And I've only got 150 more hours to go! I've been attending 50 hour modules at Laughing Lotus Yoga Center in New York to build my 300 hour yoga teacher training. On top of my 200 hour certification, these add up to an advanced certification of 500 hours. I love learning and finding new ways to make my classes interesting (for my students and me, both). After reading about her in Yoga Journal, I took a workshop many years ago with Dana Trixie Flynn and loved LOVED loved it. One of the amazing aspects of "lotus flow" is the incredible way classes are put together, so I signed up for a week-long sequencing workshop with her, Mary Dana Abbott, and Kate Duyn Cariati when they did a special Lotus pop-up in LA (now there's a real one! can't wait to visit Light on Lotus!) It was there that I learned that you could pick and choose 6 modules to build a snazzy 300 hour YTT...and that's what I'm doing!
I started with the "Super Sequencing" module and it completely changed the way I teach. One of the reasons I love vinyasa and flowing yoga so much is because it reminds me of the modern and jazz dance I practiced for so long. And creating a superbly sequenced class that leads students towards empowerment, bliss, self-knowledge, and maybe a fun pose is much like choreographing a dance. Fun sequences and unexpected, smart transitions really get me excited!
The next module I took was "Fly." We learned how to teach and breakdown arm-balancing poses and inverted poses. I've always enjoyed being upside down and I think it's fun to balance on my hands...so fly was a blast for me! My teachers Sheri Celentano, Kenny Frisby, and Francesca Bove were all fantastic. I am passionate about making these types of poses accessible to my students. I also enjoy bringing in lessons to remind us all that it's not about "getting" a pose (though it's quite helpful to have an end-goal in mind in order to have something to work towards!) but what you learn about yourself on the way there and how we can bring these tools of courage, self-compassion, and perseverance with us off the yoga mat.
This summer I got to learn how to play harmonium and chant and learn about the ancient myths behind the yoga poses we practice. I've loved kirtan and bhakti, the yoga of love and devotion, for a long time. Since attending Shakti Fest the past several years, I've thought about learning how to play the harmonium but have felt stuck. After this inspiring, emotional, wonderful workshop, I felt more empowered to chant and sing in my classes. In fact, we learn a new chant each month in many of my classes! Our soulful teacher, Lauren Magarelli, who runs beBhakti Yoga Center, and Felipe Gonzalez, Deborah Langley, and Alanna Kaivalya all made this training a super intimate experience. AND! I bought a harmonium when I got home! I've been practicing daily and playing in my classes. This workshop was also SO fun because I had my jungle sister Katie Bush there with me!
Next Up: Hands On
The next workshop I'm taking is all about Hands-On adjustments and assists. I'm so excited to be learning from Mary Dana Abbott again and to be visiting New York in the wintertime! Get ready for some new hands-on assists!
And coming up...
The next two (and final!) modules I'll be attending will be on Ayurveda for Women's Health and Chakras. I'm so excited to dive deeper into both of these topics. I'll report back!