This past week of yoga teacher training has been an even more whirlwind of information, but my excitement to learn about the yoga practice each time I step into the studio for class reaffirms my decision to go through with the training and knowing that gives me incredible comfort and peace.
Last Wednesday and Sunday, most of the time spent in class was breaking down the postures for Sun Salutation B, the core series, and the crescent lunge series. While it was beneficial to practice the cues for each posture, the biggest takeaway I received this past week was the reminder that “humility is sexy.” I know, what does that mean, right?! Now, I may have only been only practicing yoga since the end of December, but I have been to a good number of classes where I had felt that I was strong in certain postures and thought I was in good alignment. Perhaps more of this perception is due to the fact that my guides in class never adjusted my body; therefore, I felt that I was doing it correctly. But after this past week, WOW have I been wrong!
Alyssa, the studio manager for the CPY Point Loma studio, stressed the importance of not picturing what you believe the posture should necessarily look like, but how it feels in your body. Where do you need to be stretched? What parts of your body have tension? Where do you feel the sensation, rather than what “looks good?” Now from personal experience, I thought my right crescent lunge was top notch. My hips were square to the front of the room, my right front knee was at a perfect right angle with my knee stacked over my ankle. However, with crescent lunge, in order to be aligned, your tailbone should be tucked down towards the mat. When I performed that slight movement, I felt fire in my left hip flexor. THAT is where tension is in my body. THAT is where my practice should be focused on in that posture. Rather than a beautiful 90 degree angle where I am already strong in my right leg and having this idea of what a crescent lunge should like, it is about finding what needs flexibility in my body. And this is what Alyssa meant when she said to “be humble.” Take a step back. Go back to being a beginner. Hone in on the feeling of the posture, than the picture of it in your mind. And if that means it is not “beautiful,” then that’s okay! That is not the intention. What a great lesson to have learned that can be applied in many situations. Focus on flexibility. Focus on strength. Focus on growth.
On Saturday, Brandon from the Point Loma studio provided a great overview lecture on the history of yoga and the eight limb path, which basically is a guideline as to how to live a purposeful and meaningful life. Brandon’s anecdotes about mythology and random trivia provided for a class that kept all of us interested and engaged. I love random facts like that, and learning about the OM symbol and sound, a bit about how the Hindu and Buddhist religions contributed to the yoga practice, and how the vinyasa form of yoga came about has been one of my favorite parts of this training thus far.
The most memorable part of Saturday’s lecture was learning about the mantra Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu, which, in short, translates to, “May all beings everywhere be happy & free.” The entire class sang a song with this mantra, and it was beautiful to hear all of our voices in unison and as a community. We set an intention to create a world that is peaceful and blissful and dedicate our practice to manifesting this joy. It is a prayer each and every one of us can practice—on and off the mat.
“May all beings everywhere be happy and free.”