Hey friends, good news: I got yoga certified this weekend! I have been busy studying for my health coach certification and studying for my yoga certification lately and finally traveled with a couple friends up to Bozeman, Montana, this past weekend for our 2-day YogaFit Level 1 certification at the MSU fitness center (a beautiful facility!). This is the level 1 certification, but eventually we can add the other levels and workshops to build up to our 200 hour RYT if we like.
This post is light on photos since I didn’t feel comfortable putting other people’s photos on my blog without getting waivers (I didn’t think to bring any), and we were pretty busy moving around and studying that I kept forgetting to get photos! I wanted to take photos of the MSU fitness center since it was pretty amazing but I kept forgetting…darn!
I’ve been teaching PiYo 4 times a week at our local recreation center and it has been great, but I wanted more flexibility with my teaching, music, and class structure. One of the things that I don’t like about PiYo is that we have to stick with the format: no changes in choreography or music are allowed, unless modifying for student’s limitations. This is great for instructors who like to have things already set up for them, but as I grow in my teaching abilities, I like to get creative in teaching fitness classes (safely, of course).
YogaFit has a suggested format for classes, but I’m going to take this certification and create my own unique class. I’m not sure that I will stick with the mountains/valleys format strictly, I’ll mostly use it as a guide. There are some things about PiYo that I do like, so I will blend the concepts from PiYo and yoga into my class. I want my classes to be strictly fitness oriented (no spirituality, chanting, etc.) so anyone can feel comfortable taking the class.
In the workshop, we went through a lot of pose basics and foundation poses (like mountain, downward facing dog, etc.), concepts of teaching, using transformational and inclusive language in teaching (our, we, action oriented -ing words), putting sequences together, and more. Our instructor, Jenn, was very gracious and I learned a lot about proper form and safety. Safety was one of my biggest concerns since I’m an anatomy nerd, so learning the proper form was one of my favorite parts.
Our instructor came around the room during our sun salutation practice and helped each of us individually on form. I was having issues with feeling tightness in my low back during upward facing dog and we chatted a bit about how we can fix that: really engaging my core more and engaging my thigh muscles to provide total-body strength through the move instead of sinking through my low back. My up-dog is much more intentional now and there is no tension in my low back during that pose!
We had 13 people in class and they all were wonderful! No one was judgmental or competitive. We had to partner up and do teaching practice several times and everyone’s feedback was great and super helpful. There were instructors in the class and non-instructors alike, and people with injuries, so we could see different ways to do poses and how to modify for different abilities and populations.
All in all I learned a lot during this workshop! The info about transformational language in class was really cool and I’m including that in my teaching. One thing that I loved was that our instructor kept reminding us that we need to fit the poses to us, not fit ourselves into the poses. We should modify whenever necessary to ensure we are getting the full benefit of the pose, and we need to encourage our classes to do the same.
On a side note, there are a couple different books to read for the YogaFit Level 1 certification. When I was getting registered for my class, the YogaFit website listed the 2nd edition of Beth Shaw’s YogaFit book as the required reading for the workshop (it’s been updated since), but the 3rd edition has a lot more poses, updated images, and color photos. So if you’re going to a YogaFit training, buy the 3rd edition before you go!