How to not succumb to your Mind during YTT

It takes every ounce of your energy, consciousness and effort to steer your mind away from the toxic thoughts that can sprout ever so easily.

Having a sudden shoulder strain on the last of week 2, the confidence within myself plummeted once again. But every time I think about classmates’ or teachers’ assurance that I have improved within weeks, I picked myself up and tell myself that it is okay that I am not doing poses perfectly or even unable to do it at all. But at least I try to do it, focus and keep that intention in my mind instead of spending that time thinking about all the negative stuff. The asanas are there to instill discipline and focus, so I will work my mind into the postures during physical practice. I can always reflect and either maintain or do better after the class.

The energy that you bring into practice not only affects you, but your classmates too. I believe that by consciously putting other’s needs/emotions before yourself, you are able to see the bigger picture instead of focusing on your own toxic thoughts that are not beneficial.

Also, I enjoy every theory lesson because it helps me to understand things in a wider perspective, that the universe does not rotate based on my views and by narrowing my perspective, I am causing violence to myself, constantly filling it with negativity. Baby steps, but I am humbled every day by how much I can learn from Yoga. I am glad to have embarked and persevered on this voyage and funny, I don’t really want it to end now :’)

On to Third Week of YTT

Physical practice gets easier but more intense. More individual practice is required and that I liked that this course instills discipline into oneself that would normally not be present.

I also enjoyed understanding the philosophical portion of yoga which creates consciousness behind postures. Yoga is no longer just poses or fitness, you instill breath into these postures and make them into your own.

And we are moving onto my most anticipated portion of the class, the teaching. All the physical practice are foundation to ensure that the teacher is able to accurately demonstrate to students and I realized that I was able to better articulate the flow of postures compared to before after my personal practice. However, I still need to work on being comfortable to touch students to adjust their alignments.

What’s next after YTT

To be honest, I don’t know. After quitting my corporate job and I was thinking of what should I do or learn before moving on to something permanent. I stumbled upon Tirisula & saw the course commencement date and figured why not. I took it as a sign as I have been rejecting corporate offers because my gut is telling me no & my last day was originally 31 May. So I took a plunge & took a step out of my comfort zone.

After 2 weeks in this course, I realized that I am not at all equipped to be a teacher, I have no confidence to take on potential risks for students yet. And Sree shared a story about a fisherman relaxing onshore, & how an English man tried to convince him to make more money just to build a house to relax but the fisherman told him that he’s already relaxing and he doesn’t need a big house for that. That struck something in me, and I have always based my motivation around money for survival. But that would be an endless goal because no amount is enough. We will always want more and end up sacrificing more.

I know clearly that I wouldn’t want to go back to corporate life as thinking back on the potential political culture & human relation problems gives me the shudders. For now, I will focus on projecting my energy and drive into refining my practice. Things will fall into place one day.

My Mind versus Yoga

Today marks the 2nd week, 8th day of Yoga Teacher Training. I embarked on this 20 day class due to interest as Yoga has helped me to reduce my anxiety and I wanted to know how much more Yoga can offer.

During the first day, I completely underestimated the amount of strength and stamina required for the course. There were little seeds of self doubt within my mind but I brushed it off because well, we were only at Day 1, that it is ok to not keep up.

Day 3 comes and oh boy, this was the lowest I have ever felt in a long time and I was horrified that my new found joy caused it. After observing the classmates and seeing how they could achieve certain poses, keep up with the stamina but I couldn’t, the seeds of self doubt began sprouting. I kept reflecting and thinking is there something I am doing wrongly, is there something I have not done and why am I so weak etc. And when the teachers say your mind reflects during your practice, its true. Because mine did. I was not focusing and found it at least 10x harder to perform asanas because my mind wouldn’t settle.

I went home, dejected and tired. But I decided to give myself another shot that night and I realized that I was able to achieve certain poses at home, alone. Without all the comparisons that I made with that ego of mine. I then realized that whilst I am chasing after the achievements of other people, I forgot to look back at myself who is working hard albeit slowly, I wasn’t able to truly comprehend the meaning of everyone is different and it is ok, my best is good enough.

I celebrated my little achievements that night, felt much lighter and found the fun element back in Yoga. I decided that it is ok that if I am not flexible or strong as my classmates, I just have to work a little harder that’s all. Which I did.

Fast forward to Day 8, I was able to laugh more, smile more during practice. I don’t get dejected when I can’t achieve poses but I look at the extra 1cm I managed to stretch/jump forward. It is true, that your mind can be a frenemy. Celebrate each and every achievements and never compare, that’s my Yoga. For now.