The One Year 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training Journal of Maria Hennings Hunt
After practising Yoga for 30 years, I’ve decided finally to train as a Yoga teacher. I started my One Year Yoga Teacher Training with Yoga London in January 2018. Here is my Yoga Journal.
Sunday 11th February
Only one member of the class turned up for practice this morning. The younger two opted for a lie in. So, my sister and I rolled out our mats and, with the help of Adriene, we did a very sweaty 40 minute Vinyasa flow class, which ended with a shoulder stand, scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, croissants and gallons of coffee. Lovely.
Saturday 10th February
My yoga loving sister kindly let me ‘practice’ on her this morning. So, along with my daughter and her son (both roped in reluctantly to boost the class numbers), I actually took my first ‘class’. Admittedly, was a bit squashed in the living room, but we did OK! We did a warm up, some breathing and some lying twists before launching into Sun Salutations. I had a chance to actually voice the ‘script’ that I had been running in my head over the last few days. A is coming along nicely. B needs work. Lots of it.
Friday 9th February
No Yoga. Dancing? Yes. Packing bags to go away for the weekend? Yes. Guilty thoughts? Yes.
Thursday 8th February
Braved my Shirley class this morning. I learnt today that she is a real Yoga traditionalist and she doesn’t like the way yoga has been ‘Westernised’. She even threatened to do some chanting today – which we didn’t actually do in the end though. Can’t say I was sorry! I found the class a bit slow this morning if I am honest, and although I did try and do her traditional type Sun Salutations, I had to make a conscious effort to stop myself ‘flowing’ – if you know what I mean. We did lots of Ujjayi breathing though, which I like. Also managed the splits – both legs. Hanumanasana at 57. Way to go!
Wednesday 7th February
The ongoing double tooth extraction fallout is annoying me. I can’t do any flow at all – any head down pose increases the pain to my jaw, which is still very sore. Cancelled my yoga class this morning and stayed in bed feeling sorry for myself. The yoga mat taunted me from the floor.
Tuesday 6th February
According to all the literature out there about tooth extraction – I should be resting. So I made a start on my Surya Namaskara script. I am now fairly certain that I have inhales where I should have exhales and I may even have added several extra breaths and a new pose that I have called Ardhva Thatsaridiculousasana.
Monday 5th February
My favourite Yoga mat has now got itself a permanent rolled out position at the foot of the bed. This enables me to:
A. Feel guilty every time I look at it that I have not managed my daily practice.
B. Get up at sunrise and do five rounds of Surya Namaskara A, three of B and then a full 90 minute power yoga class which is rounded off with 20 minutes of meditation. You get my drift? I mean, how long do a few Sun Salutations take? And I always feel better afterwards.
So, I opted for a loose variation on B this morning. Just as well! Later on I had two teeth taken out under local (rather a lot of it) anaesthetic. One top tooth – one bottom tooth, fortunately on the same side. I was in the dentists’ chair for almost two hours and came out looking like I had had a stroke, numb from just below the eye to the top of my (non existent) cleavage. I was told to avoid any exercise for several days – which is all very well if you don’t teach dancing for a living or indeed are trying to establish a daily Yoga practice.
Sunday 4th February
No Yoga today. Genesis 2:2. I rest my case.
Saturday 3rd February
Did a 35 minute LA type (that’s a pretty young bendy thing wearing a crop top in a mirrored, plant filled yoga studio, who can weave herself in and out of poses I can only dream about – and even that makes my eyes water) Vinyasa Flow Youtube video class today. I flipped the dog several times – not always intentionally. Then I made poor Alan watch a video of David Swenson doing Sun Salutations, which is just so beautiful, the way he moves is beyond inspiring. I vow to learn the Sanskrit names of the Sun Salutation sequences by the end of next week.
Friday 2nd February
Epic fail on the daily practice promise. I work all day teaching dance on Fridays and then I negotiate (that means lane swap) my way down the A2 out of town, run in the house, throw my dance shoes into the corner, grab a cup of coffee, change into my Gi and head off to the sports centre to teach the kids Karate. This weekend, I’d also arranged to go and stay with my partner Alan – who just happens to live a two hour drive North – so after karate, I threw my Gi in the same direction as the dance shoes, packed a bag – which included Asana Flash Cards, the Yoga London teaching manual and the Sutras book – and headed North. There was free parking on the M1 – so by the time I got to Alan’s all intentions of doing a few SS’s before bed paled into insignificance once he’d poured me a glass of wine. Still, there’s always tomorrow.
Thursday 1st February
I recently joined the advanced Yoga class at the gym. It’s taught by a lady called Shirley who I know nothing about – except that I can tell by the way she uses her words and the way she moves that she is a very experienced yoga teacher. Today though – no Shirley. Instead there was a cover teacher who introduced herself as Paula and said that she was a Vinyasa Flow teacher and was everyone familiar with Sun Salutations? Ah, Universe Provides! What a lovely class. Challenging but not impossible – give or take a few one legged balances! Far more flow than I have ever done in a Shirley class and I noticed I paid closer attention than normal when she was talking us in and out of poses and I loved the way she used the breath to enhance the practice. If we did any poses that I half knew the names for, I filed them away in my head for looking up the proper names when I got home. Well, that was the plan. When I got home, I opted for coffee and made eggs on toast, by which time I’d forgotten the names of the Sun Salutations that I thought I had remembered from yesterday. However, the good news is, I have another opportunity tonight at my own class to do more Urdhva Hastanasanas.
Wednesday 31st January
Ah. Now. Wednesday I go to a class that is a bit like a Vinyasa flow class mixed with a bit of Tai Chi and some Pilates. We did lots of standing stretches, several variations of the Warrior poses and some Eagle Poses (I guess I should be listing the Sanskrit names shouldn’t I? Might help me learn them!) We also did some Happy Baby and a very familiar posed called Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) – which I do really like actually despite my struggling with the name! We did some three legged dog to nose poses too – I have no idea what that might be called, but I actually found that easier than normal. I’m teaching Dance Fitness again later so I’m already thinking about what I could add into the stretching routine tonight for them. Maybe a Warrior or two?
Tuesday 30th Janaury
I’ve not ever really done a regular home practice. I’ve always been rather more of a ‘do a bit when I feel like it at home’ type as I actually prefer to go to a class. So, I can hear my mind trying talking myself out of this daily thing on the basis that as I already teach Dance, Fitness and Martial Arts – I don’t ‘need’ to do daily Yoga. But I did try. I rolled out the mat and managed three A & three B Sun Salutations. That’s enough I told myself as I have two hours of Kata later tonight – and I’m still suffering from DOMS.
Monday 29th January
I have DOMS. Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. Fortunately, I suspected I might so I had already cleverly booked myself a Sports Massage for lunchtime. Bliss. Felt justified, as having been in what felt like a constant Down Dog (and buggered if I can remember the Sanskrit name for it… Ardhvo Mukvho Svanahatahsnananana or something) all weekend, I did not want to go anywhere near my yoga mat today. So I didn’t. However. At my Dance Fitness class later on – I’m the teacher – I did manage to slip in a Trikonasana as part of the cool down stretch routine.
Saturday & Sunday 27th & 28th January
9:00 Saturday morning, I embarked on my 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training with Yoga London. It’s now Sunday evening. 18 hours done.
I am so tired, I no longer know which way up I am.
Only 182 to go.