Weekend 3 Homework/Weekend 4 – Yoga Teacher Training

To be honest, I almost didn’t go to Teacher Training this past weekend. I work full-time and the holiday season is a particularly demanding time of year in my industry (we are not allowed to take any days off in November and December, just to give you an idea) and I have been on the road a fair amount. This gave me a smaller window to complete my homework and attend regular yoga classes than usual. The Weekend 3 Homework was more reading-heavy with only two written assignments: one to write a teaching script for Surya Namaskar A and the other was to write TWO variations for two different poses, Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog) and Chaturanga Dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff Pose). I stress this because even with my propensity for detail, I somehow overlooked that two variations were required for each pose and only wrote one. Ugh!

Since we only meet once every four weeks, there is a long stretch between sessions. At the end of this past weekend, Kate asked us all for feedback on the course that she could share with YogaWorks. Some students shared that they are struggling with the amount of time between the sessions, whereas I wouldn’t be able to do this training otherwise due to my schedule. From what I’ve ascertained so far, these students do not work full-time and would have the flexibility to take a more condensed version of the course (there is a version of the YogaWorks 200-Hour Teacher Training that meets every weekend for three months instead of one weekend a month for twelve months, but there is not a version of this offered in NH). I have been thinking a lot about this and relating it back to my philosophical readings. Even though scheduling might not be as much of a challenge for these other students, a challenge is still presented to both of us. The student struggling to keep everything fresh due to the time in between sessions is now challenged with reviewing the materials more frequently on his/her own; the student that is balancing a packed schedule and trying to fit this training in is challenged with giving this study the attention it deserves. I feel like I have been able to rise to my challenge successfully so far. After each weekend, I analyze the homework assignments and put them in an order of completion that makes sense to me. I usually do the anatomy work last because it is the part that I struggle with most and like the least – but also because it will be the most fresh prior to the next session.

When planning out my Weekend 3 Homework, I was staring down my work commitments and the Thanksgiving holiday. I decided to complete all my reading prior to Thanksgiving (including the anatomy readings) and then I could watch the assigned videos and bang out my written assignments the week after Thanksgiving since writing comes more naturally to me. This would mean that I would turn my written assignments in the week leading into Weekend 4. I prefer more of a buffer on turning in written assignments since Kate always takes time to email us with thoughtful feedback, but it was the most logical way I saw to approach this set of homework.

I completed all my reading as planned prior to Thanksgiving and then the holiday came and went and I had to re-energize myself to dig back into my homework. I also ended up having to travel for work that week (not originally planned) so the number of evenings I had to finish my homework was reduced. When I finally sat down at my computer, I was so exhausted and almost out of steam. As such, I missed the fact that I was supposed to write TWO variations of each pose. Kate returned her corrections/feedback to me the next day and offered the opportunity for me to redo the homework, but I was simply out of time. I could’ve stayed up on Friday night and crammed the rewrites in, but then I would be even more exhausted for Saturday’s session. I seriously contemplated dropping out of the course. I thought, what on earth am I DOING? I don’t have time for this. And I still don’t know the names of all the bones and joints like my fellow students do! Why on earth did I take this on??

But then I found myself calling upon the Yoga Sutras I had read earlier in the month. I took a breath and tried to quiet the noise in my mind. It’s FINE. You are doing what you can. After Christmas, you can spend extra time on your studies in order to feel more comfortable with anatomy. And you’ll have more time to memorize the names of poses.

I opted to honor my need for rest and not do the re-write. I didn’t even spend time on Friday night packing my lunch for the next day. I just needed a BREAK.

But apparently I set my alarm a whole hour earlier than it needed to be set (that shows you how tired I was on Friday night!) and woke up on Saturday with lots of extra time before class. I took my time getting ready and was able to mentally prepare for the weekend while my BF still slept. It’s a hard stop between my work week and these training weekends (it’s so funny going from the rat race to sitting around discussing karma and reincarnation) and it was nice to have some time to be one with my thoughts that morning, even though I’m supposed to be freeing my mind of them!

And surprise, surprise – Weekend 4 turned out to be my favorite yet. We each had to teach Surya A to the entire class (which means we did a LOT of Sun Salutations this weekend – my biceps are sore!) and one of my fellow students led us through such a touching close on Saturday that I teared up. I also found myself remembering the names of bones and postures! Somehow I am absorbing the information without even realizing it. Isn’t that the best way to learn?? Kate also reassured us that we are all doing great and totally on pace. Apparently I am not the only one feeling like I am not keeping up.

So, I feel MUCH better. I am actually excited about diving into my Weekend 4 Homework!

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