Wow, episode 4 already, which means I’m half way through the yoga teacher training. I have chosen the featured image of this blog post, as this was a very grounding training, with yoga practice, yoga philosophy and yoga anatomy. Yoga brings me closer to my real self each and every day, on and off the mat. And this picture shows me during a yoga retreat in Tulum, Mexico, where I felt grounded, too. Inspired, like I do now. And especially this pic was taken, when I finally permitted myself to come back to the real me.
Have you read my article yoga love yet? If you haven’t, I’d recommend to do it now, so you really understand why I feel so connected to the yoga practice.
Day 1: Started at 4pm as every Friday. I must admit after 2 weekends in a row and the 3rd weekend to come I felt a bit tired and wouldn’t have minded to just stay on the sofa with a tea and a book, but as I said above, I know why I’m doing this. So I swung my body into my yoga clothes, onto my bike and off to the yoga studio. The day started with correcting our homework, the yoga sequence we had to prepare and also we revised the most important points about standing poses. I was happy to see that my sequence was very good, even if not perfect, and that I knew actually everything on the standing poses, yay. As our teacher Nella always says, everything you need to know and you are ready to know, will sink in… the rest will come.
Then we went into our yoga practice focusing on the low cobra (Bhujangasana) and (Ardha) Chaturanga Dandasana. Whilst I knew the poses in theory, it turned out that even though I thought I had a really strong core, I kept sinking in to compensate what my arms couldn’t deliver. We went into groups of 2 to practice these poses and also to give each other feedback. We also learned assists and how to correct the major weaknesses in these poses, like putting too much pressure in the lower back, or not placing the hands properly underneath the shoulders to achieve a vertical angle to the mat. Afterwards, we incorporated the learnings into the following yoga practice and Jesus, my arms were ‘hurting’. It felt like they’d be falling off any second. But the practice was so good and challenging. And I like a challenge 😉
The second part of the day continued with yoga philosophy. We majorly discussed Ishvarah and the devotion to the Creator as well as the famous sound OM. We went into groups of 5 and prepared a chart about what OM means to us knowing by then that OM is the sound of Ishvarah. We then had to present the chart and in our group Robert and myself took over. The following OM to close the yoga practice was the most beautiful OM I’ve ever sung. It really came from the bottom of my heart and I indeed felt connected to something superior than me. I’ve had this feeling before, but this time was different.
OM, the sound of Ishvarah.
I headed home at 9pm, had a shower, something to eat, read a bit and fell into a good relaxed sleep.
Day 2: Makes me smile. We knew that we would be working with Richard Hackenberg the entire Saturday and Sunday. We were told it is about yoga anatomy. And I guess it was, but it was live anatomy if you know what I mean, so 9am Saturday morning and we went straight into a yoga practice. It was ‘only’ a 50 min practice, but literally after 10 minutes I turned around to the last row and breathed heavily, as it was just tough. The sequence appeared easy, and we didn’t do more than 10 different asanas. But, and that’s the clue, we moved quite slowly and with such an intensity, that we were all pretty exhausted after 10 minutes, haha. What a great practice though. Richard taught us very accurately how the body works whilst practicing yoga, live anatomy! After this practice, I experienced my best Savasana ever. Honestly. My whole body let go into my mat. Absolutely fabulous.
In the afternoon we spoke specifically about certain body parts, such as hamstrings, hip flexors and our spine. Knowing now that our spine is the way to transport energy, it makes it even clearer to me that we need to take good care not only of our spine, but our entire body. And I take good care of my body, once I re-educate it by practicing yoga consciously, with great alignment, with mindfulness, with love to the movement and the knowledge that my body wants to compensate weaker and less flexible body parts. I love my body and I’m so grateful for it, although I do have my physical challenges too, such as a severe tightness in my hip flexors and groins. I do admit that I find it annoying at times, but then I always come back to self-love and acceptance, thinking it will go once my time is right.
Thank your body.
Day 3: Makes me smile again, however this time I knew better. I knew we would be starting with a yoga practice, slow and challenging, so this time I was mentally prepared. And yet again, the practice was sweaty, I felt all muscles, everything, but I simply enjoyed the physical challenge and I could feel my energy rising. The following Savasana after a 60 minute practice was wonderful and I liked the fact that Richard didn’t say anything during Savasana and there wasn’t any music playing. I didn’t miss it, as I felt so peaceful lying on my yoga mat. We finished the practice with singing 3 x 3 OMs. 3 loud OMs for the entire world, 3 OMs a bit quieter for our group and last but not least I sang 3 OMs just for myself. Beautiful, no more words needed.
The second part continued with yoga anatomy again. This time we focused on the different nervous systems and which role they play in our everyday life. Especially the autonomic nervous system took my interest, as this is the system that works without my consciousness. This means that practicing yoga is even more important in order to gain consciousness over our body and mind, as we can only change the things that we move from the unconscious to the conscious.
What I also found fascinating is how our breathing influences our nervous system and whilst all yogis probably know that breathing is good, it is even better to know which role oxygen and CO2 play in the breathing. Meaning the higher the CO2 level in our body, the more relaxed we feel, for example when practicing Kumbhaka, the art of not breathing. Or Kapalabhati, when breathing quickly, which makes us feel more nervous and energetic as the CO2 level in our body decreases.
Last but not least we looked at Richard’s anatomy app over a projector. This was great, as he showed us all the joints, tendons and muscles we discussed over the last couple of days.
I must say I’m completely impressed with my body, with yoga, with the philosophy, what it gives me and it just makes me so happy.
I just love what I’m doing right now and that’s all that counts.
Do what you love and enjoy the way.