I thought it would never come – Graduation Day! Thirty days of rising before dawn, chanting mantra and practicing yoga before even checking Facebook, eating when told, working out karma through chores, hearing practical and outlandish explanations about life, choices, possessions…and dreaded above all – THE SOUL, good and challenging moments with the other 13 women, walking on the murmuring, ever-changing beach and finding a bit more inner quiet each day.
- More bad-ass yoga postures so I could look super cool.
- More inner quiet.
- More confidence to teach, especially one-on-one, prescribing yoga therapy for specific conditions.
- I might not be the teacher that whips up into super bad-ass yoga postures, looking cool. I am the teacher that accepts where she is, no matter how it looks, and lets her students do the same. (My hips are tight because I am strong – I can power up mountains and the tightness in my hips keeps me safe. I accept this, and have about 5 hip-opening exercises in my sadhana, in case they want to loosen up a little. Either way, it’s ok.)
- In order to obtain inner quiet, it’s necessary to exert some concentrated effort in meditation. Whether I am focusing directed energy toward moving energy from one chakra point to another, or concentrating on an image or mantra, it takes effort to obtain peace.
- The more you know, the more you realize how much you don’t know – the less you know, the more you think you know. – David T. Freeman When I began teaching, I still
labored under the impression that yoga postures were a series of exercises to improve flexibility in the body and calm the monkey mind for meditation. This is true, but it is just the very tip of the body of wisdom encapsulated in the ancient science of yoga. In fact, an advanced yogi can do very simple postures with an incredibly powerful effect because she knows how to apply bhanda (energy locks), mudra (links to the pranic force of the body), and mantra (seed sounds of the chakras to pierce the energy in these areas and get things moving). In addition, the postures you choose are powerful to heal the body and spirit – any variety of ailment, from digestive disorders, muscular issues, to grief and anger. You choose a personal sadhana for your Ayurvedic dosha, and for your particular conditions. You also take into account Indriyas (senses), the movement of Vayus, Tattwas, and Akashas (non-physical spaces within major regions of the body). Within this larger framework of yoga, it seems possible to heal and shift many major conditions within, and to bring the body, emotions and intellect into greater balance. Whew – it is a lifetime of study!
- Trust. This has been a major theme for me over the month. My body and mind seem to be in major overdrive all the time, just like many of us in modern culture. Meditating on, and just plain silently repeating, “I am safe; I trust myself,” has created space and calm within me on a grand scale. This is especially effective in completely foreign environments, with virtually no external control over anything! I imagine this technique will come in handy throughout the months to come in India…