From having thought-provoking questions thrown at you (like “who are you, exactly?”) to the mind-boggling Sanskrit words and muscle names (!!) we have to memorize, the past 2 months have been quite a journey.
Like many others before me, I too have found myself learning more in this course than all the yoga classes I’ve attended combined. Coming into this without much expectation, my initial goal was to deepen my own practice but I’ve gained so much more.
As we come into the last 2 weeks of the YTT, I would like to spend some time in reflection.
1. Breath is life
Learning about pranayama has surprised me in more ways than I could imagine. As someone who suffers from migraines for as long as I can remember, it is almost crazy to think that the pain has diminished and some days I’m actually pain-free without medication. Another benefit I’ve personally experienced is having a calmer quieter mind. All this with just a simple change in my life – being more conscious of the breath.
2. You are who you are
Having an understanding of yourself and being yourself is the first step to truthfulness. Once you are aware of your own encumbrances, it can feel liberating to simply be who you are.
We were also reminded of this when the masters told us that they are not here to change our personalities as every one of us is unique. What they can do is to help us develop our style in the way we teach and to let our own personality shine through.
3. It’s not about the pose
I used to think that with time and effort, one should be able to get into a certain posture but now I realize that this way of thinking can be sooooo wrong. Not everyone is made the same, your body proportion can either be your limitation or strength (short limbs, long torso etc). This also means that some people might never be able to attain the “ideal” shape of a posture as their bodies are just not made that way. So, there should not be a yardstick for comparison and nothing should be deemed ideal or perfect.
Hardly an early riser, I guess I can now give myself a pat on the back for making it to class weekend after weekend at 8am. Making time for personal practice has also given me the opportunity to have some me-time and I hope to continue carving out time for some self-love/self-care.
5. What makes a good teacher
In the past 2 months, I attended group classes with a fresh pair of eyes. I watched to see how teachers conducted their classes and mentally took note of what I liked and what I’d change. I’m still learning and building my list and while I’d probably conduct a class based on what I personally would enjoy, I get that not everyone’s preferences are the same as mine.
At the moment though, these are 5 qualities I would like to work on:-
- Attentiveness – to be aware of each student’s needs
- Clarity – so that students can easily understand your cues
- Empowering – to leave your students inspired and motivated
- Humility – to always be a student and be open to criticism
- Versatility – to be able to cater to all levels
All in all, I’m so very grateful for the teachers and my fellow coursemates for this journey. I feel like I’m barely scratching the surface on this path of yoga. So here’s to continually learning and growing!