Nadine’s YTT Journey | Breaking the Ice

I was pretty nervous driving to Energie EnCorps from Montreal on Saturday morning. My bag was packed the night before and I went to bed too late. I got to the studio too early, always do, and hung out in the Tim’s parking lot for about 25 minutes.

My first impression walking in from the cold was that of being welcome – there was the smell of essential oils in the air, people greeting each other, smiling. A good start!  Introductions also helped assuage some nervousness, every single person seemed nice, relaxed, and there seemed to be a good mix of all types of yogis: young, old, short, tall, flexible, not flexible, experienced and newbie. During the intros, I heard a lot about being pushed into areas of discomfort and learning to be my authentic self. THIS, I felt excited about.

We moved to talking about breath which brought us, 2 hours in, to my new life motto: your breath is a filter. That one is still sinking in, a few weeks later. It resonates with me and it feels like such an obvious instruction for life! A filter, not only for what enters but also what comes out of my heart (and my mouth!) when facing situations in daily life.

YTT weekend 1 april 2018By the end of day one, we had added a short asana practice and worked on planks. Driving back to the city, I was feeling a little overwhelmed… had I bitten off more than I can chew? I also felt humbled, learning midday, that my alignment in downward dog was not quite right. But it felt like progress, and that is why I’m there. So I drove my stick shift home, with arms like limp noodles and got to bed early for the next day!

Day two, I felt more excited than nervous, and I was grateful for the already familiar faces in the studio. We learned about communication, verbal and non-verbal and how cueing will be important when teaching. We discussed the meaning of the opening invocation and the 8 limbs of yoga. Asana practice is only ONE of the limbs of yoga, the tip of the iceberg. We also did an Ashtanga class, full primary series, my first! I was in child’s pose a lot, but I never felt lazy or not good enough. I was constantly reminded, with great cueing from our teacher, that we are all working at our own pace, and that our practice is individual. Not at all about just getting into the pose.

Driving home after day two, I felt excited… excited to get my homework, excited to come back, excited to get to know all the wonderful people I’ve met over the course of the year. I also felt tired, incredibly proud and I had this unshakeable feeling of being in the right place… I’m in the right place.

My Top 5 after weekend one:

       1️⃣ Favorite life instruction: use your breath as a filter

       2️⃣ Favorite yama: Asteya – do not steal; do not envy what others have

       3️⃣ Favorite niyama: Saucha – simplicity, pure existence, free of clutter in the heart, the mind, and the home.

       4️⃣ Favorite pose in the Ashtanga primary series: parsvottanasana (even if I have to do a modified version)

       5️⃣ Favorite moment: crying like I hadn’t in a long time, in savasana at the end of my first Ashtanga class

Check back every month to read what I have learned on my YTT journey!

YTT Written by Nadine Dumas, a 200H Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Trainee at Energie EnCorps.

Nadine is the 2018 winner of Energie EnCorps YTT #WhyIamWorthIt Scholarship, who will be blogging on her Yoga Teacher Training experience over the course of the year.  Follow her journey.   Celebrate with her in her a-ha moments, relate to her struggles and learn how the philosophy of yoga can be brought into your own life.  Thank you so much to Nadine for letting us all into your mind this year.

Learn more about the Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Training program at Energie Encorps West Island here:


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