The Journey of a Yoga Teacher

Group yoga

Learning how to teach yoga was never something I had set out to do as I grew deeper and deeper into my own practice. I was definitely curious about the training and one day I decided to embark on that journey.

The Journey of a yoga teacher is definitely different for all of us, at least that has been my experience. To me it has been a profound learning experience, not only of yoga as a whole, but also about myself. Each day I learn that yoga is so much more than becoming flexible or been able to do this or that pose. I feel that Yoga is a state of being, an awareness.

In 2017 I did my 200 hour teacher training with a great teacher from Costa Rica that trained a group of us in Medellin, Colombia. I learned in depth about the philosophy of yoga, yoga asanas, pranayama breathing, about mantras and mudras , how to assist when teaching and the essentials of the teaching process.

After becoming a 200 hour yoga teacher I was able to teach in a yoga studio in Medellin as a sub during a holiday period. I also got to teach in Fiji while I was doing a long service retreat and was given the opportunity to guide a few of the residents of the Island I was in through a Hatha Yoga routine for a few months. Both of these teaching experiences really helped me to feel the joy of sharing the passion I have for yoga to others and although it was the beginning, it was a great gift.

In September of 2019 I again embarked on this journey by taking on a 300 hour teacher training in the US. The studio where I take yoga classes has been an amazing and fun place to learn and deepen my practice of yoga. When I saw their teaching program I got inspired to sign up and give myself another chance to further my teaching experience. I loved how the trainees would sit on a class and observe the teachers and take notes and how they would have projects and workshops to present. I really felt that was an aspect of my journey that was missing – I needed practice in a circumstance where I felt I could learn to be more confident and demonstrate what I have learned.

Since the start of this 300 hour teacher training I have learned so much more about yoga. Intentions, awareness, compassion, discipline, meditation, pranayama practices, Reiki, Tai massage, assisting others and so much more. With all this knowledge and practice I have gained a lot of confidence and trust in myself.

As of this writing, I feel I have grown a lot in my own understanding of who I am, what I can achieve and how much I have learned. In three more months I will have completed the core of the training and by then I hope to share with others what I have learned through this process with full confidence and joy.

If you have any comments or questions, feel free to reach out to me using the comments section below and stay tuned for a wonderful and fun yoga retreat I am organizing at a beautiful resort in Medellin, Colombia.

Namaste.

Anatomy of the Spine

Anatomy image

Earlier this year I took a training workshop on the anatomy of the spine and the anatomy of the core covering the functional movement and injury management.

As I listened to the instructor I felt my passion for learning about this subject and I felt like a sponge absorbing the concepts that the instructor shared with us. It was great to be reminded about the knowledge that yoga is not a prescribed set of movements, that is, different approaches serve us at different times of our lives because as we learn new things, our practice and the approaches we use in teaching yoga should change over time. There is a potential for revisiting and revising our approach to this wonderful practice.

The asanas and techniques done in a modern flow yoga class are not that old compared to what has been traditionally taught about yoga. The mechanical, technical and sequential aspects of the practice are a work in progress. – Lifestyles, unique bodies, etc., make this ancient practice a dynamic tradition – one in which we can adapt the ancient teachings to the modern realities.

What I find most fascinating about anatomy and human movement system is how complex it all is. In spite of all the variables and limitations, the body is very smart and it always has a reason for creating boundaries – they should be respected and not be messed with. Those boundaries are there to protect the body!

I am looking forward to the next one coming up in next week where we will learn about the anatomy of the hips. If you are curious, the instructor has a really inspiring page about her that you might be interesting in reading.

Loving Aerial Yoga!!!

Practicing Antrigravity Yoga

After a year and a half later, I still look forward to my next Aerial yoga class. Since I learned it back in 2017 in Medellin, Colombia I have really felt in love with it. It uplifts my spirit, helps me to relax and also challenges me to trust the silk hammock.

Lately, I have been working on my core and so I started taken Core Aerial yoga classes which are fantastic. The hammock really supports all the work I do and I leave the class feeling strong from an amazing workout.

One method of Aerial yoga I discovered lately is called Unnata Aerial Yoga. What caught my eye about it was the fact that it can guide you deeply into yoga practice – beyond just poses, flips and tricks. While these are thrilling and fun, they can often get in the way of real practice, being able to stay centered and get the real benefits of the practice.

Until I can attend an Unnata Aerial yoga class, I will continue to deepen my practice in the silk being mindful of staying centered and not searching for the neat tricks I can do, etc., but to really use the gravity, the apparatus and my passion while practicing in the air.

Yoga and Chocolate

Last year to start the new year I went on a weekend yoga retreat at a cacao farm in Antioquia, Colombia. When it comes to passions, yoga and chocolate are at the top of the list, so it was easy for me to get excited by the idea of spending a weekend around nature, cacao, good people and two fun and great yoga teachers.

Origen Cacao

The retreat at Origen Cacao, the cacao farm where the retreat was held, consisted of 2 2hr yoga classes, vegetarian lunches, Ayurvedic Indian dinner, a cacao tour and times for walking around the farm to get to know the property, the farm animals, and the yoga space. It also included silent occasions where we focused on writing intentions for the new year. One of the intentions was to write about the obstacles that we felt were keeping us from grace and liberation and then we wrote about the things we needed to do in order to accomplish our dreams or goals for that year. At the end of the retreat, we had a simple fire ceremony where we threw the piece of paper with the obstacles into the fire letting them go completely.

The yoga space was nice. It was big enough for all of us to practice and feel the air and nature around us as we did our morning and evening practices. Breathing in the cool air was such a refreshing feeling and looking ahead at the trees was really wonderful.

The chocolate making process was extremely interesting. The owner of the farm took us through the whole process from the moment the cacao tree is planted all the way through when the chocolate is placed in molds and into the cooling and setting stage. We even had the opportunity to make our own chocolate and chose the different ingredients to add to the base. It was a lot of fun and very inspiring.

Cacao pod Cacao beans Chocolate bars

It’s interesting to feel how the practice of yoga can be done in so many different environments.  You can lay your mat anywhere from a yoga studio to a chocolate farm or a beautiful beach in the Caribbean or the Coast in South America. Each one gives you a different experience and place to do your practice.

Practicing yoga

If you have a story to share about your yoga practice outside of your home or yoga studio, please feel free to share with me below. Or if you have any comments or question, please send those over using the space below.

Thanks for visiting!

Why AntiGravity Yoga

It’s really awesome to find new and exciting ways to practice yoga. One new discovery I made recently is AntiGravity Yoga.

AntiGravity or Aerial Yoga was established in 1991 by Christopher Harrison, a former gymnast, and Broadway aerial choreographer. It involves a series of techniques inspired by yoga, Pilates, calisthenics and aerial acrobatics in a hammock, in order to achieve a whole-body workout.

Christopher Harrison created what he called the “silk hammock” and discovered that the use of this hammock had health and fitness benefits for everyone. So he created “AntiGravity™ Yoga & Fitness”.  His techniques are now available in gyms and studios around the world.

So, what sets Antigravity Yoga apart from other types of yoga done on the ground?

For starters, you don’t have to have previous yoga experience. While it is an advantage to have experience with other types of yoga, it’s not a requirement in order to practice Antigravity Yoga. As you begin to learn this form of yoga, you will be instructed on its foundations.

Want to improve your core strength? Antigravity Yoga definitely will help you with this. You are off the ground, so it gets you engaging your core right away.

Also, those headstands or handstands that are so hard to master for some will actually become easier after you are able to experience how they feel with the support of the hammock. Overall, Antigravity Yoga will boost your confidence in some of the more challenging poses you do on your mat – such as the inversions.

Antigravity Yoga is also very easy on the joints making it a great workout for people with knee problems.

It also provides strength-building benefits according to some students of aerial yoga. It increases muscle mass and decreases fat mass. It can be a very cardio-intensive form of yoga which can be comparable to power walking. However, it does also provide a relaxing and stress-free experience as with many activities that involve whole body-mind exercises. At the end of my Antigravity yoga classes, I get to lie down in Savasana, cocooned in the silk hammock as my teacher gently swings the hammock side to side.

Then, there is the thrill of it! It’s so much fun to play acrobat for an hour and be able to do all these acrobatic tricks I wouldn’t try without the help of something suspending me off the ground. I look forward to my next class every week!

If you have tried Anti Gravity or Aerial Yoga, let me know what you thought or just leave any comments or questions you might have.

Yoga On Your Own

Yoga pose at the beach

Recently during one of my Hatha Yoga classes, one of my yoga instructors talked about the asana and the importance of doing yoga on your own or self-practice.  I found it extremely useful to have that discussion on that topic because, by tendency, I rely too much on assisting to the classes instead of practicing on my own.

Interestingly enough, I was away for a month at the Hermitage Island of Naitauba in Fiji where I went for a service retreat. As part of the morning routine, while you are on the retreat, there is time for yoga. However, it’s not guided by anyone, so I had the opportunity of doing the yoga practice on my own.  It was ecstatic because I really wanted to challenge myself to do a yoga routine every day. I took one day off though as I felt that was necessary.

It was truly about discipline and listening to my body for what it needed each day as I began each yoga session, and after each one, I felt very energized and strong which was extremely helpful in meditation and in performing my service there.

Since I have been back, I have tried to practice whenever I don’t go to class. I find that doing yoga on my own has also helped me to feel more confident about teaching yoga classes soon. It’s my next challenge and with the self-practice, I can get creative trying different routines. It’s fun!