A 3-hour essay exam, celebratory “feast,” and graduation ceremony–I guess this means I’m a yoga teacher! I can’t believe this experience is over or that it ever began. A mix of boarding school, boot camp, and the iconic “spiritual journey” all wrapped in a green, leafy package scented of jasmine, incense, and mosquito repellent. I’m quite certain that I don’t have the body, mind, or soul of steel now, but maybe I at least scraped off the top layer of mold (or was that Brie?)
As before, I can’t really think of a way to summarize this experience. So, you get the first things that come to mind in a stream of words to paint the picture with pointilism.
The ashram is a bit like a fishbowl in the middle of the normal world. Like the fishtank that confines our mind with senses, time, space, etc. Our mind that knows nothing. Including that nothing is real. Reality–”a Cosmic Drama.” Drama–emotions and fancies holding our leash. Lashing out, bad karma; cleaning dorm’s toilets, good karma. Good thing I have an endless number of lives to understand all of this.
Breathe relax stretch and contort your body in directions it never dreamt of before. HOLD. Breathe (gasp). Relax (thank you). I came a beginner and, now…am an improved beginner, proud of a headstand, still a blowing “tree.” I’m surprised to find though that at the end of Teacher’s Training, I actually feel like I COULD TEACH.
Wake up at 5:30am, meditate, chant, yoga, hold your appetite until 10. Clean the toilets. Lectures, tea, more lectures, peanuts to stay awake just make you full and sleepy. Do some more yoga. Time to eat again (yummy yet monochromatic). Homework. Laundry. Time to meditate and chant again, then tumble by 10 under mosquito net on the “extra-firm” mattress (ouch). Oddly, this, all of this, wasn’t the biggest challenge. Taking in so much new information, staying positive, staying focused, staying healthy, keeping mind off cookies, THESE were the real challenges. Well worth attempting.
The “Crocodile Lake” is pleasantly warm and quite therapeutic (the uncertain fear adds some excitement to our otherwise bland days). That huge vibrating sound each dawn and dusk REALLY IS lions across the lake. Vegetarian food is good. People from 25 different countries can easily live, study, laugh together. I actually really like yoga.
I don’t know how all this fits into me or my life yet. As I sit on Kovalam Beach (where this idea was planted back in January), the ashram feels like a planet (not 30 km) away and New Zealand actually feels closer. Must be impossible though as it will take 30+ hours for me to get there once I leave tonight. Kristin is right now I imagine surfing the waves in Raglan NZ. Our next adventure together begins. The rest of my life as well.