• Aoife McHugh

That February Flow: Becoming a Yoga Teacher: Module 2

๐Ÿฏ ๐—ง๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด๐˜€ ๐—œ ๐—Ÿ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—™๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—บ ๐— ๐—ผ๐—ฑ๐˜‚๐—น๐—ฒ ๐—œ๐—œ

There is nothing quite like a three day yoga course to get a gal out of a little rut! January, as a month, gets a reception as rigid as the season it resides in. However, this year, for me, it was the absolute best! My Mam and Dad were over to visit and I embraced tour guide life like *Francis Brennan himself. As with all things in life, they always draw to an end. Time has a par-tick-ularly pesky habit of running out. This left me a little homesick, luckily, getting back on my mat was just the trick.

*Elderly, enthusiastic and endearing Irish Tour Guide. Google him for a mood boost.ย  ๐”พ๐•–๐•ฅ ๐•ฅ๐•™๐•’๐•ฅ ๐•ค๐•ก๐•š๐•Ÿ๐•– ๐•š๐•Ÿ ๐•๐•š๐•Ÿ๐•–

When it comes to warming up, one place should be at the forefront of your mind, the spine. The spinal spectrum moves in six directions and there are so many poses to add a little yay to your vertebrae! The movements are extension (arching the spine as in cow pose) flexion (rounding the spine as in cat pose), axial rotation (twist on both sides) and lateral movement (side-bends, left and right).ย 

๐•๐• ๐•ฆ ๐•’๐•ฃ๐•– ๐• ๐•Ÿ๐•๐•ช ๐•’๐•ค ๐•ช๐• ๐•ฆ๐•Ÿ๐•˜ ๐•’๐•ค ๐•ช๐• ๐•ฆ๐•ฃ ๐•ค๐•ก๐•š๐•Ÿ๐•– ๐•š๐•ค ๐•—๐•๐•–๐•ฉ๐•š๐•“๐•๐•– -๐•๐• ๐•ค๐•–๐•ก๐•™ โ„™๐•š๐•๐•’๐•ฅ๐•–๐•ค

Yes, this chap invented Pilates AND he was born in 1883. Clearly, refining our spinal alignment goes way back. Think about how the pages of a book are held together. When the spine is out of line, the pages come loose. Similarly, when your back is out of whack, everything else falls out of place. The spine is known as the cranio-sacrel highway (head to tailbone) so it is important that we wake it up every day. Laptop tapping means many people spend their days in Quasimodo mode so it is vital that we loosen, lengthen and lubricate the spine whenever we have time. Top tip: Engage the inner thighs especially when you are strengthening the back muscles to protect the lower back.ย 

๐•‹๐•–๐•’๐•”๐•™๐•š๐•Ÿ๐•˜ ๐•š๐•ค ๐•ฅ๐• ๐•ฅ๐•’๐•๐•๐•ช ๐•ฅ๐•ฃ๐•’๐•Ÿ๐•ค๐•—๐•–๐•ฃ๐•’๐•“๐•๐•–

When I think of my career as an English teacher and my passion for health and wellness, I often find myself trying to draw lines to connect them. While I am definitely not the most flexible in the yoga group, I am able to stand at the front of a room and guide. I realized that I had acquired this confidence almost unconsciously over the past seven years.

I remember being a self-conscious student in University, afraid to present in front of a tutor group. Now I feel confident speaking in almost any setting. This has definitely benefitted me in yoga training and it is something that I will no longer take for granted. While I can appear confident, I was asked to teach a 30 minute sequence. This is something I know I can do but I just did not feel ready. My mind took over and completely unsettled me. As a result, the class was an absolute disaster. I let my thoughts get the better of me and finished way ahead of time. It was genuinely a moment where I could have laughed OR cried. I decided against the latter, my tear ducts had already suffered enough that week! I simply told myself I would never, ever, EVER (on a Taylor Swift level) repeat them again. Or at the very least, I will try! สแดแดœ แดกษชษด แดส€ สแดแดœ *สŸแด‡แด€ส€ษด.ย  โ†*make a complete show of yourself, laugh and make a note of every thing you did wrong while simultaneously not want to focus too much on these things for fear they will expand, this psychology lark really is a tricky business.ย  Despite my misadventure on the mat, I know this is something I have benefitted from. Most importantly, I realized that I have really stretched my mind over the past few years, now it's my body's turn.ย 

Top tip: Use suitable intonation and keep cues simple, which body part are we movingย and inย which direction?

๐”พ๐•š๐•ง๐•– ๐•ช๐• ๐•ฆ๐•ฃ๐•ค๐•–๐•๐•— ๐•ก๐•ฃ๐• ๐•ก๐•ค!

In life, we are encouraged to go for things before we are fully ready, while I fully support this line of thinking, jumping into a pose before you are ready is not the way to go!ย Insta Inversions are all around us, but are they being displayed in the right way? I have definitely been guilty of this in the past but I won't be anymore!ย 

Integrity trumps Instagram every day! I would rather use a block and a strap to protect my back at all costs rather than pretend my body is somewhere it is definitely not! Your back must be aligned at all times, if this means grabbing your knee during a standing twist rather than your toes, do that! We are hunched enough in every day life, give yourself the time to stay in line.ย 

Top tip: Breathe. Into every pose, as a general ruleโ†breathe up๊™žand exhale downโ†“ .ย 

Looking forward to March-ing into Module III and getting flat to the mat once more.ย 



ย 

ยฉ2020 by Aoife Mchugh.