Going back to school!
So, it's official! I've been accepted into a 240 hour yoga teacher training program that I've been drooling over for the better part of this year.
While my correspondence course with Aura Wellness Center gave me the foundation, this course will springboard me forward into the future I envision for myself as a Fat Yoga Teacher.
When I first realized that what I wanted was to share with others what I have experienced from yoga, I was terrified. I was (relatively) new to the concept of Body Positivity and had experienced this major transformation through my Yoga practice. I realized that to share my passion for yoga with others would bring me so much joy. But, I wasn't sure I would feel comfortable teaching. I wasn't sure.
The correspondence course gave me an affordable way and realistic way to start down the path. I earned my certification and my yoga knowledge grew significantly, but I also found that I was lacking the benefits of in-person instruction. I began attending Yoga Teacher development workshops and found rapid growth there. The real-life interactions with other teachers and fellow yogis and yoginis helped me much more than the material from the correspondence course had.
Through the workshops, I began to experience different teacher's teacher-training "style" and found myself drawn to a particular program. Since it offers part time hours, I can keep my office job while I attend the course, which is a major benefit. It's accredited and tax-deductible (yay!), but most importantly - it is not branded.
I'd found myself really reluctant to take a teacher training program for a branded yoga methodology, such as Bikram's, Anusara, and other varieties. What I wanted was a solid foundation in Yoga instruction that was customizable. So much of what I do with Yoga is outside the box. There are not many fat yoga teachers and my 'style' of Yoga is, by necessity, very different. I needed a teacher training program that wasn't going to try to shove me in a mold. The program I'd found described the approach as "Open Source". Which is, essentially, what I need in a teacher training program.
As you can see, it's exactly the sort of program that someone like me needs! So, I applied for the program and was recently accepted.
It's going to be an interesting winter for me. I work my day job Monday through Friday 7:30-4:30. School will be Friday's 5-9pm and then all day Saturday & Sunday. I managed to work out an arrangment with the day job to take half-day Friday's during the program, but even still - it's going to be pretty darn busy! :)
Yoga Bears starts back up in September as well. I'm so excited to get back into the studio and teach the Bears. They're such a fantastic group. It's also going to be really great being able to work with them throughout my training program, where I can practically apply the things that I learn, as I learn them. Talk about win-win!
Once I complete this training program, I'll be working full-speed to get a Body Positivity Yoga class series going, hopefully at a local studio or community centre!
I can't wait!!
A Parable of Fat's Creation
One of my teachers, Ariel Pavic, pointed me in the direction of Gil Hedley's work recently, and I had the great pleasure of reading his article, "How I Fell in Love with Fat" which was published in Spirituality and Health magazine in the winter of 2007.
The article was heady and wonderful, written from the perspective of an intellectual who sees the magic in the human body. His work is unique, unlike anything I've ever seen. He offers workshops and seminars that intersect biology and energy. And in this article, he talks about the wonders of the layer of fat in the human body - of adipose tissue.
I wasn't sure what I was going to think at first, but as I read the article, I discovered that what he was describing was beautiful.
Fat is not just something we "put up with" in our bodies. No, fat does so much more than that. It serves a purpose, multiple purposes and, as Dr. Hedley points out in his article, it is what creates the body's unique shape, especially in women.
How amazing to realize that what makes us look like us and not near clones of one another is the very thing we are so constantly at war with.
It was profound and wonderful to look at fat as a living organ of the body with a biological, and spiritual purpose.
When I read his "Parable of Fat's Creation" he'd written for the article, I was dumbstruck. It so poignantly spoke to the beauty of fat, and made me think about my body in a completely different way. I transposed his words onto the image he'd chosen for his article to share with you all. The combination of this wonderful image by Richard Wilkinson (an image I've loved for some time) and Dr. Hedley's Parable make a powerful combination.
I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I have!
Life as a Teacher in Training
Phew! It's sure been a while since I've posted here but life has been C-R-A-Z-Y in all the fabulous ways that life so often is.
For starters, my studies are going well. I am rapidly discovering that I have heavy leanings towards becoming a major anatomy geek. I just love finding out so much about exactly how yoga moves our bodies! In particular, what I find really amazing is a really simple concept - we all have the same parts!
How cool is that? I mean, underneath my size 18, curvaceous body are all the exact same muscles, bones, organs (mostly, I mean - I am missing my tonsils and gall bladder), and nervous system any other woman! There's something really amazing about that and Yoga. It just solidifies for me all the reasons why Yoga can be so beneficial to you regardless of your size or shape. And you know what else is absolutely amazing about the human body? Even while we share the same "parts", for reasons that as far as I can tell are not clear, each individual person's anatomy is unique as well. Everything works approximately the same way but you might have a larger or smaller, longer or shorter bone in one place in your body than someone else. Each person's muscles are different lengths and shapes depending on where they are most developed. It's pretty amazing to think that just as we are all the same, we are also all different - which underscores, again, the importance of listening to your body!
Yoga activates parts of our body that we often rarely activate on a day to day basis. Twists stimulate our digestive system. Poses that bring our chins to our chest stimulates our thyroid gland. And those are just two examples! Yoga and Anatomy = awesome.
In addition to being really into my studies right now, there are other exciting developments in the way that my future business as a Yoga Teacher is taking shape.
As I begin to network and reach out into the communities I can best serve, I have realized that Curvaceous Woman Yoga, while very exciting - isn't quite complete! :-) In this realization, I intend to create a Gender Neutral/Queer-Friendly class offering when I begin my classes, if there is enough interest. I also am feeling drawn to offer a class for men as well.
Another exciting devleopment coming up is that I hope to offer one or two free sample classes to the greater community (all genders, shapes/sizes welcome) for those who are willing to participate in a video-recorded class. The reason for the video is to provide a medium for my own Teacher to critique and offer additional coaching and feedback on my teaching. :) Location will likely be South Vancouver or Burnaby. If you are interested in participating in this, please let me know!