Thursday, March 30, 2017

Self-Practice Journal, Week 11

For one of my RYT classes this semester, I'm required to keep a weekly self-practice journal. This is for yoga practices I do on my own, not guided in a studio, gym, or via video. Each week I'll have a post that details at least three of my self-practices.

Week 11
Practice 1
Date: March 24, 8-8:30p
Intention: Practice and get comfortable to teach kids yoga tomorrow
Content: Seated breath discussion. Explain that we want to fill the belly and the lungs like balloons in our bodies. Standing warm up: lift the arms with the breath and make a hot air balloon overhead, sunflower lunges, crescent moon lateral stretch, "fireworks" stretch (squat into a ball and then expand arms and legs like a jumping jack).
Child's pose, cat-cow, downward facing dog
Squat, bound angle
Cobra, cat, forward fold with roll ups
Cat, bridge, cat with tiger's tail
Partner pose: seesaw
Child's pose
Savasana with hands on belly to feel the breath
Reflection: Repeating the poses for 5-10 breaths will probably work well for this group. They're older than kindergartners (who I did a similar practice with in Februrary) so I'm not oging to give them free time at the end to request a pose. I think the partner pose will be a lot of fun for them, and give them a chance to talk to someone about how it feels. They'll have to tell their partner if the stretch doesn't feel good, and they'll have to ask their partner how it feels for them as well. I hope to encourage the kids to develop awareness of their bodies. I also want to teach them yoga can be simple and fun until the day comes they're ready to learn more. I hope this will be a good 30-minute session for them.

Practice 2
Date: March 28, 8-8:50p
Intention: Practice for teaching Chad's SLCC class, Vishuddha-inspired
Content: Seated centering and warm up- raise the arms with the breath, tilting chin up and down if comfortable. Ear to shoulder, shoulder rolls, seated hip circles (folding the torso over the legs), dandasana with knees bent and rolling folds, cat-cow with variations, downward facing dog (pedaling the feet).
Surya Namaskar A 3 times (progressive)
Warrior I, cactus arms, bow over front leg (repeat 3 times)
Warrior I, cactus arms, bow over front leg (repeat 3 times)
switch sides 3-5 times depending on pace of class, tucking chin to create awareness of throat lock
Salabhasana 3-5 breaths (progressive: lifting arms only first, then legs only first, then putting the two together)
Child's pose
Ardha Ustrasana
Hare pose
Virasana with block, and forward folds/roll ups over the quads
Child's pose
Roll to back for Matsyasana
Supine Garudasana
Invite class to take any stretch they need
Reflection: I've never felt this nervous to teach a class before. Usually I'm a little jittery, but after a run-through of the lesson plan I feel fine. I can't shake the butterflies on this one. Even after going through everything I'm second-guessing myself and worrying that I have either not enough or too much planned. It may be because I've never done a sequence inspired by a chakra. It's not a strength of mine. I worry it may not come across as sincere or knowledgeable. Or that I'm out of my league trying to give suggestions for something that some people take very seriously. Chad's class is only 50 minutes and I wonder if I'd feel better if I had time to not only lead a practice, but to explain myself more before and after. Hopefully everything goes well tomorrow.

Practice 3
Date: March 30, 8-8:30p
Intention: Santosa
Content: Seated warm up- gather the breath, lateral bends, hip circles, foot massage. Cat-cow with child's pose and pull-through variations. Downward facing dog pedaling the feet and dropping the hips side-to-side. Forward fold and half-salutes (repeat 3 times).
Surya Namaskar B (3 times progressively)
Low crescent lunge over left, revolved crescent lunge, warrior I, reverse warrior
Low crescent lunge over right, revolved crescent lunge, warrior I, reverse warrior
Forward fold, downward dog, hands-and-knees
Sage twist
Hare pose
Prone shoulder stretches
Supine rolls, twists, happy baby, pigeon
Reflection: Due to some financial goals, I'm in the midst of a "spending fast." It's hard to limit myself to only purchasing essentials (groceries, paying bills, gas, etc...) when I'm used to the occasional treat. The day after I set my two-week goal to freeze spending, it seemed like huge sales popped up all around me. I laughed about the irony, but still couldn't shake the subtle desire to break my fast and just get that $10 eyeliner. But I'm committed, and doing a practice to focus on being content with what I have is helpful to get me through the second half of this fast. I have so much to make my life easeful and enriching, and don't need to waste my resources on non-essentials.

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