Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Yin Yoga Teacher Training: The Beginning of a New Journey

Hello everyone! As of the moment you are looking  at someone who has just completed her 50-hour Yin Yoga Teacher Training. You got that right! I am now part of the newest batch of Yin Yoga teachers here in Manila. I took my training last week and it has been a very enlightening journey both for my body and my mind. This training is just the beginning of another adventure in Yin Yoga.

A few months ago, I announced that I would be taking my teacher training, a no-turning back move I had. Although I'm poorer, I know that this is a big investment career-wise and also in my yoga journey. I have practiced yoga informally for about a decade (starting from looking at tutorials in magazines and YouTube) and two years formally in a yoga studio, taking workshops, and self-practicing homework at home, but there's so much to learn!!!

September even opened itself to me. I didn't have a single work booked that month. In a way, there was frustration because my brushes were itching to be used.  That free time, though, happened to be a blessing because it gave me an opportunity to really prepare and be pre-yinned out before the training. Since I was at home most of the time, I had time to cook healthy food and incorporate more of them into my system. I also used the time to read and study in advance and also do my yang workouts (pole, Vinyasa, HIIT) to balance the very Yin prep time.

The training itself was intense - physically and mentally. This helped us prepare to become better teachers. One thing Victor Chng, our teacher said to us that, "Teaching is an extension of genuine experience." This echoed what a good friend and mentor in Yin Yoga told me, that everything is still rooted upon practice. We did practice yoga- a lot until muscle memory tells our bodies where to cue and what to feel. My friends in Facebook were probably worried when I posted status messages of my teacher training going like this: Day 1: broken hips. Day 2: broken lower back. Day 3: broken legs. They probably thought I was getting injured from all the yoga I've been doing (on the contrary, it's quite rare to get injured from yin yoga). This broken actually is a different kind of "broken". It's a figurative kind of broken. It's actually a process of transformation, since the old body must be "destroyed" for the new body to develop.

On the lifestyle change, old sayings actually are true. I learned to take water warm or at room temperature and eat dinner earlier and keep it lighter so as to not stress my digestive system when it's supposed to be resting (remember the after 6 diet?). Eating a more plant-based diet is actually good for my body and also the environment. I didn't go diamond-class vegan just yet. Small changes like eating plant-based meals during dinner or going vegetarian a day in a week already can make a lot of difference. I also got exposed to a lot of yummy vegetarian dishes. I always liked vegetables and found out so many other ways to eat them.

Our lunch from Greenery Kitchen - buttered vegetables and vegetarian Korean "barbecue". They deliver in Makati and their rates are affordable!

I still have my surf and turf since I need my animal protein for HIIT and pole, though but I choose when to have them and what kind. Sleep has never been more important. I remember my good friend makeup artist EJ telling me that we have to be asleep by 10 pm to 3 am since this is the time that the skin gets to rest and recharge. It actually holds true not just in the skin but our organs and liver. When we close our eyes, we give our liver a rest.

Another old saying that is true is when we were in grade school we learned to drink 8 glasses of water each day.  Water is very important because keeping hydrated prevents injuries, helps flush out toxins, and keeps the skin clear.

This mason jar was a gift given to me by the nice people of L'Oreal. It came to me the day before teacher training. Been using it to drink my infused water.

Yin Yoga is a type of yoga that is humble and submissive. Although most of these poses are not bombastic enough for #yogaselfie posts and worthy of 20 likes in social media, it actually has a very good impact in our bodies. Yin yoga helps ease our way during our periods and also menopause. It can help with our digestion, It can help with depression, tension, and stress. It can help reduce cholesterol levels. There are so much things a yin yoga practice can do to our body long-term that can make us less dependent on medicines which can provide only temporary relief and may have ill effects in the body due to allergies or physiological sensitivity. I've always been afraid of surgery and yin yoga may help me not undergo surgery in the near future which can actually put the body at risk for a lot more complications.

A photo with my teacher, Victor Chng. When I was choosing my college years ago and my courses, I chose a career path that would enable me to heal people. Obviously, that traditional path to that did not occur. Now, I also took a journey to heal people but in a different path. Despite that this may be different or I may not be wearing that white coat or have a syringe and scalpel to cut through tumors and cysts, I have different tools. It is a path that I chose because it is the path I like, and the journey that my body and heart actually wants to take. As Victor said, "The job of a yoga teacher is to bring healing to another human being."

With me are my mentors, Victor Chng and Dona Esteban (my first-ever yin yoga teacher) and the two ladies who got me into yin yoga in the first place- Jane and Ria.

Although in paper I am a Yin Yoga Teacher, there's still so much to learn and I know that this learning process never stops. It is only the beginning of another journey. I am excited to share my practice with my (future) students.

Some might wonder, "So, is she going to be yoga teacher already and stop doing makeup?" My answer is no. In fact, yin yoga is the perfect complement to my job as a makeup artist. It can in fact, prolong my life in the industry and help with the work-related injuries I might have. Makeup artists are prone to back pains and wrist and shoulder injuries. I might not take jobs though that would require me to endure having days with little or no sleep. There will be some lifestyle changes. I will definitely be around stronger to serve everyone better. And no matter what lifestyle we have, we always could use a little yin. :)

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