Sleeping in Savasana

My yoga journey

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 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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ClassPass

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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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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Boy it’s been a while

It’s been a busy few months and I’ve just not had a chance to write things down. I’ve a lot to catch up on and I’m hoping to get back on track with a few things that have fallen behind.

Since I last wrote I’ve been to Canada, did a workshop with Candace, lost my yoga practice again and made some fairly major decisions about where to go next.

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Gym yoga vs yoga studio yoga

As I’ve written already I’m starting to use my gym membership for more than just swimming and am doing more yoga classes in the gym. There is a bit of a difference between yoga held in a gym and in a yoga studio.

In a yoga studio

  • Environment, generally yoga studios are clean, calm, quiet spaces.
  • Props, most studios provide props or have spares you can use if you forget something.
  • Teacher, generally you’ll find more experienced teachers only teaching in studios.
  • Expensive, drop in yoga classes in Edinburgh are between £8-15 depending on the studio/teacher. Even two classes a week can add up.

In a gym

  • Environment, a large air conditioned space with people playing music/doing step classes in the next room
  • Props, mats are the same ones used for many other activities including those that are done with shoes on
  • Teacher, I’ve been to some lovely gym yoga classes but in general it seems to be less experienced teachers who cover gym classes.
  • Continuity, there isn’t the same group of people each week so it’s not so easy for the teacher to progress and expand on what was covered the week before.
  • Free/included with membership, more likely to try a class as it’s not an extra cost but the value of the class isn’t appreciated.
  • People, as it’s not got a great additional value people feel fine to arrive late, leave before class is finished and generally behave in a way that wouldn’t be great in a yoga studio.

 

So gym yoga is a good stepping stone to yoga and way to try new classes or styles but in general the advantages of a yoga studio are greater and I’ll try to get back to studio classes when I can.

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Stealing your mat

A slightly odd experience in a yoga class a few weeks ago that I wanted to share,  I ‘stole’ someone’s usual space. They made it quite clear by huffing and sighing and telling the person next to me that they’d go all the way over here. It was quite uncomfortable but shouldn’t have been an issue.

I don’t really know why it was an issue and maybe I should have spoken to the person about it. I don’t really care where I sit in a class. In general I want a clear view of the teacher and not too front and centre but if that’s where there is space then that’s where I’ll sit.

My challenge to you for your next class is to go somewhere new. If you’re usually at the front move to the back, move from one side to the other. No one has a fixed spot in any yoga class that I know of so cause chaos, move around and steal someone’s space with a smile.

Would you get upset if someone stole your normal space?

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Making it to yoga class

Two of my 2018 aims are to practice more yoga and attend more in person classes. I’ve not been doing so great with that but have started to turn this around. My gym membership includes yoga, Pilates and other classes and I’m starting to take advantage of these.

I mainly use my gym membership for swimming and get good value from it, in terms of how often I go vs how much it would cost me for individual sessions. Effectively by also doing classes I’m getting more value out of my membership.

I’ve started going to Body Balance on Sunday evenings, it’s a 45 minute class and is a mix of yoga, Pilates and tai chi. It’s a really nice mix and 45 minutes is long enough that I feel that I’ve had a nice work out and stretch without it being too long.

The studio also has several hatha yoga classes. They tend to be very gentle and slower than I prefer but still it’s good to get on the mat in a group class and follow someone else’s instructions.

In general I’ve been making it to two classes a week and I should be able to make three from next week as my training on Tuesday evening is moving to the weekend.

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Push ahead or slow down

My hip is a bit meh currently. It’s ok but not great. I can do most things but know when I’ve overdone it and boy is it bad.

I’m currently having a dilemma as to if I push ahead and do Kino McGregors ashtanga weekend in Edinburgh in a few weeks time or if I be sensible and try to sell my space. I really don’t think I can do five workshops in a weekend and still function. I’d be in so much pain and need to be on drugs for a good few weeks till it calmed down.

At the same time I’d really like to do it. It’d be an awesome experience and it’s been years since I did such intensive practice as that. I kind of want to see what my body can do and if I can manage it.

I’m going to a full primary series class next week and will see how I do after that.

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