Gabriella’s Notes II
The following is presented by permission from Gabri, a current trainee in the Ozark Mountain Yoga Teacher Training Program. Trainees are required to journal their experiences from each weekend and use these notes for a final paper. Although there are corrections and clarifications to be discussed within her notes, it provides a good idea of the depth of the program and scope of study. Also something to consider is the Teaching, Training and Technique hours, largely classes, learning adjustments/anatomy and practicing teaching remain the largest parts of each intensive…
We began the weekend on Friday with learning the teaching mantrum or the Sahana Vavatu Mantra. This is a good way to begin the class because it asks for peace between the student and teacher. We then were educated on the purpose of Dharma talks and their purpose in yoga classes. It can help theme the class or set a focus to the practice or meditation. Dharma talks help bring awareness into yogis lives and bring a feeling of community. Dharma talks can set a theme to the class. We then kicked off with a Dharma talk about upekshaanaam which can be translated in english to neutrality. This means to have the duality understanding of good/bad, happy/sad, death/living etc, that all things have opposites, and by acknowledging them we can have balance. Upekshaanaam allows awareness and reality because the yogi can better understand that the feeling or status will not last. The feelings or situation will change. After this we practiced energy cleansing, or Nadi Shodana Pranayama followed by Chandra Krama.
On Saturday we began with discussing truthfulness (Satya), which also accompanies being honest with ourselves. As being yogis we need to evaluate our true self and perceptions and be able to uncover the truth of our actions and thoughts to give rise to a full consciousness. By being honest we can grow into our paths and understand limitations within the self. We then dissected sutra 1.33 and 1.34
We translated 1.33 to english with the students and came to a conclusion that it means “Balance leads to harmony with you and the others” (maitree-love, karunaa-helpfulness, mudita-cheerful, upekshaanaam- neutrality, suka-good, dukah-bad/discomfort, punya-reward, apunya-failure, vishayaanaam-situation, bhaavanatah-nurturing, citta-thoughts, prasaadanam- clarity)
We translated 1.34 to english to mean exhale with control, without harm, you can control the breath suspension which brings energy. (Pracchardana-exhale, vidhaaranaabhyaam-with control/without harm, vaa- you, praanasya-breath suspension) another way we said it was energy through breathing with control.
We practiced the Ashtanga primary sequence and learned how to correct prasarita padottanasana (a,b,c,d), parshvottanasana, uttigita hasta padangushtansana, and adha baddha padmottanasana.
After lunch Dr. James Hacknet taught us activated and non-activated muscle groups during asanas. During tadasana (mountain pose) flexing through the gluteus maximus causes external rotation of the femur which causes the pelvis to posteriorly tilt. This also causes the upper leg to come into alignment with the lower shin. Then this also causes the arches in the feet to shift weight to the outside of the foot. Activation is good for short periods of time. Synovial fluid in joints relies on compression and decompression therefore a balance of both is needed, too much compression or decompression will cause the metabolism of synovial fluid to be decreased and can injur the joints. In tadasana the hips are turned out by the gluteus maximus flexion. The trunk and pelvis can be turned under with the lower abs and the shoulder girdle is back and down with stretches the peck minor.
IIn triangle pose the shoulders should not over extend past the neck because it is hard on the shoulders. The shoulders should be pinched to stretch the chest open wide. Hyper extending the arm behind the neck causes stretched ligaments. In warrior 1 (Virabhadrasana 1) the hips and low back need to be turned under by the gluteus maximus and the femor should be turned out to insure it is over the foot. The Front knee should be sharing equal weight with the back foot being grounded. In warrior 2 (Virbhadrasana 2) the back needs to be pinched together but not over extending the arms behind the chest.
In tree pose (Vrksasana) the foot can rest on the knee because the knee joint is durable and will not be injured. Therefore you do not always have to place the foot above or below the opposite legs knee joint. The hips should be turned under by the gluteus maximus. The gluteus maximus can be strengthened by balancing one leg and letting the flexion go and coming back up. When the gluteus is not firing the IT band will contract and lead to a hip dip. Both hips must be in alignment. The foot helps so much with balance and feeling the floor barefoot makes balancing easier. When placed on a thick mat or ground that is bouyant, balancing becomes harder because it is more difficult to feel the senses the foot is sending through the nervous system. Vision is also important and helps balance tremendously. If someone is touching your skin on a section you are flexing the neurmuscular connection is much stronger. The same thing works if you are looking in a mirror.
In plank you can push through the arms to get rid of winging of the scapula. By dropping the chest into the arms and pushing to come back up is a good exercise to get rid of winged scapula.
Sunday, we started with Ashtanga yoga primary series and then had a discussion on stealing other than material items such as stealing time from the self, stealing health by partaking in unhealthy eating or habits, stealing away from the practice by not being focused during class, there can be stealing of others ideas such as sequences or themes, there can be stealing happinees from the self by not giving reward to good behavior. We then made up a 15-minute sequence and taught it to the class. Then after the class we were critiqued by the teacher. After we learned how to make corrections appropriately as a teacher and how to cue.
Sutra 1.35 and 1.36 were learned. Sutra 1.35 was teaching us how to have extraordinary powers to lead us to complete concentration because with a clear and steady mind anything can be accomplished. To be mindful and not mindless (scattered). 1.36 teaches us to rid the mind of useless thoughts, worrying or grief, and by repeatedly thinking of these thoughts causes attachments, damaging our memory and losing discrimination, ultimately causing anger. By becoming vigilant we can detect useless thoughts.
Interested in learning more about the Ozark Mountain Yoga Teacher Training program? Visit Ozark Mountain Yoga Studio.