September 26, 2022
For the past 6 to 7 months, I have primarily been practicing yoga alone. I completed my 200-hour teacher training in early February and thought I might take on teaching a weekly yoga class with some of the friends and family who volunteered to participate in my practicum teaching. My primary student, my husband Nick, had to stop doing yoga all together, after an x-ray revealed severe lumbar stenosis and he was told to avoid bending at the waist, twisting or any back bends. Now, 7 weeks post op for the surgery to correct his lumbar issues, his surgeon still wants him to avoid yoga. So, my practice has continued to be a mostly solo one.
The best part of this solo practice is that I have had time to really notice how my body feels and responds to various sequences of asana. A few times a month, I have popped into other instructors’ classes at the gym, outdoors or at one of my favorite studios. What I am learning is that my body craves flow and that gentle yoga is my preferred style of yoga most of the time. I enjoy sun salutations and have gone back to my yoga manuals to experiment with variations of sun salutation sequences. My wrist still is problematic from time to time, so I listen to my body and add props or avoid chaturanga on days when my body asks, “what are you thinking?” when I try to put too much weight on my strained tendon. I also am working on strengthening the muscles needed to keep my right wrist and shoulder in alignment as I flow through poses.
Had I plunged straight into teaching a regular weekly class, I doubt I would have had time to fully assimilate the lessons of my training. I am now acutely aware of the need to listen to my body and to encourage my students to do so as well. I also believe I might have missed how important it is to offer the use of props and alternative approaches for students who are in my classes. Two weeks ago, when I started my weekly Mindful Monday lessons with my returning high school students, I polled them about what they liked best about our classes last year. Almost all of them preferred the yoga days and the conversations we shared about how to bring these practices home. As a response, I have included a 15-minute chair yoga session each week, that focuses on where many of them said they held tension: neck, shoulders, and wrists. We continue to open each week with a little pranayama, as well.
Fortunately, I have lots of time to continue reading and learning about yoga. I will forever be a student and I need to re-read all of the handouts and books that I obtained during my training so that I will absorb the content on a deeper level. I will be curious to see where this journey leads me next.
One thought on “My Recent Yoga Journey”
You are amazing, Brooke!