Lethargic limbs and low levels of energy
This is yoga teacher training intensive indeed. How could I describe it? Well, I was dying. No energy, no prana (life force), spaghetti arms. After practicing one week every day (besides Saturday), a few times a day, with 6 hours’ sleep, learning something new every day, geez. It was hard.
After the normal practice, which is the full primary series for me, we did a lead class until half primary series. Then each of us had to teach a few asanas to the whole group, again, until half of the primary series. After that we had asana clinic so went through some asanas and then taught them to your own small group.
I can tell that the energy levels in the afternoon were quite low. At some point it was more of a bunch of lethargic limbs all around our yoga sala, trying to have a few minutes rest and procrastinating as much as possible so we wouldn’t have to start our asana clinic. But bravely did we conquer and finish the practices. Well done!
On the way home I decided to reward myself with a takeaway pizza for dinner and how incredibly tasty, yummy and fatty that was. I don’t normally finish the whole pizza, and didn’t do it this time either, there was one slice left you see, hehe. They give a small sachet of chili oil with the pizza and yep, I was pouring it over quite generously. Only a glass of red wine was missing.
Tapas as discipline
On the first day, we all needed to choose one thing we will live without during the teacher training. That means we were practicing our “tapas” which could be translated as discipline or austerity, including sacrifices. It’s part of Ashtanga yoga’s niyamas, which means individual purification. The idea is that when you start your Ashtanga practice you also start purifying yourself, first starting with the physical body and later on moving towards your inner self, or your mind as us Westerners might call it.
Anyway, my tapas was to be without refined sugar and meat which I don’t eat much anyway. Some girls chose very challenging tapas, for example living without phone, social media or go vegan altogether. I was considering alcohol as well because here I tend to have a few drinks during the week which I don’t normally really do. Here it’s nice to have a few glasses of white wine with your friends or enjoy it with your dinner at home, and all this is excluding party nights which tend to be here quite frequent during the high season. It becomes a habit quite easily.
Anyway, I chose the “easy” way out and did not choose alcohol. However, I haven’t missed the usual glass of white wine during the week anyway. It was good to discipline myself by leaving all the icecream, chocolate, cakes and ice coffee out of my diet for 4 weeks. Anyone who’s been to Thailand knows that these people love sugar. They even have it as a spice alongside chili flakes, fish sauce, vinegar etc. at the dinner table.
Strangely enough, ice coffee includes not only condensed milk but also quite often sugar. I actually missed the ice coffee maybe most as it cools and refreshes when it’s hot. Especially if you need to study it’s hard to be without it.
Yoga teacher training intensive
So as you can see, the course is not tiring only physically. You need to make other sacrifices as well. Your mind has to accommodate to a different lifestyle, whether it be without sugar, phone or social media. You are here to experience something new, let go of the old habits that don’t serve you. Embrace it!