31.7.15

Does a 200 hrs Yoga Teacher Training Really Need To Exhaust You?

When in India, do like the Indians ! That will prevent a lot of energy, time and debate as well as, hopefully for you, some stomach bugs, to come your way. But when on a Yoga Teacher Teacher Training, what can be done to prevent soreness, release of emotions, and far too many stomach bowels to come your way?  Nothing much, it seems that over a 6 weeks period, the body will re-programme itself and you just need to wait, be patient and let the re-programming take its course.


Why is it so? How can it be different? The thing is, Yoga is not just Yoga Asana! Oh well that is what's written in Patanjali Yog Sutras, followed by the straightforward statement that Yoga Citta Vritti Nirodha (Yoga is a modification and stopping of the, emotional et al. ,  fluctuations of the mind.) . Yoga is much more than that, it is a ? Good performance of India' as my teacher would like to repeat whenever, Trikonasana,(Triangle pose) satisfies his instructions!
It also seems that all Yoga Asana sessions start with hips opening exercises followed by Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog) as though the whole purpose of Yoga is to improve flexibility of the hips and Downward Facing Dog, be it gluteus, hamstrings, It band elasticity, heels grounded on the floor, shoulders rolled down away from the ears, and belly sucked in. Whatever, just take it that in a 200hrs Yoga Teacher Training in India a lot of time will be spent at "improving your own being" before " improving your practice".

Hardly anyone thinks about that before signing in for a 200hrs YTTC. Correct? All those joining a 200hrs YTTC think first about the practice and then about themselves. Well in India it does not work like that. Not only are those two aspects inverted but it also seems that the more you improve your own being, the more your practice will benefit. Why is that? Indian Darshan (Philosophy) revolves around perfection in action, fearlessness and how to conquer life by understanding its fundamental mechanisms and processes: energy, matter and consciousness. Who is holding the key of the secret? Most likely the Ego. The less there is Ego, the better the understanding of life's secret, how energy circulates and how consciousness (purusha) meets (prakriti) matter. In other words, whenever there is too much ego in the practice, it gets stuck somewhere in between mooladhara, svadisthana or manipura chakra. This blockage is a granthi, a knot, that blocks the circulation of energy and,  the ego loves to hold it tight, not to let it go.


The teacher(s) won't tell you straight away, the Ego is bugging your stomach and not the food, or tightening your hips, or preventing your Ustrasana ( Camel pose) to look like picture perfect. You must find out yourself, by studying the Yamas, and the Nyamas and practicing AUM in chorus a lot - i mean a lot of a lot.

Then, last but not least, there is Abhyasa (Practice) and Vairagya (centeredness, regularity), practice and self practice, regularity and one pointedness. Expect distractions to raise in your mind every day at 5.30AM and make you wonder why is this so early and why practice can't be the same at, let's say, 8Am, expect distractions to make you wonder why your stomach has not yet adapted to the permanent daily ratio of Dhal and much more. Abhyasa and Vairagya will help you navigating through the motions. Do not ever worry. This is India, these are the Himalayas and this is the Yoga Capital of the world. We do know how things work over here! Plus, and may this be the most important point, never to forget, studies show, that it takes 40 days for the new body patterns to be installed by the body.  It takes 40 regular days of repetition of the same sequencing of events and attempts to get into a perfectly comfortable Trikonasana or comfortably perfect Urdha Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog). Sometimes it just needs a bit of patience, sore muscles, tiredness and jumping feet on the wall to actually succeed at starting to improve your own being. 

Don't worry, in India for a Yoga Teacher Training do as the Indian Teachers do, sit down quietly and listen, listen and listen. This is how knowledge gets into the practice since the Mahabharata was written over 5,000 years ago. 

Check Out Rishikesh Yog Peeth, in Rishikesh, Uttarkhand, India , there are some awesome teachers over there.

Namaste everyone!