Yin Teacher Training Vancouver 2010 -Day 5

Eureka! I think I’ve re-discovered my knees! Literally. As I was exploring their soreness this morning I realized they aren’t actually pointing forward when I’m standing with my feet parallel to one another. They slightly point inwards. I wish I had my camera to take pictures to show you. And since Moksha usually guides a class asking us to bring our toes together and heels about an inch apart this further brings my knee caps in making them ‘pigeon knees’. I can see how this could cause continuous stress on them.

As I went to Moksha class tonight I tried the reverse. Bringing my heels together and big toes about an inch apart bringing my knees to point straight. I can’t believe I hadn’t noticed this before. In defense it is a subtle rotation but still another example of why tuning into your own body is extremely important in yoga. And in some postures I am realizing it can be extremely important for teachers to ask students what they are feeling before adjusting them and not just assume we know what is best. This is a huge part of what I’ve been learning with Yin Yoga.

Everyday Bernie, our teacher, encourages us to ask a student first what they are feeling, to check in with them, that since every body is different we can feel different stretches for the same posture. That getting everyone to adjust the same way is like treating everyone with the same pill. And generally there are certain pills given for certain conditions but people are examined before being prescribed pills. We make sure we are being prescribed the right pill for our ailment and body type (age, weight, allergies) and usually the first question we are ask is what are we feeling.

As I was exploring this new theory, in downward dog, of subtly bringing my heels closer together rather than my toes in Moksha class the teacher noticed and she adjusted them by turning them the other way. Knowing I was going to try something different I should have talked to her about this before class but it also did show me that as teachers we can tend to assume we know someone’s body and what is right for them and it is an area to be very mindful about. It’s so tricky though. In class the other day a Moksha teacher made an adjustment in a pose by bringing my shoulders down and it was a great adjustment to make and made me feel better!

I’m thinking experience will give me greater insight into this and I can now better see the value of having smaller classes and doing one on one yoga classes with students.

Bonne nuit! I get to sleep in an extra hour and a half tomorrow morning. My body has reached its exhaustion point today so it is extra rest I am greatly looking forward to.

Yin Yoga Teacher Training Vancouver 2010 -Day 4

Super day. It rained tonight as I discovered loving the smell of the following combo: rain + ocean + wind.

Something I’ve discovered with Yin yoga is that practicing first thing in the morning when you are feeling tired can quickly become a beneficial blur. I usually end up closing my eyes for most of the practice, feeling deep sensations in my body and in some ways this invites meditation much easier than asana’s (yoga poses) that require a lot of energy.  It almost feels like being in alpha state (the state of relaxation and peaceful awakefulness, associated with prominent alpha brain wave activity) for ours. This is a great place to be, it really does feel peaceful and a very relaxed present state. So perhaps doing yin yoga when feeling tired can actually increase the benefits of this type of yoga.

My revelation today is that I think I’m rediscovering porridge. It’s so pleasing to the taste buds and warms and soothes the stomach. I walked into Capers yesterday and instantly smelt it and wanted it. So I listened to this desire and replaced my orignal plan of going for the yogurt parfait. I savoured every bite. This morning it was the 1st thing on my brain after the morning yin class. And so I went for more. And now I can’t wait to savour it’s all around good feeling tomorrow morning.

An odd observation is that my knees have chronically a little sore recently and I’m not sure why. They are also starting to bother me just sitting here, but very lightly. They first started acting up in T.O. during the Moksha Teacher Training and they don’t seem to be getting better. Even pigeon is hurting my left knee now. Something it hasn’t done in the past. I’ve been backing off from the knee poses however perhaps I need to completely eliminate them for a while. They say people who do yoga usually get injured in their 3 – 4 -5 th year because your body gets overly confident. I’ve been trying to be mindful of this but perhaps I need to completely back off of certain poses.

In class today we covered more on the effects of energy including bioelectrical energy. Did you know that when we take antioxidants such as blueberries to fight off free radicals there is something else we could be doing that is as effective. Something you don’t actually end up ingesting but rather steeping on: the earth. So get your feet dirty! This is really quite fascinating. Here’s an article on it. Here’s another interesting piece of information, when you use a blow dryer close to your head you are exposing it to harmful electro magnetic field. To help protect yourself you can arrange to hang the dryer on a wall hook, get a flexible plastic hose for the nozzle, and direct the hot air to your head with the hose.

We also learnt more about Yin postures, what they are good for including what meridians they affect, what conditions shouldn’t be doing certain poses, how to work with props etc… Overall VERY informative! Still vey pleased wiht this teacher training.

Txs for reading! Bonne nuit or bonne journée!

Yin Yoga Teacher Training Vancouver 2010 Day 3

Here it goes, you’ll have to excuse my tiredness which may reveal itself by an unusual writing style pour moi. I may also be PMSing which may explain the anger I was feeling tonight for no real reason. So fun being hormonal. So fun.

Another great day in the city of Vancouver! The course rocked. We learnt a lot about our energy bodies and about different types of medicine other than Western Medicine. Many of which acknowledges our energetic being. It’s not like our planet (or us) depend on energy to survive. Or that it is remotely important when it comes to our ‘covered up’ reasons for why we go to war and kill and destroy people’s families. Or that we jeopardize our health over by exploiting unhealthy energy sources so we can keep our civilization going (or silently kill them off in some cases though disease caused by toxins). Nope, energy really ain’t that big of a deal for this planet so why would we ever think to look at it when it comes to our bodies. Yes, tres cheeky.

The energy thing really resonates with me because of the stickyness I feel and shared about during my Moksha Teacher Training (TT). An analogy we learnt today is that it’s like a garden hose. If you leave your hose outside for a summer while you’re gone on vacation, it can get clogged up with dirt, twigs, dead insects, etc. You turn the tap on when you get back and the water can’t get through. You play around with the hose, bend it where the build up is and loosen it up. You turn the hose back on and voila now the water pushes all of this out and can get through. Our energy lines in our bodies can work in a very similar way. This is probably why on an emotional and energetic level I usually feel better after yoga. Not just on a physical level.

I went for a yummy breakfast on the beach this morning with Donna from Edmonton (a moksha teacher who’s also taking the training). We ate porish and shared stories while feeling the sun mixed with the salty breeze on our skin. I know such a tough morning. I also walked along this same beach on the way back from TT heading to Moksha class. So many people were enjoying the beach playing volleyball, freesbee, lying soaking up the sun, swimming, picnicking, wow. Such a fun activity to be able to chose from when living in a city.

I have found a downside to this city though that I wasn’t expecting. The city is not recycling friendly. I find this pretty lame and unbelievable as it is recognized as such a green city and province. Perhaps they recycle at home but in the streets there are no recycling bin. They have a few garbage bins with about 4 -5 spaces around it to put round bottles but that’s about it and it’s not everywhere because Granville Island has none of these types of garbage bins. So people are not only throwing out paper and plastic but also bottles. In Toronto they have 2 recycling bins for every one bin of garbage, very recycling friendly! I may write a letter to the mayor and council about this because it’s such a waste for a city enriched by such natural beauty.

Dodo time! Txs for reading!

Yin Yoga Teacher Training 2010 day 2

Ok so it’s 11 pm and as usual I should be in bed. Instead I will try and type super fast but really lighty as my roomate has just went to dodo. She is very accommodating, both of the people I’m staying with are but I still feel bad. Plus I still have homework to read …

Another awesome day!

You know when people fall in love when they least expect it? Well this is totally what I think is hapening. I have regarded the sun as a goddess so much so I couldn’t image living in Vancouver no matter how absolutely amazing the culture and life style was here. So I never did imagine. Now I think I’m falling in love with this city, with its people, its shops, its outdoor activities, its biodiversity, its smell, its humidity, its ocean. I just realized today that the beach is literally 5 blocks away from where I’m staying, how cool! I smeel it everytime I go outside. It is such an amazing smell.

I went back to my new favorite grocery store this morning for breakfast, it’s called Capers. I could hang out literally all day there. Apparently there’s another chain called wholefoods that is equally filled with delicious yummy nutritious goodness. This evening I found another store I could spend all day in. It was filled with health, meditation, yoga and reading products. It also smelt so good.

So class yes … well lot’s more interesting knowledged gained today. The biggest had to be “every ‘body’ is different”. What a revelation, I know. Seriously it was. Down to the bone level. Never a good idea to push/force someone in a pose or single them out for doing a pose differently because our bones are made so differently and someitmes no matter how much we practice this will not change the fact that bone stopping bone exists. I have now gained skills helping to recognize these signs with students and with my own practice.

Ok sorry so short, but I feel too bad about this typing noise. I will try and write more tomorrow night.

Yin Yoga Teacher Training August 2010 -Journaling

I blogged about my experience with Moksha TT (teacher training) I might as well blog about this experience too. I arrived in vancouver last night by plane. I took the sky train to a station close to where I’m staying and decided to walk for an hour to get to my destination. My luggage was on rollers so no biggie … until 45 mins later when my forearms were quite tired, but worth it. I feel as though living rurally the chances are few to walk from point A to point B so who cares that I’m dragging luggage on rollers for an hour.

Upon my arrival to this stranger’s apartment she and her roommate greeted me with smiles and hospitality. It was quite hard trying to find a reasonably priced place to stay. I couldn’t find anything under $720 for 8 days so I put an add on kijiji and a womyn replied and offered a comfy bed, use of her washroom and fridge for $200. Great deal although there’s always the risk about what person you will meet on the other side of the door. So far, so good.

So Yin teacher training went well over all. It’s taught by Bernie Clark. He seems quite knowledgeable. We had a Yin class this morning (after intros), then a 2 hour breakfast break, which is kind of odd because we don’t get a lunch break until the class ends at 3:45 pm. For breakfast I headed to the market on Granville Island with a lady from Edmonton who teaches Moksha yoga, I’m quite enjoying getting to know her, she’s very sweet. We ate and then sat in the sun by the sea and smelt the salt water and watched birds watch us. Wow… how lucky am I!

Upon our return to class we learnt about the anatomy behind the yin practice. Something I learnt that stands out the most is that our bodies need stress. It was interesting to hear that because we are so used to hearing how much stress is bad.  It is not that stress is bad it is the fact that we don’t give our bodies the right amount of rest in between stress. Nasa apparently did this experiment with a Biodome in the desert.  8 people were to live in it for 2 years. Turns out the trees could not hold up their branches because they did not have wind to help create stress on them. I didn’t think wind was necessary for tree branches growing healthy, and apparently neither did Nasa.

A Yin yoga practice ends up putting stress on the joints and our connective tissue but in a very gentle way and this in turn makes us stronger.

After class I went back to the Granville market to scope out some prepared food for the next few days and realized it was really expensive and not even that healthy, weird for a market, although the fruits and vegetables looked very tasty. I then headed to Moksha yoga, of course I have to take a class every day while I’m here, I don’t have this luxury back home. I walked an hour and came across more organic markets than in all of edmotnon. The choices were plenty. This is definitely my kind of street.

Lilies on my parents acreage. August 2010.

Vancouver, I’m discovering, is really pretty when it’s sunny. There are so many lushes trees and plants. People bike a lot and the culture overall is tres focused on health. If only it wasn’t so expensive, had more sun and wasn’t on an earthquake line cause this city so far is really stunning!

I decided not to bring my camera. Time for a ‘taking pic. break’ and I’m just more conscious of lugging stuff around. However Melodie took quite a few pictures at my very fun burday party last weekend so I’ll post some of those along with a few I also took.

Tour of my mom's garden with a few of the lovely people who celebrated my b-day with me.

Thanks for reading! A demain.