Sunday, March 6, 2011

Reflections: Yoga Teacher Training Day 4

Saturday's training session left me feeling refreshed and energised. I am beginning to love balance poses and felt extremely comfortable and relaxed in Garudasana (Eagle Pose). I felt my hips open in Virabahdrasana Tri (Warrior III), thanks to home training against a wall. I felt proud and my inward ego grew.

This is not very Yogi-like. Not at all. It is very natural to feel proud when accomplishing a difficult task or pose. However, this is not the point of Yoga. I was reminded of that fact today, Sunday, Day 4 of teacher training. Although my body and mind felt strong in the core poses, I encountered a great sense of contradiction when practicing 'Mindfulness Yoga'.

Mindfulness Yoga is about being aware of your body. Being in the posture in every way. Being an observer to your body. Being and enjoying the moment. It is about being able to stop, look and listen. Being present in Yoga. This means not letting the mind wander. It is feeling the sensations in your body. It is not attaching emotion to a pose; just... Being.

Yoga is not a performance. It is not a gymnastics display; you are not being judged or criticised. Too often however, there is a judge lurking in the darkness. This judge is the most harsh and unforgiving. This judge does not speak out, but acts silently. This judge is you. It is me.

I experienced this today. I experienced this harsh judge when the class and I were being guided through Mindfulness Yoga. I tried to pay attention to my body. I moved slowly. I breathed. I felt the asana. I felt my body tighten, my upper back muscles clench. I found sitting cross legged frustrating. I couldn't forward bend in the pose. I became restless. Annoyed. Frustrated. Angry. Useless. I became even more perturbed when I realised I was not allowing my body to relax, not allowing my mind to be in the moment. The whole point of the exercise was to be mindful. I was being judgmental. I relaxed in Savasana (corpse pose) and let my body rest. I began to become mindful. But when the exercise finished, I felt annoyed for being that judge that shouldn't exist in Yoga.

I know it takes practice.

Now we begin our practice.

Note to self: must remember.

Read more about my Yoga Teacher Training
Yoga Reflections
Day 1

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