Yoga Teacher Training in India - Week One

I arrived in Rishikesh seven days ago to join the 300 hour hatha yoga teacher training in India. I came here with a purpose of self-healing and to deepen my yoga practice and knowledge. I did not expect that I was about to meet so many amazing new friends. I have never been surrounded by so many beautiful souls. The people who work here and all the students here are absolutely lovely.  Being in the yoga capital of the world on the Ganges River at the foothills of the Himalayas is truly magical. I feel right at home here and can sense a genuine, loving and open vibe from everyone I meet.

Yoga Teacher Training India

We start the day bright and early with morning tea and sinus cleansing using a neti pot, which can feel awkward the first time but it really cleans out your sinuses so you can breathe! After cleansing our sinuses we go up for morning practice, then breakfast with a lot of fresh fruit followed by theory class.

In theory class, we had a truly profound discussion on what yoga really is. The teachers are all very open and said that we do not have to accept anything as our truth; we can test it and see if it works for us. These ideas are already bringing deeper layers of love and truth into my practice and I am just going to share a few that I found changed my perception of yoga.

To understand more of what yoga is we started by discussing what yoga is not:

-              Yoga is not only what happens in class when you sit on a mat.
-              Yoga is not only a pose or posture.
-              Yoga is not about competition.
-              Yoga is a way of life; it is being present moment by moment.

Yoga is the understanding of breath and the practice of universal moral values. Yoga is for everybody and is not for the flexibility of the body, it is for trying to become flexible in the mind. Flexibility in the mind allows you to open and expand your awareness so you can decrease the amount of involuntary, unconscious thoughts, increasing the amount of voluntary, conscious thoughts.

After theory class, we have practiced this week and we learned about Yoga Nidra, the yoga of sleep and Yin Yoga. We were guided to always listen to our bodies and honor ourselves by respecting our possibilities and limits.

Following theory class, we have a healthy vegetarian lunch and a nice three-hour break, some days I go out and explore Rishikesh. It is a five-minute walk down to the Ganges River; I really feel spirit all over here. India is so colorful and there are puppies, cows, calves and monkeys everywhere. Most of the monkeys are not too friendly just to warn you!

After breaking in theory class we learned about the Nervous System and how our brain functions. We also had many conversations about meditation. Meditation is a part of yoga; the purpose is not to become thoughtless but to become more aware of your thoughts. This allows you to understand how your thoughts are affecting your emotions and external reality. By becoming aware of your thoughts you can cultivate more thoughts that you actually want to think.

Theory class is followed by another evening practical where we had a teacher that showed us how to properly align asana in ways I had never seen before, with precision. After that is dinner, a little break before meditation then bedtime. I feel very safe and peaceful here. After only the second day I already felt like I had made 15 new soul brothers and sisters.

Sunday was a day off and I went on a magical adventure. I started off taking a boat ride across the Ganges River to the Rishikesh Market, then hiked a mountain and swam in a magical waterfall! I ended the day at the Beatles Ashram- no wonder their songs were so enlightened, they spent so much time here in Rishikesh.

I feel being in India cleanses the soul and opens the heart. It is the process of release that brings me back to my truth.


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