“Yoga is for EVERYBODY. It is a physical, mental and spiritual practice that comes from Bharath and it belongs to the world. It helps us navigate the challenges of life and should be accessible to all, regardless of race, religion, country, gender, body size, flexibility level. Understanding as a teacher it is not about you, it’s about your students. You are a guide to help inspire and empower others along their journey”. Master Sree always reminded us to leave our ego at the door as we enter the yoga studio. These were the insights and encouraging words of our Master Sree.
I am Sundram, retired armed force personal in my late 50’s, want to rediscover the yoga teacher in me despite my old injuries. My life purpose is to celebrate living, envision to embracing yoga way of life. I am transiting into my second career in April’21 thus clearing my leaves. I took this window of opportunity to challenge myself, coming out of my comfort zone to learn YTT. The authentic and traditional yoga pedagogy and Master Sree’s wisdom gave me the courage to embark onto this journey. Yoga has empowered me to look inwards, while inspiring me to live life on my terms and being at peace with my choices.
Tirisula, YTT was intensive, more than I could ever have imagined and although I went through tough moments, it was worth every minute with my exposure only to hatha. I learned a lot on many aspects of yoga sutra. I learnt to trust the process of life, tap into my inner world and understand my being. The path of YTT has taught me how to become more of myself. We live in a world where we are constantly being told we are not good enough and life is a race and we are continuously striving to be someone else. The more I lean into the practices, yoga has taught me the more I feel I am living a life that is authentic to me. Beyond the posture and learning to live from the heart. I realized how the asanas are just vehicles to a deeper knowing of ourselves, they allow us to recognize who we are on a spiritual level (Sthira Sukham Asanam).
To be honest, I was afraid of signing up for YTT, it felt like a huge risk and investment for me at this point in my life. I loved yoga and the way it made me feel. Yoga is a mirror and so is everything we do in life. I have heard Master Shree saying “the way you do yoga is the way you do everything”. I found this concept hard to get my head around at first, however with more practice, I see how true this statement is reflecting in my journey. One of my favorite definitions of yoga is that it’s a practice that restores us to our natural state of wholeness and balance. It shaves away everything that we don’t need but that we collect over time: our fears, insecurities, trauma, pain and beliefs. I became more and more serious and more focused about my yoga practice.
Over the past weeks of training, we have understood what it means to lead from the heart. The practice of yoga and teaching softens the heart and opens you up to parts of yourself that you never knew existed while connecting you to a place deep within you. Embrace the discomfort of transformation, there is a whole new world waiting for you on the other side. Let go of how you think things should, be open to whatever comes up and trust you are exactly where you need to be grateful for the whole experience. Lean into gratitude. Yoga teacher training really is just the beginning of a lifetime journey of self-discovery and YTT is a huge blessing. Investing in ourself and personal development is a gift. I am eternally grateful for this path and for YTT, lessons and insights changed our life. Master Sree washed away our worries about not being hardcore enough, or flexible enough, or spiritual enough, and essentially told us all that yoga is all about you. It’s a personal journey and the first principle of yoga is to “Start where you are.” It was such a simple shift in perspective, but a crucial one for me.
The personalization of studying in a small group. Because we were a small group (4 students), we had the ability to ask questions and have our experience tailored to the subjects we wanted to learn. Since this was our first YTT experience, it was nice to feel like our Master Sree was guiding and facilitating throughout with the new norms.
Thank you! Tirisula, Master Sree, Sandra, Claudia and Frannie. I believe that we are here for each other, not against each other. Everything comes from an understanding that you are a gift in my life. Whoever you are, whatever our differences. To practice a discipline (YTT) is to be a lifelong learner. You ‘never arrive.’ The more you learn, the more acutely aware you become of your ignorance as our ego will melting.
The pre- course brief and information were good heads up but I personally felt that it would be beneficial if we were informed from onset about the test, teaching requirements and exams criteria and preparations.
Namaste or Namaskar (My soul bows to your soul).
Nama means bow, as means I, and te means you. Therefore, namaste literally means “I bow to you.” Hands together at the heart chakra with Anjali mudra and acknowledging ourselves and the person in front of us as a part of the divine creation. In this way, we are considered equal and connect with the other being with a sense of love and gratitude shedding any feelings of ego and arrogance.