By Shaura Hall
On the Pilamaya Yoga 220 Hour Yoga Teacher Training course, we teach from the ground upwards. But what does this mean, and why do we believe in it?
When I wrote the Pilamaya training, I felt that in this time of unending new paradigms students would prosper if their practice were free to work with what makes yoga become alive in their hearts.
The Pilamaya training is carefully crafted to offer students a taste of some of the more popular traditions, while leaving the door open to find their own unique yoga signature.
The first Foci (module) of the Pilamaya Yoga Teacher Training looks at the Ashtanga standing series, and the anatomical teachings it offers. We observe the physiological strength that is necessary to practice asana’s such as those in the warrior family.
During this practice our awareness has no choice but to enter into the body and be with the sensations that often arise. In the Pilamaya Way, we develop the ability to be present with these feelings, and cultivate tolerance to physiological sensation; we believe these efforts on the mat begin to translate into our everyday life and our ability to be with – potentially uncomfortable – day-to-day situations is greatly enhanced.
R E C O N N E C T
Our feet are often neglected and forgotten, even by yoga teachers, and so, we re-connect our students to their feet and they begin to think of them as the glue that bonds the body to the Earth. As we challenge the force of gravity in yoga, we lift and reach for the heavens while rooting down into the ground. Our feet ensure that we do not topple over or energetically blow away like unanchored balloons.
By taking our awareness to the points of our feet that make contact with the ground, we naturally begin to make a relationship with the energy of the Earth. Noticing this connection to our planet creates a solid foundation and gives us the resilience that we need to be able to adapt to the changing environments that are offered by Earth.
The asana in this standing series also requires unique orientation of the pelvis for us to be comfortable and safe in the pose. Again, this is one of the areas in our body that we often disconnect from. The Pilamaya Anatomy of the Pelvis tutorial is designed to be fun and to shed light upon the myriad of tiny muscles that knit this powerful structure together; we must not forget to mention that the muscles that join our legs and our trunk together also run through the pelvis, including the mysterious Psoas muscle.
And so, the path to becoming a yoga teacher of the heart-way must start from the ground; we begin with exploration of the feet, bones, and orientation of the legs and the pelvis.
Foci One sets the foundation for Pilamaya Yoga teachers to be able remain present while delivering a yoga class, and stimulates a sense ground-ness that emboldens us to become leaders in our own lives.
This is the Pilamaya Way.