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.
WEEK TWENTY ONE
Saturday 23rd & Sunday 24th June
Woe is me – again. I have a ‘dry socket’ – go Google it. One step forward, three steps back…that’s NOT a Cha Cha.
Friday 22nd June
The Dance Show has taken over – which is normal for this time of year. There is no room in my life, lounge or conservatory right now to even swing a cat, let alone any kind of dog. Up or down.
Thursday 21st June
The nearest I got to the mat today was putting it in the washing machine. Sorry cat.
Wednesday 20th June
One of my cats has taken a liking to my yoga mat. I am happy the mat is getting some use.
Tuesday 19th June
Had another sodding tooth out today. At this rate I’ll have none left. So – goodbye daily practice for another few days.
Monday 18th June
Day off – justifiably as have been a good Yogi all weekend and on top of all that – am feeling smug as I now know the difference between Plantarflexion and Dorsiflexion. That in itself is an achievement. The fact that I actually remembered it makes it an amazing achievement.
Saturday & Sunday 16th & 17th June
Weekend six of the Yoga London Teacher Training. By around 3pm on Sunday afternoon after a day and a half of anatomy, teaching practice and self practice – even the grandchildren (that’s all the young ones on the course) were flagging. There’s obviously no hope for me then.
Friday 15th June
I have theory that the older you get – the more stuff you have in your head, therefore the less room there is for new stuff. This appears to be especially applicable to Sanskrit and anatomy terms. Bet you can’t guess what the weekend might hold…
Thursday 14th June
Off to my Shirley class this morning. I rocked up a bit later than normal and the only place left was right in the middle at the front. Shame.
Wednesday 13th June
Rescued the yoga mat from underneath a pile of leotards and relocated it to the conservatory with the intention of resuming daily practice in between typing up stage and lighting directions. My intentions are good.
Tuesday 12th June
Tuesday is bad Yogi day. Or so it seems every week. Good job I’m cool with that.
Monday 11th June
Whose idea was this dance show?
Saturday & Sunday 9th & 10th June
My house is in chaos along with my daily practice. My yoga mat is now buried under hats, canes, sparkly skirts, legwarmers and neon scarves and I have an 80 cast dance show to put on in little less than five weeks.
Friday 8th June
One step forward, two steps back. That’s what this daily practice versus life’s challenges feels like. However, I’ve heard that some people call that a Cha Cha. I’ll buy that.
Thursday 7th June
Took it so easy at class this morning, that Shirley asked me if I was OK. So I just pointed to my back and made a face. I think she understood.
Wednesday 6th June
My back was not too bad this morning, so I did a bit of gentle stretching and some twists. So far, so good. Might try class tomorrow.
Tuesday 5th June
I really should listen to that inner voice of wisdom. I may have slightly overdone it yesterday and my back did notice. Bugger.
Monday 4th June
My inner wisdom told me to take it easy this week, but I ignored it. So today – I went swimming, did home practice and then taught Dance Fitness. I‘m hoping my back hasn’t noticed.
Tuesday 29th May – Sunday 3rd June
My back has just about recovered. It’s not been all bad. I have laid off my daily practice (waaaaaaa!) apart from lying twists and gentle cat/cows and tried not to do too much too soon. However, the good thing is – I have been educating myself about treating injuries and muscle pulls, as well as looking at anatomy rather a lot over the last week. I now feel quite confident in dispensing treatment plans to all my pupils who present injuries to me.
Saturday/Sunday/Monday 26th – 28th May
Another holiday weekend – which I am sure has helped my back injury – although that could have been the wine.
Friday 25th May
I have been making friends with some cat/cows and some lying twists this morning… think that’s working to loosen me up a bit more.
Thursday 24th May
No yoga, no swimming, no dancing, no karate. Yawn. I’m 78% stiff and 22% fed up.
Wednesday 23rd May
Went swimming this morning. Thought that Mr Quadratus Lumboram might like that. So far so good – I can still move. A bit.
Tuesday 22nd May
Darling Quadratus Lumboram… loosen up, man!
Monday 21st May
Never do anything by halves, my mother used to say… which obviously includes pulling muscles. Jackie says I have certainly not done a half assed job on my back.
Saturday 19th & Sunday 20th May
My poor injured back is in spasm. I can barely move. Just about managed to hobble to the fridge and pour a glass of wine. I phoned Jackie, my massage therapist, and wailed down the phone. She is squeezing me in Monday morning.
Friday 18th May
Paracetemol & Ibruprofen for breakfast. Ibruprofen & Paracetemol for lunch along with a large dollop of Tiger Balm. Managed to stiff upper lip my way through dance classes today, disguising my grimaces of pain as smiles. Woe is me.
Thursday 17th May
Shirley is back – with a vengeance. She whirled around the class this morning doing adjustments and – if I may say so – was a little too over enthusiastic in adjusting my Trikonasana. She pulled my left hip back so far I thought I was going to fall over. My back muscles jammed in an effort to stay upright. They got jammier throughout the day, so that by 9pm, I was toast.
Wednesday 15th May
Did my own practice this morning – with the help of all three of my cats, who obviously thought that trying to trip me up, sit on the mat and generally just get in way would make me give up sooner and feed them breakfast. Epic fail, Mogs.
Tuesday 14th May
My morning practice intention didn’t go so well today. OK. I fess. It didn’t go at all. However, my morning coffee intention went better than normal.
Monday 13th May
I thought I would practice the counting up to ten and down from ten meditation I learnt yesterday. I only got seven… on the way up. I obviously need more sleep.
Saturday 12th & Sunday 13th May
Yoga London teacher training weekend five. What a lovely chilled, Zen like weekend. Saturday we did Seated postures and adjustments (I absolutely adore a good adjustment!) and on Sunday we learnt about meditation. We also did blindfolded Sun Salutations… I publicly apologise to Matt (one of the other trainee teachers) for inadvertently touching his bottom every time I swooped down into Uttanasana.
Friday 11th May
My little boy is 15 today! Although having said that, he’s not so little and not so much of a boy either – his legs are far too hairy. However, I think 15 is a perfect age to introduce him to yoga. He, on the other hand, does not.
Thursday 10th May
I have to confess to not missing Shirley this week. Instead, we had Paula and a gorgeous juicy Vinyasa flow class this morning. Slurp.
Wednesday 9th May
Almost redeemed myself by attempting the whole of the Modified Primary Series this morning. Attempting is good word.
Tuesday 8th May
I am a bad yogi. If there was a prize for the best excuses for avoiding the mat – I reckon I’d be in with a shot for first place.
Monday 7th May
I am sure I read somewhere that there is a new trend called Beer Yoga. Or was that just wishful thinking? We were right out of beer, so today – I just worked on a bit more Wine Yoga left over from yesterday.
Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th May
A weekend of sunshine & yoga. There is something quite virtuous in doing yoga outside on the grass in glorious sunshine. OK, maybe the glass of wine wasn’t strictly necessary – but it was a holiday weekend, after all.
Friday 4th May
Apart from possibly being part bat, as I love hanging upside down, I also think my DNA might also contain some Jedi. I felt full of energy this morning and my back didn’t hurt at all. May(be) the Force was with me? (I know that’s an old joke – but I couldn’t resist it).
Thursday 3rd May
My back felt a bit better this morning so I went off to my Shirley class – but no Shirley! I missed her. No breathing, no Kriyas and even no Savansana at the end of the practice. What? Felt cheated. Had to go home and lie down.
Wednesday 2nd May
Up with the larks and down the A21 to Tunbridge Wells to do my first observation. Hot Vinyasa Flow. And when I say hot, I mean HOT. Like 40 degrees. I was sweating within the first five minutes and the only poses I did for the whole hour were Dandasana, Vajrasana, Sukhasana and Padmasana…. in other words… just sitting and watching.
Tuesday 1st May
My lower back is worse. So I just lay on the mat this morning and wallowed in feeling sorry for myself.
Monday 30th April
I was looking forward to class this morning – although my knees and my back were not. I still have Lotus Knee Syndrome and, as with most back complaints, I have no idea what I did, but it hurts. Any attempt at Urdvha Mukha Svanasana (up dog) was pushing it this morning, even my cobra was looking poorly sick. Still, my child pose is almost perfect.
Saturday 21st & Sunday 22nd April
Yoga London Weekend Four (or five if you count the Foundation course I did.) Exam sequence Yoga for breakfast. Fascia for lunch. Joints, cartilage and synovial fluid for tea, then teaching practice before home. Sunday was more breakfast yoga, fascia and even more fascia after morning break. We had spinal chords for lunch on Sunday with a side serving of psoas and various other muscles and RICE for afternoon tea. Then a couple of dollops more teaching practice before home. At home it was several glasses of wine and not much else. Maybe some chocolate.
Friday 20th April
When I was about eight years old, my Grandmother told me a secret. She said that time goes faster the older you get. I dismissed that as senility on her part (she was VERY old) as obviously everyone knows, even eight year olds, that that can’t be true. So, how come she was right? How can it possibly be the next Yoga London weekend so soon? Am I getting old? Or senile?
Thursday 19th April
Shirley – love her. She had us chanting, breathing, huffing, puffing and omming at class today. There were two new ladies I’ve never seen before – doubt I’ll ever see them again.
Wednesday 18th April
I am a daily practice Queen! I did the whole of the Exam sequence this morning – with the help of one of the cats who would insist on lying on the mat even after I had moved her four times. Eventually I got used to adjusting my Chatturanga Dandasana to Urdvha Mukha Svansana (Low Plank to Upward Facing Dog) so that my nose didn’t skim her bottom on the inhale.
Tuesday 17th April
I am thinking that I need to get out of bed and onto the mat… without going via the kitchen to make coffee, feed cats, empty the dishwasher, put a load of washing on, scoop up the post, read the post, check my emails….etc… otherwise this daily practice just ain’t gonna happen.
Monday 16th April
Tried a new class this morning. I liked the teacher, who sadly was a stand in, so I doubt she’ll be there again next week. I got some good tips for teaching – but buggered if I can remember them now.
Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th April
Sun Salutation Saturday. A & B. Lots of them. Felt a bit smug. Sunday evening, I receive an email from Luci at Yoga London outlining next weekend’s teacher training programme. Smug? Terrified more like.
Friday 13th April
Saw a cartoon today that depicts a woman in Lotus position. The caption says, “I meditate, I burn candles, I drink green tea – and I still want to smack some people”. I bet we all can relate to that. Now, I don’t meditate, nor do I like green tea. Have been known to burn a few candles in my time – and as for smacking people… well… that’s why I do Karate…
Thursday 12th April
Rocked up at a Shirley class this morning where I dared do my own Surya Namaskara A sequence when we were invited to do three rounds of Sun Salutations. We did lots of standing poses such as Uttanasana and Prasarita Padottanasana and Trikonasana. When I thought no one was looking, I let my eyes wander around the room, mentally adjusting some of the other pupils. I am starting to look with the eye of a teacher? Or do I just want to interfere?
wednesday 11th April
Not many people at class this morning. It’s ‘the holidays’. Told ya.
Tuesday 10th April
Yoga is always on my mind – if not always on the mat. So, even though I may not be physically practising, I do spent a great many of my waking hours agonising over Sanskrit pose names.
Monday 9th April
Easter Holidays. My mind easily justifies not doing anything as it’s ‘the holidays’. Although when my mind says anything, it really means yoga, as in reality, I am doing something. After a punishing hours dance fitness class tonight, making up for bank holidays and general over indulgence in all that is Easter – we did some Tadasana (mountain pose – that’s basically standing still with intention), Natarajasana, (dancers pose – perfectly fitting with the nature of the class I thought) and a more serious Utthita Parsvakonasana (side angle) during the cool down. That’s something.
Saturday 7th & Sunday 8th April
My weekend ingredients: Washing, three back to back dance classes, washing, Karate, more washing, a round trip to Leicester, even more washing, a walk in the rain and more damn washing. Not a Yoga pose in sight – apart from the ones that I was ‘sent’ by Facebook, which obviously only serve to make me feel more guilty than I already do. I must get back on that mat in the morning.
Friday 6th April
Read an article about not letting your practice become Showga. Moi? But just to be safe – I’ll stay away from the mat till my suntan is faded.
Thursday 5th April
I rang the gym this morning to see if there were any spaces for yoga. It was fully booked. Shame. I wanted to show off my tan.
Wednesday 4th April
A long and weary journey home where I was body searched three times before leaving Egypt and served up what looked like green Playdough on the plane as part of the vegetarian in-flight meal. Arrived home at almost midnight hungry, stiff and tired. Tipped the contents of the suitcases onto the kitchen floor ready for the Great Holiday Wash to begin tomorrow and went to bed.
Tuesday 3rd April
Last day of holiday, so all I did was work on perfecting my Savasana. It’s a hard life.
Monday 2nd April
So, while I imagined everyone in the UK to be gorging on left over Easter chocolate and enjoying a day of rest – there I was in the hotel gym doing Sun Salutations and more headstands – but only because I didn’t have any chocolate to gorge on. Left over or otherwise.
Saturday 31st March & Sunday 1st April
Took the teaching manual to the gym Saturday morning and while Charlotte flung more weights around, I actually got the poses in the standing sequence in the right order! On Sunday morning I joined in with the yoga class run by the hotel which was an interesting experience for everyone – including the teacher.
Friday 30th March
Popped my Ashtanga manual into my beach bag with the intention of doing some light reading whilst sunbathing. That was the plan anyway. Ooops.
Thursday 29th March
Yogi’ed like a pro this morning (really I did!) My daughter and I went to the hotel gym and while she flung weights around in a 40 minute circuit, I did my own modified version of a flow class, which included all the poses in the standing sequence albeit not necessarily in the right order. I did a headstand at the end – just to prove to Charlotte that I could. It’s not often a parent impresses a child.
Wednesday 28th March
Spent all day squashed into a variety of different seats all clearly designed to make travelling as miserable as possible and to force you into consuming overpriced alcohol or buying expensive perfume to dull the experience. Both of which I did. Finally arrived at the hotel and unravelled my sore body into Savasana. Bliss.
Tuesday 27th March
No Yoga today. I made a little pile of yoga things to take on holiday as I’m leaving tomorrow for a week in Egypt. I do plan to do absolutely nothing for a week of course, but maybe I might sneak in a few Surya Namaskaras when no one is looking.
Monday 26th March
Paying for being a show off yesterday. But in a good way, I guess. If you like DOMS and have a leaning towards masochistic tendencies.
Saturday 24th & Sunday 25th March
Weekend three of the Yoga London teacher training. I thought it particularly cruel that the clocks went forward this weekend at the start of British Summertime. The trainings are exhausting enough without losing an hour’s sleep! However, highlights of the weekend included both the yoga classes, the Yoga Nidra lecture and the Savasana adjustments. But – the best bit was the inversions lesson on Sunday. I got to demonstrate the headstand. I don’t care if you call me a show off.
Friday 23rd March
I set myself a spelling test today. Like an old fashioned school mistress back in the late 1960’s (yes, I’m that old). Ten Sanskrit pose names from the standing sequence. Good job there were no house points to be won is all I can say.
Thursday 22nd March
I’m beginning to feel quite benevolent towards Shirley. She has a sing song voice that sweet talks you into going further than you think you can. Today, she sweet talked us into a very challenging Upavistha Konasana (seated wide legged forward fold). I know the pose is not about how near the ground you can get your chest. Really, I know.
Wednesday 21st March
Went to class this morning where we did the weirdest set of poses in the most random order… flipping from standing to seated, back to standing again. Just when I thought it couldn’t get anymore weird, we did one of the hardest sequences of one legged balances I’ve ever done. My legs went purple with effort. First time they’ve ever matched my nail polish.
Tuesday 20th March
It’s four days before the next teacher training weekend and I am ill prepared. I don’t know the standing sequence in English, let alone Sanskrit, I still can’t inhale and step from down dog to warrior one in one breath and since I celebrated my one legged Ardha Padmasana – both my knees have hurt. Maybe I really am too old for all this.
Monday 19th March
Sometimes I wonder how I manage to fit in karate, dancing AND yoga. Maybe that’s the problem. I can’t.
Saturday 17th & Sunday 18th March
Not much yoga this weekend although there was plenty of dancing. However, I did manage a token set of Surya Namaskara A and B before dance exams Saturday morning – with script.
Friday 16th March
No yoga today. Although the meditation and breathing techniques came in very useful when my printer decided that today would be a good day to run out of ink, when I urgently needed to print off tomorrows dance exam timetables.
Thursday 15th March
Back to class today. Lovely. I have missed my beloved forward folds. My knees and hamstrings are a bit stiff from lack of use. But it make me think – funny how getting fit and flexible takes years – but getting unfit and unflexible takes about three days.
Wednesday 14th March
Made a start on learning the standing posture sequence today. At least in English as the Sanskrit still eludes me most of the time. My Padangusthasana is still mixed up with Prasarita Padottanasana which could also be Paschimottasasana or even Ardha Badda Padmottanasana – which I’m pretty sure isn’t actually in the standing sequence anyway.
Tuesday 13th March
Feeling better. Not quite better enough to down dog, but better enough to roll the mat out and watch a few online flow videos. Well, watching is better than nothing? Right?
Monday 12th March
A day spent much the same as the day before and the day before that. I am not even well enough to roll the mat out, let alone down dog on it.
Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th March
Spent the weekend in bed. If only that was exciting as it sounds. This must be what it feels like to be trampled by a herd of Wildebeests and left for dead.
Friday 9th March
Woke up in the night shivering, nasty headache, a temperature and a sore throat. At least that explains the aching joints and why I found the class so hard yesterday. Not impressed. Managed to drug myself up enough to teach classes today and then came home and went straight to bed. No yoga.
Thursday 8th March
Shirley class this morning, which I found extraordinarily tough. My shoulders and hips were aching by the end of the lesson. Went to work later and by the time I got home, I felt like I had done an extreme Boot Camp style workout and not yoga. Thought it was supposed to get easier?
Wednesday 7th March
Went to class this morning. There must be a conspiracy. This teacher also got her Warriors and her Side Angles mixed up. I’m still just breathing.
Tuesday 6th March
No proper yoga today. Apart from some Vrksasana, Prasarita Padottanasana, and Natarajasana during the warm ups in karate. Who would have thought that India and Japan would get on so well?
Monday 5th March
Go me! I did an online 35 minutes alignment sequence and then I went to class as well! The teacher annoyed me slightly when she got the names of the poses mixed up. No, I’m being kind – they were wrong. She kept calling Utthita Parsvakonasana (extended side angle pose) Warrior Two. Maybe next week if she does it again, I might say something. In the meantime, I’ll keep breathing.
Saturday & Sunday 3rd & 4th March
Snow. More snow. Even more snow. Managed a few Sun Salutations Saturday evening, which were surprisingly energising and warming. Then it snowed again. Me & my yoga mat do not like the cold weather. We are both stiff as a board.
Friday 2nd March
I haven’t done any dance or yoga classes since Tuesday. Snow Days have cost me almost a week wages. Beware any of you who are looking forward to being a self employed yoga teacher. The weather is enemy Numero Uno. Not only have I hardly earnt any money this week – these Bloody Snow Days have actually cost me £129 on the Sweaty Betty website (there’s a sale on), £89 on Amazon and then, there I was just browsing around, and next thing I know – I’ve bought a subscription to an online Yoga course…. I need to get back to work or I’ll be bankrupt by Friday week…
Thursday 1st March
Do you remember, ‘The dog ate my homework’ as an excuse for not doing it? I actually don’t have a dog, but I have lots of other reasons stored up ready to go that excuse me from my daily practice. Today’s excuse is snow. Bet you never thought of that one, eh?
Wednesday 28th February
You know what I want? What I really, really want? I want a video walk through of the Modified Primary Yoga London exam sequence, with all the exhales, inhales and transitions between the standing poses. That’s what I want.
Tuesday 27th February
I tried the standing section on my own today – and I was rubbish. Not a little bit rubbish. But a whole lot rubbish. I had to keep stopping to refer to my notes, putting my glasses on, and then I would forget they were on, so they would fall off whilst I was head down in Uttanasana, so then I have to stop again to look at my notes, put the glasses on again… and so it went on… it was enough to put me off forward folds… shocking!
Monday 26th February
I actually thought that I would be so tired by this morning, I wouldn’t even be able to do any yoga – even if I’d wanted to – which I actually thought I wouldn’t anyway – are you still with me? However, I didn’t feel tired and I did want to do yoga. So I did. Felt good.
Saturday & Sunday 24th & 25th February
Weekend Two of Teacher Training. I got up at 7am…that’s a challenge on it’s own for me. Several coffees later, I’m feeling a bit more yogi like. We did Standing Postures and teaching practice. The Universe likes to play with me. I particularly loathe reverse triangle posture – I’m now going to attempt to remember the name without the help of Google or rummaging through the flash cards… Parvitta Trikonasana…how did I do? Anyway, the point is – what do I get to teach on Saturday afternoon…..? You guessed it.
Ps. I just Googled it… my spechelling is rubbish!
Friday 23rd February
No Yoga today. However – I forgot to mention yesterday that during the relaxation & meditation at the end of the class – my resting heart rate (I have one of those Fitbit things with a HR monitor) went down to 43 beats per minute…. that’s practically dead, isn’t it?
Thursday 22nd February
A Shirley class today. She’s subtle but pushy. She says there is always more in yoga. She’s right. There was so much more today that I actually managed to get one foot into a passable Ardha Padmasana position today (Lotus) – which is a challenge for me as my knees normally protest when I try. Still, I bet there’s more. Next week I’ll try the other foot.
Wednesday 21st February
Home practice (yay!). I started with my own Sun Salutations and then unsuccessfully tried to follow an Ashtanga Modified Primary series video on Youtube. Gave up when everyone in the class gracefully folded into Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana (which is as impossible to do as it is to pronounce – believe me). Adriene to the rescue. A lovely 20 minute practice of mainly warrior and triangle based sequences. Almost as good as my beloved forward folds.
Tuesday 20th February
Luci (my 200 hour course leader) emailed today with some information on the coming weekend training – inducing slight panic, as my Sun Salutation script changes daily and I still can’t pronounce downward facing dog in Sanskrit without sound slightly Russian or even Japanese….. it’s still all Greek to me.
Monday 19th February
Actually couldn’t wait to get on the mat this morning. A small but perfectly formed class – with lots of standing balances and forward folds (my favourites!) I am now considering the possibility that because folding forwards and hanging upside down feels so natural to me – I may have been a bat in a former life.
Sunday 18th February
My day of rest. Well, apart from karate training, mountains of ironing, bed stripping and changing, emailing, cooking Sunday dinner and cleaning up cat sick.
Saturday 17th February
Feeling smug. Or chuffed. Or maybe just plain virtuous. I did a 40 minute Yoga for Self Discipline class with Adriene this morning. Let’s hope it works!
Friday 16th February
No Yoga. Although I did think about it. A lot.
Thursday 15th February
Yoga at 10:15. We lay down at the beginning of the class and were guided to ‘let go of our day so far’. I had to stop myself laughing as only got out of bed at 9:30. Still. Once we got going, it was an excellent Shirley type class – traditional and solid.
Wednesday 14th February
I went to another lunchtime class – I’m liking the timings this week so far and we did lots of opening the chest/heart type postures, which I thought was very appropriate, given that it is Valentines Day. The meditation/relaxation at the end was a guided visualisation, where I found myself on a quintessential palm fringed, white sandy beach on a warm summer day, where my yoga mat faced the ocean and I could hold a handstand for 30 minutes.
Tuesday 13th February
I fess. No Yoga today. Plenty of dancing, which was good, but then it all went downhill. Big queue at the bank and same at the post office. When I got back to my car – I couldn’t find my car park ticket, so I had to pay a full days stay. To round it all off – there was no heating in the Karate hall later, which makes for a miserable barefoot class. It was 4 degrees warmer outside.
Monday 12th February
Monday morning. Not my best time of day. Well. To be honest, I have never – all my life – and I’m 57 – liked getting up in the mornings. I have always secretly admired those people who seem to have no problem springing out of bed, bounding into the shower, effortlessly cooking a full English and taking the dog for a walk – all before 6am. Why can’t I? What’s wrong with me?
Anyway, the point of mentioning the above is to embrace the fact that today’s yoga class was at a civilised 12:30pm. Lovely class – lots of flow and standing balances. The teacher was quite slow and deliberate when she talked us in and out the poses, which I have filed away as I really liked that. Not lots of words, but clear and slow instructions. Bet she gets up at 6am….
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.