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Yoga Teacher Training – Day 15

by on February 22, 2013

Started off with the one and only Mrs. Mahenkar (I first wrote about her here), who lectured us on the importance of appreciating everything, and performing our duty, no matter what. We soon realized that the topic of the day was going to be Karma Yoga.

Karma Yoga is an important practice for a happier life. Simply, while performing an activity to achieve an outcome, we must diligently focus on the activity rather than the outcome. It is only by focusing our concentration on the activity that we can do an excellent job. When the job is excellent, the fruits of our labor will come automatically. So why worry about the outcome?

This practice reaches the next level when we actually dedicate the outcomes (profits, benefits, whatever) for a higher purpose. In the scriptural context, we dedicate the fruits of all our labors to Krishna, since he is the all-pervading consciousness. In a more secular context, I feel that dedicating the fruits of my labors to whatever I value as greater than myself will actually enhance the quality of my labor. It will also curb my selfish tendencies, and make me a better and happier human being by enabling me to be detached.

Most practically, karma yoga keeps us from complicating our lives, by simplifying our thought processes and directing our focus to whatever activities have lined up for us. In other words, it helps us in getting things done. See here for an excellent summary of this fusion.

We were then introduced to the concept of the chakra for the first time. Without going into too much detail (as I think this idea has been worked to death), it’s nice of them to emphasize that the chakras are involved with the nervous system, and relate to the flow of biomagnetic fields within and outside the body. I’ve been working on my own version of a theory called “The Nervous System as an Antenna” – stay tuned! (no pun intended)

Then came some chaos in the form of student presentations and lesson plans – a lot of fun, cheering, clapping, and Q&A. Which was perfectly followed by a pranayama session by one of my favorite teachers who emphasizes casual normal breathing, and seeking within for the effect of each asana/pranayama exercise. The best part was her correlation of breathing pattern and lifespan – something I’ve heard many times before:

“One who breathes half, lives half.”

  1. I have heard of young football players who have suddenly died on the play ground because their heart had to work harder than it could bear….

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  1. Yoga Teacher Training – Day 19 | Yogier Than Thou

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