I’ve just completed a series of yoga teacher trainings and intensives. What is going on? Well, I’ve always appreciated (hatha) yoga as a form of fitness and self care.
And my insights into “who am I?” and “what is this Life?” are pretty much aligned with the “spiritual” and “philosophical” branches of yoga.
I have practiced hatha yoga since the millenium — I had a great teacher whose classes I used to attend regularly. He’s now retired, but he was a really cool older english gentleman who was also a jazz musician.
His classes were filled to capacity back in the day and I really enjoyed them.
However, once I started to practice on my own and look around at some other yoga schools, I just didn’t find a fit.
Although I entertained the idea of yoga teacher trainings, I never took it seriously at the time. I was far too busy being a musician!
And frankly, some of the poses were quite daunting. But I kept up a somewhat consistent practice of it throughout the years along with more traditional forms of fitness.
Mary has also been involved with yoga for a while — she even had the same teacher as me, but we didn’t attend the same years.
As someone who was already successfully teaching fitness classes, she had no trouble jumping in and getting some yoga teacher training.
I watched her and was so proud of her for going after something she’d always wanted to do.
Yoga Teacher Trainings: Wanna Try Level 1, Honey?
Recently, after she had quite a few training levels under her belt and had also been teaching her own yoga classes for several months, she suggested I try my Level 1 yoga teacher training.
I resisted a bit, but then thought “what the heck. I enjoy yoga and I can always learn more!” So we went to the training together.
Even though Mary already had her Level 3 training plus some other necessary courses under her belt, all yoga teachers have to take a Level 1 retraining at some point. So she got hers out of the way.
It was an all day 2 day training. Very intense! The teacher was a master instructor with many years or experience — not to mention being an expert on anatomy. She is completing her degree in osteopathy.
I loved it! The next thing I know, I signed up for Level 2 a couple weeks later. After Level 2, I signed up right away for Level 3!! I was hooked and on a roll.
Level 2 was with another master instructor who had a different approach. He was absolutely amazing and brought a level of “game” to the training that was extremely high.
After that, Mary and I both took the Meditation and Mindfulness intensive to add to our training hours.
I’m now taking a break, catching my breath and digesting the massive amounts of information I processed during the trainings.
I am looking forward to doing some more yoga teacher trainings and completing my 200 hours.
Yoga Karma Classes
I am teaching a few “karma” classes in August. These are free classes. We have to teach 8 karma hours to receive our Level 1 certificate — mine are done! But I’m doing a couple more just to get some practice and to promote my classes a bit.
My classes will be put on the schedule at St. Nicholas Church on Mondays at 6:15 pm starting in September 2016.
I’ll see how it develops from there.
The school we are studying with is incredibly well put together and thought out. I’ll write another article about it sometime. It’s called YogaFit and you can read about it here.
Growing My Positive Mind
Meanwhile, when I haven’t been at yoga teacher trainings, I’ve also been involved in studying and taking tests from the Postive Psychology approach to life. It’s essentially about discovering our inherent strengths and then focusing on them.
Apparently our weaknesses change very little (3 to 7% at most) over the course of a lifetime — and even that’s only in people who are actively engaged in self improvement or 12 step programs.
However, our strengths are almost unlimited in the potential they offer us to grow and be creative and deal with the challenges of our lives.
note: By the way, this book/course was actually on the resources reading list in one of the yoga teacher training manuals. I’m checking it out independently because I love this kind of stuff. Almost as much as music!
It’s called Growing The Positive Mind: With the Emotional Gym & The Positive Mind Test. Just to let you know, this is an affiliate link to Amazon. That simply means I’ll get a few shekels if you buy the book 🙂
One of the assignments from this positive psychology is to divide our lives into 15 areas:
- Home and Environment
- Play and Fun
- Education/New Learning
- The Completley New and Novel
- New Learning
- Breaking Taboos
- Wild and Frivolous Wants
Many of these areas overlap. But the idea is to come up with about 15 or 20 ideas for each area. Write them down on sticky notes. Eventually these areas will be collapsed to about 6 or 8 areas.
For now it’s simply about dumping out the brain of everything. Even ridiculous or sublime desires are to be acknowledged.
By doing this work, and weeding through the sticky notes, themes will begin to emerge.
This will lead to 6 or 8 five year goals.
There’s more involved than this brief description, but you get the idea. It’s both fun and very enlightening.
Especially for someone like me who is currently navigating a major transition in my life’s journey.
We Can Grow More Intelligent Brains
Oh — and did you know that current brain research shows that our brains are designed by nature to expand and grow as we age and go through transitional stages in our lives?
The more positive our attitudes to the changes we encounter as we age, the more complexity unfolds in our brain.
That’s why as people get older they think they are losing their memory. But they aren’t! It’s just that our brains don’t want to be bothered with “diddle” such as phone numbers, names, etc.
We are using our processing power to see the big picture instead.
Research has shown that young people do better at remembering minor details such as numbers, names, etc. but the older people in the studies do much better at the deeper comprehension of the big picture.
I always felt this to be true within myself and through my own self observation. I always thought I was getting wiser and stronger. One would hope 😉
Music Sweet Music
I’m supremely inspired with music right now! I know, it seems strange because of the decision I made recently about giving up on any commercial aspirations. Aspirations that’d been with me since I was a teenager.
Other than continuing to teach my guitar and piano students and perhaps get a song or two licensed to a movie or tv show, I currently have no commercial plans or intentions.
But I feel as if I’m still growing as an artist and getting even better and more authentic. Man, I love music!!
I have some really cool new songs in the works. We’ll see what happens. It’s going to take me until September to “concretize” my goal setting work as I stated above.
Thanks for reading and supporting — I love you 🙂