My Yoga Teacher Training With Tirisula

I have been procrastinating awhile whether to sign up for Yoga Teacher Training.  My excuse was always lack of time because I am working full time and have a very demanding toddler at home.  Then come COVID-19 and changed everything.

With the pandemic, all of us started working from home.  I finally had some extra time from not needing to travel and commute, and that’s  one of the things I am thankful for.

During the Circuit Breaker, I reconnected with Yoga as my friend in Penang started teaching Kundalini Yoga on Facebook live.

I first started Yoga way back when I was 14 or 15 and all I remembered were Sun Salutation, maybe child’s pose and tree pose.  Who wouldn’t love child’s pose when they first started Yoga?

Whilst I was “attending” my friend’s Kundalini Yoga practice online, my mother-in-law who had no prior experience in Yoga joined me.  I saw that she didn’t feel comfortable when she’s performing some of the Yoga poses, for example, her knee will go beyond her toes when she’s in  a high lunge and it started to worry me that she might hurt herself one day.

That’s when I decided to sign up for Yoga Teacher  Training.  However, which Yoga Teacher Training Course should I go to?

My criteria for a Yoga Teacher Training Course include:

  1. Duration of the Course – I still need time with my toddler
  2. Distance – I don’t want to spend too much travelling
  3. Price – Of course as cheap as possible is great

It’s amazing Tirisula fulfills all the criteria, except the distance.  The studio used to be in Paya Lebar, and it’s totally an ideal location for me to travel from Tanah Merah.  Unfortunately, they have moved to Norris Road at Jalan Besar, which is much further away from my resident.

The duration of the course did not take up my entire weekends because our physical practice in studio starts from 8 am to 11 am and we get to complete our theory lessons via Zoom from 4 pm to 6pm.  The timing is a total fit to my current lifestyle as I’m still a pumping mom.

The price is the cheapest I can currently find in Singapore.  All the Yoga Teacher Training Courses I’ve come across are at least S$3,000.00 and above, whilst I managed to get the price of S$1,880.00 from Tirisula.  It’s about 40% cheaper!  No doubt when I first saw the price, I was a little bit skeptical.  “Is this studio really good?  Why is it so cheap?  There’s a catch for sure!” actually came into my mind.

After reading some reviews online, Tirisula was reviewed by a few websites as one of the best Yoga schools in Singapore.  Still skeptical, but the price is really very difficult to resist.  So, the impulsive me immediately sign up after knowing there were only 2 slots left for the July weekend class, even though I have not attended any class with Tirisula.  Well, my “gamble” actually paid back quite well!

Although waking up early in the morning for 10 consecutive weekends were not something to look forward to, I wasn’t dragging myself to class every weekend because there’s always something to look forward to.  Besides, I definitely will have something to take away every weekend from both morning practice and evening theory class, thanks to the knowledgeable instructors!  I am really amazed and impressed on how Master Sree and Master Pauulu are able to do miracle in the sense that, they are able to make us get into a pose which we thought we were not able to, with their experience and technique.  Master Wei Ling, on the other hand, managed to make the dry and boring anatomy topic interesting by letting us listen to kiddish skeleton song to help us memorise the bones.

Due to the social distancing measures, there were only 5 of us in class, but we have been encouraging each other and growing together.  We exchange notes and keeping tap at each other to make sure we practice and study.

We are now in our 8th week and there are only 2 weekends left till the end of the course.

By the end of the course, I will definitely know more than the Hatha Yoga Sun Salutation, tree pose and child’s pose.  Besides, I know some of the Sanskrit names of the asanas (pose) and I’m more aware of my own body because we were made to study human anatomy.  Now, when I feel ache at my lower back, I know it’s my quadratus lomborum giving me problem.  Plus point – I am now learning how to prepare lesson plan, and it’s not easy.

I really hope all of us can pass with flying colours by the end of the course and have a great celebration at Banana Leaf Apolo!

Chakra FAQ

What is Chakra?

Chakra in Sanskrit means “wheel” (just like your Ardha Chakrasana (Half Wheel Pose)).  They are energy centres which connect to the vagus nerves – the main component of our body’s parasympathetic nervous system which practically connects everything.

 

How many chakras are there in our body?

There are 114 chakras in our body, but there are 7 significant chakras which run along the spine – from the base of the spine to the crown of the head.

 

What are the 7 significant chakras?

(From the root to the crown) Muladhara, Swadhistana, Manipura, Anahata, Vishuddha, Ajna, Sahasrara.

 

What is Muladhara Chakra?

(Also known as the Root Chakra)

Location:   Base of the spine (a.k.a. coccyx) (a.k.a. tailbone)

Element:    Earth

Meaning:   Physical identity, stability, grounding

Objective:

Relates to the basic foundation of life, i.e. basics of survival: safety, food, shelter, comfort and belonging

If blocked:

(physical issues) Arthritis, constipation, bladder or colon problems

(emotional issues) Feeling insecure, stress, sluggish, not good enough or greed and never feel contented

 

What is Swadhistana Chakra?

(Also known as Sacral Chakra)

Location:  Below belly button, above the pubic bone

Element:   Water

Meaning:  Sexuality, pleasure, creativity

Objective: Relationship with others and freedom from guilt, creativity and joys of life

If blocked:

(physical issues) Urinary tract infections, lower back pain, impotency

(emotional issues) Sexually unsatisfied, involve in toxic relationship

 

What is Manipura Chakra?

(Also known as Solar Plexus Chakra)

Location:  Stomach area

Element:   Fire

Meaning:  Self-esteem, confident

Objective: Relationship with yourself, personal power, self-worth, freedom from shame

If blocked:

(physical issues) Digestive issues, such as stomach ulcers, heartburn, eating disorders, indigestion

(emotional issues) Feeling powerless or victimised or arrogant, decision making can feel out of control

 

What is Anahata Chakra?

(Also known as Heart Chakra)

Location:  Centre of the chest (remember chakras are on the spine)

Element:   Air

Meaning:  Love and compassion

Objective: Emotional zone and forgiveness

If blocked: 

(physical issues) Heart problems, asthma, weight issues

(emotional issues) Commitment issues, holding grudges

 

What is Vishuddha Chakra?

(Also known as the Throat Chakra)

Location:  Throat

Element:   Sound

Meaning:  Communication

Objective: Communication centre – self expression, speaking the truth, listening and being heard

If blocked:  

(physical issues) Voice and throat problems, problem affecting communication, such as gum, teeth and mouth

(emotional issues) Dominating conversations, gossiping, speaking without thinking, having trouble speaking your mind

 

What is Ajna Chakra?

(Also known as Third Eye Chakra)(Ajna means “beyond wisdom”)

Location:  Between the eyebrow

Element:   Light

Meaning:  Intuition, imagination

Objective: Sense of purpose in life, self-reflection

If blocked:

(physical issues) Headaches, issues with sight or concentration, hearing problems

(emotional issues) Mr./Ms. Know It All, struggle to find meaning of life

 

What is Sahasrara Chakra?

(Also known as Crown Chakra)

Location:  The very top of the head

Element:   Thought

Meaning:  Awareness, intelligence

Objective: Divine consciousness and enlightenment

If blocked:

(physical issues) Migraine and tensions headaches

(emotional issues) Stubborn, narrow-minded, skeptical

 

How to unblock Chakra?

Meditation is one of the best ways to unblock your chakras.  Mudras (hand gestures) and mantras (chants) are encouraged to be used during meditation to assist in concentration.

Tips: How to Memorise Body Movements

If you are taking YTT, you should know that you’ll have to attend anatomy classes, and one of the many things you have to memorise would be BODY MOVEMENTS!  It’s quite easy to remember all the basic body movements if you put humour into it.  The following are some of the lame jokes which you can apply in memorising the body movements.  Let’s go!

 

Flexion vs. Extension

Flexion decreases the angle and extension increases the angle.  If all your body parts are in neutral position, i.e. standing up straight and hands at the side of your body straight, all the angles in your body is 180 degree.  Any movement causing the angle to be lesser than 180 degree, e.g. bending forward, then it’s flexion, vice versa.

 Imagine you’re in foetal position, i.e. curling up in a ball.  All your limbs are now in flexion.

So remember, they both start with F, i.e. Foetal = Flexion.  So, the opposite will be extension.

 

Abduction vs. Adduction

 Abduction moves the limb away from the midline of the body, whilst adduction is the opposite – bring the limb towards the body or across the midline.  Still confuse?

 Imagine a small U.F.O. is flying in the air beside you and try to take your hand away.  When that happens, where would your hand go?

Answer: Your hand will be raised to the side, away from your body.  The U.F.O. is trying to ABDUCT your hand!

 

Supination vs. Pronation

These are movement of the forearm.   In supination, the radius and ulna are parallel to each other, whilst in pronation, the radius and ulna form an X-shape.

When you beg for SOUP, your palm will have to face up, and your forearm is in SUPINATION.  Lame, but effective.

 

Dorsiflexion vs. Plantar Flexion

These are movements at the ankle joint – a hinge joint.  If you’re curving up your toes upwards to stretch your calf muscles, it’s dorsiflexion.  When you’re pointing your toes like a ballerina, it’s a plantar flexion.

Just imagine when you’re pointing your toes, you’re actually PLANTING your toes to the floor.  Besides, Pointing and Planting both starts with the letter “P”.

 

You’re welcome!

Reminders to an Out of Balance Pitta

Do you have the following characteristics?

  1. You are a “walking heater” (i.e. your body temperature is always warm)
  2. You get hungry easily (i.e. strong appetite)
  3. Your fingers always stain mirrors, glasses or smooth surfaces (i.e. slightly oily skin)

In the meantime, do you have the following symptoms?

  1. Suffering from skin irritations, such as rashes and acne
  2. Strong body odour
  3. Hot temper with an aggressive attitude

If you do, fret not! You’re not alone and there’s a possibility you might be just like me – an out of balance Pitta.

What is a Pitta Dosha?

Pitta dosha is made up of predominantly the fire (Agni) element and some water (Jal), similar as the weather in Singapore – hot and humid.  The primary function of Pitta is transformation.  Hence, Pitta dosha controls the important functions of digestion of food, i.e. transforming food into energy and heat.

In Ayurveda, where like attracts like, it’s easy for Pitta to be out of balance in hot and humid weather if not mindful of the food consumed and one’s lifestyle.  If you’re eating pitta food and doing pitta activities during Pitta season (like Singapore) you’re more likely to see your Pitta qualities increase inside of you.  Therefore, an out of balance Pitta should aim to do the opposite because the opposites will bring us into harmony.

So, good reminders to the out of balance Pitta in Singapore:-

Food Consumption is Crucial for Pitta

Since Pitta dosha controls the functions of digestion of food, to keep a Pitta balance, the very first thing to look into would be the food consumption by a Pitta.

Myself, for one, will get irritated and frustrated if I have a hot peppery soup on a hot sunny day (and without air conditioning adjusted to 16 degrees Celsius!).

Thus, it is recommended that Pittas take foods which are cool and refreshing, sweet and bitter are also great!  Pittas should reduce foods which are oily, hot, salty and anything fermented or fried.  For example:-   

 Fruits – Apple and Pear

√ Vegetables – Cucumber and Bitter gourd

 Beverages – Milk and Yogurt Drinks

 Spices – Cilantro and Mint

 Dessert – Ice-cream

X Fruits – Durian

X Vegetables – Garlic and Onion

X Beverages – Hot Chocolate Drinks

X Spices – Chilli

X Fermented Food – Stinky Toufu

Lifestyle Adjustment for Pittas

It is fundamental that Pittas always keep themselves cool – physically and emotionally.  Heat, anger, fear, stress and constant pressure aggravate Pittas.  So, it’s important to keep in mind the following:

 Wear breathable clothing with cooling effect

 Exercise during the cooler time of the day, such as early morning, or in a cooler environment

Apply Brahmacharya (moderation) in all things

Avoid conflict

Control your anger and frustration

Eat in peaceful environment.  Do not eat in a rush!

Don’t skip meals.  Keep healthy snacks within reach to avoid being “hangry” (hungry + angry)

Practice Shavasana (Corpse Pose) after each yoga practice