Feeling: THE YOGIC DAY-TO-DAY
So here I am again, undertaking my 200 hours (with my further 300 hours from August to October) to become a fully fledged yoga teacher.
How does the day go?
So we arise at 5.45am, heading to have herbal tea at 6’o’clock. From there we engage in shatkarma (that is cleansing for the purification of the body) (shall elaborate at a later date), pranayama (regulation of the breath) and then an hour-and-three-quarters of asana practice.
Breakfast is from 9am, with 9.30 seeing us in anatomy class. Meditation and mantra chanting takes place from 10 to 11, then we have a little window before lunch, followed by a few hours free to rest, study, talk to home, explore.
3pm is philosophy, 4.15 is another hour-and-three-quarters of asana class, then dinner is 6.30 with the remainder of the evening free for us to do as we please (usually conk out by 9pm).
This is the daily schedule from Monday through Saturday, with Sunday a day off to do as we please.
It’s pretty full on.
And I love it.
The teachers are all male as yet, tutoring us in a sometimes-difficult-to-distinguish but more often than not a takes-a-millisecond-to-absorb Hinlish (Hindi + English) (though I always think of it as “hindered English”). It’s insane; a few of them are 20, 24, 33 (though he looks about 16) and are just so full of wisdom and maturity. And a good fair few of them are incredibly good looking; just beautiful facial structures, beautiful smiles, beautiful personnas. Beautiful people, really.
And Arvind (owner and main yoga teacher) has two dogs – Kallu (a black mixed breed rescue dog) and Barfi (a pug) that make coming downstairs every morning oh so jocular).
Before we start defining all kinds of Hindi and Sanskrit words and phrases though, I feel it is necessary to do so with the overarching word that encompasses all I am doing here.
Now, in the western world, if someone says “yoga” the idea is ingrained that it is series of poses done in a class, with a lie down at the end called savasana. An exercise, if you want it defined in a single word. But yoga is actually a lot more than a warrior three and triangle pose.
There are a number of different styles today, from karma to kundalini to the more modish bikram and such, but in the light of hatha yoga (what I am undertaking here and what is the more standard type around the world) yoga is the following.
The word “yoga” is derived from the Sanskrit root word “yuj”, meaning to bind, join and to form a union. This means harmony across the self, working on all aspects – physical, vital, mental, emotional, psychic and spiritual. It is the science of living right and is intended to be incorporated into daily life.
At its most succinct point, yoga is balance.
You see, “yoga” is actually made up of an eight-fold path; Yama (self-restraints), niyama (self-observance), asana (poses, the physical part we all relate to yoga as we know), pranayama (breathing), pratyahara (disassociation of consciousness from outside), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation) and samadhi (pure consciousness, the teaching of enlightenment). What with ultimate samadhi not quite achievable by just anyone, hatha yoga focuses on the asana, pranayama, shatkarma and sometimes meditation side of things.
I never thought I’d be this girl. Always one to be slightly (if not hugely) skeptical and wary of other beliefs and such, if you were to tell me that one day I would be sitting in a room, eyes closed, chanting my heart out without an ounce of self consciousness, I would tell you you were cracked mate. But here I am, doing just that; and I feel right.
Morale is good amongst us five. Four days in, I’m elated to be feeling back on top; almost Sound of Music joyous, feeling like I could frolic in the hills, launching into class with gusto and a sunny disposition. Upon asking Beavs how he felt this afternoon his response was, “Pretty tired and fucked” with a hearty laugh. I guess after 105 minutes straight of kicking your body upside down against the wall, folding over yourself and holding one leg at a perfect right angle in the air, it’s a pretty justified answer.
But we’re loving it and are super super bonding. Tonight we had to do partner stretching and little Christina and I got right up in boobs, armpits and – dare I say it – fanny. As we have a day off tomorrow, we are about to congregate in the dining room and watch a movie together. It’s lovely to not just be fellow students, but fellow friends as well.
Yoga every damn day (multiple times in fact).