Withdrawal

is real.

I’m sure many of us who have been through the Yoga Teacher Training course would probably have felt the same.

After the stress and studying and trying to remember Sanskrit names of asanas, hours of practice and thousands of flipping and flopping around trying to get that headstand, all for that final day where you enter the studio with cold sweat and a palpitating heart.

The anxiety doesn’t stop there. Even after the exams have passed and you take time to enjoy the rest of the day, you can’t help but wonder what will happen next.

Will you continue to be diligent and focused in your practice?

I started practicing yoga as a novice at the start of this year, motivated to love and appreciate my body more. My practice was sporadic, attending classes here and there. Until Circuit Breaker came along and every day at home i glanced at my mat but did nothing more. Then came Phase 2 and i was up and running again! Attending just a couple of classes because it was a careful time.

The thought of 200 hours is a l o t, but when time came and the course began, things seemed to just happen. I don’t even remember blinking and here I am, sitting in a coffeeshop, reminiscing and penning this.

What comes next?

Nobody knows. Some of us may start honing a new career path. Some of us may continue with our practice for self improvement physically, mentally, spiritually. Some of us might even stop as we look to new events or activities in life.

I hope this post serves as a reminder to myself and maybe some of you who are reading; what you allow is what will continue

Allow myself to continue learning, growing, improving, and things will just fall into place.

Just like how I fell into this course with the greatest batch mates and teachers who have taught me everything else besides asanas. I can’t ever be thankful. These little things in life I will appreciate, and it is what motivates and inspires me to keep on practicing.

🙂

My Favourite Asana

I’m sure most people who practice yoga will have certain poses which they prefer / like more than others.

For some, it may be inversions or arm balances. For others, perhaps it’s the more relaxing asanas that help them improve their overall wellbeing.

For me, I think I’m more drawn to the Warrior Pose(s).

Virabhadrasana 1, 2, and 3 intrigued me with the strong and stable stance, fortifying the body both physically and mentally. Very apt to their names, the warrior poses strengthens the limbs, opens your heart and chest, and enhances focus and stability. This pose is so straightforward, you can almost literally see a person’s strength and determination just by looking at their Virabhadrasana.

Being a legs person, I tend to always focus on my legs in any kind of exercise or movement. I enjoy using my legs to help manoeuvre the rest of the body. I trust my feet to carry my weight and depend on my quadriceps femoris to keep me grounded and stable. But the warrior pose is more than just legs. You have to actively engage shoulders, hips, and even the spine. Basically the entire self (even the metal self!) is being worked, and this is why it is, and will be, one of my favourite asanas in my personal practice. 🙂

Yamas

Looking back at my notes, I find myself drawn to one of the “Eight Limbs of Yoga”.

#1 : YAMA

Learning about yamas help advocate a life of non-violence, truthfulness, not stealing or accepting bribes, and sublimating sexual energy.

As an ordinary person, like every other, there are temptations everywhere in life. It is so hard to refrain from certain actions sometimes. I tend to let my emotions take over me, and sometimes they just turn out in the wrongest of ways possible, with consequences i have to bear.

Learning about the 5 yamas,

  • Ahimsa : non-violence
  • Satya : truthfulness
  • Asteya : non-stealing, freeing oneself of jealous instincts
  • Brahmacharya : establishing non-duality
  • Aparigraha : non-possession of anything that gives suffering for someone, non-possessiveness

I am more aware of my actions, as well as what i should consciously avoid doing. Then again, simply knowing is not enough. What’s most important is the constant practice of these actions. Personally, I guess I need to practice Ahimsa most. As a fiery person (some say extremely passionate, haha), I tend to punch the air, swing my body around violently when I’m feeling mad, to release the pent up energy I have inside me.

This journey to non-violence is going to be a long and challenging one. I guess the first step is to be conscious about it. First step done!

Let’s do this!

Back to Basics.

This is it.

200 hours, sweat, tears, cognition, some stubbed toes, and a whole rush of emotions.

There’s just too much information that I’ve been trying to force feed my brain with in this short period of time, and as one with a really poor memory, each time a person asks about what I’ve acquired in this journey, the mind is blank.

I’ve always known that practicing yoga is more than just doing poses (asanas). I just never knew it was so much more. What have I learnt? Many things. (Can’t really explain here because you’ll have to experience it yourself). I came to this with a goal to improve my posture, flexibility, poses, hopefully do a successful chaturanga…

Little did I know I would gain perspectives, insights, and experiences that are a thousand times more valuable than just doing asanas. One thing that stuck with me, was the emphasis on basics.

B A S I C S . That’s right.

Who cares if you can do 1001 poses?
Who cares how flexible you are?
Who cares how long you’ve been practicing?
Who cares about your instagram-worthy shots?

You care.

The only person who would probably be interested in all of the above, is yourself. Anyone can achieve the most challenging of poses – if they start to focus on the right muscles to engage and understand the anatomy well. Anyone (well, almost) can greatly improve their flexibility if they work hard and also put focus on the right muscles to engage and understand the anatomy well. Anyone can practice for as long as they wish – it’s just a matter of whether you understand what, how, why you’re practicing, or simply just doing poses to add to your IG feed.

It is a common but often neglected downward-spiralling sight, where we all know that we should perhaps be focusing on the basics and techniques, but we are way too caught up in the moment because “I need to ace this pose so I can put it on instagram!”

The simplest moves are always the hardest, and takes the longest time to practice. Before we ran, we learnt to walk. Before we walked, we learnt to crawl. Now crawling is easy for us, but have we thought about how much time, focus, energy, determination, and a whole village of encouraging adults we had to endure back then when we were just toddlers?

That said, I was never so into anatomy. Because yes, my short memory and attention span would mean: learning about bones and muscles and systems = TORTURE.

But as the hours passed, from 50, to 100, to now at 195… I’ve grown to realise how important it is to know your anatomy. Know your muscles, however foreign they may sound. Know the joints you are using on a daily basis. Know that twisting and turning actually meant flexion, extension, rotation, etc.

So profound.

But knowing also encourages you to finally appreciate your body. The levator scapulae I’ve never taken care of. The latissimus dorsi I’ve taken for granted. The pectinus I never knew existed.

:’)

Hello, my dear muscle friends. Friends of mine that have the coolest names, that have been there for me through thick and thin, ups and downs, since who knows when… Friends I have grown to love, and that from this day on, I will continue learning and appreciating.

I’m going back to basics. The basics before all basics. I’m going to learn about my anatomy.

Are you?