This weekend marks the end of our YTT and the feeling is bittersweet. After 9 weekends of yoga, it’s going to feel strange not having to head to the studio, see familiar faces and deep diving into all things yoga for the next 6 hours.
This has been absolutely enriching and to sum up the whole experience:
- You will ache
Your body is not going to know what hit it on some days. You are going to feel muscles you never knew existed and you will ache for a few days. But you will also eventually find yourself, perhaps sadistically, enjoying some of the pain because you feel stronger. Poses come easier, and holding a crow for more than 5s actually seem possible. You would have discovered strength.
- You will be tempted to skip class at least once
It takes dedication and commitment to be in YTT, especially for a weekend course. 5 days a week you are at work and come weekend, there’s no sleeping in. After a stressful week at work, having to get to yoga is even tougher.
Attending the weekend course also means your mind continues to go into overdrive, trying to absorb everything the teachers are telling you. Some days, you walk out at the end of the class, thinking “what just happened”. Not to mention, having to study about technical things like muscles and respiratory systems. Not the most fun sometimes. There are moments where you will be mentally and physically drained – and for that second, even hate yoga. And that is ok.
But most times, once you find that strength to get up and out, the asanas and meditation does wonders – just take a long, well deserved nap after class as well.
- Your ego will be crushed
When you get to YTT, it does not matter whether yoga has been in your life for 10 years or 10 weeks. There is no place for complacency in yoga. If a challenging pose is easy, fear not, there will be other poses that you can’t do. Or a somewhat easy pose for everyone else may seem difficult to you. There will be frustrations and you will compare yourself with others. And it’s not even only about the asanas. Pranayama techniques can be hard too. And sequencing / practicing teaching – you are not going to get it right the first or second time. Knowing all the poses in Sanskrit names? That’s not going to happen in 2 weeks, no matter what you tell yourself. And this is only the start.
On the mat, everyone is on the same playing field. Yoga is a journey of self-learning, discovery and patience. If the practice or journey serves only as a means to an end, then perhaps this isn’t for you. But if you stick with it, and accept just how little you know about yoga, the real learning begins.
- This is endless learning
Related to the point above, there’s so much to learn. I can’t even begin to list the crazy amount of things my brain has had to process about the history, philosophy, action etc of yoga. But beyond yoga itself, you learn about yourself and the people around you. You learn about your body, energy, your limitations. You interact with people you may not otherwise have the chance to meet and learn about them; and their lives. All in all, these will give a whole new perspective on life. Be ready for this and embrace it.
- It’s true, you will make friends
If you thought you already loved yoga, you are going to feel a whole new feeling about it. Or if you were in a rut with yoga, YTT will make you excited about it again. And a big part of it, I hope, would be because of the people with you in your YTT journey. You are going to find admiration for your teachers. You are going to find connections with your classmates. Everyone (almost) on the internet talks about the friendships you make during YTT, and it couldn’t be truer. During the course of YTT, you could have possibly spent more time with yoga books, teachers and classmates than with your usual company. Pretty hard to resist a bunch of people who share a common interest over yoga – who else would want to have a discourse about muscles and asanas for more than 5 mins?
On this note, am grateful for this batch of folks I’ve had the pleasure of meeting through YTT and hope we will continue this journey together (and with some wine, finally). And also, Paalu and Wei Ling, who have been nothing short of incredible in taking us through this with their stories and knowledge.
- Yoga class will never be the same again
Pretty sure attending a class will never be the same again – if it isn’t a Tirisula class by Paalu or Wei Ling. When a teacher says to tuck your tailbone in, you are going to be screaming in your head “NOOOO. Paalu says that’s not how it’s done!”. Or when you accidentally notice the fellow yogi next to you has a knee bend that isn’t a perfect 90 degree angle in virabhadrasana and you probably will have to fight the urge to tell or adjust them. Or how about when the teacher seems to be taking longer than usual to finish counting? Well, good luck to us. 😊
YTT March 2018 (Weekend)