Have you ever wondered, what exactly happens at a yoga teacher training? Our good friend Angelina from echterleben.de is on her way to Tenerife for a one month training and is sharing her experiences as the training unfolds.
You can read about her experiences in German on her blog, or find the english translation below.
Part 3 - Open your mind
After a slow start into week #2 I've now already reached the midpoint of my teacher training here in Teneriffa.
On one hand, I feel the time is passing way too quickly, on the other hand, when I look back I've come a long way and have learned so much already.
One thing that I found you absolutely need to bring when thinking about completing a yoga teacher training is Openness. You're not being trained to be a fitness trainer. It's a study of the self, and first and foremost of your self. You will begin to see things differently and to understand yourself better. This can only work if you really want that and are willing to do so under one of the most important concepts in yoga:
"NO JUDGEMENT" - Don't judge prematurely, see things neutrally and try to understand.
Meanwhile I've conducted my second yoga class and in the process, passed my first exam. Our teacher was really happy with me, no complaints :-)
I feel very happy right now and very content with my decision to embark on this journey and go through the training.
We are also learning several meditation techniques in theory and practice and a new breathing technique (Pranayama) almost daily. Both, meditation and Pranayama are practices that help control the mind instead of it controlling us. I'm determined to integrate both of these into my daily routine when I return. Meditation sounds easier than you think though. Try to sit down for 2-3 minutes without thinking about anything, your mind will quickly take care of it and start bringing up all kinds of thoughts for you from the past or the future. It's actually quite difficult to be in the now and I can only recommend practicing it regularly. Just let those thoughts pass and bring your focus back to your breath. You will feel focused, centered and complete after a meditation like this, even if it's just a few minutes. Kind of like after a dive into a cold pool.
PI'm also making lots of progress physically. While I can't really sit on my bum for much longer, (supposedly this will improve during week #4), wir now have gone through theory and practice of all the Asanas that are part of the training. That also means, that I managed to do some of the advanced poses like the headstand and crow. Yeah! Without proper focus and concentration those poses simply won't work. The necessary muscle is being built in the process.
Our personal yoga practice is also becoming more intensive and starts being really fun. I'm always surprised by the progress you can make in such a short period of time.
Our Karma-Yoga (Service for the community, in our case mostly focussed around cleaning) didn't go just as well. While it's always the same people doing the cleaning and the same people leaving their stuff lying around, we had a bit of a crisis meeting mid-week and we're back on track. The morale of the group is going through some highs and lows, just as much as every individual student experiences an up and down. I realize that I've become a lot more a ware of how one persons state of mind influences the group. Positively and negatively.
The last week has been very eventful and full of learnings. As a reward for our efforts, we had half a day off yesterday and I have to admit, I've transgressed :-). I had coffee and cake in town in the afternoon, but other than that I'm keeping to the prescribed diet of no caffeine, alcohol, fish or meat.
Today I'm meeting a friend and will use the free day to relax and switch-off. I will also switch-off my phone and laptop now for the coming week. Until next Sunday!
Have a great week and Namasté! ;-)
We'll keep you posted on Angelinas experiences every week. Come back here on Monday, to find out what happens in week 2.