About 2 years ago, my husband and I started taking yoga lessons and going to beginner yoga classes. The lead teacher, from whom we took our lessons, is affiliated with the Bihar School of Yoga in India and incorporates elements of traditional yoga in her lessons. My curiosity was piqued and I started in on a course of self-study on yoga history and philosophy. So when an opportunity to enroll in the teacher training course arose, I dithered and mulled and obsessed about it in my mind. I was not yet in Unlimited mode, you see, and worried about my age, fitness level, and D management (especially since I had experienced many exercise lows). Also, I was more interested in taking the training for personal reasons (engaging in in-depth study and improving my own yoga practice) than teaching (which I wasn’t really considering at the time). Ultimately, I finally did enroll and thus undertook an extremely challenging, frustrating, exhilarating, exhausting, and awesome challenge!!
BTW, three factors really helped in my decision: my husband’s support, switching to the OmniPod from MDIs last year, and learning so much about exercise and insulin adjustments on FUD.
The course started in late March with 8 students and met almost every other weekend through June, both Saturday and Sunday all day both days. Other requirements included attending 60 additional yoga classes and critiquing 30 of those from a teaching perspective, completing homework assignments and 30 self-study hours, attending an out-of-town yoga festival (what a blast!), and participating in a group service project. (We have an extended period afterward to finish up all this stuff.) We also practice teach under the teacher’s watchful eye and when she gives each of us a “go”, we can start subbing in for teachers in the center’s regular schedule. We are also encouraged to practice teach in informal settings to gain more experience and increase our comfort level in this new role. Two of my friends graciously let me lead them in yoga practices and gave me very helpful feedback and lots of encouragement.
The weekend sessions were full of pitfalls for me: unpredictable activity timing, frequency, and duration; unpredictable mealtimes; unfamiliar foods (vegan pot-lucks with an emphasis on gluten-free dishes for students with gluten issues); and mental and physical fatigue. Early on I figured out a morning routine: bolus and eat breakfast early so there was little or no mealtime insulin still circulating by 10:30 or so and setting my basal down usually about 10 or 10:30 (for an hour or more) since there usually was active practice in late morning. Sometimes this worked out pretty well, sometimes not, and then I’d have to sit out for a while and drink juice.
Interestingly, one of the other participants deals regularly with reactive hypoglycemia and also needed to sit out for a while on occasion. In her case, recovery meant protein with a small amount of carbs. We had some very informative talks about our BG management needs!
As the course progressed and the activity level ramped up, especially after lunch, I found myself very gratefully relying on my Afrezza stash for boluses. I supplemented my meals with non-starchy veg, cheese sticks, and nuts, and made lower-carb vegan dishes so I’d have something to eat with a known carb load. A couple of times I really underestimated my appetite and the carb load of lunch…and had to correct bad spikes. For our final class, the teacher brought in a custom-baked vegan and gluten-free cake…and I enjoyed a full portion! Yay, Afrezza!!
Not until mid-way through the course did I think to start making notes on BGs, carb needs, and basal adjustments. Doing this has been particularly useful for the 60 required classes, since I am going to a wide variety of class styles in order to be familiar with what our center offers, meet the different teachers (who then are more likely to call on me for subbing), and assess my own capacity to lead a specific type of class. My “research” is helping me to understand the many ways yoga practice can affect my blood sugar and thus prepare me (hopefully!) to lead classes more safely and effectively.