I have been practicing yoga on-and-off since 2013, on a leisure and ad-hoc basis. I consider myself at beginner/intermediate level – while I have attempted and am familiar with most basic poses, my body is not so flexible and powerful to do many advanced poses. Nevertheless, I do enjoy attending all sort of yoga classes, including more interesting ones like wheel yoga, float yoga and aerial yoga.
In fact, I consider yoga as one of the many work-outs that I do, including HIIT, dance, running etc. With the covid and work-from-home situation since 2020, I have been doing a bit more stretching (following Youtube videos) at home, and I thus consider yoga to be a more formal type of stretching with more fancy poses.
This year, I came cross a friend, who shared they experience of going through a 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training (YTT 200) course, and her main takeaway is that yoga is not so much about flexibility, but rather about strength. This seemed to plant a seed in my mind and towards the year end, I decided to take up the YTT course to explore further.
Now, at the tail-end of the 20-day course, I found it to be a fascinating journey. The yoga postures are in fact just a tip of iceberg in the yoga world, there are so much more. We learnt about human anatomy, internal systems and bodily movements, and more importantly, we delved into yoga philosophy (8 limbs of yoga, 3 gunas, 7 chakras, and yoga mantras). In fact, the theory teaching forms a larger portion of the course, in comparison to the practicals (I was thinking of 5-hour intensive yoga postures every day…). Under the guidance of master, our class of 10 students formed a unique bond to practice yoga postures and embarked on the soul search journey together.
“Yoga is a union of body, mind and spirit.”
“Yoga is a not a work-out, it is a work-in. It is a spiritual practice to make us open out hearts and focus on our awareness, so that we know what we already knew, and be who we already are. “
“Yoga does not change the way we see things, it transforms the person who sees. “
For me, the course has been transformational, starting from body, and slowly seeping into my mind and spiritual world.
- Body: while I always thought headstand was rather intimidating to me, I took time to properly learn the pose and managed to overcome the fear with encouragement from my classmates, and I finally did it with the help of the wall
- Mind: we learned about various breathing technique (pranayama) to strengthen the connection between the body and mind.
- Spirit: we learned about self-awareness, detachment etc, and I believe I am in the beginning of my soul-searching journey