Lessons from an Ashram - Part 2
Post-intensive Yoga Teacher Training thoughts...
This month has taught me so much.
The most profound revelation is the confidence that comes from experiencing first-hand that it's possible to do anything you put your mind to. To find strength to push yourself to your absolute limits and beyond, and not to quit.
I reached levels of exhaustion I didn't even know existed and still faced 7 more hours of packed schedule. It seemed insurmountable some days, but we did it and we did it with a smile on our faces.
Admittedly, there were tears, mostly out of frustration at the pain in our bodies, or the unexpected release of blocked emotional traumas, or the sheer effort at trying to stay awake and alert despite bodies and brains feeling like lead.
Asana class some days felt like dragging my body through quicksand. One morning I actually did a full 8 rounds of sun salutation pretty much fast asleep.
I worked through my strange experience of adrenaline rushing up my body during savasana. I was actually getting scared to close my eyes for fear of jumping and disturbing the people lying next to me. Until I spoke to Satyadev about it and he knowingly explained that it was just 'stuff' I was holding onto and to simply allow it happen, not to be afraid or to fight it.
So I did, and whatever I needed to let go of, it went, and the adrenaline rushes stopped. My first truly affirming experience of yoga magic.
I've pushed through every barrier here. Physical, mental, emotional. Slept 4/5 hours per night in a sweltering 4 million degree/ damp, leaking tent. Chanted 13 times a day in Sanskrit. Attended 16 hours of lectures in a sweltering temple, sitting cross-legged with an aching body from top to toe, and a back spasm so bad I couldn't even do chair yoga.
At one point the pain in my back was so bad I thought I'd slipped a disc and wouldn't be able to complete the course. Searing nerve pain running down my face to my toes, every breath sharp. Secret panic that I'd developed another blot clot in my lungs or heart, but not wanting to make a fuss. Hyper ventilating in kirtan class and being carted off to the clinic with severe pins and needles all down my arms and legs.
Karma yoga work in the kitchen with 3 minutes to get showered and ready for satsang. 4 hours of asana class per day, passing a 60-question exam with flying colours that didn't have one single multiple choice question, and half of it was an a ancient language!
If you're going through any sort of personal trauma.. grief, recovering from serious illness, suffering with depression, anxiety or just generally run down by life, I highly recommend taking yourself off to an ashram.
Om shanti friends, love love love love.
Look at these faces. Pure love and light. I'm so lucky.