The Life of a Yogi
The first few days of this training seemed to follow a pattern: really enthusiastic one day, really tired the next… Now, it seems to be the same pattern, but much more condensed; this morning I came in and was feeling so well-rested and ready to absorb everything I possibly could (I wrote three entire pages in my personal journal before lunch!), and by the evening I was just totally spent.
We started the day with Adam because Sri Dharma was running a few minutes late. When he came in, he apologized for being late (as if any of us could have been upset about it!), and he explained that we should all “experience everything”, so that we can relate to all of our students more and be more understanding. It was actually a very inspiring way to start the day. We did some more pranayama and then had a marvelous discourse about karma (instead of the scheduled dhyana). Then during the spiritual discourse session, Sri Dharma read from The Bhagavad Gita. The whole morning left me feeling extremely serene; not necessarily as enthusiastic as I was one day one, but just sort of open and available – no expectations.
We had a small group practice teaching session before noon class, which was fabulous today. I can see everyone in our group progressing in their receptivity and clarity in communications with each other, which is beautiful to watch. Then we had Master Sadhana, but with Bernadette today. It was a very difficult class, but I actually felt great through most of it. The sun was shining in through the window during savasana, and I sort of felt like a cat napping on the floor (they always seem to find the sunniest spots, you know?).
After lunch we had a long session where we broke down the asanas of the Dharma II series from an anatomical perspective, which was pretty fun. Since our group is becoming so close, we wound up going off on tangents a few times in our discussion, and because the people in my group are so awesome, I learned how to do two new arm balances (not perfectly, but at least the logistics and a few close attempts)! Then we had Dharma III with Andrew, which was a beautiful practice – but extremely tiring. By the end of the anatomy session, I was already quite tired; oddly enough, I think it was because I wasn’t being as disciplined about sitting and listening and taking notes – on other, more rigorous, days I have found that the difficulties of sitting actually wind up giving me more energy later (at least compared to today). Good to keep in mind for tomorrow I suppose!
Anyway, Dharma III was really difficult. I mean, I’ve taken a lot of Dharma III this summer (twice a week almost every week since June), and I’m frankly in love with the series. It’s just that my body is totally exhausted, and partway through the practice I realized that I had had maybe two sips of water since about 8 AM this morning (and I sort of went, “Ohhhh that’s why I can’t stand on my own legs right now”).
Then we had a discussion about teaching Dharma Basics, led by Andrew. It was short and sweet and very informative. More and more I’m realizing the importance of really living our lives from a place that agrees with the teachings, so that we can bring not just the knowledge, but also the immense compassion, to each of our students. It’s a huge responsibility to be a teacher; as Sri Dharma said this morning: “Remember, you are becoming a teacher; you have to do everything straight and nice… Many teachers are not perfect; they have many habits, but don’t let your students see.”
Now I’m starting to get excited for the home practice aspects of this training, because I think those things are really going to help me cultivate the groundedness I need in all the limbs of yoga. But two more days to go! I am very much looking forward to Dharma Gentle with Kim tomorrow morning… Plus we have a Yoga Nidra class with Sri Dharma. I think those two practices are going to give me the steam that I need to get through this last push!
Dharma playing with Baxter
Another trainee getting ready for noon class