Often many people come into misconception that yoga is easy but when we get into the mat and our first practice we realize how blocked we feel in our body and discover new part which we never felt before
Expectation vs reality
Most importantly for any job for anything we want to do, we first need to carry some discipline of being determined to do it every day like a practice to achieve our missions and goals. Practicing yoga has helped me personally to grow confidence and follow the path i believe. Every path is difficult. This was the first thing to understand and the next was to keep it moving with determination and practice. This changed a lot of things in my life. I am ritu rai a yoga trainer and practitioner from India. i turned 30 this October 1st 2020. I have had experience of yoga since i was 10 although i was just feeling the essence of it back then. But after an accident during my 20’s I seriously started diving deep and explored some styles of yoga like ashtanga and Hatha vinyasa, Iyengar Teacher Training Course. My Expectations were not on the time of waking up or sleeping. My expectation was from learning to healing. I realized that from day 1 to 5 of my first teacher training course, that how little i knew and how much i got to learn like an endless knot kind of situation where you can learn until you seek. So my journey began with yoga and still continuing having a place to teach in Greece and sharing the knowledge and i still believe myself as a student and i practice whenever i visit mama India.
Expectation – I shall be back on my knee in 30 days and i will do all the back bends and all the others in ease.
So at the end of the trainings, although i did really good with my knee It would trigger back during padmaasana related postures let it be ardha badha padma paschimottasana asana sitting posture or while attempting padmaasana. So my journey from 20’s to 30’s was spent doing yoga to heal. I was allready into sports and athlete while i was 10 and continued it until 18. Yoga was included in activity in my school so i opted it to increase my scores in my finals. So with whatever i learned i used to practice yoga especially surya namaskar and bhujangasana, chakrasana. Before my accident i kept taking part in a lot of activities. After the accident i kept practicing yoga now and then which in result gave a relief. During training i encountered pain several times but i often stayed silent and followed what they said. I pushed as much as i could and did whatever they said. I got better than where i was. End of my course i would have learned one asana completely well which would lead me to many others. I learned even head stand and many postures that i avoided to do because of the accident and i also had a lot of fears to unblock. Through Chakra meditation and many other spiritual practices and philosophy it helped me look into life in a different perspective, more open minded and to find bliss in what we do. If your expectation is to get better from yoga it will not just impress you but you will feel much better than you imagined to be.
Expectation:I will be a Yoga teacher in 30 days?
Initially everyone’s idea of joining training is because one day they want to train and be instructor. I often did see friends while training having expectation to go back home and be teachers and instructors but i also often saw them loving to spend time in late night staying awake. I didn’t have those feelings as i felt i was in a process of change and training mattered a lot to me. i had limited time just to finish the training course and leave the place so i was determined to learn. I felt a lot of emotional challenge through asana and postures that helped me gain my confidence again. Training was full of fun and activities, people from different part of the world. During the course all of us have realized that doing yoga is not the same like teaching yoga. When we were given a test to teach yoga then many of them where nervous including me, i was even thinking i might be not ready or if this is going to determine everything. I was happy with myself from what i did but while teaching i did realize that it is not same as we practice. Even if we think we can be teachers the reality is that in order to be a teacher one must have a lot of time practicing and teaching so one can gain experience dealing with different types of people and know how to break down postures and help them through their journey. During the training often you have to divert your mind from being teacher to be a student first and keep learning.
Patanjali yoga sutra : Tatra niratisyan sarvajnatva beejam which means That place is perfect where knowledge is just a germination or a seed.
My husband is from Greece. For our marriage to complete it was a really long and tiring situation and after all of those things that i had to deal, when finally everything went well i said to my husband that we shall visit Himalayan mountains and do “yoga” and that would be great honeymoon with lots of learning and adventure. I had to go through a big roller coaster ride with many family members judgments or beliefs that i had to alter and make them understand that i don’t believe in arranged marriage and i didn’t want nobody to decide my fate or destiny. That is simply not me. I tasted the essence of life and wanted to live it freely with value and morals and i want to be a better human. My parents considered that i lost my mind being with my guy. But thanks to all that training that i took which always gave me confidence and patience as well as clear mind and understanding to speak to my family calm.
My family people are friendly to whoever it is from any country but when i told my boyfriend is from another country became a nightmare to them. Eventually they got gelled with my husband no time after our marriage. So as promised we left to mountains. My husband is into music production so he liked the experience of being in mountains and experience of yoga. He finally started performing for some events as ecstatic dance sessions, which i never knew what it was!
I knew the word ecstasy and i invited one of my friend from my training courses with me and we took part in one of the sessions and we liked the whole approach of letting oneself flow and dance like active dance meditation. Eventually my husband was excited that he was developing his passion about music and i was happy doing my yoga classes. I learned during this trip how people in west do yoga and that they like to learn more about it. At the End of the course it was one of my husbands friend that arranged for us to visit Romania in a festival which had 5000 people, for my husband to perform his music and for me to do Yoga for 3 days. It was a music festival including yoga and other activities. I gave it a shot without thinking it and was my first class which i gave outside India. I was excited and happy to see people being interested to do yoga in the morning in the festivals. I never knew how widely yoga is spread. I realized only after traveling how much yoga is widespread.
I explored the islands and places around Greece which was so beautiful just like India and people were amazing. Initially i thought everyone is fighting while they are speaking. I often asked my husband – ” Is everything okay “? And my husband would say- yes ! we speak loud and Greeks speak loud . Its not a fight. It took a while for me to adjust having the language barrier. Food , culture everything was different but the older generation would remind me some of my family people so i started to look into the brighter side. I explored many taverns and enjoyed the local recipes. I traveled often around Greece for giving seminars every time i got the opportunity to do so and my husband helped me a lot in this journey. I would spend 2 hours in Yoga practice everyday for 2 years and there was no one to speak nor bother in the begging and it was bliss of knowledge. In Greece currently where i stay I kept practicing in a room which i made only for yoga and that is my Abhyasa room. I still remember the first classes and my students in Greece. As i started teaching i got offers from my own students who would love the class asking me to go to Athens to teach. So, i do believe that when you are dedicated to practice other things flow as it is universally.
I visit my house to India even today and when i have time i join some course to have Yoga vacation and practice. I do go visit my same teachers who i trained with and i have seen plenty of people visiting India to take training of 200 or 500 hrs. And i have seen also so much of emotional and physical challenges during the training .
“What i feel is that one should not expect too much when they start learning something but just surrender to the learning silently begin the process and let the practice make noise and your kindness will take you forward to your passion with compassion and love”. Rest will just flow with the process and you will evolve if you are determined to your decision.
Here is some tips and answers to some yoga related questions
Do anyone need to be strong and flexible to do yoga, What is the purpose of yoga?
Yoga is not just to do headstand or hand stand. It is combined with lot of things that makes it special. Process of yoga is subtle One can enjoy the flow and slowly progress to be able to see and transform. This is why we learn patience through time and practice of Yoga. It needs discipline because it is a long commitment of healthy routine that you should follow for your own health benefits to see it on your own and then be able to guide others through the same. When one is opting to be a teacher then they should spend a lot of hours reading and practicing during the training. This is very important to root the knowledge of yoga. Refer to B.K.S Iyengar light on yoga & Patanjali Yoga Sutra from vivekanandas translation his will guide you all the way through the teacher training course or even if you are just looking to dive deeper into yoga, these books are the ideal to start.
What are the benefits in 30 days of training ?
In 30 days of training one can reach far better than they initially started because it builds the strength and flexibility through postures and breakdown of it in details so it is much different than the classes that we take during the drop in. We spend a lot of hours reading anatomy, referring the videos, practicing Suryanamaskar (sun salutation) and adding all the postures we learn like standing, sitting, twisting, inversions etc. It is not easy nor it is difficult. It lays good foundation and the schedule and the program will bring some discipline to do your practice everyday. The real challenge is to keep up the practice and continue with the journey for the path you took to keep it moving yourself, regardless to any excuses, because by having a teacher and a schedule already prepared is also a comfort. You have a guide to follow now, but what will happen after you will not have any guide? You need to be your own master and guide yourself. After completing the course you should keep up with your practice. Practice is the key in yoga. Some keep up with practice and some other may not and that’s why its challenging to convince our self and to program our self just like we did in teacher training course. It prepares us mentally and physically from the body and mind.
Our course, is registered with yoga alliance and like all schools we have to follow their curriculum. This includes training and practice of Pranayama, Asana’s and Dhyana (which is breathing exercise) and Learning postures and meditation. There is also subjects like Philosophy of Yoga sutra from Patanjali, Upanishads. Anatomy of Yoga is included which brings more interest. In west culture modern anatomy is added to yoga as skeletal system, but originally anatomy of yoga is about chakras, Nadis, Koshas (elements) , Kriyas (cleansing) etc. Most of the times in my retreats i have seen doctors visit us in breathing exercises (pranayama) and Philosophy of yoga sutra sessions. There are endless things to learn here which goes under the path of Jnana yoga (seeking knowledge).
In 200 hours course, how many days it will take, to learn inversions like head stand ?
So this 30 days, 3-4 hours of asana practice is minimum for a practitioner to show improvements in Standing and sitting postures. It depends on the student how they learn and if they give interest and spend some quality time to practice, then they might be able to do a lot of things even in short period of time. Postures like Sirsasana (head stand) , chakrasana (wheel pose) and rajakapotasana (king pigeon pose).
It may take 6 months of daily practice, to be able to do some advanced postures in ease. It depends from the practitioners daily effort and practice. If you are a beginner you need to add a lot of postures in vinyasa and practice. Teacher Training course gives you full access on sequencing and practice of lots of postures so that it will be a lot of challenging for the start but later you will see the comfort and ease in the postures once you learn alignment and breathing.
Practice, practice, practice this should be your mantra always and this will sure take you exactly where you wish to be.
How different is online training to offline training & what are the benefits of online training?
Off course its not exactly the same experience as you go to studio because there is no one to help you physically and you have to put that effort for yourself. You will have guidance from your instructor and details so you do it safe at comfort of your home. You wont be having to pay flights and hotels, you will get better prices for teacher training course and due to covid-19 and with the current situation it is safer to do online. Personally i didn’t feel any change while i was giving online training. In fact being online made me feel that i could help my students more often giving them advice or prompting questions.
I can say that if you are an office person or just a student, Joining this course will benefit you not just to gain knowledge on your body and mind but also to allow you to grow spiritual and powerful at the same time.
Like everyone says you are as young as your spine can hold then same goes for your “wealth is up-to your health”
A smart person will always take a step towards their health first, because when we have illness we often have to face challenges, struggle and stress. Through yoga i got back my body and much more than that a way to keep the mind healthy too. To embrace life we got to be in present and focused. I can only motivate others to take part in this journey as i do and that’s the best gift i can give by sharing my experience and leading others to have their own.
Due to the covid-19 outbreak all schools are teaching in digital platforms and even all Yoga trainings have started virtual due to lock down. I was working in corporate office and doing yoga 200 hrs courses, helped me get my discipline in place, scheduling, taking care of my food ,sleep, and practice asana daily. I started teaching yoga by volunteering and offering free classes in old age homes and gave private classes. Eventually i got to a job in a studio in Greece, where i live and i started offering seasonal retreats and co-operated with the studio i work to do my classes. After covid-19, due to several lock down we are now offering online classes. I thought its complicated but it was very simple. Many people that choose to book still continue their training and who were already taking classes didn’t want to stop, In fact they felt even more easier to login through zoom and take the lesson from the comfort of their house. Many were doubtful but after they had a lesson they felt amazing! They could see their mistakes and correct it in their free times or apply the changes in the next class. It is not just teacher training students but students who are working in hospitals, office jobs, corporate jobs who kept taking lessons for their daily exercise routine and they have been encouraged to make much more lessons since they stay home. It was motivating and inspiring to see people not to be stressed but take a positive step to take care of necessary things and follow the measure. A few of my students have kept in touch and have already started teaching and they would share their experience or doubts. The present time is suitable to learn new skills or deepening our knowledge by joining the course or doing something meaningful. Thinking about a new normal or old normal is just a time consuming topic and stressful at the same time. Indulging in activities, learning new things, will improve our mental and physical health. Online training is beneficial to those who practice yoga for their own health benefits or those that want to loose weight having a schedule.
Important notice : Yoga Alliance has permitted Yogagyani school to continue teaching 200
hrs on online trainings via zoom, for 2020 and 2021, due to corona outbreak. For our own safety and to protect others from this dangerous virus it is very important to follow the measures. Fear is something common when we listen to something
that’s unknown to us. The point is to move on once you have learned to deal with it consciously.
Important steps we can take during covid -19 outbreak:
- Wash your hand everyday
- Wear masks while getting out in public areas and crowded places.
- Eat healthy and Exercise daily to keep up your stamina and to increase your immunity.
- Drink water everyday.
- Do your daily Pranayama. It is good to do breathing exercises everyday for our health in order to to increase our lung capacity.
- Right kind of food, right kind of recreation activities & right amount of sleep is important to us. If these three are balanced then by doing yoga you can benefit your health and get happiness through moderate life (Reference Bagvadhgita chapter 17).
So my expectation led me to learn, evolve and live in “present moment” through Yoga. I am sure every one has their unique journey. Begin your journey of yoga with Yogagyani.
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