Entry #21 ~ Monday, September 29 ~ 10:30 p.m. ~ Back Home in Austin
I took two phenomenal workshops from Amy Ippoliti. Amy is a certified Anusara Yoga teacher based out of Denver, but she spends a lot of time on the road both with John and conducting her own workshops and trainings. Amy was featured on the June issue cover of Fit Yoga magazine. Like my teacher Christina Sell, Amy is a small and powerful being with a lot of Anusara Yoga knowledge and the radiance of Divine energy.
The first workshop at the Grand Gathering that I took from her provided “The Foolproof Method for Planning Your Class.” Much of the lecture focused on theme development and was quite similar to what Christina taught us in our Level 1 Teacher Training last summer.
I have to say that one of the very cool things about this conference was seeing the disciplined adherence to the Anusara Yoga methodology by the different teachers. As Christina showed us, there IS a method ~ a recipe of sorts ~ that you follow to create an Anusara Yoga Class. It’s not magical; it’s methodical. Just like the principles.
We worked with the idea of life-affirming theme development as based on the Universal Principles of Alignment, and then how to develop a class plan using that theme and an apex pose. We discussed the value of drawing on personal experience for your theme, but then the importance of putting it back on your students in a meaningful way.
For example, let’s say your theme is strength and you share a personal reflection about the strength of your own grandfather, a story that illustrates his strength. After you offer that up, you want to be sure to draw in your students: “Now think of someone in YOUR life who represents great strength in the face of adversity. Dedicate YOUR practice to them now.” In this way, you move them away from YOUR STORY and allow them to reflect on their own deeper meaning.
Based on her studies with John Friend, Amy developed a yoga class template ~ a visual tool ~ which was available for sale at the conference (and I understand that it will be available for purchase online as well in the near future.) Be sure to watch her website (linked in my sidebar) and also the Om Time Store that she is affiliated with. If I find any place that sells it in the meantime, I will be sure to update this post.
Because I am a visual learner myself, I had previously created my own Anusara Yoga class template over the summer, as well as one for theme development. These two templates are based on my understanding of the process as outlined in my immersion with Christina and our subsequent Level I teacher training. My templates are not as clean and succinct as Amy’s, but might be useful. Feel free to check them out, download, and PLEASE give me any feedback. I added in a lot of notes from the Teacher Training manual to further clarify the process for myself. (I need all the help I can get!) Seriously, I’d welcome your input, especially if you see any errors in my thinking or ways to enhance the tool. Links provided below:
Amy’s second workshop focused on “Hands on Adjustments that will Rock your Students’ World.” More on that ~ and some great photos from the class ~ TOMORROW. (See, y’all are going to just have to keep coming back!) Until then, remember the words of Casey Kasem, “Keep Reaching for the Stars!” After all, we’re gonna light the sky!
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One final note … I have added a new section on my sidebar of links to all of the Anusara Yoga instructors who presented at the Estes Park Anusara Grand Gathering. You can check out their studio locations, schedules and more through these sites. While you’re at it, be sure to check out Christina’s pictures from The Gathering on her blog.
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