esther m palmer

2014 I hunkered down. I worked tirelessly at my teaching and much has transpired! As a result, my dedicated readers, friends, and even family were not kept up to date. I would promise to post on facebook more often, but I doubt I will manage it. Just once this year, kiddos, that's all I got for 2014! So, as we prepare to step into the next ticking of time with days numbered 1-365, here is my recap and farewell to 2014!



a year to remember, a year to forget

teaching, teaching, teaching
New classes, new clients that brought challenges, reflection, and growth that repeatedly made me more certain (can you be more certain than certain?) of my "calling" as a yoga teacher. Yes, indeed, I love what I do!

prenatal yoga
I completed  a training and apprenticeship in 2013 with Gina Menza at ISHTA Yoga, and have since been teaching prenatal group classes and privates. I love teaching moms-to-be! Each pregnancy is as unique as the mom (and the child to be born!), and so I learn more with each student. Pregnancy is a marvelous process! 

functional anatomy for yoga teachers at yoga 216
You may know I'm all about teaching awareness of healthy/safe alignment in yoga postures, and the foundation for the "health" of an alignment lies in the bones, muscles, and fascia (well, the whole body, if you must). In addition to continuing to study anatomy, I began teaching anatomy for yoga teachers this year. I co-created the Functional Anatomy for Yoga Teachers program with Nicole Katz at Yoga 216 and we're having a blast watching it grow and improve with each iteration. Next round of FAYT starts March 5, 2015! 

yoga teacher training at yoga 216
In addition to building an anatomy course of study for yoga teachers, Nicole and I have worked hard over the past year and a half developing Yoga 216's first ever 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training program, which we launched this September. The feedback from our participants thus far has been amazing -- and it's been tremendous fun. Putting this course together was a beast of an effort, but seeing it through is proving more rewarding than I could ever have imagined. Teaching in the training has re-inspired my interest in yoga philosophy and history (not that I needed much provocation!), and I'm eager to take my own studies deeper in that direction. We're running the 200-hour training twice next year: Spring 2015 and Fall 2015. Each round is limited to 6 students!

yoga sutras
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is a classical yoga text that lays much of the philosophical foundation of yoga. "Sutra" means thread and a sutra text threads terse aphorisms together for the student to study with the guidance of a teacher. I write a post each week on one of the sutras for the Yoga 216 blog and have begun reposting them here (with permission). These will continue at least until I get through all of the sutras, and may just end up being a life long task, as every reading of the sutras is a new one, and there is always more to discuss. 

daily yoga how
Last spring, I started a collection of writings on how the practice of yoga shows up in everyday life as a way to consider what exactly this practice of yoga (not just postures) is (using examples from my own humdrum life). At first, I shared a new post every day, but then realized that the pressure to keep this up let me slip into essentially just public journaling. So, I've let it rest for a bit, will share insights when I can, and hope to come back to a daily post when I figure out a way to make that sustainable! 

little pleasures
I'm really not one to be wowed by fancy pretzel poses, nor do I crave success at many physical feats --it's certainly not why I practice yoga asana (physical postures)-- but I will say I'm having fun finally being able to do certain asana (bakasana!). It's immeasurably valuable to me to find that with "mastery" comes no fireworks or fanfare, just the pleasure of the practice.

more time at home
When you love what you do, why not do it all the time? Even us hobby-less fanatics need some time away. It's been my practice this fall to carve out more self-care time for myself, cherishing every moment at home with my husband and two cats. 


What's in store for 2015?

assisting TT at ISHTA!
This spring will be my first time assisting the 200-hour Teacher Training at ISHTA Yoga, and I'm beyond excited. Assisting is a tremendous learning opportunity for me; I will get to revisit fundamental topics in my lineage, continue to hone my teacher training skills, and study more closely with two tremendous women at ISHTA. I also just love the training environment and am looking forward to sharing it with all the amazing teacher trainees. 

more TT at 216!
I'm super proud of the Teacher Training I helped create at Yoga 216. As we move through it, we've been keeping diligent notes about improvements for future trainings. I've got a lot of research and writing to do to update and improve our manuals and get us in tip top shape for our spring and fall trainings. Gosh, I love my job!

deeper study of history and philosophy
My shelves are overflowing with texts waiting to be read...and I am truly excited to dig deeper into the details and nuances of yoga's history, philosophies, and related schools of thought. I always was a school girl at heart. 

Most of the anatomy I have studied and now teach is about parts --breaking us into pieces as a way to see inside. But when I look at a human body and ask "why do you move the way you do?", my experiential education leads me to see the whole body, the whole picture before I see the parts. Years ago, I was introduced to fascia (connective tissue) and Tom Myers' work on the communication lines of these fascia ("Anatomy Trains"). I've been working with an innate appreciation for and understanding of fascia, and now I'm going to begin a study that will give me a grasp on the material I can share more concretely with my clients and students. 

See you on the mat in 2015!


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