Sleeping in Savasana

My yoga journey


So erm yes I’ve not written here for long enough that my ‘goodbye’ post posted. I’ve now removed it and scheduled it for later this year.

2019 was hectic to say the least and I’ll aim to cover the main things that happened in this post and I may either attempt to write some back posts or just start again with stuff from here onwards.

So main changes since I last wrote

– yoga studio moves and now teaching from other spaces not from my own space.

– corporate job changed

– my dog died (horrifically and I’m definitely not ready to write about this).

– many more modules of yoga therapy.

– more one to one teaching.

– more pilates training.

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Pilates Teaching Training

As part of my plan to teach more I decided to do pilates teacher training this year. There was a BASI pilates course in Edinburgh and at first I wasn’t going to do it but the timing worked for me and the more I looked at it the better an option it seemed to be for me.

BASI Pilates is a great mat based training course and allows you to add the equipment onto your qualification if you want to at a later date. It sounded like it wasn’t too intensive but it’s still a lot of work.

There are two training weekends of two long days with hour long classes each day along with practising poses during the day. There are over 80 poses to learn and each is a different level and body focus.

To qualify you require to,

  • attend the four days training
  • observe 10 hours of teaching
  • teach 30 hours of pilates
  • do 40 hours of pilates classes
  • pass two multiple choice exams
  • teach a 30 minute observed class
  • correctly demonstrate 4 randomly chosen poses out of the 80 in the syllabus.

Yes for me the last is the most difficult. Also the fitting in doing 40 hours of other peoples classes while working and teaching is a bit of a challenge.

I’m hoping to do my exam in August but it’s a bit soon and a bit scary to have to know everything ahead of that. In general it’s a great qualification to have and I think it’s widely recognised as being a good certification so I expect to be able to teach in gyms and other studios if I need to.

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Yoga Therapy Foundations

The way that the Yoga Therapy Teacher Training that I am undertaking works is that you can start with any module but they recommend that one of the first that you do is the Foundation course. This runs as a 100 hour training across two six day blocks about two months apart.

This gives you time to process and apply things between the modules and also gives your brain a bit of a break. I don’t think I could ever do an intensive yoga teacher training that was 20 days long as after six days my brain was too full of information and I stopped taking more in and needed time to process it.

This module covers the basics of what is yoga therapy, what the role of the yoga therapist is and the outline of a yoga therapy session. The school works on a three session plan, the first is the intake, where you find out more information about the person and their history, the second is a physical movement session, where you find out how they move and any issues with movement, the third is where you start the work. As a result you need to convince people that they need to commit to at least three sessions before they feel any benefits.

It’s a great way of working with people and I love the idea of being able to tailor sessions to each individual and to make real progress with conditions. It’s something that is often a challenge in group classes, where you have one person who is struggling and you don’t have time to help them without annoying the rest of the group by making them wait.

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Yoga Therapy Training – Module 1

Following on from me deciding that I was going to study yoga therapy in the Netherlands. I started my first module in December. One of the things that I liked about this course was that I could do the modules in any order and anytime that they were offered over three years. This meant that I could plan them around work, trips and other commitments.

The first module I did was on Asana, Pranayama and Restorative Yoga. This was a good module to start with even if it was a difficult one. This course was co-taught by Monz, the main teacher and Alison, a restorative yoga teacher.

The course was an intensive seven days in a row with a lot of information given each day. I filled most of a note book with information along with 50 pages of hand outs and four textbooks of reading.

Each day covered a different condition or body part. In the morning we briefly covered the body part or condition and any contraindications of them. Then we did a lead practice of more dynamic poses that might be good for that condition. There generally was a discussion and partner work in the morning too.

The afternoons were lead by Alison and involved  learning the restorative approach to conditions. This usually involved two or three different restorative poses. These weren’t the normal restorative poses that you’d teach in a group class but an ultra luxury version of them. I think one pose needed six blankets to support. As well as bolsters and round cushions. It was amazing to be in the poses and feel the difference from only having two blankets.

It has helped me in my normal restorative classes too as I now allow even more props per person and a longer amount of time to get out of poses.

I finished the course motivated and ready to learn more.

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Yoga Therapy Training

At the end of last year I decided that I wanted to slightly change my yoga teaching. I wanted to work less with those who are fit and flexible and the typical yoga student and more with those who have injuries and physical or mental limitations.

As a result of this I decided to look at yoga therapy teacher training. Yoga Therapy is done on a one to one basis and is tailored to the individual and how they are feeling that day. It’s a hugely complex practice to teach as you need to be aware of so many potential issues. As a result the minimum amount of training for this is 500 hours, on top of a 200 hour qualification.

After doing some research I decided to look for a IYTA certified programme as this is more internationally recognised. As a result I’m doing an 800 hour qualification with The Yoga Therapy Institute in the Netherlands. It’s a great course and I’ll cover more of it in my next post.

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In December ClassPass launched in Edinburgh. I’ve now experienced it both as a teacher and as a student.

Firstly it’s marketed differently to each. As a student it’s advertised as an ability to try lots of different studios and classes without commitment to the studio. As a teacher it’s marketed as the opportunity to fill the last few spaces in your classes that you wouldn’t fill otherwise. A bit of a difference. Potentially nothing major but it’s not exactly the same.

ClassPass works on a credit system which are worth about £1 each and are used to book classes. You buy credits in blocks, £25 buys 25 credits and £70 buys you 70 credits. Each studio sets prices based on the drop in rate for classes and the number of credits is based on this. In general most classes in Edinburgh are 4-8 credits with a few studios being 10-12 credits.

The system itself is easy to navigate from a student point of view. Booking into classes is easy and the mobile app works well. Classes have to be cancelled at least 12 hours in advance or your get both charged the credits and a cancellation fee. It’s not great if you’re booked into a 6pm class and wake up that morning feeling ill. As a result as a user I’m much more likely to not book a class until just before so I don’t need to cancel it late and get charged.

As a studio the online interface assumes that you work on a computer. I generally check from my phone and it’s not mobile optimised and is a bit of a pain especially when you have multiple classes in one day as I can’t generally see more than the first two. I’ve also not really worked out how on the system to set different classes as a different value of credits, so if I’m holding 90 minute classes they can be more credits that the 60 minute ones. It’s not an issue as I’m not holding may of them.

In general it’s quite good from a user perspective as a way of trying different classes and especially if you travel quite a bit as there are loads of classes all over the UK. As a studio it’s useful but I’m not sure a great way of attracting new students long term.


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Here we go

So I’m going to see how writing a few posts goes.

To start with an update of what I’ve achieved so far this year.

I’ve started my yoga therapy training. I’ll write a fuller post on this and how it’s changing the way I teach another time but it’s a great course and I’m learning so much.

I’m doing pilates teacher training. The second weekend of this is in May and I’m really enjoying starting teaching this. It’s challenging and quite different to teaching yoga but really good.

I’ve hopefully found a new studio and space to teach from. The space I currently teach in is closing at the end of the year so it’ll be good to be moved and settled.

My personal practice is a bit of a work in progress. It’s not always consistent but I enjoy being able to get to classes when I can and am happy with it as it is now.

My hip has been variable. It was ok for a while and then got very sore. I didn’t really change what I did, it just got bad. I need to work on improving my strength so I can make sure it’s ok.

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So I’ve not written anything on here for almost 6 months. Time to finish or time to restart?

I’m not sure on either. I kind of miss writing about yoga and having a space to put together my thoughts. Maybe I’ll try again.


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Using Gym Membership More

I’ve been really bad recently, I’ve not been to my gym at all since before I went to Canada. That’s more than a month. It’s both a waste of money and I really should be getting back on track in terms of weight loss and regaining fitness.

My gym offers personal training sessions which I’ve never really looked at but I think for me it’d be a good option to make me more focused on a goal. I think having someone to be accountable to would be a good start. My plan is to go talk to them about options for this tomorrow and then book something in for the next few weeks.

I’ve been really bad for booking classes and then cancelling them the day before. I’m going to focus on booking less classes so I have two a week that I will attend rather than booking four with the intention of deciding which two I’ll do later and ending up cancelling all four.

I’m also aiming on swimming at least once a week. I really get benefit from it but haven’t been going as much as I’d like to. Yesterday I decided I was going but didn’t pack my bag to go, decided I’d go after I’d done something else and then decided it was too late and I was too tired. I need to get better at packing a bag and just going as soon as I’ve dropped Pico at home.

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Q3 Aims and Goals Update

This should have been written at the end of September so I’m a little late but here’s my Q3 and a bit aims update.

40 minutes of home practice per week. Either in one session or two 20 minutes videos.

I’m really not in the habit of personal practice at the moment. I’m aiming on working on my fitness and health over the next few months. I really need to get back on track and get myself back in some form of shape.

Monthly attendance at yoga class or workshop.

I managed a class in July, two yoga classes in August and several in September. October also was a bit of a bumper month with three classes and a workshop.

Monthly blog posts

I’m not quite there with this but am working on getting back in the habit and I also have a few posts to type up and get out of my head.

Run quarterly workshops.

I held two eye pillow workshops in Q3 and are in the middle of fixing a date for another in Q4.

Completed goals

Complete restorative yoga teacher training

Complete current stage of professional exams.

Yoga Studio to continue to break even.

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