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YD Goes to Yoga School Week 23: What’s Red and Green and Merry All Over?

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Here we are, December already! My, have these past few months flown by, like bakasana on Red Bull! Or a “lit” Rudolph? This post is brought to you by the colors RED and GREEN, and by the pose of the Camel.

Lately our trainee group has been getting down to the nuts and bolts of teaching yoga. And I mean that literally, as in studying injury management and learning modifications for things like screws in knees, rods in backs, hip replacements, and prosthetic limbs. Thank goodness we’ve had the incredible opportunity to learn under the tutelage of  high-spirited Senior Iyengar teacher Carrie Owerko. A 4-hour workshop with Carrie is like a turbo-charged trip through the yogasana labratory, and you better be taking notes!

We’ve also been digging deeper into the what, who and how of our own teaching. Who are we as teachers, and where do we see ourselves headed? To speed that process along we’ve all been working on final projects, that are due at the end of this week (yes THIS week! more on that later).  On top of that, each mentor group is required to teach a final practicum, which is a class taught by the group to the other mentees. This would be much more nerve-wracking had our mentor, Paula Lynch, not assigned us a full hour-long class to teach our own mini group during our meetings these past few weeks. I took my turn at the beginning of December, and I have to be honest, it was the most nerve-wracking class ever!

We were each assigned a pose by Paula, and asked to build a sequence around that to teach to our fellow mentees, all while being monitored by our mentor, perched on the sidelines taking notes, watching every move we make. No pressure! I was excited about the pose I got: ustrasana, camel! Not because it’s my favorite by any means, but because it’s one of those poses that, when done with consciousness, awakens the spirit and enlivens the sense of stability and groundedness while opening the heart to compassion, love and forgiveness. Also, it’s the perfect pose for this time of year! Who couldn’t use that fantasticness for the holiday season?

Yes, please do help me feel grounded so that I may express myself and open my heart to others in a safe and confident manner. Amen! And so, with that in mind, I took the opportunity to embrace the season of sharing and giving and its lovely, yet relentless color combo Red and Green. Normally, in our everyday lives we’re familiar with red meaning stop and green meaning go. Here, with the chakras in mind, I’m thinking red, the 1st root chakra, muladhara, as the base, your solid foundation, from which you can root firmly to grow and open your heart. And the heart? Well that’s the 4th chakra, anahata, which is represented as, you guessed it, green! Root down, let go.

Reindeer pose (er camel, whatever, tis the season!) is a huge backbend and it takes a lot of effort and care in preparation, just like holiday shopping! (not to self: must start that shopping thing). My intention in teaching this class was to help the students find security in that I AM root chakra so that they may open their hearts, minds and spirits with I LOVE this holiday season.

And if your holidays are anything like mine usually are, you’re going to need a whole lot of camel between now and December 31st!

Grandma never got run over by a Camel, so far as we know.

Believe it or not, just one more week left in this grand ole 300hr training. Stay tuned for final weekend updates, reflections, ruminations, and dear lord thank goodness I made it recaps. Thanks to all who’ve been so supportive and keeping up with YD in Yoga School!


Disclosure: Training is with YogaWorks, NYC (I am not being paid to say that, Paula Lynch rocks).

Thanks to everyone who’s donated any amount. I could still really use the support. If you appreciate YD please consider a donation. Thank you!


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