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Yoga Teacher Training – Day 4

by on February 6, 2013

We started the day with some asana practice. OK, let me back up – I started my day with a vigorous flowing practice that I have been missing so incredibly. On the rooftop of the institute, no less. Then, walked into class where we again performed Talasana and Konasana, followed by Simhasana (lion’s pose), a.k.a simhamudra (lion’s expression), a.k.a. simhagarjan (lion’s sound). So many names/perspectives, the benefits of all of which include clearing the throat, toning the vocal cords, the thyroid / parathyroid, and the lymph nodes (tonsils), vibrating / stimulating the inner ear, as well as the eyes and third eye. What a beast of a pose (no pun intended).

Then (and finally!) we were introduced to Patanjali’s system of Ashtanga Yoga. You can read more about these 8 limbs here, and here. Today’s focus was on the Yamas (a.k.a. the “don’ts” of yoga). As is typical here, the discussion turned deep, and it took most of the session to cover basic concepts. I’ll summarize my favorite highlights:

  • Ahimsa = love
  • Facts may change over time, but Satya (truth) is timeless
  • Asteya (non-stealing) is complex, as in the case of Robin Hood
  • Aparigraha (non-hoarding) and Brahmacharya (sense control) were introduced alongside my two favorite fables about the monks crossing the river, and Gandhi’s sugar story, both of which I’ve posted on facebook / narrated to people many times before! Another good sign that I’m in the right place, at least for now.

The most interesting lecture of the day was delivered by a neuroscientist / yogi, who explained the nervous system in yogic terms, and the basic concept of how our input (situation) is meaningless; it is our processing (memories, experiences, emotions, etc.) that give it meaning, thereby also dictating our output (reaction to the situation). This led to a discussion on Swaydhay (self-awareness, one of the Niyamas), and how it is the processing part within us that matters infinitely more than the external situation, or our reactions.

Finally, Asha Sharma (the methodology teacher) returned, and elaborated more on the lesson plan, including tips on how to create a learning situation, and generate an environment for experience, including sharing, discussion, art/music, stories, teaching aids, and yogic techniques. Most of which me and my sangha practice in my meditation group anyway!

Quote of the day: Yoga cannot be taught, but it may be experienced.

One Comment
  1. I am impressed….. excellent…

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