Cute right??? There were about three or four different figurines scattered around the studio and they were just so adorable. Although I am not a big fan of frogs (or the frog pose for that matter!) I would love to have a set of this in my room Teehee. I wonder if you can get ceramic guides or molds of these somewhere so I can make a whole bunch with plaster of paris. That would be so fun
I just finished the first day of my Radiant Child Yoga Teacher Training today. I love how this program has given me new avenues to explore and has helped broaden the learning I took from last years Rainbow Kids training. I came close to saying no to this program, mainly because I am super tight on funds because I am enrolled in two other trainings throughout the year. However, the module on adaptive yoga really drew me in. Given that I have finally completed my Clinical Psychology degree and have decided to really focus on a more therapeutic and inclusive approach to the yoga practice, it would have been a shame not to do this. Lucky for me, things worked out and though funds are still difficult, things fell into place so I could be here.
What I took from today’s class is this: Yoga REALLY IS for EVERYBODY! I have had many requests to work with children with ADHD, Autism, developmental delays and so on and so forth, and though I have been certified as a kids yoga teacher, a Vinyasa yoga teacher, and am a psychologist and former preschool teacher, I was still a bit hesitant. After today, however, I am finding the confidence to say yes to these different populations and special niches. And so yeah, today I found myself embracing the fact (even more, should I say) that I am not a typical yoga teacher, and that this is okay I am looking forward to working with all these different groups and populations Watch out for updates on how this is going to evolve, yes? In the meantime, I plan to head off to Divisoria to stock up on props such as marking paint, cotton pompom balls, straws, and other fun things to incorporate into my adaptive yoga path. Should you have old supplies that you have no use for (i.e. art materials, little stuffed animals, etc), throw them my way!
It’s funny how the Universe works sometimes. In the past two and a half weeks, it has taught me the value of silence and to recognize when to speak. Let me put it in context: one day, I came across some news that was truly heart wrenching. As is my standard knee-jerk reaction, I grabbed my cell phone and typed out a rant and sent it to two of my friends who kind of knew the back story to what I was ranting about. Low and behold, both of them did not get the message…even if it said sent on my phone. Then I decided to blog…and low and behold, I could not log in.
Be still and be quiet, said the Universe, I suppose
And so I just passed the time Googling random stuff…who knew you can buy gold online and even order DNA kits done via the net? Yes, random things that popped up I tell you.
“Jump your feet outside your hands and come into your Bhujapidasana” said my teacher this morning in Ashtanga class. Well, that might not have been her exact words, but you do get my point. This was a Led class and so the teacher did cue us into the poses, but as to be expected, we had gotten to the point in the primary series when people kinda go a bit their own way. For the more seasoned practitioners, they went on on their own but for the handful of us who were not too deep into the practice, the teacher gave us more direction.
In the midst of trying it out, I just blurted out “my palms won’t go flat on the floor”. It has always been my struggle, and no matter what I did to strengthen my wrist, hands and forearms, these arm balance poses were a great frustration to me. I had expected to hear the set of technical tips I get from classes I go to (and I have used these cues myself in my own classes), but to my surprise, my teacher casually says, well, for some body types, especially those with short forearm to body proportion (at least that’s what I remember haha), these types of poses may really be difficult, perhaps even inaccessible. That caused me to pause and connect to myself and my own uniqueness.
As a teacher, recognizing and honoring one’s structural limitations is important. I often lead my classes with that, in fact, and give many, many, MANY modifications for almost all poses, even Tadasana. For example, I always start with, while getting your big toes to touch as you stand with your feet together is what we can work towards, think about finding a stable base for your Tadasana, so if this means stepping your feet hips width apart, go for it. As a practitioner, however, I can understand how one can get caught up in aiming for that “picture perfect” asana, In fact, more often than not, even a first timer will push further than the body would allow, simply because this is what they think they should be doing, myself included. However, as an overweight, big-chested, short (and I mean SHORT) armed individual who can’t even get her hands flat down on the floor in Dandasana because of her arm-to-torso proportion, there are poses that really are more challenging to me. In fact, some are truly impossible at this time. I know that practice can change this, but today I was reminded to honor the fact that structural limitations exist and that not only can achieving these be difficult, but also dangerous if pursued to vigorously.
So today, I was pleasantly surprised by my nemesis (aka the primary series) with a lesson that serves me on and off of the mat. I must admit that the timing was amazing as well, as I had led my yin class prior to taking the Ashtanga class with a quote I had read this morning from Keno McGregor that goes: “You cannot mold yourself to fit into someone else’s box of what it means to be a yoga practitioner. You have to find your own truth through the practice and allow it to be an honest expression of who you are”. This makes me re-think the whole idea of structural limitations, however. Through today’s explorations I have come to the conclusion that they’re not really limitations, but that of a design. Or more simply, it’s just the way things are.
And so what is my truth and who am I? I am the yogini who’s structural design is not easily congruent to arm balances and inversions, and that’s completely okay.
*cue in the chorus of singing angels….HALLELUJAH!*