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Yoga Teacher Training – Day 17

by on February 24, 2013

We started the day with the classic memory game. We were then provided with a definition of memory: brain storage where all activities performed are stored and can be recollected when desired. There are 3 parts to memory: registration, storage, and recall. We then discussed impediments to good memory, the foremost of which is the ego. The ego can prevent us from ever truly receiving information, as it makes us believe that we already know all we need. Contrast this with humility, which enables us to value all the presented information and therefore soak it all in. Stress and fear (physical and mental) also keep us from remembering and recalling. Basically, anything keeping us from fully being in the present moment affects our memory. Finally, and most interestingly, there are three types of memory: long term, short term, and deep impressions, with deep impressions being stored in the subconscious mind. For more on this subject, I strongly recommend this book.

There was some discussion on positive vs. negative emotions, with tips on how to create more positive memories, and on how to let go of negative ones. This sparked some controversy, and I raised my hand to address this positivity bias that I’ve been seeing in the yoga community in general (term coined by my friend and meditation buddy). Briefly, it is fundamentally understood that both positive and negative emotions are opposite sides of the same coin, and acknowledging both is necessary to maintain equanimity. Yet, modern yogis continue to emphasize the positive, while downplaying the negative. This can be as dangerous as leaving a wound untreated, it will continue to outwardly manifest in our lifestyle.

Although I was unable to get my point across to the teacher, several brief discussions with fellow students confirmed that many of us felt the same way: that acknowledging all our emotions made us feel more connected to ourselves and the world around us. And connection is yoga, no?

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