My fiancé and I escaped to Hawaii for a few weeks to attend a friend’s wedding and hence my tardiness with updating my blog!
The sunshine, swimming and spending time with close friends in Waikiki was magical, but admittedly lead me astray from my usual self-practice. I managed a few early morning self-practices but made the most of the stunning weather nurturing my body in a different way with lots of swimming and walking.
Since the last module “Pranayama, Meditation & Yogic Philosophy” I have continued to practice teaching and have begun incorporating these practices in my class sequences. The Bhramari pranayama (humming bee breath) being a favourite with most of my yoga students for its calming and stress relieving benefits. As I continue along my teaching journey I continue to learn something with every practice I lead. Every class is an opportunity to discover who I am as a yoga teacher and what aspects resonate with me most.
Just before going away on holiday I taught my first Yin class and although I have always enjoyed Yin as a practice, I was unsure whether this was a practice I wanted to teach myself. Surprisingly after teaching the class, I couldn’t believe how connected to it I was and how much joy came from seeing the benefits my participants felt post practice! This has me super excited for our Module 6 where we will cover “Yin yoga, restorative yoga & yoga therapy”.
Returning home from holiday and back to reality, I was struggling to resume my yoga routine. Late evenings at the office and adjusting back into my daily routine left me wiped out. In honour of what my body was feeling, I created a relaxing 15-minute practice focusing on releasing tension in my lower back, neck and shoulders. Practicing this each evening before bed helped to calm my mind, aiding in a good night’s sleep and in turn, lifting my energy levels.
Feeling a lot more like myself again, I stepped in to module 4 “Anatomy & Physiology” with a clear head ready to absorb all I could. This module was certainly the one I was feeling the most pressure with in terms of wanting to ensure I understood and retained all the information, as the safety of my students depended on it! I left Saturday quite overwhelmed and kept telling myself “don’t over think it, let it land and the pieces will come together”. It was in the afternoon session on Sunday that it all began to click. Muscles, joints, ligaments, skeletal structure etc. it all started to make sense. My previous studies and prior experience as a personal trainer was reignited and I left excited for the further knowledge gained knowing I was armed with the tools to keep every student of mine safe on their mat!
A few days after this module I got hit with the terrible flu going around and found myself couch/bed ridden for two days, with minimal energy. At first irritated and frustrated with the fact that I couldn’t continue with my usual routine, I took a step back and realised perhaps this was my bodies way of telling me “you have taken on too much, you need to slow down”. It’s at times like this we get to reflect and evaluate our priorities and mine clearly had not been dedicated to self-care! Taking the next few days to rest and repair my body, I completed my homework and prepared myself for module 5 “Yoga for women’s Health”.
This module came at the perfect time for me. A module dedicated to understanding women’s health and why it is imperative to nurture ourselves at certain times. As one who often feels rather crappy to put it mildly around that time of the month, I used to beat myself up if I wasn’t able to work out or workout as hard as I usually could. Whether it was a gruelling cardio workout or strong power Vinyasa class, I’d feel like I was taking the easy road out by taking the options, despite feeling depleted. Little did I know I wasn’t fully present to exactly what is happening inside my body during this time and how my neglect can impact me in the long run. I am now stepping in to a space of self-care, nourishment and permission where small changes over a very small period of time will have a powerful and positive impact on my internal system in the future.
I cannot believe we only have two modules remaining in the 200-hour teacher training and that as of August 28th I will be a qualified yoga teacher! I am filled with nervous energy and excitement at the possibility of being able to share this passion which has grown from strength to strength over the last 6 months. I have never felt more at home in my own skin, more at peace with who I am and more excepting of my body and all that it is. If I left this 200-hour teacher training with only these findings I would be humbled and overjoyed, yet I know I am going to leave with so much more!
Bhramari pranayama (humming bee breath)
- Find a comfortable seated position that elongates the spine
- Take a breath or two to settle in
- Bring the thumbs to the front lobes of the ear, wrapping four fingers of both hands onto the top of the skull
- Take a full expansive inhale into the body, and with the exhale, close off the ears and mouth whilst making a low vibrating humming sound
- Continue with this pattern of practice for several rounds, keeping the ears closed
- Discontinue the practice if any dizziness, headaches or tightness in the chest occurs
- Seal your practice by releasing the arms, return to your normal breathing and pause for a moment of stillness to notice the effects of the practice