FT YTT 200 Hours #02

I’ve never thought of one day I could be a yoga teacher. This could sound crazy to me in the past; even a bit for now. I am not at my young age with better flexibility advantage, I am not incredibly physically strong, and I am not a talented yoga practitioner.

And yet, thankfully, I am in my second week of full time YTT 200 hours. No more muscle aching, feeling motivated to wake up early to the class, and I am always happy to learn new thing. I have literally too little time to do anything else other than yoga practicing and study, but I know I should enjoy it now because not many time in your life you have the chance to focus on something wholeheartedly. I am grateful I am doing this everyday.

Amazingly, Sanskrit doesn’t sound like from another planet to me anymore after one week; at least I’ve learned some names of yoga poses in Sanskrit other than just Virabhadrasana. Difficult roads always lead to beautiful destination. And often things ain’t that difficult as it sounds; when you are doing what you love. I would very much want my student to trust me, therefore I am aware that I need to get myself prepare for it. As for now, I just have to trust my teacher and myself and do it, and improve it; whatever it takes. Learning should be a lifelong journey in yoga, together we learn, together we grow.

During yoga practice, I often heard people saying there’s nothing to achieve, just do your best. There’s always something to achieve for me. May be not now, may be later. And now, getting the certificate means a lot to me because I want to be someone that I am proud of; after all the endurance and perseverance, and my passion is always there for yoga; optimistically not just last for 20 days! Mostly importantly, I want to teach the right thing.

Stay strong, regardless which phase of life you’re facing now or if you’re struggling with any unbelievably difficult yoga pose you wish you could strike. Have fun along the way. One day, we will get there.

 

P.S.: Yoga is always my brightest star in the darkest night.

Commencement of Sadhana

Already half way through YTT course, I have been thinking what is my favorite asana and I still cannot pinpoint a single one.

Standing back-bend brings back fond memories of me when I was a kid attending Chinese dance lessons. As kids, we challenged each other doing standing back bend using those vertical water pipes as a support or doing splits on the concrete school flooring, it was fun and those were the happy times. Doing back bends, splits, cartwheel were easy peasy to me and there was no fear back then; and now although I would not like to admit, but fear is actually holding me back when doing a back-bend – fear of crushing my head down on the floor or breaking my back!

Headstand (Sirsasana) is still my nemesis and still trying to perfect it.  Having a banana back and need to remind myself to engage my core and not arching my back while doing the asana needs tons of patience!  “Suck in your tummy” is the regular sentence Master Sree says whenever I am doing a headstand; the problem is that I cannot feel my tummy when my legs are in the air; how to suck in my tummy – but no excuse, definitely needs to buck up!

My quotes based on my learning and experiences so far,

Yoga is not about perfect poses with perfect alignment as what we normally see on the social media; Yoga postures are perfect when the individual connects their body, mind and soul.

Yoga is never about competition in a room full of strangers; Yoga is finding your true self in the midst of strangers.

Yoga heals your body, mind and soul – you are your own healer

Ever since the start of YTT course, I am down with virus every two weeks which is kind of strange as I don’t usually fall sick; taking it in the positive way, I just presume I am detoxing.  But just as thou someone was answering my question, I stumbled upon this … “with the decision to start regular sadhana, you may find yourself beset by obstacles and difficulties on every side. This may lead you to believe that it was the commencement of sadhana that started all the trouble.”

Well, well … I must be on the correct path since the obstacles have appeared. The words of wisdom continues, “In the beginning, the neophyte is quite unused to this struggle and strain. The concerted onrush of difficulties may confuse and unnerve you for a time. This is but natural. Do not be perturbed; bear up with fortitude. The initial difficulties will soon vanish, and you will gain strength day by day.”

Oh well, I just got to endured with it since I have chosen this path – what doesn’t kills me makes me stronger lah! For those who are in the YTT course and plagued with health issues, relationship issues, family issues, work issues, injuries issues, etc …

Endure and never get defeated by the obstacles – for we will emerge victorious!

21092019 Weekend YTT
Post 3 of 4
Shirley

Why I started weekend YTT

I was going through some transitions in life. I had just quit and was waiting to join another company when I started going yoga with my girlfriend.

I stopped yoga after practicing 3 years ago and during my 2 months break, I was going for yoga 6 times a week and gym/spin after that. My girlfriend said she had reached a plateau in her yoga practice and I wanted to move forward too, so we started looking for weekend YTT as that was the only slot we can afford. We came across Tirisula and signed up in a heartbeat. I was excited and yet anxious.

The day before YTT, I felt like backing out. I started at my new company and was swarmed with work. I wanted to rest and spend time at home on weekends. However I decided to go ahead the next morning at 8am and I told myself I can always back out after that, but I should give myself a chance to try it out.

I met 7 lovely ladies who are here with their various reasons and our paths crossed. The first day was tough and I never knew we can break out in such a sweat fest with 2-3 hours of physical practice. The next day it was the same, and I thought I would not survive for the next weekend. However, after I recover from the muscle ache, I was looking forward to the next weekend. We continued our physical practice and it was tough, but it got easier as we were conditioned and our body got stronger as well. My flexibility has even improved!

I have only 6 more days to the end of YTT and I have learnt so much about yoga, changed so much internally  and externally, and I am starting to miss my classmates and Master.

Yoga has changed my life within these 8 weeks. It is not just a Certificate that I am bringing home with me at the end of YTT. It is a new mindset and lifestyle that will follow me after this course is over.

Lyn Sept 2019 Weekens YTT

Yoga in life

I feel that every school needs to teach yoga.  Through the past 5 days I have learnt that yoga is so much more than just the asanas(physial practice).

It’s about life-how to live,  the human body, mind, spirituality, philosophy.
I’m so eager to learn more, and at the same time slightly nervous because I have to remember everything by the end of 20 days. Nevertheless I can feel my inner-knowing(or higher self) telling me I just have to trust the process, relax, and do my best. The mind absorbs more when it is relaxed.
I had been practising yoga asanas about 5 years with youtube videos prior to this YTT and felt like it was time to start.

Currently, I do not think our education system does enough to teach us about life, and the important aspects of life.
Growing up in a pressure-cooker society , I was like a sheep, following everyone else having basic ideas of “success”- being super smart, good-looking, financially stable , having  a nice home/ partner etc.
Few years ago around 2012-2014 I had an awakening, I asked myself a lot deep questions and was anxious and depressed.

Yoga has allowed me to relinquish my anxieties and stresses in life. Through doing asanas, and meditation, I feel better about life, and in life,  and now through these yoga teacher training lessons I understand more.  I love the philosophical part of yoga.
If I were to give an analogy about how yoga  helps me live , I would say ;

Life is a constantly meandering river that takes me to places I never expected nor knew existed , and yoga is my boat, keeping me afloat through the turbulences of the river of life. 

 

FT YTT 200 Hours #01

One year ago, I was really new to yoga. Just like anybody else in general, we know what is yoga but we don’t know what is yoga all about. What we know about is just it’s a practice to keep you healthy and some people would like to find their inner peace through it and having some moments with yourself once or twice a week as a short escape to the daily hectic schedule.

The first class that I attended in Tirisula Yoga was Hatha 1 with Master Sree. After first 15 minutes I realized that it was a torture class. I saw almost everyone was struggling especially when we were doing core exercise. In the end of the session, I’ve come to the conclusion that it was a good torture. And I wanted to do it again. I felt pretty good that I was able or not able to control my body because I was working hard to it. One year with yoga is a really short period for the yoga journey but it means something to me. I am proud of myself that I am still doing it happily and I couldn’t thank more to Master Sree and all the yoga teachers in Tirisula Yoga that keep me motivated.

It’s almost end of 2019 and I would like to end this year on a high note. I am lucky enough to have the flexibility to take the full time YTT 200 hours.
Warning: this is not an ordinary class. The physical training is intensive. The study is massive. You will never be prepared enough for it. There are a lot to process everyday and I am still learning it. The more I know, the more I realize how much I don’t know.

And now I’ve learned that yoga is not about asana only. It’s the union of our mind, body, and spiritual. There are a lot theories in our training course which is not easy for me to understand some times. May be one day I will, or may be I will never. I always love the mindfulness for everything but in reality how much could I practice it. Que sera, sera. Probably I am unable to change the events that happen to us in life, but we can choose how we respond to them. I don’t have to a great person all the time but what I know is doing small thing in the great way is the best thing I can do at the moment.

I would like to believe everything happens for a reason and eventually all things fall into place. And meanwhile I just have to laugh at the confusion and live the best for the moments. I am glad that I’ve made the decision to come to yoga and taking YTT 200 hours. It’s right because I feel good about it. You can never go wrong doing the right thing.

I am sure I wouldn’t be a different person after this training course, but definitely I will be a better person. And I am looking forward to it.

 

P.S.: I started yoga one year ago because it was in my new year’s resolution to try something new in 2018!

Reflections on Day 2 of YTT

Day 2 of YTT. Dealing with some body aches & extremely humbled by the vastness of yoga philosophy. Confusion too – I thought I knew, but now I know I don’t know anything.

Through the confusion and mind-fog, as I sit down now to drink my coffee and reflect on the day, an idea emerges. Perhaps yoga is a way of life, a way of interacting with the society we live in and the people around us. It is also thought-provoking, it forces you to hold a mirror to yourself which can be uncomfortable. It can also be joyful when you gain clarity over an issue or problem, and realize it isn’t such a big deal after all. And perhaps that’s why yoga has been a practice for 5000 years. It is not the Dead Sea scrolls where only ascetics can decipher, neither is it relics in the museums which are unearthed & interpreted by trained professionals. Instead, it is a living and breathing practice, highly relevant to both kings and the common man alike thousands of years ago and now because it addresses basic human needs to understand ourselves, others, and the world we live in.

I have this mental picture of myself walking along the shores of a vast sea (yoga), with my feet getting slightly wet. The sea is a powerful force of nature, with the potential for gentle lapping waves as well as strong waves. I’m looking forward to exploring this sea and the wonders and beauty it holds.

Santosha sutra

Santosha anuttamah sukha labhah – an attitude of contentment

Santosha is the practice of enjoying each moment as it is, being content with who you are and what you have at this current moment. Right now. No matter what has happened yesterday or what will happen, you are content. The practice of this mindset will allow you to lose greed and you do not need anything more. We do not seek contentment or happiness from external sources, only from within.

This practice of contentment has fallen in and out of my life many times. In great times of my life, where I am alone and in tuned with myself, I am able to appreciate every bit that I am, and every bit around me. However, as soon as life moves a little more fast-paced, I forget to be content. Although I chase dreams fast and hard on one hand, one the other, I tend to let anxiety back into my life, self-doubt and comparisons. It is definitely always hard to be content, being raised in a society that is academically-oriented and filled with a large talent pool. We tend to start comparing ourselves to others in terms of many aspects, be it academics, money, status, social status, fitness, talents, love, friendship, etc. The list never ends. I have seen far too many peers of my age constantly worry about something in their lives, and do not focus on the bigger picture – to realize that they can hardly ever be content without understanding this sutra. Human nature introduces greed to us, and we need to understand that for most, enough is never actually enough.

In yoga, some days our bodies do not perform as well as we want it to. Maybe, we feel a little weak in our Chaturanga, a little unstable in our downward dog. Maybe our regular beautiful postures are not turning out right, or maybe lifting ourselves to stay in crow or headstand isn’t happening. But it is what it is. We aren’t perfect bodies and we have up and down days, just like in our lives. So I constantly try my best to keep reminding myself   – do what your body feels good in. Don’t hurt yourself to force for a backbend, because then you will be discontent with the fact that you have injured yourself. Take what you have and make the best of it. Still on my way to practicing contentment, but as all practices require – time!

JT

Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations)

When I first started yoga, I didn’t realize that I was always incorporating parts of a Sun Salutation sequence within the practice. Now that I have started YTT, I learnt more about the different types of Sun salutations and its increasing difficulty. Although seemingly simple, the practice to do these sun salutations with controlled breathing is truly a challenge. Especially, when it comes to Sun Salutations A and B, these require more strength and endurance. However, I find that there is such a beauty when you are able to slow down the flow, breath correctly and indulge in every pose. Having to do these sequences often for the last few weeks, I have grew to love them so much. That is for that fact that it is always still a challenge for me, especially when done in high counts. This means that I will always have room to improve and something to work towards. With this one sequence, it’s amazing how it can continue to benefit you in many aspects – discipline, endurance, strength, mindfulness and flexibility.

I have also delved deeper into how the Sun Salutations came about. The Sun Salutations were formed roughly 2,500 years ago and in the past, people believed that the Sun is all source of energy and how life even began.  For the Hindus, the sun is the “eye of the world” (loka chakshus), seeing and uniting all selves in itself, an image of and a pathway to the divine. No wonder people revered the sun in this way!

The traditional count of sun salutation rounds is 108, which takes a period of practice to move up perfectly to. Even though this seems hardly possible to me at this point in time, I believe that constant disciplined practiced will make a difference. Like Master Sree mentioned, habits are ideally formed when you are able to practice it for 48 days straight, which is a cycle also known a Mandala. Eventually, this yogic practice will settle into the system as a part of your life.

 

JT

A happier ME with yoga

3 years ago, I was living a life surrounded by big groups of people, going out clubbing and excessively drinking almost everyday, every activity planned revolved around drinking. Don’t get me wrong, it was fun, I still look back and think about the laughs and the ridiculous things my friends and I used to do, there were most definitely very interesting stories to tell until this day. However, this did not necessarily mean that I was happy. I often found myself feeling empty when I wasn’t around anyone and I quickly realised that it was because I was not working towards any goals, I graduated from University and haven’t found a job. All that time used to enjoy myself should have gone to internships, for better job opportunities, I could not find a job that I liked. It was very hard to motivate myself or even get myself out of the house.

Family members started getting worried and I am so thankful for them especially my father because one day he came into my room and said “Why don’t you jump back into yoga?” Those words stuck to me, even though it took me a week, I found myself on the mat after a very long time. I was really nervous because I was out of shape, yoga has always been a form of workout for me, until the end of this class. The yoga teacher for the class began the class by teaching us a pranayama called Nadi Shodhana “alternate nostril breathing” and all the stressful thoughts went away, throughout the whole class I was focused on my breath and by the end I started smiling, a genuine smile after so long. I was on the mat 5 times a week after that.

From then on, I started practicing Nadi Shodhana whenever I start getting stressed. I’ve set many goals for myself and when I do fail, I do what yoga has thought me, BREATH. I am forever grateful for finding yoga. Today, I am days away from achieving my goal that I set for myself this year, I am the happiest I have ever been.

 

 

 

The Start of YTT …

After 2 months of Yoga-ing, finally I can do a Chaturanga with my knees off the floor – it’s still not perfect but in time to come, I will perfect it.  The success in doing the Chaturanga came as a surprise to me during my practice at home; usually I will do the knees, chest and chin down instead of Chaturanga but on the second week of September 2019, it just happened while doing the flow on Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation).  My heart literally skipped a beat and jumped a little for joy – finally!  It is an accomplishment for me because I have never done a proper push-up before and I have been struggling with knees, chest and chin & Chaturanga ever since the start of Yoga. Yay!

Little did I know that my joy is short lived.

After the first day of YTT course, my body felt as thou it has been ran over by a lorry, reverse and ran over again repeatedly – body aches on places where I was never aware of.

And on the second day of YTT, despite my aching body, we had to do numerous Surya Namaskar aka Sun Salutations and I remembered the first Chaturanga which I have to do, I nearly smashed my chin onto the floor because my arms were weak from the practice the day before. My Yoga mat, my towel and the floor were wet (with my perspiration, YUCKS!) – now who says Yoga is easy peasy?

For the YTT course, we will have to memorize the Sanskrit words for the postures as well as the pronunciation – it’s like learning a brand new language for me!  I will read out the words while waiting for bus, or trying to memorise the Sanskrit sequence in the Sun Salutation.  For the first few nights during memorizing, “Utthita Trikonasana” (extended triangle pose) keeps repeating itself in my dream the whole night – how like that?

I came to love Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) as this is my “motivator” – because whenever I am feeling lazy, I just have to tell myself, “just do 5 Surya Namaskar for the day as maintenance will do lah”.  But the thing is, after 5 Surya Namaskar, the flow just goes on and on and I would have done quite a number of the twists, bends and back bends with bead of perspiration dripping. The after-effect of this is a sense of accomplishment and high on endorphins.  For beginners or anyone keen to start Yoga but don’t know where to start from, the Surya Namaskar is the perfect sequence for you to follow.  With proper guidance and alignment, the Surya Namaskar will do wonders for your body.

Most people associate Yoga as a form of exercise for keeping fit and to lose weight, but how many people actually are able to associate Yoga as a form of energy healing?

Yoga benefits includes improving respiration, digestion, vitality, reverse aging process, cardio and circulatory health, etc.  Looking at it from the health aspect, doesn’t it looks like healing to you?  The “traditional” energy healing (Reiki) needs a healer to heal you, whereas in Yoga, you are your own healer – and who knows your body condition more than yourself?

You don’t have to be a doctor to save people; You can save people in your own way or my way,  though Yoga 😊

Yoga – which means the union of your body, mind and spirit – which also means that when these 3 are in sync, you would have attain the higher state of (sub) conscious.  During Yoga practice, you strengthen your physical body, clear your mind and purified your spirit (balances your chakra) which is the process of sync-ing.  The best thing about Yoga is that you can heal yourself anywhere, anytime and any place without the restrictions of external conditions.  That’s why we feel happy after every Yoga class – positivity at it’s very best!

But as what I understand, many people have other misconceptions on Yoga.

Many people are unwilling to learn Yoga because “it’s a girl’s thing” or because “I am not as flexible, so Yoga is not for me”.  C’mon la, you mean you go to school when you already know everything meh?  You mean you must have muscles before you can go to the gym and train?  It’s girl’s thing? Come and experience Ashtanga Vinyasa Primary Series and tell me again if this is a “girl’s thing”.

Moreover, we learn something because we are not good at it, that’s why we take up lessons and courses to improve.  If we cannot do something and it’s our challenge within ourselves to learn and perfect it willingly – there is no reason why other people can do it and we cannot.  We might not be better but everything takes time and effort and eventually we will be able to do it. We learn how to walk before we run didn’t we?

I have friends asking me, “Can you do a headstand now since you are in the YTT course?” or “ you must be ultra-flexible now”.  This question makes me think that many people link Yoga with stunts or the circus act or some freak shows where Yogis twist and turn their body where no normal person can do.  Oh dear!  Misconceptions again!

If only more people can see Yoga as a form of healing instead of an exercise or some circus act, I am sure more people can benefit from this previous ancient practice that is being passed down generations to generations.

21092019 Weekend YTT
Post 2 of 4
Shirley