Yoga on The Farm

Yoga on The Farm, three days into summer

The past few days have been scorchers. 104* yesterday afternoon. Typical Texas summer, really. It was already in the eighties when I arrived at the farm this morning, a little past 8am, and the overcast sky was welcome.

Class featured a sun salutation, with a cooling moon salutation to balance. It was a challenging practice and my students were up for it. We had a great time. It was beautiful!

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My YTT, Yoga on The Farm

Learning to stand

I taught my first public yoga class this past weekend, on the farm! It was early, not too hot, and just the right amount of “roughing it.” I had six attendees, including my friend J (a fellow student in my yoga teacher training program) who helped me set up and break down.

If reading about yoga bores you to tears, I will only say this: It was awesome! We had a ton of fun. My nerves melted away once we got started, and the environment was delightful and inspiring, and I can’t wait until the next class! If you would compare the concept of sea legs to “yoga legs,” I think I’m developing my yoga teaching legs. I’m learning to stand!

If you’re at all interested in yoga…

We started with a seated warm-up, then a slow puppy pose to a safely aligned Downward Facing Dog, then up to Tadasana (aka Mountain Pose). We learned a sequence I’d call the Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II) “spin.” When we peaked at a squat, aka Malasana, I talked about how we have unlearned the squat in daily life. If you’ve spent any time around developing cultures, you have seen a lot of squatting. People squat to eat, to play cards, to complete their bodily functions (aka number II). Here I realized┬áthe focus of the class was not really to learn to get to that peak pose, to squat. The focus of the practice was to learn to stand. Have you ever heard of the four corners of the feet? In yoga we use the four corners to ground ourselves, to anchor ourselves for balance in life and in asanas/poses. Early in the class I \ talked about the four corners, and continued to reference them and rely on them throughout the sequence of asanas.

We build our poses, our bodies, from the ground up. I’m starting my yoga teaching career from the ground up. Four corners of the feet. Grounding. Mountain Pose. Malasana. Learning to stand.

My YTT, Yoga on The Farm

Starting small, planning, growing

A force that pushed me to yoga teacher training, and drives me to write about yoga, is the desire to share yoga with “non yoga people.” To clarify, yoga is for everyone! But it isn’t obvious to everyone how to find class or teacher that fits their needs and style, and booking a class in a traditional yoga studio can be intimidating. As with so many things, “fit” matters.

Within days of sharing my mission, a member of my local community offered space on their developing farm for me to teach yoga while I am in training. We have become friends, and I have been visiting the farm to get a feel for the space. There are chickens, cats, and a Labrador named Scout. There is a pond, relatively flat and clean grass, and a barn with a fridge, sink, and bathroom. It’s perfect.

Growing up in Maine, I spent my fair share of time on farms, and countless glorious hours outdoors. I treasure my connection with the land, and am thrilled to have this opportunity to teach plein air, to borrow the artist’s term.

Starting small and familiar feels right to me, because connecting to the land, to my students, matters. I am developing a five class summer series for the farm, and inviting a few friends to join me. Yoga is about practice, and I am grateful for this space and the support of my friends on this journey. Who knows where this will lead?