It’s been two weeks since the first module of Yoga Teacher Training and I’ve been cramming my dialogue like mad, done my homework and read a lot! I went into this weekend even more excited than the last one (if that’s possible) because I didn’t have any anxiety about what to expect and I was also looking forward to seeing all the others again!
We started Day 1 at 10:30am with a Ashtanga Vinyasa class led by our teacher for the weekend Charlie Taylor-Rugman. The class began with some breathing (Pranayama) practise which was good and then he led us through the Ashtanga sequence which although tough, was very enjoyable. I have to say, I am aching big time from that class so it must have worked us hard! I would love to do more Ashtanga in the future too.
After a shower and lunch, we went back into the studio for our afternoon session. The aim for the sessions this weekend was Yoga History and Philosophy. Charlie, who studied in India for many years and has been been practising yoga for 25 years, introduced us to a lot of different philosophies around yoga including Patanjali and the Bhagavad Gita. It was interesting to compare the different points of view and try to align these with our own and we had a lot of interesting questions and answers in our discussion. Charlie also told us loads of stories about his life and his yoga practice and it was amazing to hear about his unique experiences.
I went away from Saturday feeling really drained as we had had a lot of intense discussion, not all of it I agreed with but it was really interesting nonetheless. I then spent the evening at home cramming my dialogue for teaching practice the following day.
We began again at 10:30am – luckily I’d grabbed a coffee on the way in! We continued with our work on the philosophy of yoga and spent time reading the Sutras and discussing the 8 limbs of yoga. I actually really like the Sutras and I think there is a lot of profound advice in them. I also like the idea of the 8 limbs of yoga however, I can’t get on board with the idea of taking yourself off to live a hermit life, only practising yoga and giving up all your worldly possessions and loved ones.
After the morning session, we had lunch and prepared for the afternoon. We were all super nervous about teaching as we felt underprepared but the best way to learn is to do! I was in Charlie’s group for teaching and found his feedback extremely useful and it turned out to be my favourite session of the entire weekend. He was very helpful with his suggestions and constructive criticism and we also had an amazing discussion about what ‘sort’ of teacher we are – apparently I’m authoritative and firm! This doesn’t come as a shock to me.
After teaching, we started our final session of the weekend: Pranayama practice and meditation. Charlie talked us through different Pranayama exercises and we tried some out and we also talked about meditation – how to do it, different types etc. We also got side tracked at one point talking about the recent sex scandals in the media which have also hit the yoga industry. This was another fascinating conversation and I came away from the weekend super grateful to Charlie for his wisdom and even more connected to the group. He did say at one point that we were a very ‘tight’ group – which I feel to be true.
I can’t wait for the next weekend to come around in two weeks – I just have a load of studying and dialogue practise to do before then! Let me know if you have any questions or comments, I’d love to hear them.