The second week – the path of yoga
Comparing it to a rollercoaster ride would not do much justice to my second week in the yoga school.
There were days in total flow, everything felt just right and I loved this feeling. It was great to see how my practice progressed and I celebrated every little success. Tuesday was the peak of success stories in my physical exercise. For the first time ever I managed to hold the Crow pose for more than a moment, which made me so excited that my tears started to come. Then in the evening somehow everything fell into its place, and I could put my whole palm on the floor in front of my stretched leg in forward bend (Uttanasana), and I could touch the floor with my straightened leg behind my head in Halasana, after lowering from shoulder stand. Then on Thursday, when our lead instructor led us into a headstand position while a drone was filming us, I just let it go with a smile on my face not giving much chance to myself, and made an attempt. I was convinced that this is not the day for this little victory, it is too soon. And guess what, a miracle happened: for the first time since elementary school I actually managed to make a headstand. These are not huge things, believe me, but it creates incredible joy when the effort pays off and the smile simply does not melt down from my face.
Naturally there were tough days too. Even though we practice at least 3 hours per day, my body does not react the same way every day. Sometimes it is even challenging to sit with a straight spine.
But the real challenges actually come on the emotional side. There are some exercises that trigger intense emotions, in my case these manifest mostly in the form of crying. We had some nice music during one of our yoga practice. I am super sensitive to music and during the more sentimental songs the pain of the whole world finds me. Well, I was crying a lot during this class. And believe me, it is not particularly funny to hold warrior pose (Virabhadrasana) or the boat (Navasana), when your abs working on calming your cry.
We learn and practice many different cleansing techniques, that target both the body and the soul. In the beginning of the week, we experienced the Shuddarsan Kryia breathing technique. From the outside it must’ve looked funny, as for the rhythm of a mantra all 16 of us were breathing rhythmically – with such force and focus that the body’s cleansing mechanisms start. Tears were coming and noses were running. In this process every kind of physical sensation or emotion is allowed, so there were many of us sobbing, while others were hysterically laughing. You would never figure out which group I belonged to …
When I write these lines on Sunday morning, I’m just over the Shanka Prakshalana cleansing, which restarts and cleans the digestive system. This is a minimum 2 hours long process. We need to drink at least 3 liters of very salty water, which does not behave as drinking water anymore if you use the proper amount of salt. It cleans the stomach and the intestines. The process itself is not too much fun and I lost a lot of energy, but I look forward to the positive effects to come. After the process we can eat only kitcheri, which is made of rice and mung beans cooked in plenty of water (1:6) and served with a few tablespoons of ghí, without any spices and flavor. Tasteless baby food, not a Wiener schnitzel type of Sunday lunch, but according to our ayurvedic nutrition instructor, this is the best food for the body after the detoxification. It nourishes and restores the body’s balance.
We got the results of Monday’s exam: your positive energy must’ve helped, my results are good. But the next one is already coming on next Monday. As a preparation for the teaching practice, we start teaching this week already, for now only within our own group. For the time being, we are only teaching in the beginning of the lesson: we do a short meditation, common focus, warm-up and the sun salutation series. Next week everything changes: from Tuesday we teach complete 90 minutes classes. One person will give a class to three others and one senior teacher at a time, everybody will have a chance to try her/himself twice this week. As far as I’m concerned, I’m getting scared about it …
I was already worried about the sun salutation series as well. We started on Monday, but my turn was only on Saturday. I was glad I was not among the first ones, so I had time to overcome my fears. But waiting for a week could also be a torture. Just to make it a bigger challenge, when I started the class, my teacher whispered in my ears that I should start the class with a longer meditation of at least 10 minutes. Well, what else could come? So I just let it go. I was afraid, that the English words won’t come, that I can’t led a meditation, that my instructions won’t be effective in the vinyasa flow. It went surprisingly well, so I relaxed. I was so happy in the last sequence of my sun salutation that it is almost over, that I messed up the very end of it. This happens when I lose focus.
We have our day off today, so we are free to do whatever we want to, as much as it is possible after the cleansing. Oh, and we have to study, next exam is tomorrow. But before studying, a little bit of exploring the island…