Sunday, February 3, 2013

YogaFit Training: Props

So I took the plunge this weekend and attended some YogaFit training that was offered in Duluth.  I've been a bit hesitant about moving in this direction as I consider myself to be more 'classically' trained and YogaFit is definitely a 'gym' style class, but a couple of items finally pushed me to sign up.

One has been a lack of local workshops (as in a 150 mile travel distance local) being offered the last three years.  It seems there has been a significant decrease in Well Known instructors being invited to lead weekend workshops in the Twin Cities.  Noting here that I am looking for instructors who teach an Ashtanga or Vinyasa style.  Another factor is timing of said workshops - I need weekend dates, not mid-week dates.  It is problematic for me to just take off work on a Wednesday through Friday.  I'm rather limited to weekends.

Through my YMCA connections I received notice that the YogaFit organization was going to be conducting a three day session here in Duluth.  Day One: Use of Props in a Restorative class.  Okay, that's good, I do toss in restorative sessions and substitute lead Restorative class on occasion.  Very apropos.  And a two day Level 1 training.  Perhaps a bit basic for my needs, but YogaFit does offer a slew of additional training sessions where they require you to have taken the Level 1.

Did I mention the training was in town?  No extra gas or hotel costs incurred here.  Nice.  And I can use the credits toward my Yoga Alliance certification.  Also nice.

So, Props.  Well, I was under the impression it was going to be Props for Restorative based of of the description on the website, but it was definitely Props for Vinyasa.  Which was actually better.  It can be...problematic to incorporate props in a flow class because you do not have time to "set up" a station.  

Props session was well organized.  We got started about a half hour late because there were three people missing and with -20* temps that morning, the instructor decided to err on the side of caution.  Third person never did show up.  Ended up being six trainees, five gals and one guy.  Nice to see that guy in class!  Every one but me had previous YogaFit training, which wasn't a problem - just some terminology differences like dead bug = happy baby and some asana sequencing that I haven't learned.

The instructor, Katie, touched on some review from prior YogaFit sessions (like Level 1, 2 and 3 training), a bit of "prop philosophy", then moved right into props and prop use in a vinyasa class ala YogaFit style.  It was a combination of talking and moving, she would explain, we would move through the sequence a few times, then move on.  There was good give and take from the group. 

In the afternoon we did floor and wall work.  I learned a very cool way to get legs up the wall without scooching:  Ninja roll!  Awesome...

Breaks were built in, we did have an hour for lunch, and we were done early at 430p.  I got the impression that's not always the case, but the exception since we were a very small group.

So my impression of my first exposure to YogaFit was very positive.  I was impressed with the instructors ability to pull from previous trainings, those Level 1-3 sessions (even tho I haven't take them), I never got the feeling that in any given pose that "that was the only way" to do it, and it was some of the best use of props I had yet been exposed to.

I also realized just how much verbal cuing, verbal adjusting, and modifications I do, because I generally don't use props.  

Next up:  Level 1 training.  Two day session.


Sara said...

Kristin - If you come across another Duluth training like this will you let me know? I don't have the Y connection any more. Sounds like a great workshop.

Also, there is a weekend teacher training workshop coming up in March at Yoga North on teaching Somatics. Not exactly up your alley perhaps? But interesting all the same. I'm signed up for that one.

Mighty Isis said...

Kristen - I know this is an older post of yours. I'm following your YogaFit training. :)

Could you please describe how to do the "ninja roll" into legs up the wall? I'm curious and wasn't able to find anything in a web search. Thanks!

Kristin said...

I'll try my best to describe the "ninja roll", Isis!

Place mat edge up against the wall.

Sit to one side of the mat (doesn't matter which side).

Scoot or slide back until tush and shoulders are snug against the wall, legs in easy pose or loosely extended.

Place hand on mat - this will be the direction you will "roll".

Using arm for support and leading with the shoulder, lower torso down to mat (you will kinda "roll" aross your upper back) as you swing legs up the wall.

If executed correctly, your lower back transitions smoothly from the wall to the floor, and your tush from the floor to the wall.

This way, there is little to no "scooting" across the floor or getting stuck on the mat transitioning to legs up the wall. Which can help prevent injuries or undesirable movement in the shoulders, head and neck.

I have not tried this on a bolster, as I usually don't have the luxury of extra props to work with in class or my own practice.

I think if a bolster is used to add additional elevation, it could be slid under the lower back after the ninja roll.

Mighty Isis said...

Thanks! I was checking your site to see if you took any trainings at this week's conference in Minneapolis! Looking forward to reading your posts!