So, I had a lovely time in Sydney at Preshana Yoga. This was the fourth module in a 4-part 200-hour Teacher Training Program that Noah Maze and I collaborated on over the last year. It was a very unique experience for me to teach the first module and the last module of a program. Normally, I am more involved with the course of a training program and can see the gradual changes occur as a group moves through the curriculum. This was a bit different for me and it was a great pleasure to see the changes, the shifts and the growth of a group from the first week to the last. The group that completed the program had that special glow that comes from a year of deep work, intelligent sacrifices and inner questioning that comes with committing to a transformational educational journey like a teacher training program.
In my experience, these kind of year-long programs are so profound because they create a conscious frame around our personal journey and provide a valuable lens through which to observe all the lessons that life brings over the course of a year. Sometimes the lessons are clearly "on-the-mat lessons" like we learn to do a pose we could never do before or we gain clarity about some aspect of alignment or anatomy. Many times the year is full of "off-the-mat lessons" where we are brought to the edge of our old ways of relating to ourselves and/or our lives and we are called to shift and find new avenues of understanding and expression.
For me the year has had a lot of lessons both on and off the mat and it was fun for me to look back over the year from my first visit to Sydney and the first week of the program and to reflect on what changes I have made internally and externally, in my personal life and in my teaching work. In a lot of ways for me, the year involved a very steep learning curve about who I am as a teacher and where my interests as a trainer are. I feel so much more settled inside myself and much more at peace with my offerings. I had some huge shifts of letting go, forgiveness and clarity that came with some pretty big price tags. All in all, I am a lot happier now than I was a year ago. I am so pitta that I also have a list of things I'd love to shift change and upon which I would love to improve, but honestly, even that list doesn't have the power over me it once did. I pay a lot of attention to these days when my feelings of happiness and satisfaction arise because I believe a big part of overall joy in life comes from simply noticing it when its there (which is not always so simple to do).
On a practical level, I am enjoying a back-to-the-basics approach to my teaching that, coupled with new insights and experiences allows me some greater range in my teaching and outlook on the practice. You can see below that we got the straps back out to look at leg rotations and energetic spirals, we did some good-old fashioned study of Light on Yoga and we made some good forays into partner work and prop-assists. All in all, we had that dynamic blend of inspiration, analysis and hard work that I love in an asana workshop and training.
I have Teacher Training on my mind a lot these days as the program in Sydney comes to completion and as I am looking ahead at Week #3 of a 200-hour program in Singapore. Gioconda and I are also deep in discussion about our Alchemy of Flow and Form 300-hour program we begin in the fall in Texas. To me the opportunity to work with yoga teachers is one of the things I like best about my job. This week in Singapore we will focus on Sequencing Strategies then the following two modules Noah will take the reigns with a focus on observation, adjustments, themes, and philosophy. I will come back to Singapore in year to teach a program on Advanced Postures in Practice and Teaching. So there is a lot to consider and to look forward to.
Gioconda and I are creating some very groundbreaking programming for the Advanced Level Teacher Training that I am very psyched about. Our aim is to provide a range of educational experiences that will help develop the experienced teachers as practitioners so that their understanding and range of knowledge increases through direct encounters with yoga and its teachings, rather than through teaching drills and hypothetical teaching situations. Also I am so excited to be able to dive into the heart of the alignment methodology with long group practices and for Gioconda to take the gems of those sessions into the flow-based practices throughout the weekend. Our hope is that our unique strengths and backgrounds will encourage everyone to find their own unique ways to present their growing understandings.
So much could be said on this topic but that is it for now. I am percolating with lots of insights from my trip but next up is a shower, a walk about Chinatown and perhaps some tasty noodles.
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"There is a light that shines beyond all things on Earth, beyond us all, beyond the heaven, beyond the highest, the very highest heavens. This is the light that shines in our heart."