Jamie Fink Photography

RYT-200 BLOG

Union

Well, I’m officially three hours into my RYT 200 hour yoga certification, and I can 100% say that I am in the exact place I’m supposed to be in. Huge exhale.

Today started out not so great. I was stuck in traffic on the way to work, couldn’t shake my hunger once I got there, and allowed myself to pig out on an oatmeal/PB/jelly concoction. It was great and filling, but still left me empty. I knew today was going to be a struggle.

Fast forward through an afternoon of negativity. I realized today that I was not in the place I was meant to be in my life. As the day wore on and different challenges arose, I saw myself being boxed by thicker and thicker walls. I am a creative person, and my abilities are being stifled. It didn’t help that my cramps (sorry, guys) were causing me to literally keel over in pain for three blissful afternoon hours.

When 5pm finally rolled around, I hung out at work in an attempt to avoid traffic before leaving for training. It didn’t work. I left at 6, and what should have been a 30-minute drive turned into 45, and I just made it on time for class.

But I made it.

There are 11 of us—seven students and four teachers. After a few ice breakers from one of our instructors (side note: I usually hate ice breakers, but it turns out when you’re actually interested in meeting the people, they’re not that bad), we dove into class.

My takeaways from class:

  • Each trainer offered the same advice in different ways: We will make mistakes and hit roadblocks. And that’s okay.
  • What makes a good yoga class? To me, a good yoga class combines an educated instructor with good music and positive intentions. Other answers included authenticity in student and teacher, a calm space, and respectful neighbors.
  • Journaling. One of the requirements for training is the attendance of 60 yoga classes. These classes can be C1, C2, or Hot Power Fusion (you can see exactly what these classes are at CorePower’s website). After each of these classes, we’re required to write a quick reflection on what we learned, liked, and/or disliked.
  • “Yoga” is derived from the Sanskrit word yuj or “yoke” and “unite.” Yoga is literally the unification of the mind, body, and soul.
  • What yoga means to us/why we practice. For me, yoga is peace of mind. It is a calm that is nearly inaccessible in my life outside of the studio.  For others, yoga was described as therapy, as a combination of breath and physical postures, and as a way of life. One of my peers, a musician, said he found the same feeling on his mat that he feels playing an instrument.
  • Feedback is from a place of love and kindness. You can "wear the feedback like a t-shirt" and take it off when it doesn't suit you or your practice.

After our discussion, we settled into our first “real” teaching experience: Child’s Pose, or Balasana, derived from the Sanskrit word bala meaning “child” and asana meaning “seat.”

I’ve been doing Child’s Pose ever since I started taking yoga classes. It’s simply a staple in all types of practices. But I’ve never looked at Child’s Pose like this before—one of our instructors acted as the “body” at the center of the room, seated upward. Another instructor asked us to direct her into Child’s Pose. From around the room, there were the usual phrases: “Inhale and meet on your hands in knees in table top”, “Align your knees to the width of the mat”, “Place your hips back to your heels”, etc.

We sounded robotic. Still, not too shabby for our first time uttering the commands out loud.

For the next 20 minutes or so, we practiced Child’s Pose and assists with our partners, following the newly-discovered lines of energy that course through the body in dozens of different ways, depending on the targeted muscle or limb.

And then, as quickly as it began, class was over.

Today didn’t start out great, and it wasn’t the best in the middle. Even so, I’m going to bed happy tonight because the past three hours have reaffirmed my dream of deepening my practice and opening up my mind. I might hit those roadblocks along the way, but for now, I’m just glad to be here.