of my self that gets stronger each day I return to my mat. This has been the secret gift of getting back on the mat everyday: that the more days that go by continuously, the less likely I am to let a day slide, the more I actually tremble at the idea of a day going by.

I am healing from a lot of self-abuse. I need to practice regularly. I need to keep the well of my own sense of trust, appreciation, and love for myself topped up. Daily practice is, so far, the best way to do this I have experienced. I am so grateful to Ana Forrest and her amazing assistants for helping me get into the habit of daily yoga practice. This is one habit I definitely don’t want to break.

Here’s a photo of me practicing in my mom’s apartment’s gym space. To me, meeting myself on my mat daily, and letting it be discovered what comes up (am I focused; am I rushing; am I adhering to my intent; am I using my neck in the poses?!; etc) is one of the most beautiful things I can imagine. This is my therapy, my salvation, my healing, my gift to myself.

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Does the 200-hour yoga teacher training produce well-qualified teachers?

Signs you are in a TT: colored pens & pencils; binders & notebooks; foam yoga blocks used as desks :)

Signs you are in a TT: colored pens & pencils; binders & notebooks; foam yoga blocks used as desks 🙂

As yoga grows in popularity, more scrutiny is being cast upon teacher training programs. Is the 200-hour teacher training enough to really prepare someone for teaching yoga? I look into this question in a blog post I wrote for Pravassa.com. This is a multi-layered question with no right answer since many of us decide to do a yoga teacher training only after we’ve had decades of practice, while some of us jump in after only a few months. These, and other factors, weigh in on the final answer of “does a 200-hour teacher training adequately prepare people to teach yoga?”

In my opinion, a personal practice is where a teacher finds his/her wisdom, but a yoga teacher training, or “YTT” in the parlance, obviously fills in certain key gaps (like anatomy, a structured approach to the Sutras, etc.) that practitioners may not have dove into in their own practice.

Read more here…and please comment if you have something to add to the conversation.

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Filed under mindfullness, yoga