Yoga Teacher Training Weeks 9&10

The end is finally here! I can’t believe we’ve made it! Weekends 9 and 10 consisted of our exams and celebrations. It’s been such an amazing journey and I can honestly say, life-changing! I’ve learnt so much and cannot wait to put it into practice by teaching.

 

Weekend 9

Being the final weekends, they are shorter. We didn’t start until 12pm and we had 5 hours of exams – either teaching, practising or observing. I took part in 2 exams, observed 2 and taught my own. It was nerve-wracking and exciting at the same time. My exam was the final one of the day which meant I had to really bring the energy to pull the flagging participants through. Five hours in the heat is no mean feat! My feedback was great and I felt really proud of myself for passing!

On the Sunday, we started with our written exam which took just over an hour. Then we went back to the studio to discuss the ‘business’ of yoga. We talked about getting a job at a studio or gym, setting yourself up as a yoga teacher, booking halls, how to market yourself etc. Jules (a teacher who completed the Sweat YTT last year) came to tell us about what she’s done since graduating which was really useful!

It was a busy, long and tiring weekend but I felt such elation at the end of it knowing all my exams were done and that I’d done my best!

Weekend 10

We started Saturday again at 12 for a day of exams either practising, teaching or observing. Having already completed mine, I got to enjoy the classes without the distraction of my exam class hanging over me. Everyone smashed it! So lovely to see how far we’ve all come and how confidently everyone is teaching.

I can’t wait to come to these ladies’ classes in the future!

Sunday was more of the same, the final 3 exams. The epic feeling that came over us all when they were all done was indescribable. Knowing that all our hard work was done and totally worth it! We then got showered, changed and dressed up for our graduation party! We all went for dinner and drinks and it was so lovely to be able to sit down and chat. We were given our certificates – which was my favourite part – and also received our written exam results.

And…. that’s it… my YTT 200 hour is done. This is just the beginning of my yoga teaching journey and I’ll keep you all posted with what’s going on with me next!

July Happiness Project Resolutions

July is the month of spending! This is a month that is based on one of Gretchen Rubin’s months. We will be moving house soon so it’s the perfect time to save some money, sell some stuff and buy some new things. We also have our wedding to save up for so as well as buying good quality things that we need, it’s also a great time to save some money! The resolutions I’ve chosen are:

  • Indulge in a modest splurge – I have several ideas for this: a new bed, things for the wedding, kitchen bits for the new house. I think a new bed and mattress is the one I’ll go for!
  • Sell some items – moving house is the perfect opportunity to get rid of stuff and declutter. I’m going to sell things that are still good but that we just don’t want anymore. Furniture etc I’ll sell on Facebook, books and dvds can be sold on Music Magpie and clothing can be donated.
  • Give something up – this means giving up something unnecessary that I spend money on. I’m going to give up bottled drinks and unnecessary eating out. I don’t need to buy drinks – I have a bottle that I can fill up. I don’t need to buy lunch so often and we definitely don’t need to eat out or have takeaways as often as we do. I’ll be giving these things up.
  • Only buy what’s needed – linking to the previous resolution, I won’t be buying things that aren’t needed. Food, clothes, books etc. I really want to declutter for our new house do minimalism is my new thing!
  • Save money – the result of the above resolutions should result in money being saved. All this money can go towards the wedding and new house.

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Hopefully, by the end of July, I will have decluttered, earnt money, saved money and indulged in something special! Watch this space and as always, I’ll update you at the end of the month!

June Happiness Project Summary

June seemed to fly by! Just to remind you, June’s Happiness Project Resolutions were:

  • Start teaching yoga
  • Plan ideas for my ‘yoga career’
  • Read ‘She Means Business’ by Carrie Green for future business ideas.
  • Dream Big
  • Create a vision board.

I’ve not been hugely successful with my resolutions this month. As the month went on, time just seemed to run away with me so I’ve run out of time without even realising it. I have sort of begun teaching yoga as I’ve taught some of my colleagues at work. I’m hoping in the next month or so that I’ll be able to find somewhere to teach a class weekly. A dream would be to teach some private clients so I’ll keep that in mind too. I suppose that’s part of resolution two – planning ideas. I have lots of ideas for how I’d like to teach yoga so it’s just time to put some of those ideas into motion!

I’ve not started reading ‘She Means Business’ yet as I have several other books on the go but it’s still on my shelf for the future. I’ll get round to it I’m sure. I think it will be more useful once I’ve set up my classes and own yoga business. I’ll roll that resolution over to another month. As for my vision board and dreaming big, I’ve been dreaming big in my journal and scribbling down ideas for the future now that my Yoga Teacher Training is over. I haven’t completed a vision board for it but I think I’m more of a list person anyway so I’ll continue to write down lists of ideas and then goal set based on these.

It’s crazy that we are halfway through 2018 now. This year is flying by but I’m still loving my Happiness Project. I’m going to try and refocus on it in the second half of the year because I’ve dropped off a little. I’ll try reintroducing my tick list for each month to see if that helps.

Why I’m Vegetarian

I made the decision to go vegetarian around a year ago for many reasons. It’s not something that I’ve found really easy, I’ve had to answer loads of questions about it and of course I’ve had some slip-ups. For anyone else thinking about it, I would definitely go for it if you are doing it for the right reasons. I wouldn’t go vegetarian just for health reasons because there are as many unhealthy vegetarians as there are meat-eaters. It is what you choose to put in your body that is important. If you prioritise fresh food and food from the earth; be that meat or plant based you will be eating healthy. Processed food is always bad if it makes up the bulk of your diet.

My main reason for going vegetarian was for the animals. I am a huge animal lover and I’d seen pictures, videos and articles about the meat industry which really put me off meat. I couldn’t rightly look at pictures of cows and pigs etc and then eat them without feeling sad. I also was never a huge meat lover so that was an easy transition for me.

The tipping point was in the run up to a trip to Thailand where we would be travelling all over the country. I’ve always suffered with tummy troubles when travelling abroad and thought Thailand could be even worse. I didn’t want our trip to be ruined by me being unwell when we were trying to move from place to place. I actually had a bit of a meltdown before we went in my anxiety about it. So, a couple of months before we were due to go, I made the decision to cut out meat and would continue to do so while we were away in order to (hopefully) avoid some of my tummy issues. Miraculously, it worked! I went from being ill for half or more of a holiday to only feeling bad for 1 day of our whole 3 week trip. I still ate amazing food and really enjoyed trying different veggie dishes. Although, I must say, eating vegetarian in Thailand wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.

Upon deciding to go veggie, everyone had questions? ‘Why?’ ‘Won’t you miss meat?’ ‘What you won’t eat steak/burgers/chicken/insert other meat item here?’ ‘What will you do at Christmas?’ ‘What about protein?’ My answers – Because I want to, No, No, I’ll cope! and there’s plenty of protein in other foods. But in all seriousness, I found the constant questions and sometimes judgements quite hard. Lots of people couldn’t cope with me going against ‘the norm’ of eating meat. But in all honesty, I didn’t like it much anyway. Don’t worry, I had an amazing Christmas dinner and didn’t miss turkey or even pigs in blankets one bit!

That’s not to say, I haven’t had slip ups along the way – eating in places where there wasn’t a veggie options or was one I didn’t like, being cooked for by someone else who hadn’t realised or sometimes if I just fancied something. I did on those occasions just eat what was there or what I fancied. I try not to feel guilty about this!

I’m often asked if I’m vegan or will I go vegan? I’m not sure, never say never. It’s something I would like to do for the environmental aspects but I’m not sure how I would manage it with my lifestyle right now. However, the world is getting ever more vegan friendly now that it seems to be the latest trend so in the future, who knows? Watch this space…

If you have any questions about my vegetarian lifestyle, let me know!

June Happiness Project Resolutions

It’s June! Halfway through 2018, can you believe it? This has been a fantastic year so far and focusing on my Happiness Project goals has made it even better. For the month of June, I have chosen to focus on my Yoga Career. The reason being that I will finish my Yoga Teacher Training in a couple of weeks and I’d like to start using my skills and putting them into practise! I haven’t actually decided what my plan is for my ‘yoga career’ but I’m going to use this month to dream big and set some goals!

June’s Happiness Project Resolutions:

  • Start teaching yoga
  • Plan ideas for my ‘yoga career’
  • Read ‘She Means Business’ by Carrie Green for future business ideas.
  • Dream Big
  • Create a vision board.

I’ll keep you posted with my progress towards these resolutions as always in my end of month round up!

May Happiness Project Summary

I didn’t actually ever publish my May resolutions so I’ll detail them first before going over how they went! These were my resolutions for May, all based around FUN!

  • Host a games night
  • Book an activity
  • Start a new hobby
  • Write a fun list
  • Do something fun daily

Now, because I didn’t track these as well as I could have…. I didn’t complete them all but I shall be rolling them over to June! To recap the month:

I didn’t actually host a games night, but I did host a hen party for my friend Vicky which involved games! We had lots of fun and I’m going to count that as a win!

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Earlier in the month, Steph and I went to BeFit Festival in London and basically stalked all the influencers we follow on Instagram, ate lots of free food and picked up as many free goodies as we could. It was a super fun day and definitely counts as an activity. I also went bowling with my work colleagues and did a yoga class I’d not done in a while.

I didn’t really start a new hobby but I did start using the Tone It Up App – Studio Toneitup for my workouts which makes scheduling and doing a workout – long or short really easy. I’m loving it so far. If you want a more in depth review of the app – let me know in the comments below!

As for the fun list, I still need to write this. Basically, my plan was to write a list of all the things I find fun so that when I’m bored or lacking inspiration, I can refer to the list and choose things to do. I may change this slightly for the coming month and write a ‘Summer Bucket List’ instead. This is something I do every year. I write a big long list of things I’d love to do over my long summer holiday and then try to work my way through it. I’ll keep you posted on this! It may end up being a post in itself.

Do something fun daily – I think I mostly do this. I try to find something fun to do everyday so I’m counting this!

Overall, May was an amazing month. My Yoga teacher training is coming to an end so I’m feeling pretty proud of that, I taught my first real classes and I’ve had lots of fun. In other super exciting news, I also got engaged this month!! So excited and happy 🙂

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Yoga Teacher Training Weekend 8

This weekend was all about first aid and safety whilst teaching yoga and was hugely helpful in making us feel more confident if something were to go wrong in our classes and also in helping us to modify in class.

Saturday

There was no Friday session this weekend so we started on Saturday with a Hot Classic class. We are all trying to get as many classes in as possible at the moment before our practicums which start very soon! This week’s class was super sweaty – Kirsty is really pushing us now and the energy in the room was amazing! We then showered off and got ready to start our first aid course.

First Aid is a course I’d done previously through work but I must say, I found this one really useful and I learnt a lot! It was particularly helpful that the course leader linked parts specifically to teaching yoga and things that might go wrong within a class. We covered many things from bleeding, resuscitation and even using a defibrillator. By the end of the day, we all felt much more confident teaching and being able to handle any minor or major first aid incidents. It was a longer day than usual but definitely worth doing.

Sunday

We began Sunday in the conference room where we discussed each of our homework essays about the Bhagavad Gita and our interpretation of it and its influence on our lives. We went around the room and either read out our essays or discussed the contents with the group. This was so lovely as it really showed the journey we have all been on and how much we’ve changed throughout the process.

After lunch, we looked at how each of the postures can be modified due to injury or physical limitations. This was really useful as there are often people within a class who need modifications and we need to be able to adapt for them. We looked at using props and also changing the postures slightly to accommodate different needs. After this session, Kathy had a real treat for us! She led us through a 2 hour restorative yoga class using lots of props. We went through restorative versions of postures we are familiar with, holding them for several minutes each. This was so lovely and once we’d done, we discussed sequencing restorative classes which is something we can do in the future.

The next weekend is the start of our practicums!! I cannot believe how quickly this has come around and that within a month, I’ll be a qualified yoga teacher!

Yoga Teacher Training: Weekend 7

Weekend 7 is done! Only 3 more to go until I’m officially a qualified yoga teacher. This weekend was so fun! We did lots of different things and got a chance to experiment with postures and styles that we wouldn’t have otherwise got to do. It was one of my favourite weekends of the course so far!

Friday

On Friday night, we talked through some of our homework including our personal manifestos – quotes and sayings to inspire us in whatever way we need it. Everyone’s was different but really inspiring. I chose to use some of my favourite quotes and a friend helped me to make them look pretty using my favourite colour – green. We also watched a documentary – Titans of Yoga which was all about inspiring yogis and what their practice means to them. Sadly, we also discussed the rest of the course and I realised how little time we have left. I’ll be really sad when it’s all over!

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Saturday

We started the day with a hot class in the studio – always a challenge but one that I love. It’s also really handy to go over the classic sequence before we practise teaching. After showering and lunch we did an adjustment workshop with some other yoga teachers. This was so useful as we went over all the common postures and ways to adjust and adapt for different people. We started with verbal adjustments, ‘two-finger’ adjustments and went through to more ‘heavy-handed’ adjustments depending on what was needed. After we’d completed the workshop, we worked through an hour class with each of us teaching parts. This also gave us an opportunity to practise using our adjustments. Today was a really useful day!

Sunday

We started the day today with a practise test for our exam and a discussion about the moon, astrology and astronomy and their effect on the world. We wrote things we wanted to let go of and things we wanted to bring to our lives. Then, after lunch, we did the highlight of the weekend…Partner Yoga! This was so fun and challenging. We worked through a series of poses in pairs using each other’s bodies to balance and counterbalance. We created amazing shapes and I surprised myself what we could do. Check out some of the things we did here:

If you ever get the chance to do partner yoga, definitely go for it! After that, we did some more practise teaching but with a difference. Kathy, our teacher, provided us with distractions that we had to deal with whilst teaching – loud music, falling water bottles, blocks and more threatened to distract our teaching but we got through it!

It was such a fun weekend!

April Happiness Project Summary

Another month of 2018 done! This month was pretty successful when it came to my Happiness Project and it was probably my favourite set of resolutions so far. It came at a perfect time as well because I had lots of events this month which involved friends of mine. Just to remind you, my resolutions this month were:

  • Go the extra mile 
  • Be happy for others
  • Make plans and stick to them 
  • Treat others 
  • Be positive 

I can honestly say I made a real effort towards these this month and really felt it pay off. I attended my best friend’s wedding and had an amazing time helping to make their day go smoothly! I made plans with lots of people and stuck to them – even friends I hadn’t seen in ages – for example I went to visit my friend’s gorgeous new baby girl! I tried to treat others where I could – lunch, drinks, even just time. I also worked on my positivity and tried to be more uplifting!

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I’d like to think people noticed but who knows…? I’ve felt better for it so these are resolutions to keep up. Stay tuned for May’s resolutions…

Yoga Teacher Training: Weekend 6

This weekend has been the most physically challenging of the entire course so far! Saying that though, I really enjoyed it. Honestly, one of the best parts of the YTT course for me is the incredible women I get to share it with. We have such a laugh and they’re all so supportive!

The focus for the weekend was Vinyasa Yoga and it was one of my favourites so far. It got me super excited to start designing my own sequences and classes! I’m planning to complete a more in depth training weekend about Vinyasa Yoga later in the year but this weekend was a great introduction. There was no Friday session which gave me time to go over the Sun Salutations and other dialogue at home.

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Saturday

We started Saturday morning with a Funky Vinyasa Flow which was really fun. It was very hot, very sweaty but a really good way to move around the mat. It was a pretty typical Vinyasa class which I always enjoy (I often do Cat Meffan’s classes on YouTube). Then it was time for showers and lunch! We’d certainly earned it. After lunch we went back into the studio for a mini version of Vinyasa training. We covered Sun Salutations, sequencing and then sequenced some classes of our own and taught them to each other. This was really fun and I’d definitely like to do more Vinyasa training in the future!

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Sunday

Today was a hardcore day! We started with a lecture about the chakras before heading to the studio for an epic 2.5 hour hot class of 108 asanas! This was a super hard class going through the Bikram sequence as well as other postures – headstands, handstands, crow, side crow amongst others. At one point, I wasn’t sure I would make it through the class but I did it! Afterwards, we did our final section of the hot sequence teaching practise. From this point, we will be going through the entire sequence!

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I would say this weekend has been the hardest, physically, but also one of the best so far! Only 4 more weekends to go until I’m officially a Yoga Teacher!