Friday, December 07, 2007

Its weird that this is my first post about yoga since it is such a big part of my life. I took my first yoga class at the ymca when I was in grade 7. I loved it from the beginning, and continued to take classes when I could and try a few moves at home here at there through high school. Since starting university, I started taking classes ever semester both on campus and off, and really started to deepen my practice. By “deepen my practice” I mean that yoga started to affect my day to day life- the way that I carry myself, the way that I think about my body, my perspectives, my ways of dealing with stress, the way that I respond to others…
One book that helped me to start integrating this things in my life was Living Your Yoga: Finding the spiritual in everyday life. It’s a very interesting, thought provoking read that I recommend to yogis and non-yogis alike. You definitely don’t have to have done any yoga to take some really valuable ideas and tools from it. One thing that especially sunk in from the read was importance of living in the present. To me this means being fully immersed in the moment that you are in, giving it your full awareness and attention. When I’m doing yoga asanas (poses) the act of being present becomes most clear for me. When it’s a difficult pose, presence almost becomes effortless because I my thoughts are completely in my body, coordinating my movements, breath and energy. Presence is not something that I achieve for a duration of time. I get snippets of full engagement in the present between stretches of memories, planning, worrying, reminiscing, all of which are ways of living in the past or future. Through continuing my practice of yoga however, the snippets can become longer, and my focus steadier, my mind calmer.
Today I visited Heaven Yoga Studio in the west island of montreal because I’m looking into their teacher training program. I’ve been thinking of doing teacher training for about a year now. I don’t think I’ll become a full time yoga teacher anytime soon, but I would like to teach a class or 2 a week to share yoga with others as it has helped me develop so much.
I’m really excited about the training Heaven offers. It’s a fusion of Anusara , Ashtanga and Hatha Flow. I’ve studied all 3 types, and have appreciated elements of all three, and tend to mix them all when I am practicing on my own, so the style taught is perfect for me. The training includes history, philosophy, anatomy, teaching principles and methodology. Even after just one class, I feel confidant that karen , the studio director and teacher, is very well trained and a talented teacher. I’m planning to apply for the intensive teacher training in august 2008 and am really excited to be taking this step.

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