The new quarter.
I have decided to create this blog to document my journey as an aspiring yoga practitioner (and soon, teacher). I have just started my fourth week of my 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Certificate Course, and after finishing the first module which covered the Human Anatomy and Physiology from a Yogic point of view, we have just started on the History, Origin, and Philosophy of Yoga.
Under our new master, Anurag, we were asked why we joined the course and who wanted in fact, to teach Yoga. Out of the 20+ students in the room, all coming from different nationalities, background and professions, only four or five of us were certain to teach yoga as a profession (full-time or otherwise), a few others were considering, and the rest were led by curiosity and their need to deepen their understanding of the practice and/or suffered from an injury and healed from the practice that they want to help others too. One admitted dropping her corporate job to face yoga head-on. A couple others will land in the same page. One was in fitness and wanted to teach. One was already teaching and just needed the required certificate to present in Hong Kong. The lady in front of me was also a dancer and felt that she also received the same 'benefits' from yoga.
Then it was my time to speak: I first tried yoga four years ago and I fell in love with it. The benefits I reaped from yoga were undeniable and it complimented the benefits I get from dancing, even from running and cardio. I'm a dancer, I'm a performer, and movement is something I can never imagine my life without. For now I try to dance as much as I can, to perform as much as I can, but when I get old, I can see myself doing yoga in the long run... and not just pragmatically. It's something I'll keep the rest of my life. By teaching it, by passing on the fire to others, it will help fuel my own.
The teacher said something about Karmic Yoga, which we will be discussing more about in the future lessons. And he says with yoga, one does not get old. The soul does not, as it is eternal. He sat in front, solid as a rock but as light as air. "The mind has to be tamed. The mind has to be trained," he says. "There are many distractions in life, but you have to take the negative ego and transform it into energy. That is discipline. That is the realization of self. That is the clarity of life."
My first class under the new master and overwhelmed is an understatement. So many concepts, mostly abstract larger-than-life ideas that were very challenging for my mind to grasp. He's way up there, I thought. We're in deep shit.
I realized, that to be able to teach Yoga properly I really need to work hard on my practice so I could at least give justice to this religion/philosophy/lifestyle. Awareness of my physical body is something I already possess at a certain level. But I realize I have to improve the quality of my practice by working on my asanas every. single. day. Also I realize I have to respect my body more by providing it only proper nutrition. Already I try to "eat healthy" as my current profession requires me to be fit but now there is more emphasis on "mindfulness" as yoga strongly advocates discipline (and total control of the senses).
A supportive senior colleague asked this afternoon how my classes are going. I said it's starting to get more and more challenging. She says I look like I'm handling it OK. I did not want to look OK. OK is being comfortable being minimal. Then I realize I really do need to challenge myself more. So much more. Two more months of classes, trainings and readings and there's no turning back. There's a path in front of me - it is illuminated and I choose it.
I am looking forward to be transformed.
This article was first published on April 2, 2014