By: Alison Marras
October 29, 2018
(updated March 23, 2019)
I am half-way into my yoga teacher training at Three Sisters Yoga and it’s been a whirlwind! I literally told my family and friends that I feel like the Karate Kid… you think you’re signing up to learn how to do some crazy poses with a side of some meditation and spirituality and what you get is something far deeper than that.
In the beginning, it was a lot of learning the roots and foundations of yoga and how it’s changed and made it’s way here to the Western world. I quickly learned that at its core, yoga isn’t a side of meditation… it is meditation… and the poses or asanas are ways to strengthen our bodies, corralling our mind and body together so we can get deeper and be in peace with our spirits. It really clicked for me that this is why I’ve always been so drawn to it, and have been able to feel so much stronger and powerful in my own body, because I was tapping into parts of me I simply don’t get to in busy day to day life.
Another major principle we are covering at Three Sisters Yoga is putting our ego on the back-burner. It’s easy to get caught up in competition or pushing ourselves to the limits of what poses we can accomplish, how sweaty we can get, or how on point our balance is that day. But that’s not the point at all, having fun and being playful with poses is just that, and an exploration of what our body can do and what it’s up for with our practice but aspiring to dislocate our shoulders and do a headstand because we feel we should or because he/she can do it… is really missing the point completely. Your yoga practice is all about you and you alone. It’s fine to feel inspired and want to try new things… but honoring your body and your practice is what you’re there for if you’re really practicing yoga.
We’ve had some amazing teachers thus far with various backgrounds and experience. I’m so happy I have gotten to meet amazing women in the field and hear their stories on how they’ve gotten here… we all have a lot more in common than we think. I’ve gotten to learn anatomy in a new way besides just for nutrition… I’ve learned more about alignment and finding the simplicity and importance in each pose or asana so I can use my critical thinking skills to make sense of what each person’s body can and will be best to do to prevent injury and get the benefits out of the practice that they should. We are learning in practice, the best ways to build a sequence and having a purpose behind each pose to really make it our own. Whether it’s as a teacher or simply your own home practice… this is majorly beneficial. I totally geeked out on learning more about mindfulness and meditation and the effects it has on your microbiome health. And did you know that “Om”… should traditionally start with an “A”? As in…”Ah-oh-mm”? (yup. learned a bit of Sanskrit, too!) We also recently learned how to modify classes for certain needs like bigger bodies, pregnancy (prenatal yoga), and yoga for anxiety and depression. It’s been very unique and powerful. I’ve learned so much on several topics, and so much more is coming! I’m excited.
So far, I’ve been pretty religious about practicing yoga daily aside from training, it feels even weirder if I don’t. That morning stretch and long meditation really set me up for a great day. I remember thinking if I could meditate for 5 minutes I was accomplished and don’t get me wrong, that is a wonderful place to be but working up to 20 and 30 minutes is next level. I used to rush and force the 5 minutes in… but when it’s more of a habit, you can really feel the benefits. Sure, my mind still races, and I still fidget if I’m uncomfortable, but showing up habitually is the point. No one is perfect. Between the movement and relaxation, it’s helped me so much with my joint pain, energy, and mood. The mindfulness I’m cultivating in my practice has been slowly seeping in all over. I’m also reading Yoga as Medicine to learn more about the best poses for different ailments such as arthritis, heart disease, and more – to help my family.
I’m feeling so lucky and would say to anyone who is considering it to remember that you don’t need to do some crazy flexible poses to start… and you don’t need to even want to each – the desire to deepen your own practice and do something incredible for yourself and your loved ones is really all it takes. Is it challenging? Heck yes. But if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you. If you’re in the NYC-area and looking for this type of experience, I can’t recommend Three Sisters Yoga enough and you can take a free sample class here!
As a part of my scholarship with Three Sisters Yoga, I am sharing my personal experiences of the 200 YTT program with you here throughout the program. All of the content, words, ideas, and opinions are my own.
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