Arriving early at the studio this morning we started the day with some self-study time. Dialogue in, Dialogue out. At the beginning of the week we were given some great proven tools to assist us in learning the dialogue. Lots of different ways to make the words stick. I am the first to admit I have been fortunate insofar as I had a pretty good grasp of the standing series before the training began. I am so very grateful for that as it has ensured I am still getting enough sleep and not having to focus too heavily on studying later into the night. Floor series will be a whole other ball game. If I could recommend anything to any person considering the training it would be to get a good handle on your dialogue before you get to the teacher training.
This morning we were privileged to take Maria’s Hot 90 class. It was such a beautiful class. Maria’s experience and passion shines through in the way she guides you to work to the best of your ability throughout the whole 90 minutes. I have been listening to teachers say for years that yoga gives you more energy than you use… it feels very true today. I started the day tired and lethargic but after class I felt spectacular.
We spent the remainder of the day doing teacher clinics where we focused on parts two and three of Awkward and Garuarasana. Everyone is getting stronger and more confident in the way they project their dialogue. Admittedly, we are our own worst enemy and although I doubt my own improvement to some extent I need to believe I am improving because everyone else is.
So it’s just gone 4pm and we have finished early today instead of the regular late nights to date. So what does a yogini in Abu Dhabi do? A pedicure of course! If I am sliding my toes down my calf muscle in Eagle all day tomorrow in our Posture Mechanic classes you can be damn sure they are going to be pretty.
What a day… to say it was huge was an understatement. Today I completely presented the ‘warm up’ in one go. Admittedly it was during our self-study and Ulrika my gorgeous Swedish study buddy was the only one to hear it. I did it; truly did it. I stood in the studio and completed a good fifteen minutes of dialogue almost verbatim. Who knew I could do that? Not me… funny how when you are told you can do something it starts to resonate and manifest and it, well it just kind of HAPPENS!
I honestly don’t think I could be any happier with how my retention of the postures is going at the moment.
Although we have a group of ten trainees, the group is split into those who are studying the 26 and 2 series and those who are learning Flow. The two groups joined together and we undertook a class that was a brilliant blend of the 26 postures we are used to practicing plus some beautiful variations on Sun Salutations and some additional postures like Pigeon and Warrior 1 & 2. It was so beautiful to practicing in the sunshine… or so I thought.
Re-grouping after lunch we had the opportunity to provide feedback- it seems though that I’ve been walking around on another planet. In an open and honest forum a discussion took place that revealed that there is some discontent with the group. There is logistics within the training that is completely out of the hands of the Evolation Training Team but means that we need to be super flexible with when and how we take classes and when are where we study. It’s an extra challenge to an already challenging time.
The Hot House is a beautiful space created by a beautiful family practicing their Karmic Yoga to bring health and well being to Abu Dhabi. This spectacular space is on the cusp of being officially open to the public and will be a hub of yogic joy. The reality is, as anyone who has spent time in the UAE will appreciate, that sometime (actually a lot of the time) things don’t always go according to plan here and the contractors who built the space have been in and out of the studio causing us to have to relocate classes on occasion, juggle schedules and move teaching clinics and posture mechanic lessons to venues nearby. I have been LOVING every minute. I thrive on just running with things; not making plans. It’s in my nature and sometimes, in all honesty, it has been my downfall due to lack of planning and organisation.
For some of the group though, this need to be on the move and not know what is coming next has been challenging- I appreciate that. But I also think we are tired, have spent soooo much time taking in new concepts, new information and learning so much about our bodies this week that there is a tiredness hanging around like a bad smell. Plus is reality we are a group of strangers that have had to learn to get to know each other very very quickly. I love everyone in the group; but we are all different and today that was evident. A day off tomorrow is a wonderful reward for a week of hard work. Toddy and Maria were phenomenal in how they addressed everyone’s concerns. They are so focused on providing each and every one of us the best experience they can, which is no easy feat considering that we all come from such different places and ideals.
We closed off the end of week one with a beautiful shared circle. A chance to focus on where we have been this week (and I don’t mean to the studio and back) but just how far we have come- a chance to give thanks for our strong bodies, for friendships forged and to the powers that be who have brought us all together. Maria led a chant – for some of us this was new, for others much more familiar. The vibration and energy in the room had the hairs on my arms prickling and tingling.
Tonight the group said goodbye to Ulrika – an amazing Swedish woman who is completing the Teacher Training over a number of months. She is spectacular. Every day she grew and grew in her ability to deliver solid dialogue in a second language. She gave many of us belief in ourselves that we too were capable- especially as for the rest of us English is our mother tongue. I don’t even think she realizes how important she was to us all…. I hope she reads this and begins to understand. She is one of the most lovely people I have ever met. I’m not sad about her leaving though… she and I are both part of the evolation Family and when it comes to family, it doesn’t matter where you are in the world you are always connected.
Sally has been told she has an infectious laugh.... and it's loud. She would have to say she agrees, and it's because she feel very fortunate to have the life she has. Sally is an Australian living in Abu Dhabi. Some people would say she was an 'expat' but it's not all drinks on the terrace and designer shopping there. There is a lovely yoga community in Abu Dhabi full of warm wonderful people and Sally feels like she has found her 'tribe'. In her spare time between yoga classes Sally has squeezed in a career in radio and raising four children.