yoga teacher training: a month of awareness

Today’s the start of another yoga teacher training weekend at Nishkama Yoga. HOLLA! The anticipation for this weekend matches the level that I had for the very first weekend. And from my experience last month, I know this weekend is going to be another great one.

I remember going to my Dad’s house after TT (short for teacher training) that Sunday evening – so physical exhausted that I gladly took him up on his offer for dinner without argument. I was so grateful to not have to make a decision on what to eat that evening. My brain was filled with so much valuable information that I was afraid to lose it with any extra thinking.

We spent that TT weekend studying the foundations of yoga: the sun salutations, the bandhas, the mudras, the pranayama and the philosophy. There was a fabulous balance of physical practice and lectures with encouraged discussion. We poked and prodded each other, having the chance to learn how different body types – males vs. females, tall vs. short, small frames vs. bigger frames – have different needs, and how as yoga teachers we can use them to help a student reach new levels in their own practice.

But the most important thing those first three days at TT did was increase my awareness levels to an all time high. That awareness has opened me so much it is making me realize all the little lessons that present themselves in the days between TT weekend sessions.

…It’s about making those adjustments to your poses before your teacher does. Level those hips in standing splits. Shoulders back and down in Eagle. And stop sticking out your ribs in every pose, for goodness sake.

…It’s about watching America’s Next Top Model to see what Tyra Banks means when she asks her models to “toosh the booty” – a helpful trick that is getting my downward facing dog closer to proper alignment.

…It’s about learning your Triangle pose is a hot mess but one that can be cleaned up through some straightening up.

…It’s about realizing things about your body. Just how hyper mobile you are. Just how back-bendy you are. And just how tight your hips are.

…It’s about not growling at  half pigeon pose. Especially when one of your teachers suggests starting class in it. Which you hold for 5 minutes. On each side.

…It’s about managing your low blood pressure as you flow and how sometimes that means standing in tadasana while everyone else is rocking a balancing pose.

…It’s about looking past the laptop and enjoying the little glimpses of joy that show up.


…It’s about staying on your mat, not letting those emotions that pop up build a story and finding a way to let them go immediately. And then it’s about taking that mental practice off your mat. More on this next week…

…It’s about knowing that your yoga practice is creating a new life for you. It’s about being open to the potential of that concept. It’s about sitting back and enjoying the ride. Embracing the opportunities that pop up and kindly declining the ones that don’t serve you. All I can say it feels damn good to be alive right now.

But now, in this moment, it’s time to do the work. If you need me this weekend, I’ll be soaking up the sun in that studio in that picture while flowing my way through sun salutation B. I don’t think anyone’s ever been so excited for chair pose!

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  1. Becca says:

    thank you. because I’m honestly at the point today where the last thing I want to do is spend the weekend in teacher training. I know I love it, and sometimes I just forget. Thank you for reminding me, Alicia.

  2. jobo says:

    Wow, I LOVE all that you are learning in the first what, few DAYS of this training? That is amazing. You are going to be such a wonderful yoga instructor!!!

  3. Katie O. says:

    Great post! You are really able to express the joys of yoga in ways that make sense! Such good observations- and I love your incorporation of the booty-toosh!

  4. Faye Martins says:

    Haha a lot of people take up yoga TT but they don’t realize how hard it actually is and it’s hard to look past the difficulties and see the benefits. Or, as you put it looking past the laptop and enjoying the little glimpses of joy that show up.” It definitely is well worth the efforts, however.
    Great post!

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