Yoga Binder Essay-Unique Sequencing

Katie Willden

YTT 1

Yoga Binder Essay:  Unique sequencing

In my upcoming sequence presentation, I plan to be very honest and somewhat vulnerable.  I am pretty nervous about teaching my peers and I’m trying very hard to walk like thunder through my fears.  I plan to share a personal story about myself that will put me in that vulnerable place, but I feel that it will be necessary for me to put these fears to rest.  I hope that this honesty comes across and that everyone finishes the sequence I put together feeling empowered.

I also hope to bring the feeling of empowerment to the yoga community, specifically pregnant women.  I have had such profound experiences through yoga, and throughout my pregnancies because of yoga, and I want to help other women to have those experiences as well.  Yoga kept my depression at bay while I was pregnant and connected me to my babies.  I gained a greater intuition of what my body and baby needed.  Yoga taught me how to breathe so that I could give birth naturally.

Throughout this semester I have had the constant thoughts of strength and overcoming fears in my mind.  That is what I see myself utilizing these words as an instructor.  Because I am trying to practice inner strength and overcoming my fears, I anticipate that being projected to my classes.  Whether it is helping a student realize their limitations and accepting the use of props and finding the strength in that, or encouraging another student to push through their fears to go further than they thought possible, inner strength and overcoming fears will be a major theme of my classes.

Yoga Binder Essay-Warm-ups and Cool-downs

Katie Willden

YTT 1

Yoga Binder Essay:  Analysis of Warm-ups and Cool-downs

The warm up and cool down of a yoga class are essential to the consistent flow to the class.  The first and most important part of the class is centering.  This is the time for the students to be able to prepare mentally for their practice and a time for them to clear their thoughts and begin allowing themselves to turn inward before their practice begins.  Breathing is also an important because it helps to further bring the mind inward and can create a feeling of calmness and relaxation.  The breath also helps to warm the body and prepares it for the physical practice.

The physical warm up of the practice is important, just as it is with any other physical activity.  It wakes the muscles up and prepares them for more strenuous aspects of the practice.   Sun Salutations are generally used to begin the practice and it is personally my favorite way to warm up before a practice.  I enjoy the repetition of the practice and knowing what is next and it always works to warm me up!

The main portion of the practice is the most physically demanding portion of the workout and is called the apex of the practice.  The main practice should also be sure to include poses that will move the spine in all directional planes.  Poses should also include a counter pose or something that will be the opposite direction of the first pose.

The cool down follows the apex of the practice.  More gentle poses are introduced to the practice and it is often appropriate to practice some pranayama exercises during this time.  The heart rate slows and creates the perfect atmosphere for savasana.  Savasana is said to be the most crucial part of the yoga practice because it is the time that the student is able to relax most deeply and can reduce the outside stimuli.  This is also prepares the student for meditation.

The class ends with the teacher bringing the students gently back into awareness and back to a seated position.  Closing the class with a smooth flow will also allow the student to prepare themselves for the transition from their yoga class to the rest of their day.

Yoga Binder Essay-Flow of a Yoga Class

Katie Willden

YTT 1

Yoga Binder Essay: #3 What is Yoga?

What is yoga?  Many people would answer this by saying that it is an exercise full of stretching and that you have to be flexible in order to participate.  Others would say that it’s something only hippies do.  And to other, yoga is a complete way of life, almost a religion and a philosophy of living.  Regardless of how you practice yoga, it can transcend into your life, even if it’s not recognized by the practitioner.  Yoga has the power to improve your life, regardless of what ails you.

To me, yoga embodies a way of living that I strive for.  The philosophies and history behind it is so metaphorical and beautiful and has given me a different way of thinking since I’ve been studying it.  After a practice of yoga asana I feel lighter and more connected with every aspect of my being.  I leave a yoga practice with a desire to display more compassion to others and to fuel my body in a more healthy way.

Yoga teaches us much more than how to get into certain poses or how to strengthen a certain part of our body.  Yoga teaches us to be present.  Yoga teaches us that there are greater powers at work; that the power to change and heal lies within ourselves.

Yoga also teaches us to breathe.  Yoga is so much about the breath that after a yoga practice, I can’t help but feel that I can breathe so much easier.  It transcends into the rest of my life as well.  I find that if I’m in a stressful situation, I can stop and breathe for a few deep breaths and I immediately feel better.  Yoga heals everything!

Yoga Binder Essay-What is Yoga?

Katie Willden

YTT 1

Yoga Binder Essay: #3 What is Yoga?

What is yoga?  Many people would answer this by saying that it is an exercise full of stretching and that you have to be flexible in order to participate.  Others would say that it’s something only hippies do.  And to other, yoga is a complete way of life, almost a religion and a philosophy of living.  Regardless of how you practice yoga, it can transcend into your life, even if it’s not recognized by the practitioner.  Yoga has the power to improve your life, regardless of what ails you.

To me, yoga embodies a way of living that I strive for.  The philosophies and history behind it is so metaphorical and beautiful and has given me a different way of thinking since I’ve been studying it.  After a practice of yoga asana I feel lighter and more connected with every aspect of my being.  I leave a yoga practice with a desire to display more compassion to others and to fuel my body in a more healthy way.

Yoga teaches us much more than how to get into certain poses or how to strengthen a certain part of our body.  Yoga teaches us to be present.  Yoga teaches us that there are greater powers at work; that the power to change and heal lies within ourselves.

Yoga also teaches us to breathe.  Yoga is so much about the breath that after a yoga practice, I can’t help but feel that I can breathe so much easier.  It transcends into the rest of my life as well.  I find that if I’m in a stressful situation, I can stop and breathe for a few deep breaths and I immediately feel better.  Yoga heals everything!

Yoga Binder Essay-Strengths and Weaknesses

Katie Willden

YTT 1

Yoga Binder Essay: #2 Strengths and Weaknesses

Thinking about my strengths and weaknesses as a yoga practitioner is a difficult practice for me because I immediately think about my weaknesses and can’t think of very many strengths.  Because I haven’t had a very consistent practice up to this point except for when I’ve been pregnant, it really is difficult to pin down the areas that I need to work on because consistency is the biggest thing for me right now.

I tend to be a procrastinator and I always seem to find something better to do than whatever I “feel” I need to be doing.  Even though I greatly enjoy yoga and the feeling I get after a yoga practice, if it’s scheduled or something I “should” be doing, I dread it and end up not doing it.  My greatest weakness is definitely lack of consistency.

My strength as a yoga practitioner is that I’m strong.  I can hold poses for a decent amount of time and I tend to use a great deal of muscle energy in my practice which encourages me to work harder, which I like.  I also have an ability to connect easily into my mind and body connection and I have found that I can overcome discomfort in a pose in an effort to hold it longer because my mind can talk my body through it.

From the perspective of a yoga instructor, I think that my weakness would come across as not knowing as much as other students perhaps because I don’t practice as much.  I think that would come across as a lack of confidence.

My physical strength and determination would most likely stand out to a yoga instructor and my strength.  Even if I don’t get a pose, I always try to do my best in the modification that feels best to me and I’m not afraid to modify if needed.

Yoga Binder Essay-My Current Knowledge of Yoga

Katie Willden

YTT I

Binder Essay #1:  Current Knowledge of Yoga

My current knowledge of yoga is good in that I know about different styles in general and I am also aware of the history of yoga and the philosophies.  I started looking into yoga when I was about 18 and I’ve always been drawn to the lifestyle and philosophy of it, more so than the actual exercise of it.  When I was pregnant with my first child at the age of 19 I found that yoga was the perfect way for me to prepare for labor and delivery and gave me the connection I wanted with my baby.  I was able to find a mind/body connection that I never experienced before and I loved it!

After I had my first baby, I fell out of my yoga practice and didn’t pick it up again till my next pregnancy three years later.  In fact, yoga has only been consistent in my life during my pregnancies.  I would randomly do a practice every now and then, but it was never consistent.  I have always been drawn to all things yoga, however, so I would still read Yoga Journal and learn about it in various ways.

My personal practice and techniques are currently at a 4 or 5 because I know a lot of the poses, but I know that I need work on my alignment and consistency.  I look forward to my training to help me to increase my consistency with my practice and to continue to learn about yoga in general.

Spinning Playlist

Artist Song Name Time BPM Movement
The XX Intro 2:08 25 Warm-up
The XX VCR 2:57 27 Warm-up
Sleigh Bells Infinity Guitar 2:32 20 Flat
Aesop Rock None Shall Pass 4:03 29 Jumps/Run on chorus
The Hives Tick Tick Boom 3:33 17 Sprint
Steve Aoki   Featuring Kid Cudi and Travis Barker Cudi the Kid 4:47 18 Standing Hill
Will.I.AM Scream and Shout 4:12 16 Jumps/Run on chorus
The Flaming   Lips Do you Realize?? 3:33 16 Seated Climb
Arcade Fire The Suburbs 5:15 15 Seated Climb with   alternating 30 sec focus on each leg
The Knife Silent Shout 4:45 24 Standing Run
Franz   Ferdinand Lucid Dreams 7:56 14 Standing Climb
Modest Mouse The World at Large 4:32 19 Cool Down
50 Minutes