Yoga is not a work out, it is a work in!
My knees were totally bruised from the day before with constant kneeling on a hard floor (even with my yoga mat!). I tried a new tea today (not the highlight of my day, but it was an awesome tea – mint chocolate oolong by Stash! yummy).
We learned a Sanskrit phrase – sthira sukham asanam – which basically means ‘comfort and ease’ – finding comfort and ease in your yoga poses.
We were given our first class assignment – design a vision board to present to the class. And we were also given our sadhana (daily) practice outline for the next 2 weeks – which included pranayama, meditation and practicing a variety of different warm ups that was demonstrated in class the day before.
We learned to teach our first pose (mountain! or Tadasana in Sanskrit) to two different classmates. I quickly found out how much there is to telling people how to do even the ‘easiest’ pose correctly!
Then we had a very quick overview of what we’ll learn anatomy wise …and I learned that the body has 4 diaphragms!
We discussed a variety of different questions about yoga:
What does it mean to be a holistic yoga teacher?
What is a good yoga teacher?
Why is it important for a yoga teacher to understand basic anatomy and physiology? (uh, kinda self explanatory, I think!)
What would you like to acquire from the anatomy portion of the program.
We were told to google what Aum/Om means and find a definition that resonates with us. What I found was:
Aum is the sound of the creation o the universe and your connection to it. It is all that was, all that is and all that will e. It represents the creation of the Universe (A), maintenance of universal energy (U) and the transformative energy of the universe (M), and the awareness of oneness.
I also distilled a more pithy definition: aum connects us to the universe, connects everyone in the room together and connects us to the lineage of yoga.
We had our first guest teacher, a yogini from India, Matreyi, who talked to us about the deeper meaning of asana and what they represent (and why a lot of them are named like animals!)
We went over the 8 limbs of Ashtanga Yoga (whereas most people in the West are only really aware of the physical postures, or asanas, but there is so much more!
The 8 limbs ares follows:
- Yama – how you connect with the world
There are 5 yamas. They are:
- Niyama – your own personal growth and developmentThere are 5 Niyamas. They are:
Tapas: heat; spiritual austerities
Svadhyaya: study of the sacred scriptures and of one’s self
Isvara pranidhana: surrender to God (or the divine or the universe)
- Asanas – the physical postures (like down dog!)
- Pranayama – breath
- Pratyahara – withdrawl of the senses
- Dharana – concentration
- Dhyana – focus on one point (get more into the mind)
- Samadhi – Bliss or ‘Enlightenment’
The second day went by so fast…and then we were on our own to practice at home…!