Diary of a yogini part 4 & 5: Chels Perkins journey through 200HR Teacher Training

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!

Namaste
xoxo


Bhramari pranayama (humming bee breath)

  1. Find a comfortable seated position that elongates the spine
  2. Take a breath or two to settle in
  3. Bring the thumbs to the front lobes of the ear, wrapping four fingers of both hands onto the top of the skull
  4. 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
  5. Continue with this pattern of practice for several rounds, keeping the ears closed
  6. Discontinue the practice if any dizziness, headaches or tightness in the chest occurs
  7. 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

 

Diary of a Yogini Part 3: Chels Perkins journey through 200HR Teacher Training

Coming away from our second module “The Practice of Teaching” I was absolutely fizzing with nervous excited energy - I would be teaching in just 5 week’s time ahhhhhh!

As a team we decided on a “Hips and Twists” themed class. I quickly got to work on preparing the peak section I would be teaching. I began by putting full class sequences together and taking myself through these in my morning self-practices. Leading myself through these sequences I began to get a greater understanding of the flow of a class, where I may have sequenced too many/too little asana, how correct combinations of asana and transitions can aid my body in a safe practice and how the flow of a class can impact my overall experience both physically and mentally. Once I had chosen my class sequence, made adjustments where necessary and created a playlist that mirrored the flow and direction of the sequence, I knew it was time to bite the bullet and teach!

With furniture moved, mood lighting created and candles strategically placed, I converted our large living room in to my own home studio. I invited three of my lovely, kind and willing friends to be my guinea pigs and I DID IT, I lead my very first yoga class!

I was nervous, my heart was racing and my palms were sweaty, but most of all I was overcome with passion to share the gift of yoga with my participants. Every time I saw them get in to a pose just how I instructed it, my heart gave a little sing of joy. The feedback I got from them all was great and I knew exactly what I could improve/adjust for next time.

On the Wednesday evening prior to our Module 3 weekend, we organised a full sequence run through with our team. With our studio space created and more participants ready to share our practice, we led our class as a team.

At the end of the class we all breathed a heavy sigh of relief and were so grateful for the opportunity to connect as a team and cement our class as a whole. Our sequenced sections flowed, the energy felt right, we meshed well as a team and we all felt more confident about the prospect of teaching to the others in our course in 3 day’s time.

Friday evening, we reconnected as a group for Module 3 - “Pranayama, Meditation & Yogic Philosophy”. Entering our learning space, it felt so nice to connect with my fellow yogi’s.

We began our journey into pranayama and meditation and although these are not practices I have participated in often, I was keen to learn more!

Over the course of the weekend we learnt about various pranayama’s, meditations. We paired off and took turns leading our partners through these.

My favourite Pranayama from the weekend was the Viloma Pranayama which is a beautiful calming practice focusing on separating your inhale breath into stages and exhaling via one open mouth exhale. My favourite meditation was the Japa Meditation – I really enjoyed this meditation as I found it stopped my mind from wandering off with the use of a mental repetition of a mantra and counting using a string of beads known as a japa mala.

On our final day of the weekend myself and my two team mates took over the yoga studio and took our fellow course participants and friends through our Twist & Hips yoga class. It was definitely a lot different leading 30 students as opposed to the classes of 3-4 people I had been practicing on, but overall an amazing experience. I walked away from teaching that class knowing that after teaching a number of different fitness classes/programmes over the years, I finally felt like I have found what I am meant to teach!

Namaste xoxox