Our first weekend of training was exciting and practicing throughout the week really helped extend the feelings of awareness and peace throughout my week. Come Friday, I was ready to dive in and get started with the ‘meat and potatoes’ of the program. Every Friday Night, Darren Main spends two hours discussing and talking about the philosophy of the Yoga practice. And for the next few months, Chrisandra Fox will focus our Saturday and Sunday classes on alignment.
On Friday, our philosophy session centered around the ideas of The Self and the Ego. The gist being that your Ego is your protective shield, the inner voice that is telling you what to do. Whereas The Self is your inner being. Yoga means union — and is the union of many things: Mindy & Body, Soul & Spirit, Self & Ego, Sun & Moon, etc. The core of it being that you are centered and balanced at this union. When you are balanced, you can let go of the Ego. Let go of the voice that says “I can’t do this. I am not strong enough. I am too tired. I am afraid. I am too proud.” By letting go of that voice, you can let your real Self shine through.
After class on Friday, I thought a while about what we had talked about. Thinking about the traits or characteristics that my Ego holds on to… things about my perception of myself that I carry with my in my daily life, but are not really true. Things that I want to let go of. The point that was made in class was that “the way we act today, is rooted in who we were in the past. If you want to change who you are tomorrow, you have to start with the present — letting go of whatever has been holding you back.”
Saturday morning, I found myself going to Janet Stone‘s Level 2-3 Vinyasa Class. I’d only taken her “mellow flow” classes, which I often found challenging, so I was somewhat intimidated by what I might encounter in her more advanced class. Several times throughout the practice, I found myself fearing what may come next. What pose she was going to put us into and whether or not I’d be able to handle it. At these points, I had to remind myself of what I had learned the night before. The importance of quieting the mind and letting go of expectations. By the end of the class, I felt refreshed and much better than I had only hours before. I also realized that the class wasn’t as hard as I thought it might be — giving me a better sense of what to expect in the future.
Chrisandra’s alignment sessions as part of our teacher training program were extraordinarily enlightening and enjoyable as well. We spent the first hour talking a bit about philosophy and the importance of alignment. We talked at length about the concept of
Sthira Sukham Asanam which roughly means “a strong & steady, yet calm & comfortable seat.” This is basis of any yoga pose. You should have feel strong and supported, yet relaxed such that you can stay in the pose for hours.
We talked about Tadasana, or the Mountain pose, for most of Saturday & Sunday. Taking time to talk fellow students into the pose and make verbal alignment corrections as well. Hearing my own voice as a teacher was a bit unnerving at first, but this is something that will come with time and practice.
A bunch of us attended class after our training — and it exciting to practice together. After all we had been through the first few weekend, it’s fun to actually do yoga together.
I’ve come to really enjoy this point in my weekend. My Sunday evenings. I shower, change into some comfortable clothes, and relax. Letting everything that I learned just soak in and enjoy my space. My space in my own body but also the personal space of my own apartment. I’m ready for another week.. another week of work and another week of learning.