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Yoga Teacher Training – Day 2

by on February 4, 2013

No pictures in this one! Also, sorry this took so long, I fell asleep while writing it.

Anyway…we started today (as we will continue to do so for the rest of the course) with chanting 3 different types of Oms (or Aums). I regularly chant OM, and always wonder why some focus more on the Aaaa sound, others on the Ooo sound, and others on the Mmmm sound (mmmm!) and now I have some insight. The typical Om has a long open-mouth portion, and a shorter Mmm portion. Then, we perform Brahmari, which is a short O sound, and a significantly longer Mmm sound. Finally we chant several Oms within a single breath, which is known as Lehari. Good to know, no?

Then we dove right into an interesting discussion on Faith. (why did I just capitalize that? I have no idea). Anyway, this is a good sign to me, as it shows they are willing to get their hands dirty, and evoke some deep thought among the students. Although true faith takes decades of training and practice to cultivate, and some may just stumble upon it, I don’t think it’s something that can be taught in a classroom setting, at least within a one-month TTC. However, the Socratic method they use here encouraged active discussion on the topic. More importantly, no “preaching” was provided, and everything was offered in a bit of a joking manner, i.e. with a grain of salt.

Then came a lecture on habits. Most interesting topic for me, as I’m constantly practicing awareness of my repeating patterns, and experimenting with breaking them and creating new ones. We talked about the basics such as how long it takes to form a new habit (21 days is the common myth), and how to encourage positive habits with regards to diet, exercise, and sleep. What stuck with me was a portion on taking responsibility for what habits we cultivate / prevent ourselves from cultivating, and how to avoid such habits being instilled into us via external forces (such as peer pressure). Maybe this resonated with me because I’m typically sensitive to external energies, or as my parents used to say, easily impressed? Time will tell…

We learned a couple of asans that I have practiced in the past but never realized they had names! For instance, when you’re lying on your mat and you stretch your arms back behind you and your toes forward (like after savasan), it’s called Yashtikasan. Similarly, hugging your knees into your chest may be referred to as Pawan Muktasan. I’ll explore the sanskrit meaning later.

We also studied a basic pranayam involving laying on your back, knees bent, feet on the floor, and one palm face down on the belly. Simple diaphragmatic breathing with a focus on the point where the palm meets the abdomen provides many benefits such as calming the mind, easing digestive disorders, etc.

Also listened to a talk about the importance of a morning routine! What do to upon awakening (deep breath, stretch), encouraging relaxed elimination, drinking warm water, and exposing our eyes and skin to the healing energy of the morning sun. Nice to know I attempt this on a regular basis anyway, except my morning sun is a little closer to an afternoon sun 🙂

Final thoughts: I’m still connecting with the other students, discussing concepts with them (and my mom who happens to be staying with me), integrating what I’ve learned, and enjoying the delicious food they serve. One question to ask the teachers is why there is such an emphasis on consuming dairy products with every meal. Specifically, I’m uncomfortable with drinking milk from a poorly treated cow for numerous reasons, and I’d like to see if the yogis here have any suggestion on how to approach this discomfort.

Thanks for reading, and please comment!

  1. Interesting stuff. I’ve come to think of chanting Om at the beginning of class as a diagnostic test. So it’s interesting that you guys emphasize different parts of the Om. Like my Om is different at the beginning of class vs the end. So if you struggle on a different part, it probably relates to a certain pranayam you should focus on.

    Also, I’ve been reading a book called the Power of Habit. I was just reflecting on it this morning. Think of a habit in 3 parts: cue, routine, and reward. The way to change a habit is to replace the routine with something positive. Figure out what your cues are, replace the routine, and give yourself a reward. It’s also good to reflect that we can’t break habits/patterns. These will always be with us, but we can replace them with new and stronger habits/patterns.

  2. Drinking butter-milk known as “Chhas” or “Lassi” or just eating plain curd after afternoon meal helps digestion and cools the body. Similarly, a glass of milk early in the morning or before going to sleep at night was encouraged by our parents and grand mother since my childhood, and I continue to do so right upto my present age of 62. I still do not know the reason behind this habit. One probable reason I can think of is that it is the best source of calcium which helps to keep our bones and teeth in good shape.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Yoga Teacher Training – Day 5 « Yogier Than Thou
  2. Yoga Teacher Training – Day 22 | Yogier Than Thou

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