Today, while in the yoga hall, a monkey peed on us.
I love India.
It's hard to believe that we are almost done with week two of our Teacher Training Course at Yog Peeth, Rishikesh. Our days are filled with Yoga Asanas (poses), learning anatomy and philosophy, eating, drinking masala chai, sunbathing on the rooftops, pouring water through our nostrils, chasing monkeys away, meditating, memorizing mantras, eating some more, studying, and more yoga yoga yoga.. I'm in heaven!!!
Here is our schedule:
5:30 - 6:30am... Meditation in my room
7:00 - 7:15... Cleansing... Neti pot
7:15 - 7:30... Mantra Chanting
7:30 - 9:30... Yoga Asanas
10:45 - 11:45... Philosophy Class
4:30 - 6:30pm... Yoga Asanas, Pranayama, and Meditation
9-10pm... Meditation in my room
I remember back to day one of our TTC... we woke up at 6:30, drank some chai, and then were handed a plastic little teapot-type-thingie and were introduced to the wonderful world of jala neti. Jala neti (neti pot) is a device used for nasal irrigation. We filled our neti pots with warm salty water, tipped our heads, shoved the spout into one nostril and waited til it drizzled out the other nostril. I was no longer a neti pot virgin. My head was burning and I felt like I had just swallowed a gallon of warm salt water up my nose. ouch... But I'm happy to report that I am now LOVING my neti pot and it has become a routine in my life... just like brushing my teeth.
I am so happy I came to India to study yoga and receive my teacher training certificate in yoga's birthplace. In the States I found so much of the yoga to be just another form of exercise... Most of the studios are "power yoga!" or "iron yoga!" They focus on the physical aspects such as sweating your butt off, losing weight, trying to stretch your body as far as you can, and competition was heavy in the air.
Here at Yog Peeth, we have taken a huge leap back (or rather I should say forward) and have started from the basics. We started with the Pawanmuktasana series which is a group of asanas (poses) which loosen up the joints of the body. It is a very relaxing, meditative yoga, where you learn to build your awareness of every single muscle, joint, bone, and cell of your body. Many grew impatient the first few days of classes, but soon we realized how powerful this series was and how we were building up our strength from the inside out. Now, we are into week two and have slowly been adding on poses, but with so much awareness... which is what yoga is all about.
In anatomy class, we have learned about cells, the nervous system, the endocrine system, the musculoskeletal system, and stress... I was never a big fan of biology or anatomy growing up... but I have been so fascinated by our classes. I ran out to buy a huge book on anatomy and find myself buried in it with excitement! hahah... But the more I learn about the body... the more I understand my own practice... and the more I'll be able to help my future students with their practice. Our lectures are wonderful because he relates everything back to yoga.
We also have been having a lot of debates and discussions in our philosophy class... We learned about the origin of yoga, the different paths of yoga, the 6 philosophies, spoke on the differences between consciousness and awareness, and are now getting into Sankhya and Vedanta... But really what I find yoga to be is the journey between YOU (the appearance which is always changing) and YOU (the reality which never changes.)
I'm excited to see the 30 of us learn, grow, and go along this jouney together... but hopefully the monkeys will keep their peeing to a minimum...