This is week one of a four week series. Here’s week 2, week 3, and week 4.
It’s been one week. I can’t believe that the first week has flown by so quickly, or that it feels like we have been here for weeks already.
(I’ll be writing these posts on my Sundays off, but you won’t see them until Wednesday. I’m sure by the time this post goes up, I’ll be in a completely different head space with completely different things to tell you – but you’ll just have to wait until next week for that!)
[insert a bit of complaining here – if you’d like to skip it, look for the next bracket!]
The time shift has been the hardest part of the transition. I haven’t slept through the night since I left Portland, and had several nights with no sleep at all, but it’s getting better. We got to sleep in this morning, which was a brilliantly beautiful experience. By sleeping in, I of course mean that I got up at 7:45 am instead of 5:30 am. My self from a couple of weeks ago would not be pleased with that new definition of “sleeping in”, especially since it’s technically 4:45 am PST according to my body.
This first week has been completely overwhelming from every possible angle – new surroundings, roommates for the first time since college, different time zone, different food, constant meditation, daily yoga and practice teaching, and SO MUCH SITTING. Did I mention the sitting? My knees (all of our knees) have been screaming from the transition to many hours of cross-legged sitting, both during class and meditation.
[end of complaining – see, that wasn’t so bad!]
Now with that initial petty griping out of the way, I have to say that being here at the Ashram has been an amazing experience. I really had no concept of how things would be. There are 9 of us here for basic teacher training, and we feel like a family already. We laugh more than I have laughed in a lifetime, even during class. No laughing during meditation, of course (except for laughter meditation, which is awesome btw). The food is fantastic, and we are being guided by two amazing teachers (and several of the Reverends and Swamis), and supported by three selfless staff members who seem to anticipate our needs before we even realize we have them.
This experience is so much deeper than just learning how to teach asanas. We’re really getting a fully rounded education in all aspects of yoga, learning to live the practice.
There have been a few moments of terror, thinking about how big this thing I’m doing is, and feeling so uncertain about my ability to step into the role of teacher (at least in this capacity). Those moments have been thankfully few and far between, and I’m mostly left with a feeling of joy about being here and the new directions I’m headed, and a little bit of brain fatigue from the immense amount of information that is getting pumped into our heads.
There was a full lunar eclipse at the beginning of the week with a moon that was incredibly close to the earth, and all sorts of natural and planetary energy is shifting in major ways all this month. It’s definitely going to be an interesting ride, so stick around.
I want to be able to leave you with some huge, mind bending blog posts while I’m here, but I’m recognizing that it’s all a journey, a process, and like most things in life, they happen in whatever order they happen. For now, I’m soaking in the experience and new knowledge like a sponge, and recognizing that’s all I can do.
And, really – that’s pretty much all we can do in this life: be here, be good to ourselves, do good work with an open mind and a clear heart. And enjoy it while you’re here; that’s really one of the more important pieces.
So, I’ll leave you with this selection of thoughts that resonated during the week:
If you are dwelling in darkness, you cannot bring light into the world.”
“If you’re not having fun, you’re missing the point!”
“Deep peace is always present in every moment, but we’re often too wrapped up in other things to notice that it’s there.”
“None of us are going anywhere, anyway, so we might as well relax!”
“Did you know that the average 4-year-old laughs 400 times a day, and the average adult only 15?”
I’ll be posting up more like this during the next three weeks over on Facebook (including photos), so if you’re really curious to keep up with what’s going on in between posts, you can do that there.
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