YTT Announcement

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Hello, lovelies! I hope this finds you having a beautiful week!

I wanted to let you know that I have decided to postpone the January-June  200 hour teacher training at Prana Yoga Center.  Last year’s training was so wonderful and I loved every single second of it. I could not have dreamt of a more incredible and inspiring group of people, or a more perfect space.  The course and the manual exceeded any hopes that I had, and I feel very proud of the training and new teachers!

Since graduation, I have been working on editing and creating new formats for the Aligned Flow training.  Even though I had set the dates, I haven’t been putting it out there as much, and I have to admit that it just does not feel like the right time. I hope that those of you who are interested in the teacher training will check back as I will be announcing new training dates as soon as I have all of the pieces together!

I feel very excited about what is in store for Aligned Flow in the coming year! Stay tuned for some exciting news!

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2014 Aligned Flow 200 Hour Teacher Training Dates Are Announced!

The Aligned Flow 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training Graduates!

The Aligned Flow 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training Graduates!

2013 Graduates!

The dates for Aligned Flow’s 200 Hour Teacher Training are up!

Check out all of the information here!

“Yoga teacher training was the most enjoyable challenge I have ever taken on. I could not imagine a better investment of time and energy. The benefits of this training will last the rest of my life.”

-Recent Aligned Flow Graduate-

Commencement: Part 2

…..continued from Commencement: Part 1

3. Philosophy and Ethics. Then you introduce aspects of thought that are philosophical which means, really no one entirely agrees, and they bring up some awesome aspects of what it means to be a human being. Here you will learn how to say pa-TAHN-ja-li and not pa-tahn-JA-li (hopefully) , learn about the kleshas, the 8 Limbs, and lots about your own mind and perspective as well as how to apply the Golden Rule (and lots of Sanskrit philosophy) to  your teaching. You also learn about yoga’s past which involves a lot of names that (if you are not careful) people confuse with styles of yoga, posture names, and breathing techniques.

4. Lifestyle. Ayurveda and the doshas, self care. How to live your yoga so that you are teaching from a place of authenticity and not just spouting out things that make you sound impressive yet have nothing to do with the way you think, speak, and live outside of class.

5. Special Populations. Here you will learn about different health conditions and diseases. You will also learn about Pre-natal yoga and how and when certain postures can or cannot be practiced. You will learn chair yoga, restorative yoga, go over how to use props and add in a bunch of fancy prop variations and combine everything you’ve learned so far to design therapeutics classes.

6. Business. How to join your passion and your work, and how to market yourself yogically. This is mulit-tiered and not as simple as it sounds.

7. Mantras and meditation. Chanting in Sankrit, turning your attention inward, and connecting with the one energy that connects us all. Easy Peasy. 🙂

8. Intelligent Sequencing. How to structure and seamlessly weave postures (in Sankrit) together that make sense and leave your students prepared for the challenging postures you ask them to do. This also includes neutralizing and countering the postures so everyone leaves feeling balanced. Here you might also talk about how to sequence music to support your class.

…and many other things.

These are the things that you teach. Of course, as you offer all of these left brained facts and material to your students, you are (at least I am) secretly hoping that your students are gaining much more than this. You want them to learn how to really observe and support themselves and others. You try to offer all of this, as well as small experiential tidbits that you try to dole out in a non-overwhelming pace. You want them to see their brilliance and their individuality as well as how we really are all connected. You hope they will have confidence as well as humility and open minds.

You also want to offer them a clear, informative, and complete manual (which will probably be upward of around 300 pages). This particular manual was a complete dream (in terms of format),  by the incredible photography of James VanZetta, and artistic graphic design brilliance of Lisa Valenti. They turned my ideas into a tangible dream. It literally makes me tear up when I open it.

Sitting here at the end of it all, I can honestly say that I am so proud of how it all went. The day before graduation found me redesigning the graduation certificate (okay, that was really Alex) after looking at the same one for 6 months, I decided it wasn’t good enough right before I had to hand them out, cooking and baking for the closing party, sewing eye pillow for restorative, and recording a cd of mantras in Sanksrit (which is a good study tool, but when I think of recording myself singing all I can do is laugh), and I wouldn’t change it for anything.

I have employed every skill that I have (and most certainly some that I don’t have) in this teacher training. I feel tired, proud, and humbled. I can’t wait to take all of the new teacher’s classes and to continue to be a part of their lives. I also canNOT wait to do it all again next year.

Commencement: Part 1

com·mence·ment  (k-mnsmnt)

n.  1. A beginning; a start.

“Every ending is also a beginning. That is why they call graduation commencement.”

Michael K. 2013 Aligned Flow  200 Hour Teacher Training Graduate

The above is just one of the quotables from  the past 6 months in teacher training. Many more of these quotes were printed out and sewn into a giant blanket that is one of the most thoughtful gifts I have ever received.  This weekend was the official closing of the training. That means 200 hours of training plus countless more of practice teaching, studying and homework outside of class. I was blessed by each and every person who chose to give their energy, time, and resources to this training.  I was definitely spoiled with this group of brilliant people, and am genuinely so proud of each one of them that I could burst.

There is something so incredible about the struggle that one willingly subjects oneself to in pursuit of a dream. The decision in each moment to keep going amidst challenges, to pick up, laugh it off and start over, and to stand in the present willing to witness and really see more and more of yourself in order to become more authentic and reflect more light into the world is (a run on sentence, and also) definitely the biggest honor of my job as a yoga instructor. It is unspeakably profound and humbling.

Over the past six months, but especially as I have been wrapping it up over the past few weeks, I have been reflecting on the process of leading a teacher training. If you love yoga and dare to take on the daunting and, again humbling, practice of teaching other yoga students how to teach yoga, you really need to be able to practice yoga and laugh at yourself. You need to acknowledge all that you don’t know and organize what you do know so that it fits into 200 hours (I know it sounds like a lot, but honestly it’s not), and make it digestible and not overwhelming, yet give them a solid foundation so that they can feel confident going out and standing in front of a room of students sharing their passion which has now also become their business.

Among others here is a list of things involved in a 200 hour teacher training:

1. Teaching your students the postures (asanas) which involves:

A. Teaching an ancient language that no one speaks anymore (Sanskrit), pronouncing it right  (AH-sah-na, not ah-SAH-na), and being able to explain what it means.

B. Teaching anatomy in enough depth so students know what you are talking about and can refer to it to understand why these postures are beneficial and make them safe. This involves, of course, another dead language that no one speaks anymore (Latin), which you also want them to understand and pronounce correctly.

C. Alignment Cues. Teachers need to be able to get their students into postures using words. These words should give students the foundation of each posture, offer a safe transition into and out of the pose, protect the risk factors, and allow students a personal experience of the practice, all while instructing breath and not saying too much or too little and throwing some of the ancient languages in. You must also know how to make each posture easier, more difficult, and what the benefits and contraindications are.

D. Adjustments. How to touch people in an helpful (not creepy) way.

2. Pranayama. The breath is central to the practice of yoga. Hopefully you can instruct in a way that encourages students to befriend their breath. From there, you can instruct breathing techniques that cool, heat, balance, still the mind, and either energize or relax the body. These are also in Sanksrit and involve a certain amount of understanding of many other aspects of yoga that are also in Sanskrit: Prana, Nadis, Bandhas, Kumbhakas, Chakras, and Vayus to name a few.

….to be continued.