The first two weeks of my new journey

This is the third week of my 200-hr yoga teaching training (Yes, I survived two weeks!).

In my first week of training, I started thinking if coming here was the right choice. I only wanted to learn proper alignment, instil some discipline in myself, in the hope that one day, I will be able to be as strong, flexible and toned as my idol, Kino MacGregor (Yes, I know I am very vain!).  Little did I expect that I am entering something like a boot camp! The daily routine was arduous – First, sleeping early and waking up before sun rise every morning was challenging. Second, the two hours of daily Asana practice was tough (though I think this word cannot accurately describe the level of ‘hardship’ I went through). To put it simply, it was enough to make me want to pull out from the training. 

In the second week (Okay, I had a bit of ego and so was determined to not withdraw from the training), we were split into groups and my group did backbends with Kim. Since I always have stiff shoulders and lower back, backbends is not my favourite and I used to shun from it.  However, for some reasons, I enjoyed the week’s practice. It was progressive – Today, I am able to bend at this level; Tomorrow I try to bend a little lower and the next day a little lower again. By the fourth day, I could do a full drop back (of course, with the help of the wall), though I was only able to hold for a very short moment. Also, for my Chakrasana (wheel pose), prior to this training,  I could not ‘push’ into my mat to lift my head off the mat, with shoulders ‘opened’. This training ‘forced’ me (in a good way) to practice daily, and now in my third week, I am much better – I could lift my head off the mat and bring my shoulders more towards the wall. The next thing that I am going to work on is to hold the pose a little longer. 

Yoga has given me more confidence, I feel. Other than the confidence and being happier these days, I learnt two other things: 1) Be patient. Put Ahimsa (non-violence) into practice. This is indeed easier said than done for me. The competitive side of me often emerge in the first week of my training. The thought that often raced through my mind was “Why is it that she can do this and I can’t?” After talking to the instructors, it dawned on me that yes, there is no competition in yoga! Yoga is a journey and everybody’s journey is different. With this, I constantly remind myself to be kind to myself, to give myself time. Believe that with practice, the pose will come to me.   2) Focus on the present. It does not matter how well or bad my practice was the day before. Each day is a new day. I set a new intention for each practice and when the practice gets tough, I breathe and do the best I can on my reliable mat.