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A New Home for TrueBodyMindSoul!!

25 Jan

 

Hello friends and followers!!

I am excited to announce a new home for True Body Mind Soul!

I have purchased the domain, and started a new blog (well, a continuation of this blog!) at truebodymindsoul.com

I hope you will come check out my new site for posts about yoga, meditation, mindfulness, health and happiness.

Here is one post, for example, that you should definitely read : )

Ten tips for starting a hot yoga practice (2)

Ten tips for starting HOT yoga

Hope to see you soon!

Best,

True Soul
(Amber)

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365 Challenge Day 315 – GRADUATION!!!

9 May

I did it!!  It’s official, I’m a certified yoga teacher!!!!

Wow oh wow oh wow.  Even though I’ve worked so hard over the past six months, I still can’t believe it.

In a way this is fulfilling a lifelong goal.  My mother was a yoga teacher, and my father was a yoga teacher!!  They lived in a yoga ashram when I was born, and the Guru named me!!  So yeah, it kind of feels like destiny.  And my sister has a 2 year old at home, but I am quite sure in a few years she will be a yoga teacher too : )

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Here I am celebrating in my backyard on graduation day : )

365 Challenge Day 283 – Yoga: Teaching

28 Apr

Today in our teacher training we turned a corner.  They broke us up into groups of four, and we had to as a group chose any theme from anything we’ve learned and bring it into our practice teaching.  We were allowed to do anything we wanted and some groups got very creative.  Going up in a group made it much more fun and less stressful (I still get nervous teaching the whole class by myself.)  Some groups talked about the bandhas, some about the elements, some did pranayama.  But it really opened us up into a whole new world of teaching, away from just doing the bare bones instruction.

My group did the four elements and I did Fire.  I spoke to Ujiyii breath, Drishti, Bandhas, and strength.  And it was SO FUN.

365 Challenge Day 278 – Yoga: Imagery

28 Apr

One thing I love noticing is how different teachers use different images while teaching yoga.  Some are successful, some less so, some are downright disturbing!!

When doing cat and cow poses my teacher asked us to rotate our hips around in a circle, like we were a knife scraping every last bit of peanut butter out of the peanut butter jar.  Sounds good, I liked that one.  But today I went to a class with a new teacher and she said to imagine we were like a toilet brush scraping around the toilet to clean it…  Ewwwww.  No thanks.

A good one for me was imagining I was standing on ice (when in a wide leg stance) and that I needed to pull my legs together to keep from slipping out.  This really helped me to actively engage the muscles in my inner thighs and legs.  And an image fail, one of my teachers said to imagine that our nipples were crazy glued to our thighs.  Yuck.  What the heck?

I’m not really at the point when I’ll be using that much imagery yet.  But I’m excited to think about it!!

365 Challenge Day 274 – Soft Tissue

28 Apr

Over the years of knowing several yoga teachers, I’ve heard the term “fascia” used quite a bit, but never really understood what was meant.  This is still a new area for me, but my teacher said something that really made sense.  We were doing half pigeon pose, and she said that the pose was not meant to get at the “soft tissue”, but that relaxed animal pose could (yes, there is a pose called relaxed animal : )

Here is how she explained it.  If you are in a posture where there is any tension or resistance, then your muscles are working and they kind of tighten up because they are trying to protect the joints.  But if you can set up a posture in which all the muscles are supported and relaxed, then you have a chance to get to the soft tissue.  Okay, I need to do more research about why this is a good thing!

365 Challenge Day 253 – A Journey

27 Mar

In the yoga teacher training my teachers spent quite a bit of time talking about Vedic Astrology. I found it all very interesting, but had some doubts about the relevance for our future as teachers.

The twelve signs are described in a sequence as a story, starting with a seed, that gets planted in the soil, blooms in spring, etc. The first six signs are about the development of the self. And then the next six are about going beyond the self, realizing we are not separate, opening to our oneness with the rest of the Universe.

And then, suddenly, the meaning of it all landed for me. My teacher started describing this same journey in a single yoga class. The students come to class lost in their heads, spinning from their day and their lives. The beginning of class is about getting them to ground into their bodies. Developing and being present in the “self”. Leading all the way to the end of class when in Savasana, the student gets a chance to release the self, and open up to a oneness with the Universe.

Wow!!!

I love the idea of bringing my students on a journey every time they come to class : )

365 Challenge Day 251 – Too much?

27 Mar

Last weekend when had our teacher yoga teacher training, and there was lots of talk and instruction, but there was also a LOT of yoga.  I mean there always is.  We did one 90 minute hot vinyasa on Friday evening.  One 90 minute hot vinyasa on Saturday at 7am.  Then during the training we taught another full class, at least 100 minutes, not heated (we took turns teaching, but for most of it we were the students!)  Then on Sunday we did another two 90 minute classes in a row, heated.  And then, taught each other for another 90 minutes at least, not heated.  I was so wiped out by the end of the weekend!!!  That was at least 9 hours of yoga that weekend, with almost 5 hours on Sunday alone!!

I did do a little bit of yoga this week, I practiced teaching and for a couple of the classes I did the practice along with my friends while I was instructing.  I needed to get the kinks out!!  But I had no desire to go to the studio this week!  And now that it’s Friday again, and time for another teacher training weekend, I’m thinking Oh no!  Not again!!  I mean, I’m looking forward to it, but also, already tired and sore just thinking about it!

Is there such thing as too much yoga???

365 Challenge Day 247 – Teaching

23 Mar

Second day of our teacher training weekend.  Wow.  We took class in the morning at 7am (which reaffirmed my position that I am NOT a morning person!!)  Then did a lot of practice teaching.  It was so much better this time than the last time.  All that practice teaching I did in between, and memorizing the sequence, made a big difference.  I didn’t really feel that nervous, I felt ready.  Of course, I still felt very relieved when my turn was over!

We talked a lot more about astrology.  I’ll write a little more about this later.  I’m still not quite sure what to make of it all.  But it is fun and interesting.

One unexpected part of our teacher training is that there has been quite a bit of humor!!  There were multiple times in the day when we were in hysterical laughter!!  Our teachers are a married couple and a few times they did things to tease each other that were really funny.  And a couple of the trainees just have quirky and funny personalities and got us all cracking up while they were practice teaching.

365 Challenge Day 246 – Space

23 Mar

This weekend I have my yoga teacher training.  We are getting close to the end!  It’s exciting!!  Tonight we took class together, and the teacher led us in the sequence exactly the way we’re learning it.  It was great to have it in our muscle memory.  In our training we’re still teaching in a “bare bones” style with very little additional instruction, just the poses, so it was great to hear how it will play out in a real class setting.

Our teacher talked about “space” as one of the most important elements (as in fire, water, etc.) that we will find in a yoga class.  He said it is also one of the most easily overlooked.  I wish I had taken better notes.  He talked about the physical space in terms of room size, walls, floors, furniture, colors and such.  And also talked about energetic space, and we hold that space with our presence.  He said yoga teachers tend to talk too much, because we feel uncomfortable leaving room for the space, and plus we have so much we want to share.  We did an exercise in which we talk the class, in real time, so holding poses for 5-10 breaths or longer, but we didn’t say anything other than just calling out the pose and then waiting in the silence.  The result was that our energy dropped.  So our challenge will be to hold the space, keep the energy with our presence, but not talk for sake of just talking!

365 Challenge Day 242 – Yoga: Teaching!!

19 Mar

Our homework for my yoga teacher training has mostly been to practice teaching so we become really familiar with the sequence.  It may sound easy to memorize a sequence, but man, it’s been harder than I thought.

For one thing, we have the sequence memorized in our bodies, but not in minds.  Using language seems to access a completely different part of the brain!!  Saying the poses out loud while doing them is a baby step, and helps a little.  But standing still and saying the poses is so hard!!  I feel completely disconnected.  At any moment I feel like I could forget what I just did and where I am in the sequence.

Also, practicing by yourself is totally different than practicing in front of a group!!

But over the last couple of weeks I have gotten together with friends from the program and gone through the routine.  Practice makes perfect!  Or at least improvement : )

This week I even practiced on one of my co-workers during our lunch hour.  And I’m really having fun with it!!