YTT – Observations

To obtain our YTT 200 Hour certificates we have to practice teach for 10 hours, and we also have to observe other certified teachers for 10 hours.  I began my observation hours today by watching Shannon, one of the co-owners of Indigo, the studio at which I’m doing my YTT training.

I go to Shannon’s vinyasa class almost every Wednesday night and Saturday morning.  These classes are very energetic and challenging – exactly the kind of yoga on which I thrive.  However, during YTT Shannon talks often about his lunch-time class, and it sounded like a totally different ball game – a bit slower paced and not quite as intense. As a beginner teacher, I think I will feel most comfortable teaching a slower-paced, more beginners-type class, so I wanted to check this out.

I took today off since I had YTT this weekend – I needed a catch-up day.  So I went to the noon class at Indigo and watched Shannon. I learned so much!

1.  First of all, I was amazed by the capabilities of the crowd.  I would say that at least 50%-75% of the class was past 60 years-old, but Man!  They were a flexible, sociable, impressive bunch of yogis.  Several of them were way more bendy than me, and they had flawless form.

2.  The “feel yourself grown taller through the crown of the head” cue is amazing.  Whenever Shannon used it (in Mountain Pose or Vira I or II), I literally saw everyone grow an inch taller.  Take that, gravity!

3.  People are happy doing yoga.  Everyone seemed happy to be in that space, there with their friends, taking care of their bodies, doing something good for their flesh and spirit.

4.  It’s easier to see bad alignment when you are looking at a group of people versus just one person.  It provides comparison, which is very helpful.

5. I at least have *some* good instincts.  One woman looked as if her knee was bothering her. I wanted to give her a blanket for some extra padding, but I didn’t want to interfere with the class.  Eventually Shannon came over and gave her a blanket.  Validation!  I was right. 🙂

6. I wrote down all the asanas that Shannon used, and I’m going to borrow his sequence and use it as a template for some practice teaching.  The sequence I have been using is made up of poses I am very comfortable with – asanas that are pretty easy for me to explain. I’ve been shying away from using poses that are a bit more complicated. Borrowing Shannon’s sequence will help bust me out of that comfort zone.

So one hour down, 9 to go. I plan on observing at least 5 different teachers.  I think it will be really interesting to examine everyone’s styles.

Next Wednesday I start practice teaching a real class at Indigo – eeeeeeek!  Technically one of my co-YTTers will be the primary teacher, and I will be the assistant. It’s still nerve-wracking though!  I’m excited and super nervous.  I hope I don’t pass out. 🙂

Take care, have a most excellent evening. 🙂

An experiment with Sprinting

Everywhere I turn, I see an article about the benefits of interval training.  Off and on I will do some sprint intervals, but I haven’t gotten very focused with it.  I’ll do maybe one interval session per month.  Well, my monthly interval session came due on Wednesday, so Tim and I and a friend headed out to the bike bath.

We walked about 10 minutes before our first sprint.  For the first sprint we ran all-out for 15 seconds.  We walked until we got our breath back and then repeated the 15 second sprints 5 more times.  I think we were back home within 30-40 minutes.

I did not warm up as I should, and with my first sprint, I felt a knot in the top of my quad.  But I powered through, which could have been really stupid. By the time I got home, it felt like a rock was lodged in my leg. I spent the rest of the evening rolling it out with the foam roller.

The next day I felt pretty good.  The day after that was PAINFUL.  My quads!  Oh my God, my quads!  So sore.  But day 3 hit, which was Saturday.  I was on fire!  Just look at all this stuff I did: 1 hr 15 minute vinyasa yoga class, made home-made beef bone broth, rendered 2 quarts of tallow, baked Chunky Monkey muffins, roasted root veggies, walked 3.5 miles while listening to the The One you Feed podcast, cleaned up all the leaves from the front yard, cut all the stalks from last year’s prairie grasses, cleaned out the herb bed, took a shower, tried to go shopping for clothes (the stores were annoyingly busy), stocked up on staples from Target, and then went out with Tim for supper at Brix (they have a pretty good gluten-free pizza crust).  Let me see….yep. I think that’s about everything.

So maybe it’s because it’s Spring, and it’s actually warm and sunny. Or maybe it’s because I was full of human growth hormone from the sprints on Wednesday! I need to monitor my energy levels on Day 3 next time we do sprints and see if the pattern repeats.

And there you have my sprint story. Riveting, eh??

Moving on to a little recipe review – I tried two new ones this week:

Gluten-Free Buffalo Chicken Meatballs –  These were pretty good, but we used Habanero Louisiana Hot Sauce.  As a result, they were literally insanely spicy.  They gave me a stomach ache the first night I ate them, and they gave Tim a stomach ache when he ate them for leftovers.  I want to try them again though, but use a much milder hot sauce.

Pork Chops with Apples – I have always loved pork chops and applesauce, so I had to try this recipe. I would say it turned out good, but it’s not as good as my favorite pork chop recipe.  Plus, this dish is just not that pretty!  It’s very beige. I won’t make this again.

The roasted root veggie recipe I linked to above is a definite keeper though. This makes a huge pan of roasted veggies which is great for easy leftovers. We sautéed some of the leftovers for breakfast yesterday and topped them with crispy over-easy eggs, then we had more leftovers for supper last night. I bloomed some spices (marjoram, coconut sugar, salt, sage, red pepper flakes, cloves) in olive oil and then added ground pork. Once the pork was browned, we mixed it with the leftovers. So tasty yet easy.  I’m going to have some of that for breakfast this morning. 🙂

Hope you had a good, healthy weekend and were able to get outside and enjoy the gorgeous weather. Tim and I made up for our insanely productive Saturday by having a very relaxing Sunday.  We did a little 12 mile bike ride, had a couple of drinks, and then sat outside by a fire for a few hours.  It was perfect.