Day in the life of YTT (as of day 2)
Per a kind request, I am sharing my experiences of yoga teacher training thus far.
I arrived in Kelowna, BC on July 1st (today is July 4th at about 8pm). Training started yesterday, July 2nd. It was only a partial day and today was our first full day.
Day one was a partial day. We started our day at 11:30am at the Moksha Yoga studio in Kelowna. It is a beautiful space full of love, light (literal and metaphorical), calm, people who are beautiful inside and out, and so much more.
We began with a wonderful opening circle...
Opening circle consisted of introductions: name, where we are coming from, what brought us here, what we hope to get out of this. It was amazing to hear what brought everyone to this month--one that I know will be one of intense and inspiring growth and challenge for all of us. Many of us shared that a hard time brought us to Moksha/Modo. Others, just curiosity. Still others, a friend. But in any case, it has been the sensations and energy and vibes it gave us that first time or first few times kept us coming back for more, making it a practice and a lifestyle. Feelings of love, healing, and community keeps us glued to the Moksha/Modo family.
I said something along the lines of this:
"...I'm at a point in my life where I'm realizing that life is so good. But it's also really hard. So, I'm here for myself--to learn and to grow in mind and body--but I also hope that the knowledge, awareness, and insight that I gain can translate in such a way that I can reach other people and share with them. Because I love to teach others and share with them what I know or think I know (aka, feel and think) to help them get through experiences in life."
After opening circle, we shared our first asana together. This first asana was a little bit strange to go into because we had barely just met and had only just learned a glimpse of who we all are. There are 49 of us, plus the 5 people leading training right now...needless to say, it was a crowded and (extra) hot room...but one filled to the brim with beautiful souls and energy. As I mentioned in my blog post "Feeling home," no matter the baggage with which people may come, the good vibes and support and love are definitely not lost. Good vibes all around.
first lecture (Following a break--for lunch, showers, whatever we needed to do)...
This first lecture just involved learning the recommendations, advice, and, well, rules for an optimally meaningful month. Get to know each other. Drink water (lots of it). Sleep. Listen to your body. These things may seem like the common sense guidelines, and I guess they are, but sometimes, we were warned, we can forget about these fundamental factors. A few things that I hadn't thought deeply or been aware of... 1) brahmacharya--casually put, self control or inhibition of sex drive or sexual desires. We are going to become so close to the people in our training, and because everyone has so much to give, we were warned that we may feel like we are in love with each other. But, it is kind of like acting upon desires when under the influence of something or making impulse decisions after a really high time that makes you feel so good. When these experiences arise, we are often advised to give ourselves a grace period to gauge how accurate our desires were and if they are still true. 2) mauna--the practice of silence. We are to try to remain silence/maintain silence until after meditation and first asana. We start our days silently--do our morning routines with and around our fellow trainees, but do not communicate verbally; walk over to the studio silently even if alongside each other; meditate and complete asana silently. After meditation and asana, we can speak. 3) no consumption of mind-altering substances: caffeine, drugs, alcohol. 4) vegetarian challenge (mentioned in "Off to Kelowna, BC...").
Time for you do you...
After lecture, we had time for ourselves. To do what we needed to do and to prepare for the next day. Many of us went to the beach (with a beautiful lake and mountain landscape), others went to a coffee shop (but no coffee!) to work on our presentations or other work, some practiced inversions and talked in our common room of our pod, a few took time for ourselves in our own rooms, a handful of us got Thai massages from a trainee who is a Thai masseuse for a living (pretty neat!). So many options for doing you. Then it was time for an early night's sleep (or an attempt to) granting rest for our busy day to come.
Our first full day!
Started off with a few alarms sounded and quickly snoozed at 5:30am. Mauna...silent routines and a beautiful and peaceful walk over to the studio for our 6:30am mediation and following 90 minute asana.
Seated meditation was a new experience for me (I'd never really engaged in "formal" meditation) but quite relaxing (I think I was falling asleep, whoops?).
Next was first asana. When our teacher, Robi, said, "good morning," no one responded because we were told mauna lasted until after first assana. But Robi said, "you can talk now," and everyone laughed a little. I have to say, it is pretty unique and fun to be in a room full of people you know and will get to know very well and see all the time; it's like doing yoga with family. There is laughter and conversation to a greater extent than in a typical yoga class. I enjoy both contexts, but it is definitely different for the room to be conversing and holding a dialogue, even if not always in a verbal way.
How and why we practice (lecture 1)...
Ted (Moksha Yoga co-founder) led today's lectures. First, we learned about the how and the why we practice. He gave us great insight and information and known common trends, but a lot of it also came from us trainees and what we have felt and experience as practicing Moksha/Modo yogis. I think the 2 most common reasons people are drawn to Moksha/Modo are community and healing. These 2 reasons are one in the same in some ways; often if someone needs healing, they come to Moksha/Modo yoga and stay because the community is so supportive. Yoga is an individual practice as well as one in which the community feels as one. But the individual aspect makes community and healing different at times; one who seeks and finds healing in yoga may find it in the practice itself and that which they gain personally, and not always attached to the community that is a by-product.
We engaged in dialogue about what spirituality means, what the ego is, what is "real yoga..." All of these are concepts and ideas that I will leave for you to think about because they are subjective and there is no right answer or explanation. That said, I am happy to talk with you about what I think about these concepts.
History of Moksha/Modo (lecture 2)...
I will share only one thing from this lecture (much of the rest you can probably google ;) ) because it is a mentality that I found really profound and one that I think applies to almost any aspect of life...
"Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of a cancer cell...We [should] only grow when we have the resources and ability to support growth."
This is the mindset Moksha/Modo takes when viewing itself as a company and community. Take this idea and run with it. It is beautiful and meaningful, and, in my opinion, a true perspective for life.
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A day in the life of a yoga teacher in training....it is a tiring day but it is a good day. There is so much to learn--in the hot room and outside, from my teachers and from my fellow trainees--about life and yoga. It is a good kind of tired. My muscles--leg, arms, core, brain, heart--are already fatigued but they are asking for more; we can't wait for all that is to come!
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A typical day will look like this:
- 6:30am--meditation & asana (90 min)
- 2:15pm--asana (60 min)
- 7pm--end of day