As a yoga teacher who has been a practitioner of yoga since my college days in Buffalo, New York circa 1973, and teaching since 1993, I have come to realize no teacher training prepares you for teaching than your own personal development. Then you must learn to breathe otherwise there's no real getting it.
When I teach my classes, it is like an outgrowth of being my seasoned sensitive, traditionally trained special education/elementary education teacher- on a mat.
Listening to what's not being said, seeing what is being hidden, and feeling the room and those in it. Being in tune and emotionally present for all and ready to serve require of me to be with my life force, my breath. (More on this below- a little Vayu-wind study for you) It is from this place of deep self-knowingness, I teach. I teach to who is there, the time of the year, from where I am at, my soul connection to my own self first-then I am good to go. Self reflection is the best part of living and the side benefits are better than could ever be imagined. By doing this we water the seeds of loving, caring and nurturing for our pre-frontal cortex, the CEO of the brain. No wonder we feel so good after a soothing practice of yoga. The process of all this is much like a huge radical impenetrable sacred spot where I allow the Grand Teacher of all of us to move through me as I tap into the Universal by moving into the quantum field of interconnection -the place of deep universal consciousness. Open to Grace affords us to feel the latent potential that abounds-within us, around us and as us. That is my training. Right there. Pay attention to it all.
Often times when someone asks what did I say in class and refers to a wisdom revealed, I usually cannot remember, as it was a moment, that passed. Here we are in this moment: Anew. Renewed. Now.
Teaching is intuition in motion.
AWAKEN TO YOUR INNER YOGI and FEEL HOW IT IS: Basic, Universal, Timeless.
1. Sit in a quiet corner in your home, skootch your bootie all the way into the corner, feeling the support of the walls all around. (No, silly, sitting in the corner is not because you were bad, it is just because it is a supportive space.)
2. Close your eyes and keyword F E E L the space you chose in sit within. Focus on the senses of this moment. Feel the walls firm and hugging you in, shoulders firmly supported and low back loved with an upper chest and back held high, elongating the spine. More space for your breath to pour into.
3. Place one hand on your upper chest, and the other upon your low abdomen, at the pubic line. Inhale from the base of your lower hand-and feel an expansion- all the way up to your third eye-the space between the brows, and just continue to breathe as if you were dragging the breath up the front side of your body. Breathe in slowly with a pause at the top of the breath. A giant PAUSE. This is called prana vayu, a wind that lands and nourishes the brain and the eyes. This wind, this prana is responsible for receiving the energy of food, air, senses, and thoughts. So it travels with acute mindfulness from the lower body to the upper body. Again, visualize it sweeping upward on the front inside of your spine, clearing all energy blocks. Don't forget to PAUSE.
4. Now, time to exhale, we call this apana vayu. -downward moving energy that pools itself in the pelvic floor as it fills the lower abdomen. The flow of Apana-Vayu's energy nourishes the organs of digestion, reproduction and elimination. To activate from the top of the third eye, continue to use closed eyes, lengthen the spine with a relaxed outer body, and as you exhale feel an energy flowing down the torso from the top of the head to the tailbone, but on the back side of the spine, as if it were flowing down your back. PAUSE.
It is said, that GOD, lives in the breath between the breath, that great wisdom is found there and Divine intelligence awakens your inspiration, creativity and connection to all that is, beyond time and space. To lengthen each segment of the breath is the key to build prana-life force. So breathe in ever so slowly, pause with great retention, and exhale with a willingness to keep it in and release it out with an ever longer pause to punctuate this four part breath cycle. As you close your eyes you envelop and attract an inner world that is the microcosm of the quantum field of consciousness. We then dance between the Universal, and then the individual-in breath, in mind, in body and in soul.
When your yoga teacher, or the one that lives within you, stokes in that space of in-between-ness, we become greater than the sum of our parts. Again. Connected in an interconnected matrix of breath.
Evolve. Expand. Emerge.into the latest greatest version of you. Develop you and your inner CEO.