Monday, September 3, 2012

Day Two: Understanding

 The Life of a Yogi

          For me, the hardest thing about today was that my body never seemed to be happy… Sitting was harder today than it was yesterday, and so were the asanas! For all the sessions where we were seated, my mind kept saying “Can’t we just MOVE?”, and of course for all the asana practices my mind kept saying “This is too hard, can’t you just sit or something?” By the end of the day I finally realized that I need to have a little more compassion with myself… And just understand that my body and mind are not used to this intensity of practice.
          The day began with pranayama, dharana, dhyana, and sun salutations with Bernadette, who was my mentor in the 200-hour training. I was exhausted at the start of the day (another restless night, unfortunately), and it only seemed to increase as time passed. I was so thankful that the LOAY team scheduled sun salutations, though; yesterday it was easy (well… easier) to just sit for an hour and a half first thing in the morning, but today the sun salutations were greatly needed, just to wake everybody up.
          Then we had spiritual discourse with Sri Dharma. He read from The Yoga Sutras, and expanded on many of the concepts. He talked about the greatest Guru that each of us has inside: “But deep inside, you are free.” As someone who tends to get caught up in demands and obligations of everyday life, these words struck me as profoundly beautiful and comforting. The sessions with Sri Dharma scheduled throughout the day, though rigorous, are often the most revitalizing, at least for me. He spoke about an inner radiance (coming from the Supreme Self), that is “free from sorrow”. Even though my body felt exhausted, these words still struck me genuinely.
          We then had a Dharma II practice with Andrew, my mentor. It was wonderful, as usual – at that point (about 10 AM) my body was craving movement, just to start working out some of the kinks from yesterday. We had Master Sadhana with Sri Dharma almost immediately following this practice, however, so my mind kept interrupting me during the Dharma II practice, saying “How are you ever going to get through this?”
          Somehow I made it, though. Honestly I think the only thing that got me through master practice was the energy of the people practicing around me. Our lunch hour seemed altogether too short today, but I had also stuck around after master practice to write in my personal journal a little bit. While I was sitting there, Sri Dharma was doing all kinds of amazing things – headstand variations I could never even dream of, spinning around while in a headstand… It was exactly what I needed, because it put a huge smile on my face and even made me laugh. Sri Dharma has a way of understanding what each of his students needs – and somehow giving them exactly that.
          The afternoon passed quickly, with more breakdown of Dharma II and instructions on assisting and adjusting. We did the Maha Shakti practice with Sri Dharma and a spiritual discourse class; both of these were open to the public. It was all incredible, and the closing meditation was so powerful that I did not want it to end, despite my aching knees!


Just a few pictures from the session on assisting and adjusting (featuring Kim and some trainees)… And one shot of two trainees practice teaching pranayama


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