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Somehow, I’m hurtling into week five of my teacher training and rapidly approaching the halfway point. Quite how I have no idea, I’m still telling people that “ I've just started a yoga course” rather than “if all goes to plan and I do my homework and don’t break a bone I should have a teaching qualification by Christmas” which still just seems a bit daunting at the moment. That said, when I actually look at what I've learned in the past few weeks, and the amount of notes that I've taken and try to review whenever possible, there’s a lot of stuff there! And it does feel as though we’re progressing pretty swiftly – if the first two weeks were about breaking our practice down, the last two feel like they've been the point where things are starting to click. I’m feeling stronger and not so much like I’m bumbling through my practice. I hope there’s more of an awareness in it than previously. My body seems to be getting more used to the rigours of training mainly thanks to a lovely sports massage therapist (who is my new very favourite person) sorting out my aching muscles when I walk robot-like into the treatment room after a weekend’s solid training. Equally, my friends seem to be getting used to my standard reply to any invitation to do anything, at any point, being: “Would love to, but have yoga. I’ll be free in January!” And I feel like I’m at the stage where I know everyone on the course pretty well now so it’s extremely useful to be able to share what we’re all experiencing as we go through the process together. Week three was the week that our breathing practice got taken to a whole new level. The weekend started with us learning agnis (a tricky kriya or breathing practice where you lock your bandhas on an empty breath and hold in downward dog for as long as possible) and trying to perfect them. They build a really strong internal heat which meant that I’m sweating more than ever during class and any recommendations for mat cleaners are very welcome… As well as the physical practice, what I’m really enjoying is learning about the history and theory of yoga and how what we’re doing on the mat fits into a long lineage of yoga tradition (not that my pitiful attempt in last week’s unexpected quiz demonstrated this interest…) Last week we were all given neti pots and taught how to use them to clear our nasal passages and help improve our breath and, much to my other half’s bemusement, I’m trying to incorporate it into my daily routine in a bid to avoid the Autumn sniffles that keep spreading through my air-conditioned office. There are some hilarious photos of us having a go with the neti pots of The Yoga People’s Facebook page if you want a laugh. So, as we near the halfway marker of the course, I’m aiming to keep pushing my physical practice, but not let me studying slip. I can almost hear my A Level history teacher telling me to ‘read around the course’ as I pick up the Hatha Yoga Pradipika and try and make some extra notes. And just when my boyfriend had got used to me blocking his view of the tv by practicing headstands, he’s slowly coming to terms with me wandering around our flat muttering in Sanskrit!