Thursday, September 30, 2010

Here's to my yoga friends!

A year ago this week I started on my journey to becoming a yoga teacher. I can't believe it has been a year!
I did my training with YogaHaven, ( under the guidance of Allie Hill, over a 4 month period, starting with 2 weeks intensive training in Morocco.

A moment to relax at the pool!
The 2 weeks in Morocco were the most emotionally and physically exhausting weeks that I can remember. Before Morocco, I knew I loved yoga and that it was something I wanted to explore further. I had no idea that it involved much more than rolling out your mat and twisting your body like a pretzel for an hour or so, sweating profusely and then going home for a well earned shower! How wrong could I have been? I was so completely ignorant and feel so stupid for having had no idea about the enormity of the subject.
I struggled for the first few days. We were thrown in at the deep end straight away, which now of course I realise was because it is a subject that is so vast and we had a relatively short amount of time to stuff as much knowledge into our bodies and brains as we could.
After sunset practice
Sunrise practice from 6am to 7:30am, (over looking the Atlas mountains which made it much more amazing than it already was), then quick shower, delicious breakfast and off for lessons: History of  yoga, philosophy, breathing techniques, meditation, chanting, posture clinic, yoga principles, business of yoga, sequencing, you name it we covered it! Then we would have a sunset practice over looking the ocean - poor us!. This was usually a flow class, again, something I had never done before and being a dancer this was right up my alley! Dinner was always pretty fantastic and then we would grab a gossip over a peppermint tea and hit the sack by 9! Well, some of us did! Others stayed up having Jenga championships till all hours - the young ones!!!!

View from the yoga studio
When I say I struggled, it was because I felt so unprepared for the full intensity that yoga is. It isn't merely a way to keep fit, it is in fact that and so much more. The whole mind body balance thing was completely eye-opening. Of course I had felt that but I only realised I had felt it once I was told about it! I sound so thick don't I? I was freaked out by the chanting and contemplative walking and Omming! (not any more though! see "To Om or not to Om?")One particular afternoon early in the first week I lost it. I was in floods of tears thinking why am I here? I am not a deep heavy spiritual type? I don't think I can handle all this. My brain, body and emotions were on complete overload. Then my lovely new friend Terri pitched in with her words of wisdom. "Soph! what do you go to a yoga class for? A work out! so that is the kind of class you can offer and that is what people will come to your class for. If they want to chant and meditate they can go somewhere else!" She was completely right. Personally I would never choose to go a class that was full on hippy central! Please excuse me for my lack of political correctness, but as I said before, this is my blog and I can say what I like right?!
Neti Potting!
The most important thing, I soon understood, was that we have as much knowledge about yoga as possible. And do you now what, once I got that and opened my mind, the more I learnt and  the more fascinating it was.

Posture clinic - Toni?

Studying by the pool!
Outside the villa
Do you know yoga is more than 2000 years old? I mean that is mind blowing! And the ultimate goal of yoga is Liberation and enlightenment! Not, as I thought, a tighter bum and the ability to wrap your leg around your ear while standing on one leg! I am joking here but seriously it is one of those subjects that the more you know the more you realise there is to know and the more you want to know. You would need a couple of lifetimes to get it all. At only a year in I have a long way to go but I am willing and excited about it everyday!
I completely turned around from being freaked out and overwhelmed to being engaged and absorbed and that is mainly thanks to the support of the lovely people I met on my course.

At the Hammam, Agadir

So here is to yoga and the amazing connections that are made because of it. Here is to friendships that will, hopefully last a very long time. Here is to Terri, Shelley, Marie, Bec, Laurent, Krystal, Jane, Lucy, Victoria, Dinah, Danny, and all the others who came into my life last September. We all started this new adventure together and I hope you are all enjoying it as much as I am .

1 comment:

  1. Oh I loved this - what happened when you got home and had to implement it in your life and how to you get from there to where you are a year later - I want more. Feels like your own version of Eat Prey Love. More More!!