I may have missed out on a holiday with the husband this summer (I am still working on that trip to the Maldives), but I am so glad I made it to Bali to further my yoga training. I am proud to say (cue ‘pleased as punch’ grin) that I am now a 500 hours registered yoga teacher with the international Yoga Alliance, which means I can put this nifty little logo by my name…
A big thanks also to Dubai’s Zen Yoga for creating the little flyer below in honour of my Bali training! If you look closely at the pic below, you can just see me poking my head up at the back!
I’m sitting next to Darth Vader. Not as an extra in Star Wars, but as someone trying to meditate and tune out the overpowering noise of my neighbour’s breath. Every few minutes she takes an audible inhale followed by a long throaty exhale, accompanied now and again by a low moan. I wonder what is going on in her head in a bid to get away from the battering ram of my own thoughts. It is amazing the little things that start to consume your mind when you are not allowed to speak for a week.
Left hip on fire…Stabbing sensation right side lower back…mind everywhere but the ‘present.’
If the teacher does not ring that bell RIGHT NOW and end today’s miserable excuse for my meditation, then I may be forced to stand up and ring it for her! (Please note, this is a slightly more PG version of my inner most ramblings on that day).
Now, I do not consider myself an angry person. Nor do I think of myself as particularly impatient. But boy, did both those sides rear their ugly heads during some of my meditation practices over the last few days! Weeks one and two of my yoga training seemed to be my sleeping phase, while week three was a mix of drowsy days and a sprinkling of blissful still moments (during which I almost thought I’d got this meditation lark on the right road).
Ever seen the movie ‘Groundhog Day?’ The one where Bill Murray keeps waking up in the same day over and over again? This week as my 5.20am alarm jolts me awake I trudge wearily to meditation with that very concept in my head. Different day, same struggle!
Nearly three weeks into my training, sitting still with just my barrage of thoughts for company is not getting any easier. Heck, the other day I even carried the pillow off my bed to add to my variety of ‘props.’ Short of making a sofa out of them all, I settled for stuffing it underneath my sitbones in the hope of avoiding the numb butt feeling after half an hour.
When asked why she used to strive for the perfect drop back from standing to a backbend in her yoga practice, our philosophy teacher, Rose says very seriously: “Because it was exhilarating….Oh, and I used to take naked pictures of myself on the beach doing drop backs to send to my boyfriend…”
Well, at least she’s honest about it! But, putting Rose’s crazy hippie days in Goa aside, we all have a pose in our practice that we strive for and love to do. While there is nothing wrong with that, somewhere along our yoga path our ego can get too big for its boots, and that pose we so covet can land us with an injury. We forget that the physical practice (asana) is just one tool in the yoga box, and that it is in fact number three of the eight limbs of yoga. Out in front are the much overlooked ‘yamas and niyamas’ – yoga’s little moral and ethical codes. (I’ll delve into those another day!)
It’s 5am. I’m bolt upright in my bed in Bali, squinting at the palm sized dark object that has just dropped in to say hello through the wooden carvings beside my door. With the alarm set to go off in 20 minutes anyway, I decide sleeping with an intruder on the prowl is not an option, so I leap up to switch on the light and inspect the damage….cockroach. A speedy bugger this one is too. As he zips about the floor, a loud expletive escapes my lips, breaking the silence I am supposed to be observing first thing every morning.