I joined around 50 other yoga students and teachers for a three-day training with Leslie Kaminoff. It was the first weekend module of my 300-hour teacher training (I have to complete 11 total). Leslie is yoga educator who is well-known for his work in the anatomy space. He’s the co-author of a top-selling yoga book, Yoga Anatomy, which is used as a reference guide in many yoga teacher trainings, including those I lead. I was THRILLED for the opportunity to spend a weekend learning from him.
I’m doing my 300-hour teacher training at Asheville Yoga Center which is easily the premier destination for yoga trainings in the southeast. They offer an unbelievably robust schedule of trainings that includes everything from 200- and 300-hour teacher trainings to 1-5 day trainings covering subjects like anatomy, Sanskrit, Yin yoga, yoga for seniors, Bhakti yoga, Yoga Nidra, yoga for cancer, yoga for trauma, prenatal yoga, meditation and much, much more. These trainings are led by AYC instructors and guest instructors from around the world.
I’ve always enjoyed taking classes and workshops at AYC so I’m excited to be enrolled in my 300-hour here.
I dropped Finn off at preschool and then hit the ground running to wrap up work and errands before leaving for Asheville. It was so damn hard to say goodbye to this little guy until Sunday, even though I was looking forward to the training.
I was hoping to get a 5-7 mile run in but my body called it quits at 3.5. I really try to listen to these types of messages and it made a whole lot of sense when I started my cycle the next day. Never fails to throw off my physical activity.
Back home I showered, ate lunch and worked/packed/got the house ready for the dog sitter. I left around 3. Traffic was TERRIBLE on 85 and 40.
Our session on Friday night ran from 6-9p and was an “Introduction to Breath-Centered Yoga.” Biggest takeaway of the night…the freedom to play around with when to inhale and exhale and switching traditional inhale and exhale patterns. Did you know that 60% of our lung capacity is in the backside of our bodies? We get SO stuck on frontside-focused breathing.
My second biggest takeaway was the idea of removing the word “feeling” from my yoga instruction. Leslie talked to us about not telling our students what they should be feeling but instead talk to them about what they are noticing. (With no wrongs or rights around what it is that they are noticing.)
We broke at 9p and I drove the 15-20 minutes to my Airbnb in Black Mountain. Affordable accommodations in Asheville were non-existent this weekend due to fall high season and the holiday weekend so I booked a room in Black Mountain. Black Mountain is a smaller, charming mountain town but doesn’t have a lot open later at night. Out of desperation I ended up at Wendy’s and BLECH. I got a grilled chicken sandwich and fries. The grilled chicken sandwich was vile. Stringy texture and felt undercooked. The fries were okay and constituted 90% of my dinner after I gave up on the sandwich. Lesson learned. I would have packed dinner knowing it was a late night but the Airbnb didn’t have a microwave.
Which leads me to…my Airbnb was perfectly passable but I just CANNOT get on board with Airbnb, especially when it’s a room rental and the people are home. Does anyone else feel like it’s just so freaking weird?
I know some people LOVE the whole Airbnb thing. I’m actually hoping to use an Airbnb of a friend of mine in Asheville for a lot of my training weekends. I just struggle with the concept of it. I’ve had both very positive and very weird experiences with Airbnb. Would love to hear your thoughts, especially if you have experience hosting!
I managed to sleep in until 7:30a on Saturday which was magical. I got up, showered and dressed and headed into Black Mountain to grab coffee and breakfast before training started. I have been visiting the town of Black Mountain since high school and The Dripolator Coffeehouse has always been a fave.
I swear that The Dripolator has the BEST baked goods of any coffeehouse I’ve ever been to. They bring in so much local homemade stuff. This morning I had their lemon almond poppyseed cake with black coffee.
Our Saturday morning session was “Practice and Principles of Breath, Movement and Alignment.” We had some crazy awesome discussions around burning off internal waste that I took pages of notes on.
I took a walk during our lunch break and ended up at Whole Foods for a salad to balance out my French fry dinner.
Back at Asheville Yoga Center, I browsed the book selection in their boutique and was so shocked to find MY BOOK! WHAT!!!!?????? This was seriously as awesome as finding it at Powell’s in Portland. (Newer readers, I changed my name a few years ago.)
Our afternoon session was Re-Imagining Alignment: Form Follows Function. I learned all about how I need to stop saying lengthen your spine and square your hips and I’m still trying to resolve all of this within myself. (Mind blown emoji for SURE here.)
We wrapped at 5:30p and I decided to wander into downtown Asheville to grab dinner. It was NUTS. I have never in my 15+ years of visiting Asheville seen in SO insanely crowded. I couldn’t get into any of my favorite spots for dinner, even as one at the bar.
I ended up at Strada where I had some really amazing bread with olive oil dipping sauce and their crispy duck with bacon wrapped, goat cheese stuffed figs served over risotto. It was beautiful but just okay. I did soak up being out and about and taking myself to dinner.
Sunday morning found me back at The Dripolator around 7:30a for breakfast, coffee and work. I wrote a blog post before heading over to AYC for our last session with Leslie.
This one was accessible twists, backbends and inversions and the takeaway from the session landed me in a doctor’s appointment today at Leslie’s strong encouragement to finally figure out some hip stuff that I’ve had going on for 9+ years. I’m still trying to wrap my head around all of it, but I will update you guys after I have more info.
At one point on Sunday we did a 30-minute supine twisting practice that felt like 3 minutes and woke me up to so much stuff in my body. I could share about 1000 more words from the weekend but I’m trying to keep this as high-level as I can for my non-yogi readers. To sum it all up, it was an amazing, eye-opening experience and left me with so many internal questions to sort out for myself…which I’m excited about!
After we wrapped on Sunday, I grabbed a smoothie bowl at Elements. It’s just a couple of blocks from AYC and I know it is going to be a go-to spot for me during these training weekends. Their menu and space are both amazing.
2.5 hours, traffic and rain later…home sweet Finn and Zoey. <3
Please speak honestly, do you enjoy the yoga talk content? It’s such a huge part of my work. What do you need to now more about to make it more relatable?
Have you ever visited Asheville? What did you think?
If you have to eat fast food, what’s your choice? I’m Chick-Fil-A all the way. Subway second if that’s fast food.