Tomorrow night marks the last Monday night class of my 9-month long Yoga Teacher Training (200-Hour) program.
Yesterday, was our last mandatory Mysore practice. The last time I have to be in the yoga studio on a weekend at 7:30am.
In some ways it has been a long and onerous journey.
Reading all the books we’ve used. Anatomy, philosophy, teaching, Ashtanga, Sanskrit – we’ve covered a little of each. It’s the first time I’ve really had to study anything and be tested on it, in over 30 years. Not to mention the hours of lectures, Powerpoint presentations, and various homework assignments.
Then there’s the (asana) practice. Pretty much every morning, of every weekend, since last September, I’ve been in the yoga studio between 7 and 7:30am to learn. To practice.
Rightly or wrongly, I was accepted into the program only 4 months into my yoga journey. Many programs require you to be practising yoga for at least 2 years as a prerequisite. However, Qatar is a transient community with people coming and going regularly so teachers are sometimes in short supply. Secondly, my teacher said students need all kinds of teachers. I think in my case she was referring to someone who can relate “oh-so-well” to others who are just starting. There have been many times during classes or workshops where our teachers have talked about having a ‘beginner’s mind’ with our students. I have that all right. I am that.
But now I can also speak about what I believe yoga is (and what it is not). I can explain various types of ways to practice pranayama. The differences between Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Bikram, Anusara, Iyengar, Hatha or many many other types of yoga. I can tell you where the all-important psoas muscle is. Or what abduction vs. adduction, or extension vs. flexion is, and break down poses accordingly (well, some of the time I can get it all right).
I have also memorized the Ashtanga Primary Series as far as my teacher will permit me to go in it. I find myself knowing the names of poses in Sanskrit but often cannot recall the English version. I try my best now to do headstands, handstands and even had myself into lotus position recently – once. Poses I thought I would never attempt, way back in September.
Mostly I have learned
…… what there is to know about yoga, particularly if I want to teach it to others, will be a life-long journey of mine.
I have learned that I need to be aware of my breath, my practice, my body, my mind. It may bring me joy, comfort, peace. Or every opposite to each of those feelings. That each is just a moment in time and if I let it, each will teach me something about myself.
Learning and then attempting to move my body into difficult postures is not easy. Learning terms used in anatomy or the foreign sounds of Sanskrit is not easy.
Nor is it easy to watch and listen and sit with whatever’s happening during my practice.
Nor is living this every-day life.
But I’m sticking with it. All of it.
I have to admit that I do not really understand the whole “yoga mystique” but big congratulations to you for all the successful work you have put into it. You’ll have to show me a little when I see you.
Leanne Moffat said:
Yay! I also yoga, but fell off my mat last year(?) right before teacher training was to start. You’ve inspired me to get back on! Namaste! Om, shanti shanti…
Valerie Jeremijenko said:
Jody – You didn’t add that you are a wonderful yogini and that your dedication to the process has been inspiring and that your aura during practice is “just so.” Congratulations. v
@Leanne, good luck with the leap back on to your mat! I would say just begin….wherever you are with it.
@Valerie, thanks so much for everything – teacher!
@Sharon…. always one of my strongest supporters. Thanks Mom!
I loved this one and I love the photo of you! you look very happy in it. what a fantastic and amazing accomplishment you have made!!!!
@Marilyn. Thanks, dear friend. It makes my heart glad, for sure!
I do a little yoga, alohtugh a yoga aficionado would probably say I don’t. I’ve found the shoulder stand measurably helps my arhythmia. If I go 2-3 days without doing a shoulder stand, I can tell the difference. In total I may spend 15 minutes a day doing yoga.Looking at the article, yoga appears to be a very safe activity overall. The article pulls up some anecdotes of injuries, but the rate seems quite low. Weight training and running probably have much higher injury rates. When I worked in a health club, it wasn’t unusual for someone to become hyperthermic from sitting in the hot tub. There have been documented deaths from hot tubs.The trick is to not force you body to do what it doesn’t want to do. And, remember that everyone is at least a little different.As for vegetarians,vegans, gluten free,… and tea drinkers, these people are usually on massive ego trips and the practice of the “discipline” is solely to feed their egos.