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Weekend Part One: Joyful Exhaustion

I’m going to have to break my weekend recap into two or three posts. First up, yoga teacher training in review while it’s all still very fresh. Then tomorrow I’ll post a recap of all my eats and hopefully also an overview of what happened with Brandon and Sullie while I was gone. There are some pretty great pictures!

I think the weekend can be summed up with this picture.

Happiness. It was another transformational weekend but it wasn’t easy. I think the most telling sign of this is that when I got home today, I immediately went to Brandon for a hug and burst into tears. There is nothing wrong, I am just physically and emotionally exhausted and feel like I cannot possibly absorb one more thing. My mind is trying to process so much right now and while it’s an amazing feeling, it is a bit overwhelming.

The way I feel right now is much different than how I felt after our first two weekends. After those first two training weekends I felt like I was on top of the world. I was on a high from spending so much time totally entrenched in learning more about something that I love and feel passionately about.

I think this is due to two things. First, this was our first time having back-to-back training weekends. I was so busy with work, teaching and social commitments last week that I don’t feel like I ever had a chance to recover and recharge.

Second, I took my practice to a new place. On Saturday I started adding postures from the intermediate series to my ashtanga practice. The intermediate series involves intense back bending, like this posture.


The intermediate series is known as Nadi Shodhana which means “nerve cleansing.” It focuses on cleansing the nervous system through a variety of very deep backward and forward bends. So far I am only about ten postures into the series and it is already shaking me to my core. I have been going through the entire primary series and then adding on these second series postures.

On Saturday I think that I was just in shock that I was moving into intermediate series and was trying to soak in what my teacher was telling me. Today I knew the ten new postures to do and just went for it. And then things got a little crazy…as I was wrapping my practice up I found myself fighting back tears. It was all I could do not to lose it during savasana (final rest) and as I rolled up my mat and left the room I was shaking all over.

Once I pulled it together a bit I spoke with one of the girls in my class (who just happens to be an ashtanga teacher who is going through training again for the experience and further learning) about how I was feeling. She assured me that it was completely normal after stimulating the spine so much. It took me hours to calm down and I’ve since learned that starting intermediate series can cause you to experience strong emotional releases (good and bad), bring up suppressed memories and have vivid dreams. Craziness.

This teacher training is opening my eyes to a whole new side of my practice. I never thought that I would be as interested in “yoga off the mat” as I am my asana (physical) practice but now that I am in teacher training I am finding myself so inspired by everything that I am learning.

I could go on all night but it’s getting late and I might be losing readers as I type! 😉

A few highlights in photos from the weekend (and promises of corresponding posts to come very soon!).

We spent a while with foam rollers yesterday. Are you guys familiar with foam rolling? I have one at home but don’t use it nearly enough. One of my 2011 goals is to regularly foam roll and yesterday’s session reminded me why this goal is critical to adhere to. (Um, I hadn’t been adhering to it at all until this weekend!)

We foam rolled on our own first and then took turns foam rolling each other. I admit that it is insanely painful but so worth the end results. Would you guys be interested in a Foam Rolling 101 post soon? Maybe with some video?

One of the things I love the most about our teacher training is that it has a strong focus on anatomy and we’re leaning how to really understand the body and things that students in our class will be dealing with. One of the topics of yesterday’s discussion was the evilness of high heels.

This is our teacher demonstrating how high heels shorten the achilles and change gate/alignment. It’s funny we discussed this because I’ve been planning a post about how I gave up high heels while training for Marine Corps Marathon and haven’t looked back. Look for that post coming soon!

We also worked on more assisting. I seriously cannot wait to start assisting classes.

I think I’m going to get a taste of assisting and teaching sooner than I anticipated. I have a fun opportunity coming up in three weeks that I cannot wait to share with you guys. 😀

Thankfully, we have next weekend off from training. I am beyond excited about spending time with Brandon and Sullie and catching up around the house. I have lots of reading to do over the next two weeks! We’re going to be discussing the book Ask and It Is Given next time we meet. I need to get to reading!

Thank you for humoring me with this yoga-centric post. I am just so eager to document and share my experiences. I can’t believe that I’m on the path to becoming a yoga teacher. I just hope that one day I will be able to inspire and educate my students the way my teachers have for me!

{ 25 comments… add one }
  • Emily January 30, 2011, 10:43 pm

    You have my vote for a Foam Rolling 101 post! Thanks for sharing!

  • Angie (Losing It and Loving It) January 30, 2011, 11:18 pm

    I have never done yoga but I’m enjoying reading about your experience in training. One day I would like to try it.

    As for a foam rolling 101 post with video, I would really be interested.

  • Avery (Young Aspirations) January 30, 2011, 11:28 pm

    Yes! A foam rolling post would be great! I also just purchased a Tiger Tail Roller and I’m working on really learning how to use to it to the best of it’s ability.

    So glad you mentioned the “evilness” of high heels! I decided to give up high heels this year and I get questioned often about why I dislike them so much! Evilness is the perfect word, haha!

  • Alaina January 31, 2011, 12:07 am

    I would definitely love to hear more about foam rolling!

    I would give up high heels if they weren’t so darn cute. Maybe I need to invest in more flats. 🙂

  • Becky January 31, 2011, 7:55 am

    I have heard and read about the emotional release yoga provides; however, I have never experienced it. I often feel like I’m going through the motions without really investing in the practice. I am so thrilled that you are sharing your feelings and experiences with us. It is truly amazing!

  • Jackie @ Baking Charms January 31, 2011, 8:39 am

    Thanks for sharing your yoga post first – I’ve been looking forward to it 🙂

    How completely amazing that the series could purge so much emotion! I had no idea… yoga truly isn’t like anything else.

  • Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life) January 31, 2011, 8:51 am

    YAY for giving up high heels! I have mostly given them up, too and tried to embrace my 5’1″ stature and all it’s glory 🙂

    You look so happy in that first picture- I love it!

  • Brittney January 31, 2011, 9:11 am

    If I gave up heels I’d have to have every pair of pants I own hemmed 🙁 I don’t see it happening. I realize they are probably the reason I can’t touch my heels to the floor in downward dog though!

  • Kristy@RunTheLongRoad January 31, 2011, 9:11 am

    I said this before but I LOVE hearing about teacher training. And the intermediate series looks intense physically but I guess emotionally too. WOW! I had no idea yoga could do that…it’s amazing!

    I’m not a fan of high heels…I’m much more a comfort over fashion type of girl!

    You look positively happy in that picture. Teacher training suits you!

  • LBM January 31, 2011, 11:46 am

    LOVE the yoga posts! And I would also love a Foam Rolling 101 post…need to do it, but I have no clue how!

    • Jen January 31, 2011, 12:36 pm

      I shall teach you! And thanks for the positive feedback on the yoga posts!

  • Hollie January 31, 2011, 12:12 pm

    Love your blog! 🙂
    Yes, PLEASE do a foam rolling 101 post!! I have one but am not quite sure what to do with it. I am training for a half marathon, and my first full later in the year- I have heard the rolling could be helpful with recovery, but I am clueless! 🙂

    • Jen January 31, 2011, 12:35 pm

      Hollie – thanks for the comments. I will definitely do the foam rolling post. It’s not only helpful with recovery but also with injury prevention! Something all runners can benefit from! 🙂

  • kat January 31, 2011, 4:46 pm

    So happy for you, girl! Isn’t it amazing when you connect with yourself on such intense levels?? I felt a little bit of that during my massage therapy education – you are inspiring me to get back in touch with that. Maybe through yoga? I never felt that through yoga but am excited and interested to learn that it’s possible…it might just make me give it another shot. Thanks for all your sharing!

    • Jen February 1, 2011, 11:13 am

      Kat – the crazy thing about these “connections” is that they always hit me so unexpectedly. I love that my practice can surprise me that way and dig into such deep places that I always try to push away.

  • micki January 31, 2011, 5:49 pm

    love your site!! i’m glad you’re having such a thrill with teacher training. i look forward to the achilles post, for sure.

  • Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner) January 31, 2011, 5:52 pm

    I love love LOVE reading about your yoga teacher training! It is FASCINATING! It’s amazing how intense it is!! And yes please do a Foam Rolling 101 post- I know nothing about it!

    You are inspirational already, and will make an amazing yoga teacher! Your students will be very lucky people 🙂

    • Jen February 1, 2011, 11:11 am

      Emma – I read your comment to my husband last night and told him that I am so lucky to have such amazing, supportive readers. Thank you sooooo much for your kind words. 😀

  • Lauren @ Lauren Runs January 31, 2011, 7:53 pm

    I love following your teacher training! I think it’s great youre going through it, and I think it’s great that you’re growing so much in your practice! I would love to see a post about Foam Rolling. I do it as a part of my stretch routine for running, but didn’t know it was a part of yoga! I just learned about a class at a gym near me called “roll-ates” I’m going to try soon!

    • Jen February 1, 2011, 11:09 am

      I love that your gym has a class. That’s awesome. I was actually thinking of suggesting holding a special class on foam rolling to the head of group exercise at my Y. Maybe I will! 🙂

  • Lauren January 31, 2011, 7:53 pm

    I love the posting on the yoga teachers training. It is my biggest goal for 2011 to complete one myself. I am in love with yoga so I enjoy reading someone elses passion and dedication for it. If I had the money I would sign up for one tomorrow but its all part of the process. And I think foam rolling is very important too. I try to do it often after a run.
    And thanks for also inspiring me to be more creative with food because yours always looks amazing!

    • Jen February 1, 2011, 11:08 am

      Lauren – I’m happy that you’re enjoying the posts. I love sharing my experiences! I am excited that you have set a goal for yourself to complete one this year. The cost was a big issue for me too but I am so glad now that I decided to just go for it. I’m less than halfway done and it’s already been extremely transformational and deepened my practice in so many ways.

  • Brittaney January 31, 2011, 8:46 pm

    I would LOVE a foam rolling 101. I just got a foam roller a few weeks ago.

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