My Yoga Teacher Training — Diving Into Yoga Philosophy and Practice Teaching

Hi there, I’m Mei! Welcome to part 2 of my yoga teacher training diary series, where I share with you everything I’ve learned and how my yoga teacher training at Jiva Yoga Saigon absolutely changed my life.

Did you miss part 1? Do not worry; you can read the previous parts and get caught up by clicking below. Ready? Let’s get started!

My Introduction to Ayurveda & Yoga Philosophy

If you had asked me what Ayurveda was prior to my teacher training, you’d get a grunt and an indifferent look. I was aware that Ayurveda is a term that means “science of living,’ but I was unsure what it meant.

I am grateful to Massimo Barberi, who was our instructor for the remote class from Norway. He is an accredited Ayurvedic practitioner and yoga instructor. I gained a lot from him, and he instructed us with a smile and enthusiasm.

We were taught that Ayurveda helps to maintain health by paying to the balance of your diet, life, and daily routine. There are three different energy sources known as ‘doshas’ present in our bodies and our minds: pitta, vata, and the Kapha. That’s why we’re all different in our way. We even did the dosha test to determine the predominant energy in our body.

Massimo said that our lives may be a mixture of energies, and we could make lifestyle and dietary choices to create a balance in our doshas. We also learned what it takes to be able to regulate our doshas, which could assist us in enhancing our yoga practice and tailoring it to suit our particular requirements.

My predominant dosha type is vata. The Vata characteristics I associate with include anxiety poo,r circulation not, sleeping enough, dry skin, a passion for traveling, and a love for oily foods. It was fascinating to figure out the things and habits that could throw me off balance and then how I can combat these by remaining at a comfortable temperature, being relaxed, and retaining the same routine.

Meditation, Chakras, and Learning Healing Techniques

After a period of meditation that lasted for around a week, I found myself more in the present and then discovered that inner peace that I’d been missing. At any moment, there are hundreds and one things whirling around my mind that prevent me from finding peace. I tend to get bored, after which I give up and wander into the room…or even look at the clock.

I was looking to be more mindful and at peace with my daily life. I realized this meant I had to meditate regularly. Since ‘vata’ is my principal dosha according to this Ayurvedic concept, I was aware that this would be a challenge for me since I tend to be very energetic and physically as well as mentally tense. Meditation is a must for me to reduce everyday anxiety and improve my clarity.

Suzanne Vian, Our instructor trainer, was informing us throughout the week about a special guest instructor, Suzanne Reppe, coming from Oslo, Norway, to cover meditation and healing techniques. We were all extremely pleased to meet Suz, or as we referred to Suz, as we called her. Suz is an expert healer, and she taught us some extremely effective healing and meditation techniques that we could employ for our students as well as at home to keep our focus.

We were introduced to the seven major chakras or energy centers, that control how energy flows into as well as out of the body. One of the sessions that I found to be awe-inspiring was when she explained how to ease tension in the solar plexus, which is the region below the ribs that runs in the abdomen.

We gathered with a friend and performed a hand-overhand scooping motion to pull our partner’s back cage toward us. Within a matter of seconds, I noticed my shoulders dropping while my arms and muscles relaxed. Crazy! I’m always nervous on my shoulders!

The practice of meditation was my absolute favorite. Suz instructed us to come together in the middle of the room. Here, we sat in chairs and created circles. With a calm voice, she advised us to shut our eyes. In the following 15-20 minutes, she guided us through a profound meditation that helped us draw the energy we required from the universe via our chakras and eliminate unneeded energy.

I truly believe that this method has proved extremely helpful to me as I examine myself, be in the present, and remain neutral in times of need to make a difficult choice.

Here We Go — Teaching Our First Yoga Class!

When Suzanne said that our class for community members was scheduled for the coming week, my heart pounded slightly faster. We were going to teach two courses each, and one would be a 45-minute hour class that would include friends and others in the local community. I was not quite prepared yet! I felt like I needed more time in order to get there. However, Suzanne promised us that we’d learn how to create the sequence of yoga together in a group.

She explained that creating an exercise routine is similar to creating a work of art. Sometimes, you want to add more elements to it, and in the end, you may not be completely satisfied with the result. But what’s most crucial is to relax and go for it!

After defining and drafting an hour-long class using the whiteboard, we split the sequence into sections and were given a specific part. I received the first sequence, which is ‘grounding’ and a part of the warm-up.

I was extremely anxious all week in the lead-up to my lesson. I jotted down all the indications and variations for each pose, then practiced my sequence repeatedly as well as the whole class with my group.

The day I attended the course, I was quite happy. I did a few pranayamas. It was a very relaxing (and efficient!) way to relax the nerves. My class was grateful and took the present moment exactly as it was.

When the students started to settle on their mats and began to pay, it was a fantastic moment for me to stand at the front of the class and introduce myself. This is the way I’ve witnessed and observed yoga instructors do many times before. In a matter of minutes, I felt as if I was at ease.

The feedback I received from Suzanne was extremely positive and inspiring! She said I have a soft voice, and the cues I use are right. I was ecstatic after hearing this and was full of smiles. I began to think, wow…maybe I can really achieve this. I could even teach yoga!

In the following class, I noticed my confidence growing, and I was prepared for the next course in the community. When I finished everything, I was extremely satisfied with myself and every person I met as a student in the class.

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