Thursday, 20 September 2012

Part of our reading for YTT is Meditations from the Mat by Rolf Gates.  Before class I had been reading about renunciation, ie recognising our own bad habits and destructive behaviour and renouncing this behaviour.  I stopped to make a list of my own behavioural issues that I thought I shave face and renounce.  On my list was my habit of being critical of others.  I admit it, I’m judgemental and it’s something I can definitely let go of. 

Partway through a very strong Power class, surrounded by at least 60 other sweating, panting yogis, I realised that this was easier said than done.  Unfortunately, our weekly Power teacher is not really to my liking.  Every time he said something that annoyed me, I tried to breathe and let it go.  In general, I was simply distracted.  My back and neck were sore, so I wasn’t entirely in the mood for a class focusing on working towards major backbends.  I tried to breathe and let it go.  Somebody walked on my mat, I tried to breathe and let it go.  The woman next to me repeatedly performed postures on the opposite side to everyone else, just enhancing my distraction, I tried to breathe and let it go.  The music became a jarring rant of clanging sitars…I tried to breathe and let it go.

By the time we split off for YTT, I was definitely not in the mood for anything but going to bed.  Fortunately, I was only to be subjected to a philosophy class.  Easy.  A quick ‘What is Yoga’ session followed – the history of yoga, how it evolved in the modern West - including (hallelujah) a discussion about the meaning of Om.  One of our teachers explained Om in terms of space satellites, and the radio frequencies that those satellites pick up and transmit – the sound of the universe. 

To emphasise the energy creating by Om, we sat in a circle and were encouraged to close our eyes and each individually lead an Om, one at a time.  That’s 40+ Oms.  My throat was beginning to suffer a bit at the end of it.

Then we talked about Namaste.  The acknowledgement between teacher at students, usually welcoming and thanking, at the beginning and ending of a practice.  It literally means ‘I bow to you’.  Every teacher I’ve ever practiced with has explained it differently, but my favourite of all that I’ve heard is, ‘The light and the teacher in me recognises the light and the teacher in you.’  

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