Category Archives: Yoga

35 Hours: 200 YTT Resumes

Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) continues! See posts checking in at hours 5 & 29 from our initial training weekend in January.

The weekend of yoga starts off with 5 hours on Thursday evening, in the middle of which is a 90-minute class. Coral can throw a LOT into that time frame, and this one included peaking with crow pose. Breaking down that “peak pose” – what you need to work on to get in and out of it – will decide the vinyasas (sequences) of the class. Crow is a balancing pose, so a lot of people assume it takes arm strength. Actually it takes a strong core, open hips and a forward (not down/back/left/right) gaze.

“Look where you want to go!”

Think ahead.

Look forward.

Trust your {mind+body} abilities.

Be okay with falling/failing, and getting right back into it.

Build strength, open up, put a strong base in place; have faith that you’ll fly.

——

The room was straight up pumped – we had energy, we’re ready to get this ball rolling again, we love to feel the lightness of flight. She regaled us with some Bob Marley during savasana and we responded with a sing-a-long. And that’s an awesome way to end a kick-ass class.

So begins my favorite kind of weekend…

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Calm, to the Sun & Back

I’m working my way through the YTT readings this week, found myself happily saluting the sun in the SFO yoga room an hour ago, and just had a conference call about a Mindfulness project (for work). To say I’m feeling pretty calm, cool and collected (+ caffeinated) seems accurate.

steaming coffee_DOTR

Not something you hear often from people sitting and working in an airport, but there are many players here! First of all: hats off to you, SFO. The yoga room? Superb. It’s pretty small and serene, quietly situated between two terminals, so you don’t hear very much. Etiquette is posted on the outside (“Remove shoes”, etc) and mats are nicely rolled up and waiting for you to let them loose.

yoga room_SFO_DOTR

A few sun salutations and hip-openers later, I’m all ready for the {travel} day. Simple as that.

And last, but not least, my boss just nonchalantly mentionedCalm.com – which sounds like something a Gen-X/Y-er would say to describe their current state of affairs, but is actually a website + app. And very literal. Go there, let it be the soundtrack of your day, and man, you’re all set.

With that, I’m off to enjoy a long weekend in Texas’ oasis with two of my favorite gals. My sis has her cowgirl boots shined n’ ready for some two-stepping and Austin adventuring. Enjoy all of the above and remember it never hurts to tone it down a notch! 

Namaste, y’all.

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Filed under about me, health, meditation, Yoga

29 hours in: 200 Hour YTT {Embodiment Project}

As of Sunday evening, we’ve logged 29 of our 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training (YTT), and completed the first full weekend of everything yoga! My “weekend”, as I typically know it, didn’t exist. Instead it was spent with 15 gals on the same adventure, led and inspired by Coral Brown (via Om Oasis Studio). From Thursday to Sunday evening my mind dipped in, swam around a bit and then fully dove into the heart of a practice that, so far, has only been asanas and Oms to me.

Completing a 200-hour training is akin to kayaking out to that tiny island that looks close enough to swim to, but is actually miles away (like whoa, depth perception!). You’re wading through much deeper water than you probably anticipated – there’s so much more to know and digest. It’s the first giant leap to your initial destination; you can stand on solid ground again, but then you have to decide whether to stay comfy sun-bathing on the beach, or getting dirty exploring various trails.

I’m much more of a hiker than a beach baby.

This weekend was a lot of history and introductions, and a little bit of moving around! For one of our first Omwork assignments, we took pictures for the Embodiment Project –  a list of poses to document now, and again at hour 200. “No retakes, or omg-these-pants-suck!, or let-me-fix-my-hips” – just pose-and-shoot, fashion choices of the day be damned. These are straight-up stage 1, how things are looking ~15% of the way in:

tadasana_HC utkatasana_HC

Utasana_HC downward facing dog_HC

chataranga_HC

upward facing dog_HC

warrior 1_HC warrior 2_HC

reverse warrior_HC - Copy side angle pose_HC - Copy low lunge_HC  twisted high lunge_HC

wheel pose_HC 
Our training didn’t happen to be outside perfectly situated in the direct sunlight, but these pictures got lucky.

—–

And that’s that! I couldn’t begin to sum up what we learned in a short 29 hours with one blog post, my brain is still busy doing that for itself. But this photo journal will be one of very few objective benchmarks, along with the hours counting up to the first 200.

Questions? Thoughts on YTT, or yoga in general? If you want to do your own little journey along the way with these poses, hop on in! The next round won’t be until May, so we have plenty of time to strengthen, root down and rise up.

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Filed under balance, Goals, motivation, training, Yoga

5 Down: 200 Hour YTT

My research began long before we physically arrived in Monterey. Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) has been on my mind for years; as with many major life goals, there will be a lot of things that seemingly keep you from checking the box (really, you just stubbornly stand in your own way). But this little break from DC life seemed too perfect an opportunity to pass up. I found a studio, found their training schedule, and kept it bookmarked for months.

I barely mailed my deposit in on time, as the ghost of resistance finally faded with moments to spare. Adios, yo. We’re gonna do this.

—-

We’ll have seven weekends of Thursday – Sunday trainings over the next four months. We’ll complete at least 180 hours of training, 15+ classes of Prana yoga, and multiple other projects and observations. Last night got the process started – 5 hours in a small room with 15 other anxious yogis. In the 5 minutes spent sitting in silence, waiting, transitioning from student to teacher-in-training, my brain flipped through every yoga moment I can remember from the past 5 years. It also sat there being like “Do you have everything you’re supposed to? {Nope, not yet…} Don’t forget to bring a check tomorrow. 8 hours is a long time in one room. I wonder if it’ll be sunny this weekend…”, reveling in the last 5 minutes of the unknown, I s’pose.

Ytt_Day1

We completed a 90-minute heated class in the middle, sweating out any lingering nerves, doubts, annoying to-do lists or fears. We have 5 hours in, and endless asanas to go. This is exactly where each of us are meant to be, right now.

Ommmm, y’all.

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Beginning the Odd Year: 2015

The great thing about ending the year coming off of an injury is that everything just seems pretty great, because you’re hopping back to it! Sure, there’s endless paranoia and restless heart beats and a grumpy ego, but they’ll come around soon enough. Ending those two months of idleness in a place like this wasn’t so bad, either…

2014-12-29 10.41.00-1

The go just sat back in awe and let the island do the talking.

For the first time in months, I was active without  a schedule. I had a few guidelines (“keep it easy – do what makes you happy!”), the first of which was quietly overlooked. We stayed in Kailua, which is resort-free and full of trails, stunning shores and perfectly flat running roads. We ran to, and then up, the “Bunker Trail” (aka Pill Box Trail) multiple times. We slipped and slided our way to Mauanwili Falls (this is no joke; be ready to hose yourself down!), we kayaked the Pacific, and we chased two shockingly-quick toddlers in the sand.

2014-12-30 07.48.19 2015-01-01 16.38.07 2015-01-01 17.29.20
2014-12-29 11.10.20

One day I ran for an hour, passing the Obama’s vacation home (NBD), and thinking “this may have been a little too long, too soon”, but not really caring enough to stop. {Insert the foolish-injured-runner’s-hand-raised!}
60 minute milestone: check!

 2015-01-01 11.22.27

And so begins the Odd year. I’ve noticed that I swing pretty far on the pendulum of goals achieved and actions taken every other year. I do just enough one year to keep myself sane and feel comfortable – traveling, running, indulging and enjoying. Then I get sick of feeling sane and comfortable (and slightly hung-over), and almost overcompensate.

The odd years stand out for the latter, and this one is throwing down a cannon-ball splash right away:

After today, I’ll be 5 hours into the 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training (YTT).
Next weekend I’ll visit Austin, TX for the first time with two of my favorite gals.
In
8 weeks I’ll have a new last name.
By May we’ll have run two goal races (13.1, 26.2).

By June we’ll be starting to plan a 200+ mile hike in the Sierras.

And that’s all we know for now. I have no goals or resolutions, but there are plenty of ways I’ve committed to keeping all systems active, engaged and happily exhausted!

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