I remember saying that the one thing I expected from my teacher training was to be able to do the Scorpion pose, I had a lot of yang in my personality that needed dealing with (LOL).
Straight after the teacher training ended in March, I was already on my next training- this time “Gesundheitsyogalehrerin”- very sexy name- which basically translates as Yoga Therapy. The training took place in Linz and meant taking the train from Salzburg, camping out at a hotel and getting to know new people.
Alexandra Meraner was the leader of our group, giving us her pearls of wisdom which would take 3 months, for us to receive this 75 Hour training. The first weekend was focused solely on the lower extremities…Now like I said, I had yang issues, I wanted power in my yoga! Friday night, I can hands down say was THE BEST yoga class I have ever been in. I didn`t quite understand how people cry after hip openers, or why chest openers (on another weekend) was traumatic for some. This was part of my awareness journey, not just to be more aware of my body, but to focus on the people I am teaching and be more aware of their bodies.
I rushed back to the hotel (can it even be called that, I highly doubt it) and made sure I wrote everything down as best as I could remember it. I felt lighter somehow, mindful and so much more aware. It sounds crazy, no? I was so fired up, I couldn`t even imagine ever teaching yoga the same way.
So what is “Gesundheitsyoga”? Honestly it is all about you! Every little bit of you! And becoming aware of you, your breath, and taking responsibility for your health. What does all of that have to do with yoga? Well just about everything! If you just take a look at the way you are sitting/ standing right now – did you just automatically correct your posture? Well our bodies have learned bad habits from us, the way we stand, sit on the couch or in front of the computer- it becomes the new “norm” in our bodies. Not so bad you say…well OK, but did you also maybe notice that maybe you suffer from chronic back pain, neck pain, headaches, migraines, depression, burnout, high blood pressure etc.
What do they have to do with each other…?
On that first weekend we learned to body read- that means having a look at a person’s body from the feet upward to notice if there are any imbalances (flat foot, knock knees, shifted hips, skew back, tight shoulders- everything), and then trying to traces these imbalances back to the root.
We were given a few scenarios on our last weekend, once we had a good grip on the different exercises- here is one as an example which maybe a few people can relate to:
A 45 year old successful man, works in a stressful environment where he often works overtime and most of his time working is seated. In his spare time he goes mountain biking. He suffers from problems in his Right shoulder, headaches, rotation of his head in both directions. How would you help him?
Now we had just spent the last 3 months with Alex working on and with different problem areas. Alex took time to explain all the different muscles involved in each of the areas that we studied. We went into more detailed than was allowed in the teacher training, and because 99% of us already had our teacher training behind us, we didn’t need that much time to cover the basics. To solve the problem we split up into groups of two and we all had to come up with 5 exercises to help our Mr. X. at the end we all came together to discuss our solutions for him and how to help him get more quality of life back?
So coming back to what it actually is- Gesundheits yoga, gives you the power to stay on point with your body, to recognise that something doesn’t feel right as soon as the problem appears and not waiting for it to become chronic. In 3 words- Harmony within your body.
At first I was a bit weary that people wouldn`t get it, the flows wouldn`t make sense, or that they may even become bored. But they keep coming back. I pretty much use a standard warm up sequence now, it just makes sense that way- and even my dynamic classes have a little bit of “Gesundheitsyoga” in them. I still love my power yoga classes, but I am now aware of the fact that everybody needs a release, time to breathe- and in “Healing Flow” we do a lot of breathing.
*Want to know how to help out Mr. X…Alex is coming to Salzburg In February and March to give a workshop on Gesundheitsyoga. Click here to find out more information about the workshop.
Oh…I still want to be able to get into Scorpion pose one day…but now I know that in order to get into that pose, a lot has to happen in my body, inch for inch to make it a safe pose, a mindful pose even- one day