Last week was a rough one. Despite having fun celebrating my birthday early in the week, I felt depressed and depleted. In addition to dealing with chronic symptoms of my thyroid disease, I had to contend with a rejection that I took pretty hard.
On Friday, I returned to yoga teacher training after our holiday hiatus. I had to drag myself there, but once I had arrived, I immediately began to feel better. Doing my practice, learning and talking about yoga, and being with my awesome teachers and yogi friends helped my mood immensely.
This weekend, we workshopped forward folds. This is not my favorite category of poses, mostly because I’ve been injured doing them. This isn’t uncommon. Our teachers, Leigh and Gigi, told us injuries in forward folds happen much more frequently than in backbends, which you might not guess just looking at the structure of the postures. Folds often look fairly simple and innocent–but that’s kind of the problem. Practitioners tend to use less caution bending forward than going back or upside down. People who are naturally flexible are especially at risk: it’s easy to overstretch in these poses and to neglect to engage the proper supporting muscles.
If you’re on the stiffer side, consider yourself fortunate that you’re much less likely to injure yourself in forward folds, and in yoga in general!
Though folds aren’t my favorite, they’re enormously beneficial poses, and I found this asana lab particularly important since we learned a lot of helpful cues and modifications.
Another highlight of this weekend was our field trip to Wanderlust Yoga in downtown Austin for a workshop with Christina Sell, our teachers’ teacher, on the fundamentals of down dog and up dog. It was an amazing session. Christina is incredibly knowledgable and passionate about yoga and in addition possesses the magical ability to distract you from the difficulty of what you’re doing with her sense of humor. Somehow the fact that you’ve been holding plank for approximately five days becomes more ok when you’re laughing.
We finished off the weekend with an alignment-based practice today as well as some lessons on ayurveda.
I am exhausted and possibly in need of another Epsom salt bath, but I am so grateful for this weekend and the amazing people with whom I practiced.