I’ve been told that days 8-9-10 is when all the really emotional stuff comes up and out in teacher training. It’s just beyond the half way point and people are really starting to see things bubble to the surface. Today was no exception.
JB was back with us again to lead a practice, meditation and discussion on the Yoga Sutras. “Sutra” literally translated means “thread” so the yoga sutras are the threads that weave together the entire practice. And not just the physical practice, the mental and spiritual aspects of yoga, too. One of the things I really liked about reading the sutras was the openness to all types of spirituality and religions. JB echoed this when she shared something from a book along the lines of “religion is the conduit to spirituality.” This is heartening to hear, especially in the wake of Malaysia and Indonesia banning the practice of yoga in recent months.
The practice that JB led was based on the sutras: both the book and our practice was seperated into four sections, one for each chapter of the sutras. Each section was bookended by a 15 minute meditation. JB encouraged us to FEEL the practice and the poses. Grounding through the feet and palms, heart open. Feel the connection to the belly and the breath. “This is power yoga,” JB said. “Power is breath. Breath is spirit.” And I would add, “spirit is connection.” Another great moment was when she said “Sun salutations strengthen connection.” What a great way to put it to make the sun salutations feel as important as they are.
By the time we came down into savasana, we had been actively practicing or meditating for nearly two and a half hours. It also made it clear for the first time ever why savasana is so often call “the real work of yoga.” Staying absolutely still and not attaching to any thoughts as they come through is harder than the physical practice. But that’s yoga. That state. It’s why we do a physical practice, to calm and align the body. It’s why we meditate, to focus and calm the mind. It’s why we breathe, to fuel and calm body and mind.
Staying this connected through the entire practice and the meditation inbetween sections made the practice much stronger for me. It was so intense, with all the meditation and deep connection that it left me shaking and unsettled for the rest of the day. Thank goodness the afternoon was only three teachers and a lot of paper sharing.
I shared my paper today, though I didn’t talk about anything I wrote. I tried, in a very convoluted and inefficient way to convey how happy I was to be in yoga school and that it came into my life at the absolutely right time. I don’t think I manged to actually day that though. But we did have an interesting discussion about the book Ask and it is Given, which I had some big problems with. I think, after yoga school, when I’ve had some time to process all that I’ve learned, I’d like to read the book again. Perhaps this time I can seperate the message from the medium (no pun intended.)
For the afternoon teaching with T & P we added some backbends. Modified for time, the flow now looks like this:
1 Sun A
1 Sun B
Crescent lunge twist on the R
Crescent lunge twist on the L
Utkatasana twist R
Utkatasana twist L
Padahastasana or Padangustasana
1 standing pose
1 salambhasana variation
Down Dog or child’s pose
Jump through to seated & lie down
Supta badha konasana
One final thought before I power down for the night:
“Compassion and generosity are the responsibility of the yogi.”
I’m adding that to the favorite quotes list along the Christine Northrup’s quotes and my favorite Anne of Green Gables quote.