DAY 1 Arriving early and sitting in Starbuck's I wasn't really sure what I had let myself into doing the Group X Training Freestyle Fitness Yoga course. I knew that the course was based on yoga, but from a fitness perspective. No chanting, no dogma, no sanskrit. I have participated in yoga/pilates/body balance classes for many years so I knew my warrior from my triangle but there was no way I would consider myself a 'yogi'.
My first surprise was the size of the class. About 25 very different instructors with varying backgrounds in; body balance instructors, zumba; fitness, spin, aerobic and one or two had never done yoga before - "I didn't even know 'the bridge' was a yoga posture" (Jools)
Jayne Nicholls was the instructor for the weekend. Jayne created Freestyle Fitness Yoga and the passion for her "baby" as she called it, shone through. Passion that she drummed into us the whole weekend. There is no other way except her way when it comes to FFY. Jayne is one driven, focused lady and was an excellent coach.
FFY is all about strength and functional movement. Loading natural movements and accepting the limitations of the body. We were shown how to get the most out of each pose and the optimum positions and were encouraged to try them. I knew this was going to hurt the next day. I wasn't wrong! My anatomy and physiology knowledge had been blown out of the water.
The definition of yoga to me is a lifestyle that you have to live and breathe. You must experience yoga at its roots and understand its philosophies and disciplines. I love yoga but for me, I just want the benefits. That is why I chose this course.
At the end of day, a very long and tiring day, I knew I had made the right decision and this was absolutely the right course for me to develop my skill set as a fitness instructor. Once at home I had formulated a clear plan in my head and was raring to go: 1. Complete day 2 and get certified, 2. Sort out my Public Liability insurance so I can get teaching asap 3. Practice, practice, practice.
My mind had been well and truly blown!
DAY 2 A good nights sleep and a relatively easy passage into the capital once again and I was eager to get going. Things were a little achey, particularly the hamstrings and the shoulders.
We started the session off with a FFY class...ouch! All of my muscles were crying out that had been stretched to within an inch of their life yesterday. The class was great. By the tenth repetition the whole class were performing beautiful sun salutations and the energy in the room was immense.
Let me make this clear...Freestyle Fitness Yoga is NOT relaxing, it is NOT a walk in the park. It is a WORKOUT and it is AWESOME.
After lunch was assessment time, the bit everyone hates however good they are. After feeling so elated by the whole thing up until this point, when my turn arrived I completely fell apart. I had no idea what was expected of me, what I should be saying, what I shouldn't be saying. I was so tired, my muscles were screaming at me and my mind went blank! I was lost.
This pain and suffering went on all afternoon and I wasn't alone. Jayne then called an abrupt halt to class, said well done to everybody and sent us home. What now? Had I passed? I was so tired I just left. I'm still not sure!
I walked to the tube station completely dazed. After my elation yesterday I felt completely the opposite right now, utterly deflated. As the tube sped down the central line I just kept thinking 'what have I done?', 'what a waste of time and effort?', 'what a failure?'. By the time I had got back to my car I had managed to pull myself together. I was tired. It had been a long weekend. I wasn't expected to be perfect at something completely new to me right away.
By the time I had driven the 70 miles home I had formulated a new plan. Regardless if I have passed or not I decided that this is not a lost cause. I must practice and I must get good at this, I can be good at this, it just needs some focus and some dedication. Take a leaf out of Jayne's book. She didn't get where she is by saying 'I can't'. She did it by saying 'I can.'
So my first goal this week is to perfect the Sun Salutation...