Sunday, 18 January 2015

Yoga Teacher Training Week Two

So I'm not quite sure where this week has gone, but apparently I'm now half way through my 200 hour yoga teacher training course! 100 hours down, 100 hours to go!

Week Two has been pretty full on - lots more yoga (of course!), many more breathing techniques, too much veggie curry, and trying to stick a rubber tube up my nose and out of my mouth as this is apparently a traditional yogic cleansing technique! Needless to say I failed miserably at that challenge. We do have two more sessions on cleansing coming up this week, so I'll let you know if I'm at all successful...

On a physical note, after two full weeks of yoga I'm already feeling stronger and more flexible - it really is amazing how quickly the body can adapt to intensive and persistent training. I wouldn't say I've lost any weight - there's too much curry available for that! - but my body has noticeably adapted to the physical challenges of the course. I'm pretty sure there's a few muscles that are looking slightly more toned!

Continuing along the food thread I've maintained a completely vegetarian diet for the whole two weeks. We get to eat out at the weekends but I've decided to see how my body reacts to having no meat for an entire month. So far my tummy has been really happy and I haven't missed it much at all, however I'm pretty sure that when faced with a fry up on my return to the UK I'm not sure I could turn it down. The food at Kranti Yoga Village is incredible - most mornings I have vegan porridge with loads of fruits and cinnamon, and then lunch and dinner is usually curry with veggies - it is all absolutely delicious and freshly prepared. However one thing that my fellow yogis and I have been craving is fresh salad, as that's not as readily available here, but luckily around Patnem and Palolem beaches there are some amazing salad places and so Sunday lunch has been replaced with salad! - we really are wild! We're also all off the alcohol (another thing that I shan't be keeping up when I get home!) so when we occasionally do make it out of the yoga village for a night of dancing in the sand we order in the fresh juices - I can highly recommend pineapple, ginger and mint. Seriously delicious.

On an emotional level this week has come with some challenges. One of the main lessons we've had to learn is to not be afraid, and to not turn away from difficulties. This is a tough one as every day we're faced with new asanas (postures), new information, and new philosophies. And then you naturally begin to think about challenges that you've faced before you came out here - many of us on the course have faced quite a few of them - and this was what made me crack during a slow flow class on Tuesday. The theme of the class was "be who you were born to be". I know that sounds a bit hippie and possibly a bit obvious, but actually if you think about it for a moment it's a really lovely message. So many of us spend time trying to be clones of other people - copying famous people, wanting to be like our friends, imitating our idols - and if we're really honest none of this fulfils us. And why is that? It's because we're not being our authentic selves. We spend so long seeing the beauty in others that we don't see it in ourselves. And if we don't see it in ourselves then how can we share that beauty with the world? The world needs you to be you. It's your responsibility to be you. The world needs YOUR beauty. And that's what got me in the slow flow class, I had my first cry of the course - not because I was sad but because I was proud. Not so long ago I was afraid and I did have some difficulties to face, but I took them on and I beat them. I did this so I could be true to myself, and I can tell you hand on heart that I have never been more certain that I'm now living how I'm supposed to. So really I had already taught myself the lessons that we learnt this week, but I wanted to share that with you as if I can do it, then you can do it too. Don't be afraid, don't turn away from difficulties, and you will overcome them to become who you were born to be.

So what's next for the course? Well, by Wednesday this week I have to have my first lesson fully planned ready to practice for my assessment in the final week where I'll teach it to 10 of my fellow students. My theme for the class is going to be on heart opening, but I'll share more of that nearer the time. I also have to get my anatomy knowledge up to scratch (thank goodness I took A level Physical Education!), learn the majority of the Ashtanga yoga primary sequence with Sanskirt names, as well as get my head around the various yoga philosophies... It's going to be a busy but amazing week.

As with last week I'm having trouble uploading photos via my iPad, but if you want to keep up-to-date with my trip then do follow my Instagram account: lucyvictoriajackson

So remember: be who you were born to be. You are you, and you are beautiful.


Love Lucy x