Thursday, 13 September 2012

 By your stumbling, the world is perfected. 
-Sri Aurobindo

Another sunny day in Vancouver.  I swear, the weather has been perfect since I arrived, despite the fact that Autumn is now in full swing.  I’ve taken full advantage of the sunshine to stretch my legs with long walks to iron out some of the kinks left over from last’s first class for my yoga teacher training program. 

YTT Day 1.  Things did not get off to a good start.  Despite giving myself a ridiculous amount of time to get to the Semperviva City studio by bus, I made a fatal error in judgement in trusting Google Maps.  The studio was NOT where Google pinpointed on a map of West Broadway.  I got off the bus too early, realised I had to walk another half dozen blocks, and only just arrived on time.  The City studio is a nice enough space; high ceilings, windows, wooden floors.  But the evening Power yoga class (the only public class we attend as a group for the YTT course) was rammed.  There are a lot of benefits in practicing yoga as a community, but we’re yogis, not sardines.  At one point, the girl in front of me even rolled back too far onto her shoulders and kicked me in the face as I was rising into a forward bend.  Sigh…

The class was all familiar to me and there were a number of both positive and negative about the teaching style.  Overall the practice was a good balance of Ashtanga influenced Vinyasa that kept me warm and was often challenging (ie leaping back into a push-up from a Crow balance… resulting in me falling on my face three times).  However, I was really not a fan of the teacher’s habit of getting us to twist from side to side when changing our front leg during the Sun Salute series and following standing asanas – ie you complete a set of the B series leading with your right leg, and then shuffle your feet so that you spin, facing the opposite direction, meaning that your left leg is now leading – rather completing a full Vinyasa before swapping sides. 

After the 50 million other students left for the evening, about 40 of us were left for the YTT orientation session.  I needn’t have worried.  There was plenty of LuluLemon being flashed around.  I’m not sure about being the only one who can’t do a handstand, but it’s pretty clear that the course has attracted a wide range of yogis, varying a lot in age and experience…. But not gender.  One solitary man is attending amongst a group of giggling women. 

We were laden with a back-breaking amount of reading material (how anybody does this in an intensive 30 day course I don’t know!) before the school’s founder sat us down to talk to us about the program.  The rules were clear – do the homework, 100% attendance, attend one additional Hatha class outside of the schedule – or you fail.  No pressure then.  She also mentioned the V word…which I had been dreading.  But at least she said she didn’t expect us all to suddenly become vegetarian overnight.  Another great concern of mine coming into the course had been how much of an emphasis they would put on a vegetarian or even vegan diet.  It’s not that I’m unprepared to make changes to my diet and lifestyle… but I’m really not keen to give up fish and chocolate and wine and caffeine… We’ll see. 

For now, I have 10 BILLION pages of reading to do. 

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