Many thanks for both the music suggestions and the luck! I’m thoroughly enjoying this journey so far and it’s always such a pleasure to see other yoga teachers out there. This music is also beautiful and very much up my alley. Many thanks agian! <3
First off, my teaching last night went awesome. I actually taught for close to twenty minutes instead of ten and I felt like I had so much more I wanted to do! My teacher said I did amazing, that my cues were spot on and my pacing was perfect. She did point out some things to be careful with, like neck stretches, and also told me to speak up a bit more. It’s a huge room, so making sure everyone can hear you is a big thing.
Also, before I started teaching, she asked me if I brought any music. For those of you who know me in person, you know music is my life. I have over a month’s worth of music ( slowly easing into over a month and a half! ) and I always have my iPod on me. Even if I wanted to play some piano music, they don’t have an iPod dock - just a CD player. But since then, I’ve been thinking about yoga music and what that all means to me.
When I do my own personal practice, like my morning yoga or midday assignments for class, I never have music on. It needs to be dead silent. It helps me focus more and I find myself more in tune with life when there’s no music blasting. But I know that’s not the case for everyone doing yoga. The music might be more helpful for them in comparison to me. And in all honesty, the yoga classes I will be teaching in the future are for them and not me, so I have to keep that in mind.
Then I thought about the yoga classes I go to and what they play for music. Some of the teachers are big on playing music by artists that I can’t even pronounce. Mostly Indian music. Nothing wrong with Indian music by any means, but I find the typical Indian melodies to be the opposite of calming to me. For me, calming is more a soft piano or maybe a violin or flute. It’s very much not Indian music. Maybe people feel obligated to play Indian music, seeing that’s where yoga originated from, but I don’t know.
I could see myself playing a lot of gentle piano music or slow, soft instrumentals. Lord knows I have a bunch of that on my computer. Would just need to weed through them to see what’s appropriate or not for class. And this might just be me, but I would love to play Celtic folk music. I remember going to new age stores when I was itty bitty and listening to the music they played and LOVING it. I’d want that same vibe in my classes, too.
So I guess on top of figuring out a lesson plan for next week’s class, I also need to figure out what music to play! Definitely bringing my iPod dock with me to beat the system!
Back on Tuesday, my teacher asked us if anyone was ready to teach this Thursday ( as in today ). Nothing major, just teach for ten minutes or so. It’s a free hatha class that was designed for us to teach parts of and eventually do a whole class. So I remember volunteering to teacher the beginning part and do some breath work and grounding. For some reason, that’s one of my favorite parts of yoga. Unless you’re hooked up to oxygen, it’s not difficult to do and doesn’t require becoming a pretzel. And it’s very effective! I used to discredit all those “just breathe” exercises to calm yourself down, but it works. Trust me.
So there’s that and I’m excited about that. But wait! There’s more!
Last night when I went to one of my yoga classes, the teacher there approached me and told me how she wasn’t going to be around next Wednesday night and asked me to sub for her class. Normally, when people ask me to do things, I tend to go into a near panic attack, or at least I remember doing that. Especially back when I was in college and did graphic design. People would ask for tiny things, whether it was a page design or poster or website and I kind of freaked. I still do, actually. I like art for the sake of art and it kind of ends there. But then I had this new experience of feeling nothing but joy when I was asked to teacher an hour long yoga class. I didn’t even hesitate; I jumped on that like I was afraid someone else was going to call dibs! It was a surreal experience.
So not only am I doing a little teaching bit tonight, I’m also teaching a full blown yoga class next week. So excited! I need to figure out when I can sit down and plan out a routine, seeing I’m still a weeboo and an outline would help to glance at in case we get lost or else we might be in child’s pose for half the class ( I doubt my mom would mind that! ). Not much else is going on, but this is all big news for me and I just want to dance around and squee.
Ok, I’m done. Just really excited! Many thanks to my followers <3
This upcoming weekend for yoga teacher training doesn’t involve what the rest of the group is doing. For those of you playing the home game, my group meets with another teacher training group every three weeks or so on the weekends. So far I’m eating up the weekend groups. It’s a lot of different teachers with different aspects of hatha yoga and I’m really loving it.
And then there’s this weekend, where my teacher decided to take our class aside and do a weekend of kundalini yoga as the ashram. If you could see my face right now, you’d see how not excited I am about this.
It’s not that I hate kundalini yoga. I think it’s an extremely powerful form of yoga that obviously helps people and I’m all for that. Do whatever you need to do to help yourself out, especially if it’s something natural, but I can probably count on one finger the amount of times kundalini was helpful for me. I have such a love hate relationship with kundalini yoga. I love the aspects of it. I love what it stands for. It’s so spiritual and everyone and their mom would think I’d be all over it, but I’m not.
One thing that ticks me off about kundalini yoga are the teachers. They are anti-touching people and would rather guide people through words. That should be good, right? Well, they can’t be doing such a fabulous job if I just found out last night that I’ve been doing breath of fire wrong. Hell, I was doing it right last night and I still didn’t like it. All the teachers I’ve been to do kundalini have always said the same thing: keep breathing faster and just don’t stop. Apparently that’s not suppose to be the case. Lovely.
And then there are the kriyas, which unlike hatha yoga, needs to be done a certain way and in a certain order or else you’re not doing it. Hatha yoga is very open to different methods of setting up postures, but not kundalini yoga. And honestly, a lot of the kriyas are meh. I get so much more out of holding a difficult hatha posture than doing a kriya for 24 minutes ( I’d rather have my period than do that ). And apparently doing these kriyas helps with meditation. Apparently is the key word here. I have better meditative experiences at my acupuncture sessions. Just saying.
Speaking of meditation, their version of meditation isn’t my version of meditation, which consists of sitting still in a quiet room and not doing jack. I know not everyone can do this and my teacher has told me it’s a gift that I can drop right into meditation like that. As for everyone else in my class, they like the kundalini version of meditation ( called mantra meditation ), which involves chanting for an eternity and flailing your arms about for again, another 24 minutes. How this calms people down is beyond me, because it just gets me agitated and anxious and I just want to walk about of the room.
And lastly, the one that ticks me off the most, is that kundalini and sihkism are highly intertwined. Please know that I have absolutely nothing wrong with this religion. I actually like a lot of aspects of it, but what I don’t like is this whole portrayal of all kundalini teachers being sihks. It really bothers me. For me, it’s on par with Christians standing outside an abortion clinic with their protest signs ( ok, that might be a tad extreme, but the idea is that I feel it’s invasive ). I am not for any religion that requires you to do so many things in order to say you are a participant of this religion, like not cutting your hair, wearing white, wearing turbans, and this, that, and the other. Bonus points for doing a little preaching before class. I really can’t stand that. It feels borderline cultish, even though I know they’re not crazy, evil people. I’m sorry, I’ll do what I damn well please and I can do it while being a good person.
So guess what I’m doing from 8:30am - 6pm this weekend! Nothing but kundalini! My mom told me to go in with a good attitude and maybe I’d have an “aha” moment. So far, my only “aha” moment is that we’re getting free vegetarian food. I do hope it will be a good weekend, though I think I’d be a bajillion times more excited if Tibetian monks came to lecture instead of sihks. Guess that’s my own bias, but I’ll deal.
Shuni Mudra is known as the “seal of patience”. By placing the tip of the thumb to the tip of middle finger, this mudra promotes piece and discernment. It also said to give one courage to perform the task at hand.