Blissology Yoga Teacher Training
The 3 week training absolutely flew by in the end. Towards the end of the first half we had absorbed so much information that we were ready for a few days break, but wow it’s amazing what we had learnt. Eoin kick started it all by creating an energy and situation conducive to connection. He continued to do this throughout the raining; a reason I signed up for this course in fact. We are all connected and essentially are just consciousness (which is amazing), I have been lucky enough to feel the truth of that in meditation and have since I started that at university all those years ago. Eoin helped even the most skeptical of people feel that there was something more than just bones and blood here. We did beautiful yoga asanas, strong flows and slow flows, philosophy of yoga, and alignment – oh the alignment. This revolutionized my yoga. As someone who suffers with bulging discs in my lower spine, I found that some yoga, predominantly the Ashtanga that I had been learning, was really inflaming my spine-hip problem. He opened my eyes as to why and showed us how to backbends with no cramping in the lower back by engaging what Blissology calls ‘lines of DUO’. I have been excited ever since learning this; I had previously been struggling with the contradiction of yoga being great for the body but hurting me sometimes. Finally I knew I could teach yoga as therapy and really be confident that what I was teaching and practicing would only ever grace bodies with care and positive effects. The other key learning of utmost importance was end points. Any yogis out there will know exactly what I mean by this. The ‘end pose’ we all think we should be getting to; how the pose ‘should’ look; the instagram yoga. And I don’t mean foregoing alignment, quite the opposite! It’s all about forgetting where you think your hand should be for the correct shape or ‘finished’ pose, and feeling where it is your body that gets a stretch and gets to build strength, and then stopping. It’s learning to let that aggressive push go; listening to your body and not letting your mind try to overpower it. I quickly realized I did this pushing a lot, I knew I could reach the end of a pose let’s say side-angle pose, and put my hand on the floor, but in doing so I was compromising the twist of my upper body towards the ceiling and not focusing on the inner leg and side body stretch; I just wanted my hand to get to the floor. The shift in stepping back from this, still finding the place of ‘edge’ and staying there, changed my yoga and actually made it stronger in fact! Instead of dumping into the floor, I was lifting, holding correct alignment and enjoying the stretch and strength where it was supposed to be. Voila, we have a happy yogi and teacher!
This had to have a whole section to itself! We were catered for breakfast and lunch and a snack. What this actually meant was a magnificent breakfast spread, brunch at 11am, then a snack at 3.30pm. I have to write about this in detail because it was fantastic.
Breakfast: dragon fruit, papaya (my favourite), pineapple, bananas, dates, raisins, cranberries, granola, mixed seeds, coconut shreds, coconut milk, and normally little pancakes or granola bars too
Brunch: This was a whole variety of exotic salads, harissa soups, lentil dahl, chipattis, falafels, houmus, spiced rices, sautéed veggies, sweet potatoes and squashes – you name it, it was there. And so different every day. Falafel day was my favourite; some of the yummiest food I’ve had.
Snack: Smoothies, cake/loaf of some sort and normally rice roll wraps with herbs and salad.
Plus a whole load of juices and kombucha and teas available all the time.
Hence why we all gained weight haha. I put on half a stone and still haven’t shifted it.
This is the beautiful SamadiToo, we were lucky to be in such lovely surroundings and have a swim when we wanted to at lunch time.
This is where the key to the enjoyment and blessings of the training really were – the people. It still astounds me that 30 people can come together and all be so awesome! We were united with the same missions, not just yoga, but better connection to ourselves and others, growth and wanting to spread love out in the world. Everyone was kind and nurturing and we created a tribe that will never be forgotten. I feel so blessed to have been part of something so special. To be loved and known and accepted by 30 people who were complete strangers only a few days/weeks before was and is amazing. As warned, there was some serious emotional shifts and openings, tears, laughs and hugs, oh so many hugs. We all knew we could let go, be ourselves, connect to ourselves, be raw and authentic and were loved. I also learnt a few new words, such as ‘stoked’, which means really happy and ‘far out’, which would be the UK equivalent of ‘no way’– thanks Americans and Aussies.
So lifelong friendships were an added bonus. One of the ways to inspire this connection is a Manipura Loop meditation we did together. One of you sits in front of the other and the person in the back places their hands over the others adrenal glands (just above the kidneys). The person in the front then leans back a little and breathes into their back or adrenals. Both are still and quiet and close their eyes. It is a good massage to breathe into this area even when alone (lie on your back with your knees up and breathe deeply into your lower back, not forcefully, but deeply and mindfully). After a while Eoin suggested the person at the back could move their hands and put them anywhere they intuitively felt the warmth was needed. I was sat behind Elyse and allowed my intuition to guide my hands to her neck. She told me after that this is her problem area and it felt great! It was a positive and loving experience for the receiver and the one giving, as we found out when also doing relaxation techniques on each other when in Sivasana. This was an experience most needed, we seemed to be a group of givers, which is so common in people who actively seek to heal and grow. So learning to receive and relax and enjoy it and not feel bad that someone else is putting themselves out for you was an important lesson, as was allowing someone else the gift of giving, which we so often deprive people of as a giver or helper.
BEACH GAMES AND SURFING
So on our first Sunday afternoon, we hit the beach for some games. This was my first real visit to the beach and I was shocked; it was full of rubbish! We had to actually clear an area to play games, what on earth was going on L Eoin split us into teams and then the race was laid out like the following; wheelbarrow race in pairs to the mid-line, where we had to do a partner yoga plank and lift to a box shape (see my attempt), then switch and have the other person as the wheelbarrow, then the other person as the top plank. Then jumps and spiderman crawls to get home. This was going to be hilarious! By the end we were all tired and the crazy ones of us signed up to one more round, which naturally Eoin and I won, haha, wahooo!
We then headed to Deus for some food, which was ok but the company was what stole it.
We also did surfing one afternoon, see my Beauty and the Beast post.