Yin and LifeForce Yoga Teacher Training in May 2018
Last month I was lucky enough to travel to Vancouver Canada and Tuscon Arizona USA to attend two more Yoga teacher trainings. Both of these trainings had been on my list for sometime now.
I will always be a student, so I soak up as much knowledge as a I can when given the chance! Not that yoga teacher trainings are the only avenue for this, but they are one avenue.
Vancouver saw me at Semperviva Sea Studio spending a week with over 40 other enthusiastic Yin Yogis studying with world renown yin yoga and anatomy expert Bernie Clark and his long term colleague Diana Batts. Bernie Clark has given so much to the yoga community with his studies in the science of yin and yoga anatomy. His website yinyoga.com is the arguably the most comprehensive website on yin yoga in the world and one of the most comprehensive on yoga itself.
This training reinforced the need to teach functionally due to every single person in the world being unique. Rather than assuming that everyone should be given the same alignment instructions in a pose, look the same in the pose and forcing them to adhere to these instructions even if they find it painful or simply can’t get their body to do it! It’s reinforced me to lose the dogmatic application of aesthetic alignment me and asking a student how they are feeling and where are they feeling it, if I see something that I might think is unsafe and. For instance, the ‘W sitting position’ (Virasana) was discussed and one of the yogis there could easily stay in this pose wither her feet pointing outward and could easily bring her feet further away from her knees. Most yoga teachers would be horrified about this and would order her to come out of the pose as she will injure herself. Bernie asked her how it felt, and she said fine, it feels natural! This is because this yogi had a large range of internal rotation in the femur and no twisting at the knee was required to get into this position. Does this mean everyone could do this? No and that includes me, I have better external rotation than internal rotation in the femur.
The answer to things is seldom black and white, which is why Bernie’s answer was often ‘yes, no, maybe, it depends’. This quote from Paul Grilley was instilled in me during the training:
‘Always is always wrong. Never is never right.’
After just under a week of rest and sightseeing in Atlanta. I flew to the desert where I was surrounded by cactus trees and rattle snakes!
Ever since reading Amy Weintraub’s first book Yoga for Depression I wanted to study with her and become a LifeForce Yoga practitioner. I was lucky enough to do this in Melbourne a couple of years a go where the passion for this field of yoga adapted specifically to meet and balance the mood grew!
The course was run by Rose Kress who is the owner and director of LifeForce yoga (since 2016) and another yoga therapist called Randy Todd. Amy came in one of the days to guest teach before flying off to the other side of the country to facilitate another training session. I came out of the course with more awareness of trauma specific yoga teaching, LifeForce Yoga and increased self confidence in my own teaching and knowledge as a yoga teacher. It meant the world to me when Rose Kress said to me ‘you know more than you think you know’ and ‘you’re a beautiful teacher’.
Both courses gave me confidence in my abilities as I was given positive feedback in both of these courses, which brought this thought to mind:
‘Surround yourself with people who lift you up, instead of people who knock you down.’