Friday, October 17, 2008

Week 2 of Yoga Training

We started off on Friday afternoon by first discussing the observations that we did of different yoga sessions taught by different teachers. It was fascinating that each one of us noticed different things. Catherine noticed how not everybody was chanting AUMs. Alex appreciated the very creative sequence in Mary’s class. Stephanie was glad that she was’t doing the very sweaty class and just observing it. Kristina could not believe that she does the same challenging sequence everyday.

We also talked about the presentation that we were scheduled to give to the yoga newbie’s.
Saturday started with our presentation. My part was to present Pranayam. I was a bit tensed about it initially even before I prepared anything. I wasn’t sure how to approach the subject. I did not want to use too many Sanskrit terms and scare away some potential yogis! I just explained that Pranayama in simple English is nothing but yogic breathing exercises. I also had them practice full yogic breathing while explaining the numerous benefits of it. Everything went really well (or so I think until I get a negative feedback).
Then came the part I was waiting for. We watched the remaining part of the “Yoga Unveiled” documentary. It talked about Swami Vivekananda and how he got first introduction and recognition of Hinduism and “yogic philosophy” (I am not sure if I am using the right word here but you get the idea, right?). indeed we owe so much to this great fearless yogi-saint! The movie then gave the life stories of a few pioneering hatha yogis. It began with T.Krishnammacharya and his disciples like K Pattabhi Jois, B.K.S.Iyengar, Indra devi, TKV Desikachar. One of our homework assignments was to write on anyone of these prominent personalities. I chose to write on K. Pattabhi Jois as his name itself was so intriguing to me. Pattabhi sounds so much south Indian and the last name Jois is totally western. After writing my paper my curiosity about his name is still the same as I have not received my answer yet. I will keep searching though.
On Sunday, after the initial meditation and yoga practice Jasmin worked on head stands(salamb sheersasan) with us. It feels like I am pretty close to having a breakthrough there. I will just have to keep practicing without judgment and I will be there eventually. We also talked about setting an intention for the yoga practice. I have always noticed that whenever I do not set any specific intention and just go with the flow then my practice is much more fulfilling and enjoyable. When I try hard and stay in the pose for as long as the instructor wants us to, then I almost always end up getting frustrated for not being able to perform well. Henceforth my mantra may as well be “just chill chill, just chill”

Second weekend of the teacher training was a bit hard for me partly because I was not feeling too well. I was coughing a lot. I got that bug from my younger daughter who had been coughing all over me for more than 2 weeks. I am kind of proud of myself that I could fight it for 2 weeks before surrendering to the cough!
I have signed up for the yoga challenge at Yoga Island. The idea is to take 25 classes in 30 days and if we do, we will earn ourselves a yoga t-shirt! It looks like I will have to let go of that t-shirt this time around. I had to take Monday off and rest at home as I was coughing all night long. I used that day to also finish up some assignments.
Another adventurous thing on my part was to try neti-pot to cleanse my nasal passages. That did not go very well I must admit. First of all, I should not have done that when I was already coughing and congested so much. Lesson learnt. I will wait for a few days to try it again.
I am also keeping a food diary as we will be learning a whole lot about yogic life style and healthy eating habits in the next weekend session. My diary is not that impressive. I ate out twice already. My diary is not nicely written food log but just scribbled on post-it notes. I think writing a food log might help all those who are trying to lose weight because every time I wanted to eat something, I thought to myself if it was something worth writing in a diary.

It is already Friday and time for the third weekend of yoga training. I am so looking forward to it. Week 2 in short was a bit hectic due to health reasons yet I moved forward a little bit.