Things really heated up this week in Rishikesh. It is hot in May, the heat is helping to keep my muscles loose and aiding in detoxification that’s for sure! We continued our 5:30 am to 8:45 pm schedule this week and I really feel that I am getting into the groove of the day and it flows quite well. This week we began to teach each other in the afternoons. This really gives us the opportunity to learn from each other and receive feedback on how we can improve and become better. We are given the space to discover things on our own, but when the inner guru doesn’t suffice, Krishna or Roshan step in.
We have a new evening yoga instructor, Jeet who is teaching us Ashtanga Vinyasa in the evenings, it is a very challenging class but I leave feeling liberated! After three days of Jeet teaching us, we began to break into groups to teach each other sun salutations: Surynamakasar A and B as well as a few other asanas or postures. Repetition of these short sequences creates a context for going DEEP!
We continue with our weekly cleansing kriyas bright and early on Friday morning. I won’t go into the whole process as it is best to experience it yourself. These cleansing Kriya’s make the yoga and pranayama practices go smoothly, cleanse impurities and create a feeling of lightness. They are something that it best to just do and not think too much about. My nasal passages feel completely cleaned out and I am able to breathe better than ever. Doing these cleansing practices with our group allowed us to breakdown a lot of traditional western norms!
I feel the evening lectures with Roshan to be particularly enlightening. He has a profound way of explaining things and connecting the dots. This week we learned about the musculoskeletal system and range of motion. We also discussed some philosophy. Roshan said, “Most people are human doings & the journey if yoga is from human doing to human being. If we do certain things to get certain things, then we will be happy. Why can’t we just move towards happiness, happily? This is what human potential is.” We also studied the theory of yoga in anatomy and philosophy. I now feel ready to ask the right questions. Through the intensity of the teaching, we are able to implement all of this new information on higher levels and physical levels quite immediately.
Krishna our lovely morning and afternoon teacher taught us more about pranayama- breathing exercises. Prana- is life force energy that uses breath as a vehicle to get the cosmic force into the body. Ayama- is the pause or cessation of breath. Pranayama is expulsion and retention of breath gives you the ability to control your mind.
Being in India for yoga teacher training is something that can’t be described, it has to be experienced. When you walk around you see that life is revolved around the street, and there is a lot going on the street. From monkeys, cows, dogs, spiritual people (legendary babas), beggars on the side of the dirt road, fruit stands and you always have to look down to make sure you don’t step in cow dung. When the weather is too hot the best thing to do is go dip in the Ganga or Ganges River. It is so cold (It was ice on a melting glacier in the highest mountain range on the planet…only yesterday) and refreshing and blesses you since it is a holy river. One of my fellow teacher trainers introduced me to a delicious new fruit juice called bael, it is cooling and aids in digestion. My favorite part is the people here; the purity in their eyes is so beautiful. It is the land of spirit, and you don’t always feel that you have everything you want, but you definitely have what you need. More importantly, you have what your soul needs. Sometimes you have to get dirty and sweat on the outside to really cleanse the inside.
This week was expansive and I released a lot but I know there is still more to come. I embrace the moment and release one illusion at a time with love.