Friday, 18 April 2014

First #HYTTManila Hot Yoga Treacher Training

first #HYTTManila teachers and students 
"Trust the Process" that's what Dinah Salonga kept telling us throughout the ten weeks of the first Hot Yoga Teacher Training (#HYTT) program in the Absolute Yoga Series in Manila.

I must admit that I wasn't too sure if I would've lasted the training program - i.e. commit to attend all ten weekends plus keep up with my co-TTs who are younger :-).

Well, I'm happy to write that all twelve of us - Anne, Anthony, Bot, Carina, Chi (the youngest at 22), Edel, Ian, Janina, Jayme, Michelle, Sheila - survived! That's a total of 200-hours training from February 1 to April 6.

trying to complete the required 40-classes before graduation
Mind you, it wasn't easy. We were weekend warriors, up early to make the 6:30 am morning practice. The studio doors were shut at exactly 6:30am. Not to mention, we lost weight doing doubles per day just to complete the required 40 hot classes outside the weekend training (left photo). In fact, Anthony resorted to doing triples since he was migrating to Canada after graduation.

Amazingly, we managed to juggle our time between our work load, studying and practicing. Hats off especially to Jayme who was nursing her 4-month old baby and working at the same time.  And thankfully, we all passed the written exam and the peer class which served as our oral exam.

Anatomy class with Dr. JP Prado
Coming from someone who used to practice Bikram Yoga and Ashtanga, I find the Absolute Yoga series sort of a hybrid. It is similar to Bikram where the room is heated up to 39 to 40 degrees Celsius. However, there are more postures in the series, a total of 50 postures compared to Bikram's 26 postures.  There are also some ashtanga poses incorporated in the series.

The practice was founded in 2002 by Benjaporn Karoon Kornsakul. The philosophy is simple - according to Lucas Rockwood, one of the major proponents of Absolute, "Absolute teaches yoga as a form of mind-body fitness as a way to get in great shape and practice moving meditation."

Ryan, Dinah and Aisa
Looking back, I remember my lunch with Dinah in January. She sat me down and spelled out why I shouldn't miss the first TT program in Manila. This made me think of the time I first stepped on a mat which was way way back in 1995 in New York. After that lunch, I asked myself maybe it's about time to teach. I've been doing yoga for some time already. What really propelled me to commit was the quote from Yogi Bhajan "if you want to learn something, read about it; if you want to understand something, write about it; if you want to master something teach it."

The lead teachers of the first #HYTT were Dinah (head), Aisa Locsin-Winternitz and Ryan Chester. And the subject matter experts were Lucas (who via Skype), Pio Baquiran and Dr. JP Prado.

lab work updates on instagram

Our training sessions typically looked like this:

6:30 - 8:30 Morning Practice
8:30 - 9:30  Breakfast Break
9:30 - 12:30 Module /  PT
12:30 - 1:30 Lunch Break
1:30 - 3:30  Module / Lab
3:30 - 4:00  Break
400 - 6:00   Module / Afternoon Practice

The sessions focused on practice teaching (PT) and clinics to discuss each of the poses in the series. The subject matter experts - History, Philosophy, Ethics, Nutrition, Anatomy were included in between modules.
Potluck lunches
Group shot (photo credit: Edelweiss Tubog)

all twelve of us with our certificates
I am so grateful to teachers who drilled on us the importance of the dialogue to keep the class flowing and to relate to the students. And most especially grateful to my co-TTs, now co-Teachers and friends who I looked forward to being with every weekend. I'm going to miss our early morning yoga, the laughter during breaks, our lunches together and catch-up practices.

Right now, we're all slotted in the current class offerings at Yoga+.   I'm teaching at Yoga+'s Ortigas Branch every Tuesdays at 6:30am and do private classes as well. Here's a compilation of the photos I took throughout the 10 weeks. Click here to view. Happy viewing!