Having to juggle both work and full time YTT together, it really forced me to learn to make full use of my time and prioritize all my tasks. I entered the course with the optimism that I would not have much issues given that it was going to be a lull period for me at work. However, it was a rude awakening when I realized how much I had underestimated the time and effort one had to put in for it.
Coming to the end of the course, I found that I have managed to weed out so many activities that only served to help me pass time but did little to add value to my life (like mindlessly scrolling through social media or watching television). Productivity came not only from the removal of unnecessary activities, but also with proper planning of each day. This gave me a clear overview of how I was to spend each day and what pockets of time I had to squeeze in some extra studying or sneak in some rest time.
Though it was thoroughly draining, both mentally and physically, to have to be fully present and alert for more than 14 hours a day, it was also refreshing to see how we are able to push our body and mind this much (and maybe even more). This month has truly been a test of how much I could stay focused on the goal (to get through YTT) despite all the distractions around and how much I could persevere through the fatigue.
This has definitely made a positive impact on my lifestyle and how I will approach my days even after YTT is over. It is amazing how much one can learn and grow even in a short span of a month and I can only be thankful of the experience I got out of it.
Even before the start of my YTT journey, I had many doubts whether I could handle the poses with the injury I had. The fear of worsening the injury further and just the thought of having to apply pressure on it gave me little confidence that I would be able to do anything.
However, through the course of my YTT, I have learnt that a limit like an injury is not always a bad thing. What was more important was how I faced it head-on and pushed myself whenever possible. Working within limits did not mean that I was weak. It meant that I needed to know when my body needed to rest and learning how to better listen to what my body was trying to tell me. It also meant that I needed to be more aware of the right alignment and exercises to facilitate recuperation.
It was all a matter of finding balance. Strength versus flexibility, both physically and mentally. How working on strengthening my weak areas around the injury, brought relief to the injury itself. How changing my mentality and allowing myself more time to improve, gave me space to recover. How it pushed me to find the balance between giving up with the excuse of an injury and stopping just at the right moment to prevent worsening the injury. Despite the fact that the injury still causes inconveniences and I still hold back on poses from time to time, I am grateful to have improved the condition of and my outlook towards the injury throughout the duration of the course.
It was truly a timely reminder that limitations are not there to stop your growth but for you to learn ways to overcome it and come out even stronger than before. Believe that you can too!
When my breathing is right, everything in my life will be right. When I stuck in difficult posture during the practice, I am really feel that inhalation and exhalation can help body go further. Breathing correctly also can help you calm and go over when life is tough.
During my yoga practice, when I have difficulty maintaining a certain posture, what I would do is to concentrate on my breathing and balancing. It stabilises the body and bring peace and calm. That’s the power of being present. We could have thousands of thoughts in a single moment however, when you are being focus, nothing will bother you.
Since I started yoga, I started to understand my body as well. How flexible I can, how strong I am, how to control the muscle in my body and how to control myself. Gradually, through the body you will more understand your inner self. You are a part of nature, you are amazing.
An important enlightment I discover is, the act of smiling uplifts my spirit during the struggles especially practising challenging posture. Therefore, do remember to keep smiling through all your circumstances in life. Keep smiling, even you hit the rock bottom, your body will know how to overcome it.
We are living in a highly urbanized society. Our mind and body are constantly feeling tensed without us knowing that. It is like an overly stretched rubber band, it bound to break someday. Hence, relaxing our body and mind is so important before you break yourself.
After taking 200 YTT course in Tirisula, I think of the yogis system main goals is:
- Physical Health
- Mental Health
- Spiritual Health
- Self-Realisation or realisation of the Divine within us
Above all of these goals are attained by:
- Love and help for all living beings
- Respect for life
- A peaceful state of mind
- Full vegetarian diet
- Pure thoughts and positive lifestyle
- Physical, mental and spiritual practices
Regards to the above objectives, I have yoga experience in the past and think that physical health is the most important thing. Therefore, I have strictly set the schedule for yoga asana practices in my daily activities schedule. For me, there is nothing can affect my schedule. Practices on a certain schedule can give us a physical health, then only we can talk about mental and spiritual health. Before the teacher training course, reading is a way of giving me mental and spiritual nutrients, but after this course, I think I will begin to implement meditation as the foundation for the beginning of the day to maintain spiritual purity and peaceful. Finally, I have to admit that it is more difficult to implement full vegan diet in my life now, but slowly reducing the intake of meat is the way I can do from now and strive to be a vegan. Lastly, I hope that I can fully implement yogis system in my life.
Yoga is amazing and it always inspires me. Every time I hit rock bottom and confuse about my life ahead, yoga always bring me back on track.
My life had been smooth and easy until six years ago. I graduated with a poor high school score despite I had done my best. As a result, I could not successfully enter to the university and faculty that I wanted. That was my first experience of failure. I was feeling down and shut myself away in my room during that time. I was really afraid to face the reality and the messy situation.
It was then I knew yoga. I was brought to yoga class by my sister. Gradually, I started to like this sport. At that time, I only treated yoga as a sport.
After a while, I finally found my life direction and went to the University of Taiwan to study Chinese. In Taiwan while I was pursuing my degree, I was attending yoga classes. Slowly I began to discover that after every yoga class, my heart always feels calm and stable. Most of the time I felt very happy and satisfied.
After graduated from university, I started my job in Malaysia. Without any previous working experience, I could not perform well in my job and I was under pressure. I felt I was a failure and very depressed at that time.
Until I returned to yoga, once again, yoga brought me back to the right track. I began to think more deeply about yoga, and realized a very important truth. When my breathing is right, everything will be right.
Thanks Yoga for entering my life and I am sure our story will be continued.
Firstly, I really understand the struggle of the beginners getting yoga into their life. It is challenging to schedule yoga practice in our daily routine while having a full time job. How to maintain daily yoga practice is always the question my friends put to me. I figure out the 3 methods I use to make daily yoga sustainable:
- Sign up with a yoga studio which is next to YOU
When I started yoga, I knew that there were many yoga studio to choose from, but because i am packed of my work, so that I chose the yoga studio which is the closest from my company. After working, short distance from work place, changed to yoga clothes. You can directly go to the studio and start yours yoga practice. Believe me, it is really saves a lot of time and effort.
After fixing the time, it must be strictly enforced. I barely changed the time that I fixed on my practice. Your practice continuously, it can bring you the effect that you wanted. Yoga is definitely worth your insistence in yours life!
- Find a Yoga teacher you like in your studio
Your favourite teacher can be your positive motivation. No matter what reason you like the teacher, I believe that the energy generated by your favourite teacher can influence you more. You will become willing and more proactive. Just like my favourite teacher.
In my previous post, I have talked about 3 ways that requires minimal physical effort or time to implement yoga in my daily life. Now, let’s talk about the physical part, which requires a little more time.
If possible, wake up half an hour to an hour earlier. On days that I only manage to wake up half an hour earlier, can do some simple breathing exercise and stretches to clear the mind and wake up the digestive system.
1. 20x 3 sets of Kapalahbathi breathing
2. Anuloma Villoma (10 times)
3. Uddiyana Bandha (5 times)
4. Paschimottanasana (1 min)
5. Bhujangasana (1 min)
6. Ardha Matsyendrasana (1 min)
7. Show gratitude
If time permits, can add in 6 rounds of sun salutations and a headstand. Finally, end off with relaxation and a simple prayer.
If all else fails, at least do a 3 min headstand daily. This does not take a lot of time and would be more sustainable.
For years, I have always felt good and at peace after each yoga practice and I think that is what yoga is about. It was only until this course that I realized there is much more than asanas! Hence, I would definitely like to add more yoga into my daily routine. But I am always tied for time, so I will implement it in the most easiest and sustainable way that suits my current lifestyle.
Here’s how. First of all, I will start with my thoughts. This requires no physical effort but more on awareness and mindfulness. Practice Yama at all times! This will be a guiding principle to make my daily decisions. Be it at work, at home, teaching kids or with friends.
Next will be food choices. I will be honest, it is impossible for me to avoid Rajasic and Tamasic food totally. However, I can definitely minimize them and choose more sattvic food not just for myself but also for my family.
Thirdly, I will be more mindful in my postures. For example, whenever I need to pick things up from the floor, instead of squatting down, I can bend from the hip, keeping back straight, to get a good stretch for the entire back and hamstring.
I will also take note of my standing posture. I have hyperextended knee and this probably explains my weak knee joint. Before this, I don’t even know knee can be hyperextended!
These are the few simple adjustments that I can add in my daily routine and I am confident I can practice this for a lifetime.
I have always wanted to attend a YTT course and am very grateful to be able to make it for this intensive course. There will always not be a right time and I am glad that I finally decided to take the plunge and just do it! Very grateful for those around me that made this happen.
Grateful for my supportive spouse. The constant support that he gives, be it taking care of the kids while allowing me to sleep late/ study on weekends, bringing dinner for me while I study at home, taking videos or photos, chipping in for household chores, etc.
Grateful for my in laws who helped to look after my kids since it’s school holiday, preparing dinner for us daily and even helping me to bind my course notes.
Grateful for my boss for allowing me to take a one month no pay leave to fully focus on this course. For my colleagues, who needed to do extra work, covering my work load while I’m away. For the company, which is so understanding and supporting my decision to take this course.
Grateful for my teachers, for sharing their knowledge, experience, wisdom. For their dedication and commitment to ensure we learn and absorb as much as possible.
Grateful for having a group of caring and supportive course mates. It is such a privilege and joy to be learning with this group of people.
Grateful for my healthy mind and physical body. To be able to go through the vigorous daily strength training, ability to immerse in the numerous topics that we discussed and talked about and basically just enjoy the entire process.
I am truly blessed and contented.
It’s a love hate relationship when it comes to headstand! Before this, I always thought that headstand is just another fancy BEGINNER’s pose. To my horror, I was so wrong. To be honest, it is not that unachiveable but at the same time it is not as easy as it seems to be.
The benefits of headstand turns out not to be just an instagrammable photo but has a lot more awesome benefits to it. As it activates our pituitary gland, it further regulate other glands like thyroid, adrenal,etc. Through the journey of learning headstand, the numerous falls is nothing to shout about, compared to the patience, strength, concentration and perseverance that I gained.
We emerged to be stronger both mentally and physically and most importantly experienced the generosity of my course mates sharing tips, guidance and spending time to guide those that are still struggling with the pose.
At the time of writing, I still have not perfected my headstand but I know I’m getting close! Fighting 💪🏻