Question 1: How do you address large groups of late participants? My class was already halfway through our guided meditation when a group of 8 people came into the studio, loudly chatting about the absent teacher (I was the sub), and proceeded to undress right there in the studio. I was taken so off guard that I simply asked if they needed help with anything and proceeded to the warm up before the late comers could settle in. I felt it would be rude of me to neglect the patience and time of participants who had arrived on time. What do you think?
Answer 1: This is tough because you were the sub, so who knows - maybe the regular teacher doesn't mind latecomers coming in? For me personally, I always ask people not to come in during the beginning guided meditation/centering part, but they're welcome to enter the room (quietly!) once the asana has started. I think if I had been in your position I would've continued the guided meditation, jumped up and quickly walked over to them and asked them in a whisper to settle in quietly and change after the meditation is over. I think what you did was totally fine, though. Asking them if they needed help was a nice hint for them to quiet down.
Question 2: I've been practicing yoga for quite a few years but have recently decided to apply for YTT. My course doesn't start until March but in the meantime I'm soaking up as much info as I can in classes and workshops and by reading books, journals, blogs etc. Do you have any tips on how to record the info I pick up? At the moment I have several paper notebooks plus several notes running on my iphone with no structure, it's all jumbled in together! Examples of things I might note are particular sequences I like, explanations of a pose I find useful, or something a teacher says that strikes a chord with me as well as a journal of my own practice.
Answer 2: Congrats on beginning your yoga teacher training soon! I have a few notebooks that I use to keep track of things. I have one for inspirational quotes, articles and little tidbits I want to remember, and another for sequence ideas and anatomy/physiology things I want to remember. I really like these notebooks because they have a little band that goes around them and there's a nice pocket at the back where I can keep article cut outs and more.
Question 3: Recently, with the help of my yoga teacher, I discovered that I have a tight fascia in my lower back - I think it's called the thoraclumbar fascia. I always thought it was my tight hamstrings preventing me from doing any sort of forward fold, but now I realize it's my back. For example, during forward fold, I can pretty much only bend 90 degrees and just let my head hang. I'm not really able to stretch my hamstrings too well since my back is inhibiting me from any forward bend. It's giving me some lower back pain as well. Would you be able to tell me more about the fascia as I don't really know much about it, and what sort of things can I do to stretch it out and eventually increase my back flexibility to a normal range?
Answer 3: Fascia is a thin layer of tissue that covers the muscle. When it's extremely tight, it can be really painful and restrict our movement. There are a couple ways to loosen it up. I would suggest yoga, but it seems like perhaps you're extremely tight and yoga might be really tough. Until you feel more loose, why not try an epsom salt bath? You can even add essential oil like lavender or sweet orange to enhance the bath. A massage or session in a sauna or steam room might also work wonders to loosen your back up to the point where you could comfortably do a little yoga. The other thing you might want to try is yoga nidra. It's a deep guided meditation that is excellent for promoting relaxation throughout the whole body, because stress and tension play a huge role in how we feel physically.
Question 4: Whenever I am in a pose that has my arms overhead, like down dog or childs pose, I struggle with my breath. Any thoughts on what I might be doing wrong or what I could do to help this? I keep freaking out my instructors.
Answer 4: Hmm. I'm trying to think. Well, downward dog and child's pose are both sort of constricting if you're a bigger person or someone with a large chest. Do you have a belly or a chest getting in the way? If so, try widening your stance with your legs/knees to accommodate them. This will give a little more room so you'll have space to breathe.
Question 5: When I attempt locust pose with my hands underneath my body, pinkies touching, I cannot get my legs off the ground at all. And my hips dig into my radius and ulna making it super uncomfortable. Am I maybe setting up incorrectly? Engaging the wrong muscles?
Answer 5: This pose is one of my least favorite - partly because it is just tough to get into and to be honest, not all that comfortable. So here are some tips:
-Make sure your pinkies and sides of the palms are touching and your hands are flat on the ground.
-Press into your hands and arms and also use your back bodies muscles to lift the legs off the ground. Don't worry about height, just think about length and strength in the back body. Spread the toes, engage the kneecaps and lift. Try lifting one leg at a time before lifting both.
Hope that helps!
Quick clothing recap
Free People sent me this awesome mesh insert workout shirt from their FP Movement line by the brand Alala, and I'm feeling like a lucky girl because while it's not normally my style (I tend to like looser hoodies), this is so comfortable, flattering, and functional. Who knew you could have all three in one? It's a lightweight, sweat-wicking material with little loops for your thumbs so you can stay extra warm (which is needed right now, as Florida is really feeling that chilly air today). I highly recommend it - it runs true to size, and would be a nicer layer over a tank running to or from yoga class.
My luck continued because Onzie sent me this funky pair of leggings. These are cool. They're functional, with a diamond gusset and wide waistband, and they're quite tight, but don't have as much compression as, say, Lululemon's luon, which you can see around the achilles area. As an aside, people often ask why I pull the hems of my pants down over my heels. It's cuz I'm super, super short and I feel like it just looks better than bunched around my ankles. :(
Anyway, these are a great alternative to my regular pants, and I'm so glad to have a chance to try out a brand that's been on my radar for a while. #bloggerperks!
Let's talk Do you have an alternative answer for one of the questions here? Leave it below in the comments!