Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Part of my yoga school training is to take 3 classes per week and observe once class.  Last week I observed a class for the first time.  I have to be honest, it made me sleepy.  No it wasn't boring, but I love practicing yoga.  To watch yoga is something totally different.  Today's class that I observed was a challenging class and I didn't get to participate so that was a my challenge.  All in all it was a good experience because it makes me aware of what things I need to be observing and adjusting in my classes when I begin to teach.

I know that people teach differently.  My teacher does hands on adjustments.  Not all yoga teachers do that.  I actually appreciate the hands on adjustments, but not everyone will.  Some teachers get next to the student and demonstrate the posture to them if they are having challenges, and others simply talk the class through the postures.  I think that I will do a bit of all three.

This is a new week.  I have 3 classes to take (Taking one today at 5:15 @ Irene's Myomassology Institute) and one to observe.  I'm thinking about observing a Kundalini Yoga class soon @ Yoga Troy.

Dedicated to knowing subject

In yoga school yesterday we all were given the opportunity to pull a tab that had a principle thought or inspiration from Mr. Iyengar's book "The Tree of Yoga".  There were things like commitment, building confidence in your students, strength etc.  Mine was dedicated to knowing subject.  Initially my first thought was going in deep with yoga, studying the scriptural texts reading all of my assignments and having a deep understanding of the body of knowledge of yoga  asanas and the sacred texts. While that does fit the topic and certainly fits my all in, balls to the wall personality there's more to it than meets the eye.  What started to be revealed the more that I practiced while that little card sat next to my mat was...... You are the subject Ellyn.....You must dedicate yourself to knowing you!  By becoming completely in touch and in tune with my own body, it will help me to gain clarity and insight in to the bodies of others as I begin to teach.  I feel very fortunate to have a background in the healing arts. Through Massage, I already have an eye for honing in on postural imbalances so I am sure that I am able to observe and assist others through yoga as well.

The most important "subjects" will be my students.  As a teacher people will come to me expecting guidance. I have to be able to guide them through their practice and remind them of what they are here to do, that is, to join the body and mind so that they become one seamless flow.  That effort will begin with the breath.  I have found in my own practice that when I allow my breath to guide my movement, rather than the movement leading the breath, I am much more aware of just being present with every asana.  The mind becomes calm, I am not thinking about the laundry, or the time or any other distracting thought that would come up if I were not focusing on my breath.

Hmmmm.... I think I'll write more about that in a blog to come.

Just know that if you are ever in one of my classes I will be honored that you have intrusted me to help you along the way on your yogic journey.  With a humble heart I will joyfully serve.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

First day

Excitedly I arrived at yoga teacher school extra early for my first day.  My teacher is someone that I respect and consider a friend. I feel totally honored to be taking this journey with her at the helm of my ship.  There are 11 soon to be yoga teachers sharing this experience. Though we are together, each persons path is truly solitary. This morning we were fully immersed in challenging asanas. In the mid afternoon our minds were stimulated with a yoga discourse on the history and types of yoga. For me the discourse was not new but a reawakening of all that I've been exposed to and assimilated over my 10 years of raja yoga study and practice. Friday begins our retreat at Song of The Morning Ranch (a yoga retreat center). We will delve further  into the study and practice of yoga and developing/designing a personal practice.  This weeks homework is to finish the book "The Yoga of Eating" and complete a 1 page exposition on what stood out to me in the text. The coming week will be full of practicing, observing, journaling and reflecting.  Yoga is not only a destination it truly is a journey. Thank you for joining me on the path!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Vinyasa Krama, Chitta Vritti Nirodha, and Yoga Abhyasa: Yoga Elitist

Vinyasa Krama, Chitta Vritti Nirodha, and Yoga Abhyasa: Yoga Elitist: "I have growing fears that I may be a yoga elitist. Let me explain: I am currently teaching yoga in a gym. Recently, I went to a conference o..."

Absorbing & assimilating

I will be starting yoga teacher school on Sunday.  I know that this is going to be a life altering journey and quite an experience so I think I'm going to share my experiences over the next four months here.

Smrti: (Memory, the holding fast of the impressions of objects that one has experienced) There are people who live in their past experiences, even though the past is beyond recall. Their sad or happy memories keep them chained to the past and they cannot break their fetters. ~Light on Yoga, B.K.S. Iyengar (pg 23)

My thoughts on this:
Past does not necessarily mean 10 - 15 years ago.  Can we let go of pain caused right here and now in this moment? Each passing moment is the past. Do we hold on to the past clinging to it as if our pain is some badge of honor? Is the clinging is hurting anyone other than ourselves?

Starting Yoga School Tomorrow

My mind is all abuzz with what is to come tomorrow. Yoga school begins. I've almost finished with my reading assignments. My books are:

Light on Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar
Light on Pranayama by B.K.S. Iyengar
The Tree of Yoga B.K.S. Iyengar
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by Sri Swami Satchidananda
The Yoga of Eating by Charles Eisenstein
Hatha Yoga Pradipika by Swami Mukitibodhananda
Yogabody By Judith Lasater
The Bhagavad Gita by Paramahansa Yogananda