I will admit to you now. Discipline is not my forte.
When it comes to getting up early, eating right and moderately, drinking lots of water, sleeping early to daily yoga practices… to cutting off all my incredibly doggy bad habits. Have I succeeded so far? Well, I have gotten out of bed at 6am for more than 2 months now! That might not sound like much to those of you who have kids, but for me, a designer who is used to working late, it is an absolute feat! A new habit that I will continue after all yoga classes end at Tirisula as I can now see the benefits of it. I am a lot more energized through the day and mentally a lot more positive!
Nutrition discipline, however, is still a struggle for me. You see, I love food. All sorts especially Singaporean food. I eat for taste and comfort, not for fuel. Nowadays, I feel really guilty when I overeat on chocolates or ice creams. I think its a good sign that I am beginning to look at the food I eat, the amount and nutritional values of the food. Well… at the very least, I have started eating dinners at 6pm and no food after 7pm. Still a long way from fasting on vegetable juices but hey, baby steps!
Why torture myself you would say? We only live once! (That is my head talking!) I’ll tell you why. Besides it being my responsibility to keep my physical, mental, spiritual self healthy, it logically concludes that they are all interlinked… It determines the quality of life I live. If my digestive system, or respiratory systems are weak, it clouds the mind and takes energy away from spiritual practices. Thank goodness I have the discipline to practice daily pranayama, asana poses and meditation!
Despite that, everyone keeps telling me I look so much brighter and better! That should be motivation enough to make the necessary changes.
Note to myself… One day at a time.
I was not a believer of yoga practice before I started Kundalini Yoga at Tirisula earlier this year. Like many others, I have dabbled in yoga classes and have met with different experiences. The most common of which is where the yoga instructor keeps doing dynamic poses and most of the students in the class can’t do the poses … so I think its more for him/her than it is for the students. I never went back to those classes and in general, thought yoga was too difficult for me.
Recently, I tried asking people to come for free yoga classes for the 200TTC class and I met with some of the same resistance from others.
So how do we make yoga more mainstream, more acceptable and easier for people to join in? That it is not just about doing poses? I thought about my own purpose of doing Yoga instructor’s training for the answers. Before Yoga, I was looking at a master’s in counseling as my ‘hobby’ involves working with charities. After yoga, I believed that it is so much more powerful and positive as an avenue as compared to listening to problems as a counselor. I started with Kundalini yoga to heal myself first and foremost. After 2 weeks of learning about chakra healing and my attempts at some asana poses… I started teaching some people for free at the charity and saw the benefits that it has given them. Yoga brings them away from their minds which generates the problems into their breaths and physical bodies. It clears and focuses. It relaxes and heals. It strengthens and provides a daily practice towards self care. That spurred my interest in yoga. Not in showing off poses or figure as to helping others.
As the Dalai Lama once said, he sets a daily intention to be of maximum service to others. Everyday. And in the cultivation of one’s own mind, body and spirit, one can then heal and be of service to others. This is my purpose of training in yoga. Someday I hope to be good enough to be of maximum service to others using yoga as an avenue to heal. The universe has led me here with that purpose and my job will be to do the next right thing. Every single day. I may not know the outcome but my job is to have faith in Yoga and my teachers.
The answer is Yes! I am still alive after more than 2 months of intensive yoga teacher’s training … it is prove that any beginner just needs to be insane (and brave!) enough to jump right into teacher’s training program at Tirisula Yoga. So here’s an account of what I have learnt…
First of all, I am humbled. The lessons in humility sparked a willingness, an open mindedness and a new found level of self soothing! Secondly, I have learnt through aches and pains that its probably a good idea to have some yoga background before training to be a yoga instructor. However! My unique attempt and journey will hopefully, benefit some other crazy bugger who might attempt this in the future. Thirdly, there is nothing more powerful than conquering my fears one by one. With every success, I grow stronger as a person. Lastly, the hardest challenges often bring the most rewards in the end. And this has been true for me and yoga so far.
This is but a beginning of my Yoga journey. Sometimes, jumping into the deep end is the best way to grow and oh yes, the slopes are the steepest but the learnings are the deepest!
I look forward to finishing the 200hr Astanga yoga TTC in a week’s time and to saying to myself YES! I did it (again)! 🙂
‘Yoga is an art, a science and a philosophy. It touches the life of man at every level, physical, mental and spiritual. It is a practice method for making one’s life purposeful, useful and nobel.’ – Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
My yoga journey started with Kundalini yoga teacher’s training at Tirisula Yoga, followed by Astanga yoga teacher’s training course. It has been two months or so of intensive yoga training. For someone who has done a splatter of yoga classes before this, it has indeed changed my life at every level.
On a physical level, I have grown stronger and more flexible in areas where I never knew existed. My spine has straightened out so much, my back is strengthened and I stand taller; my digestive problems improved, my breathing became deeper and my backaches reduced significantly.
On a mental level, I am much calmer, more centered and focused. Which is good… given the scatterbrain that I was before I started!
On a spiritual level, with meditation and pranayama breathing techniques, I am able to center and stay in the moment much more. My personal favorite are the mantras that we learnt in Kundalini yoga that just lifts you up to the fourth dimension just by itself. This incredible connectedness with consciousness and breath is, to me, spirituality in daily practice. There is so much more to spirituality in Yoga that I believe, needs to be experienced more than in theory.
But I believe, the union of all three levels has been the right path for me. And it is the path that I have found in Yoga.