Monday, January 25, 2016

Yoga Teacher Training - Week 1

January 22nd & 23rd -

I am tired.  Not tired because I'm pregnant or tired because I have a full time job or tired because of teacher training - I am tired because of all of it.  I could barely open my eyes this morning and feel like I could sleep for days, although I had a hard time sleeping last night.

Our family is also having a bit of a tough time trying to work out the logistics of me being gone so much.  Lemon is going to bed later and later (she was still up at 10:30 last night) and doesn't quite get what's going on.  Ian is overwhelmed, I think, in his new role as doing everything solo for these nights/weekends I have training.  Things are just weird and we are trying to find our new normal, but I'm happy this week is an off week and I only go on Wednesday night - we need to relax a bit.

I love the training, I've gotten to know the people in my room better (there are 15 of us), and surprisingly enough not all of them are there to be yoga teachers.  It's funny, being a teacher myself, because you think that people taking a teacher training want to be teachers, but for most of them that's not the case.  Some came to find themselves, others to find something new, others to get away and some to be teachers, like me.  Some are moms, some work full time, some are retired and some have medical issues - it really is a refreshing group of very real people that I am excited to get to know better.  It's great because I already know that Desert Song is amazing, the teachers are awesome and know I get a chance to spend time and grow with some actual students, that are equally just as awesome.  That is so much fun.

It's all the other life stuff I am trying to put into place so that I can have this amazing experience and fully be committed to it.  I'm feeling, at the moment, like I took on too much, shouldn't be away, mom guilt and wife guilt - and like quitting to be honest.  I won't, but I do feel like it sometimes.  How can I make this all work?  How can my family do this?  Will we be ok in the end?

It's only 7 months and it will fly by.  I keep telling myself this.  It's also a dream of mine that I've had for 10 years, how dare I feel this way and complain?  What the heck?!  I'm just conflicted.  Conflicted and tired.  Soooooo tired.

This past week we did our opening ceremony, a yoga practice together (that was called out to us in Sanskrit, which was interesting) and then we watched the movie Yoga Unveiled.  It was interesting buy very long and there was a lot of sitting, so my body got tired and my eyes were heavy.  I took notes to stay attentive and that helped, and learned about the history (and about modern medicine adopting yoga techniques) through the film.  I thought I'd share some parts I enjoyed here, with you.  It's an interesting movie, watch it in parts so you don't get bored.

I will make it through, I will, I'm just so sleepy today!!  Hang in there Allison, you can do this!!!

Yoga Unveiled insights:
  • 20 million people are doing yoga in the US, not many in India – more in the west than in India.
  • Yoga is joining the finite and the infinit, the micro with macrocosm – join and connect the whole individual to original blessing/creation.
  • “If you do yoga long enough, you live it.”
  • “Yoga brings you back to a feeling of what life is all about.”
  • “A gift for us to receive this gift of our lives.”
  • India has a preoccupation with the spirit and America has a preoccupation with the body – bring together the two.
  • “Be in communion with nature and the world will be a nice place to live.”
  • Yoga originated in India 5000 years ago, Indus civilization.  Found seals in yogi postures – yoga asanas.
  • The same people who created the yogi tradition also created architectural, engineering and trade with Mesopotamia. 
  • Asanas today connect us to ancient India – an entire civilization that was yogi based.
  • Branches of yoga:
    • Consciousness – the goal is to realize the inner self. “I think therefore I am."
    • Bhakti yoga – yoga of devotion and connection to God.  “Religion is based on belief and having someone else do it for you.  Spirituality is based on personal experience and effort.”
    • Karma Yoga – Fully committed – regard our life as service to others without an expectation of reward.  Albert Schweitzer, Gandhi and Mother Theresa – examples of people who did everything for other people.  
    • Jnana – Yoga of wisdom.  Letting go of what is unreal, focusing on what is real.
    • Raja Yoga – meditation.  Stopping the mind, turning the TV off.
      • This part of yoga has 8 parts:
      • Ashtanga yoga – non violence, truth, no stealing, celibacy, without greed. – abstention. 
      • Observance – how we live when no one is looking.
      • Asana – posture (actually sitting without distraction for meditation)
      • Breath control – pranayama
      • Withdrawl of senses – Control of senses, turn them inward.  Stop hearing sounds, eyes close. 
      • Concentration
      • Meditation
      • Contemplation
    • Tantra Yoga – holistic approach to health and well-being.
    • Kundalini Yoga – fundamental to Tantra - awakening of psychic power within us.  We can’t practice by ourselves, this one requires a guru.  This world is a manifestation of the ultimate reality.  There is nowhere else to go.  If the body is the temple, I need to keep it clean and tidy.  Prepare the body for spiritualization.
    • Hatha yoga – forceful or disciplined practice.  Late arrival to yoga history 1000 years old.  Meditation is crucial to hatha yoga. Yoga was taught to children in the forest because the teachers lived in the forest.  Was a way to connect to nature.  Why we have nature names for poses – like pigeon.
    • Mantra Yoga – repeating over and over to calm mind, consciousness
  • Ama – not fully digested food, also experiences and emotions based on events in our life.  We haven’t taken time to process them so they impede life energy – prana.  Then disease develops.  Purification reverses process.
  • Meditation and yoga do not magically fix, they are actually ways of being.  Rotate in consciousness and ability to see the world in a new way.
  • Mind and heart connected – mind can heal and heart can heal.
  • Doctors teaching the healing power of yoga – kind of an oxymoron to support alternative medicine.  But, through studies like the heart trial that uses meditation, yoga, diet and exercise – then there was evidence for benefit for patients.
  • Yoga and meditation can teach you to learn how to live with pain that won’t totally erode the quality of your life.
  • Physicians should care about patients but now it’s too fragmented, no one is responsible for the whole body anymore.  Psychiatrists aren’t even trained to so psychotherapy anymore, they just use drugs to “cure” patients.
  • Measurable benefits of yoga as we get older – blood pressure, bone density – health preserving therapy.  Cheap and you can do it yourself. 
  • Meditation and yoga are how you live your life moment to moment.  We are never really in our body, “we live a short distance from our body.”  The mind and body never were two – they are one in the same – whole.  We must be in this moment, this is the only moment we are only really alive in – don’t identify with your disease or prognosis.  “I don’t know who I am, but I know there’s a capacity for awareness that allow me to direct my life and work with my illness that allow me to move in way of greater well-being.”
  • Be knowledgeable of ourselves and not allow disease to be present in our lives.  Experience a state of wellness and then make the right choices. 

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