14 August 2010

The Journey Begins

Today was my yoga teacher training information session at YogaWorks. It was a two-hour meeting - the first hour of which was asana, basically an Yoga Works Level 1 class.  We did Surya Namascar, which I haven't done regularly for quite some time - I just don't have the upper body strength or wrist stamina to spend that much time on my hands.  So it was very challenging.  And even more challenging - we did handstand (well, I didn't, but the class did).  I did a half-handstand with my feet on the wall (which everyone did a few times before progressing into a full handstand). And wow, is my upper body weak.

Generally, I focus on hip openers and abdominal strengthening since I do yoga to reduce/prevent my back problems. And I could really tell that's where I put my focus since I was so physically challenged in today's practice. On the one hand, I was familiar with everything we did, having done it all before (ok, except handstand, which I haven't done because of strength, not unfamiliarity) - so that was great. But on the other hand, I found myself frustrated at the weakness of my upper body.

However, I felt great after the practice - I made it through everything without having to make many modifications.  Not that there's anything wrong with modifying, especially in the type of yoga I want to teach (therapeutics/restorative). But it's reassuring to know that when I challenge my body within reason, I can do what I want to do.

After the asana practice, the teacher trainer (Dani, who teaches the class I normally attend on Sundays) and the training administrator talked about the training and its benefits, then we had a Q&A session. Dani signed my application after the class, so all I need to do is complete and submit my application. I can't believe this is actually starting. It's both awesome and scary.

On my drive home an idea popped into my head. When I was a kid and went on Wider Opportunities with Girl Scouts, I sent letters to different community organizations requesting donations to support my Wider Op. (Wider Ops - they have a new name now - were themed Girl Scout "camps" for older girls that usually lasted for 2 weeks and were all around the country, so - not cheap.)  After my trip, I went to the organization and gave a presentation on the trip - my experience, what I'd learned, etc.

Like those trips, yoga teacher training isn't cheap... $3250 if I pay by the early registration deadline of
26 August. My idea is to write to similar organizations - maybe businesses too - to ask for sponsorship for my yoga teacher training in exchange for a free class (or multiple classes) for their group after I complete my training. I am also considering tossing out the idea of personal sponsorship too - i.e., perhaps some friends would be interested in a private lesson for a donation. I need to develop a schedule of XX donation = XX classes. I have no idea how it might go over, but I'm thinking even if I could raise a small amount of "scholarship" money this way, I'd get three benefits. First obviously - financing. Second, I would have a few places lined up after my training to get experience.  Third, I would make contacts in the community which could lead to people interested in private classes.

I just need to work on a letter... Obviously it needs to give the benefits to their organization, which is easy enough to do - the health benefits of physical activity in general plus yoga in particular are fairly well known and so I shouldn't need to be too detailed.  I'd ideally want to keep the letter down to one page - brevity is the soul of interest...

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