Asanas and Alignment – Week 3 of My Bali Yoga Teacher Training

6 min read

Hi! I’m Alina, and this is week 3 of my 4-week yoga teacher training in Bali with Routes of Yoga.

In part 3 of the yoga teacher training journal series, I will share with you what I learned from Daphne & Anton.

Learn about the anatomy and different styles of yoga

Week 3 began with a morning yoga class that was quite intense. It also built on what we had learned last week about chakras.

The agenda for today is to gain more experience in the Teaching Lab. We will also be learning about anatomy and yoga philosophy. Never before have I felt so present, at peace, and balanced. I felt so good and “centered” – something I had never experienced before.

The schedule may be tight, and the incredible things I am learning can feel overwhelming, but the whole experience has deeply touched me. The beauty of this experience is enhanced by the breathtaking view of rice fields and palm trees from our Yoga Shala.

It made me reflect on what I am missing in my life or how it could be improved. What I really need is more time off. Not a pay raise. I need to be more in touch with and connected to nature. We went on a volcano hike at night during our day off. It really helped me put things in perspective – we’re so small, and our lives are relatively short.

How can I incorporate this wonderful experience into my daily life at home?

The Art of Yoga Sequencing

After breakfast, the next morning began with another yoga session. We then started learning about yoga sequencing. Our teachers created a modular system to teach us how to create a balanced sequence.

Self-practice: it’s important! Use your own experiences to teach what you have learned.

After Anatomy and 10 minutes of Pranayama practice, after Pranayama, the rest of the night is yours.

This is our first class on Adjustments!

We began the day by taking a basic to intermediate-level yoga class. This included arm balances and inversions as well as backbends and standing balance postures. After that, we will have our first class on Adjustments. It’s strange to touch someone, and I don’t know how to pull and push.

Daphne has a lot of experience and is very empathic. She breaks down her adjustments really well. We love them. We practiced in groups to get started, and we gave each other feedback on pressure and position.

Teaching Lab is back, and it serves as a good reminder to me that you need to push yourself every day. I realized that my main focus was on observing, guiding, and demonstrating. Next to that, my attention was on my “yoga voices” and how to move around the room. It is challenging, but that’s what leads to growth.

After a few hours, I was feeling tired. But I’m glad that we had a good dinner at Soma. Then, it was time for our homework the following day. We had to create our sequence of 16 (!!!) The modular system is used to create poses. While trying not to be nervous, I try to think of how I will remember all these poses.

Yoga, Pranayama, and Teaching Lab Demonstrations

This morning’s practice with Daphne, who guided us through 135 minutes of Yoga and Pranayama, was physically challenging! My legs were shaking, and I was crawling to breakfast. After a little food, drink, and rest, it felt AMAZING knowing that my muscles had just been worked.

Anton then introduced us to Kriyas or cleansing techniques. Kriyas are a way to help the body eliminate waste so that your energy can be directed elsewhere. We were lining up in the rice fields to try Neti, a nose shower. Some of the girls had never done it before. Tratak is a candle meditation.

The Teaching Lab came to show us our 16-pose series! Anton has reminded me to be fully present when we demonstrate the poses, so I am trying not to rely too much on my notes. I’ve learned a lot from everything we’ve done so far.

I confess: Teaching Lab always makes me nervous. It is a little outside of my comfort zone, and each time, it involves demonstrating in front of a group. And, as always, you receive direct feedback. I try not to put myself under too much pressure and remind myself we are only at the beginning.

From Sequencing through to Adjustments

Daphne’s Adjustments class was a lot of fun! Although I was nervous at first, it’s amazing to see how the body opens up and moves deeper into the pose once you learn the basics.

We began with the Kriyas that we learned yesterday, followed by Uddhiyana bandha and Nauli. Then, we practiced Pranayama in preparation for a 90-minute class. Anton teaches a class. Daphne will then guide us in a philosophical, deep study of the Bhagavad Gita.

The last two days have been physically challenging. My mind and my body are getting tired. I will tell you why I think all this effort was worth it.

Teaching has always seemed like a distant, unattainable dream to me. Now, I’m starting to feel that I may actually be capable of teaching at the end of this training. It’s not only my progress I see, but also the group’s.

Daphne and Anton, along with the Routes of Yoga Team, have made this group and program feel like a safe and friendly place where we can practice with love and empathy.

My Key Learnings After Week III

You can also practice serenity, patience, and non-attachment by saying thanks to your teachers. Every day, life teaches you new things. Make space for observing, listening, and changing!

You will discover what you can contribute and how you can share when you find your true nature. When you follow your true calling, these actions will become easy.

All of the things I want, and how I would like to be a yoga instructor… I believe that these will come as I practice. You will find that adjusting your expectations is the key. Motivate yourself by focusing on your progress, not your weaknesses.

The early mornings and the physical and mental exercises I have done in this teacher training program in Bali have left me feeling very tired. Even though I am tired, I love what we do, and that makes it easier to continue learning and working.

Sometimes I wonder…Is this how it feels like to be a teacher of yoga? Could I commit to this for many years to come and pull it through?

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