I used to think that I knew a little something about yoga. I have been attending yoga classes on and off for the past 6 years. I started being much more consistent with my attendance in the past 2 and I felt that I was on a good path, and had a much better understanding of where I was on my yoga journey (you can read more about that here).
And while, I am not completely off base, the Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) has shown me that I really did not know much at all and I have been doing many things wrong for years.
Each week during YTT, we do a series of pose break downs. We completely dissect poses and discuss the correct posture and alignment.
I have come to realize that I have been doing most of these poses wrong. I am not talking about fancy inversions or anything, there are poses that I do on a constant bases (downward facing dog, mountain pose, etc.), that have not been in correct form.
I feel as though my yoga practice is being completely torn down, and slowly built back up, but with a much stronger foundation this time.
I love it.
This was absolutely what I came to YTT for. My instructors have encouraged us to look at this as “Yoga 101” and warned us that our practice would never be the same again.
I have definitely noticed the difference in my own practice now. I have slooooowed down so many of my poses. I am much more mindful of my alignment and positioning.
Before in yoga class, I used to be THE worst at letting my mind wander. I was not always present in my practice and I tended to plan my future meals, instead of being in that exact moment (most of the recipes I have tweaked or made up have been during yoga class). However, now my mind is occupied with whatever pose I am currently in and my corresponding breath. I try to remember the cues I learned for the pose, while in YTT. It has almost become more mentally exhausting to attend class, but it is causing me to be more mindful and yield more benefits from my practice.
It has definitely made me more aware off my yoga mat, as well. Particularly with my standing posture and placement of my feet on the floor. I have realized that when I stand, my natural reaction is to hyperextend and lock out my knees. I also generally walk on the outside of my feet and I know that I pronate pretty badly while running, walking, hiking, etc. I know this has definitely led to so many of the injuries I have experienced and probably my back issues, as well. I have tried to be more mindful lately, of standing with a slight bend in my knee and walking or standing on the full four corners of my feet, as opposed to my outer two.
I am incredibly grateful for all that I am learning. Although thus far, it has been an intense process, I am relishing all the knowledge and humbled to know I have quite the journey ahead of me.