Harmony of body, mind & soul : 4-week-intensive-Yogateacher-Training Pt.4

Here comes the fourth and last part of the diary of my yoga teacher training with Yoga Vidya. Insightful, crazy and beautiful three weeks are behind me. Now in the fourth week I have the feeling to be one with myself – a harmony of body, mind and soul…

Dark Exercises Fitness Yoga Skull

Week 4, Day 1: Saturday, 29.08.2020

Patience

Today I had the best yoga class of my life. In the morning our lesson always consists of a lecture followed by a long yoga class for the own practice. In this unit you should only feel. Nothing is written down or discussed, only breathed, moved and felt. So far this has always been very pleasant and energising. But today it was simply perfect. Because this morning, after my conversation with the tree yesterday, my level of energy and harmony was still at the bottom. But after the yoga class it is right back at the top again. I am totally in harmony – totally absorbed in yoga.

The reason were the words of our teacher Jeannine. The curriculum included yoga with affirmations and the mental and psychological effects of asanas. On the one hand, the calm nature of Jeannine has a very harmonising effect in itself. But it was also the words themselves that put me in a nearly supernatural state full of insights.

Now I know where my lower back problems come from. For example, I have had problems in Halasana for quite some time.

Halasana - gives the power to initiate long-term changes and patiently await their effects
Halasana – gives the power to initiate long-term changes and patiently await their effects

If you look into the mental equivalents, it is really clear why. Among other things, Halasana stands for preparing the ground for necessary changes in the figurative spiritual sense. No problem for me. Then the second problem is more likely to be the problem. Namely, waiting patiently for the results, the harvest. A big problem for me. Patience is not my cup of tea. But I do find another spiritual equivalent for Halasana motivating, which fits in well with my state of mind:

There is order even in chaos.

The same happens with the sitting forward bend. Once I was able to easily reach the final position of putting my nose between my knees. In the meantime I can no longer get out over a 70° angle.

Paschimottanasana, the forward bend - develops patience, devotion and the ability to let go
Paschimottanasana, the forward bend – develops patience, devotion and the ability to let go

If one looks into the spiritual equivalents, it can be read there:

Patiently I bend to things. I simply give up all wanting and forcing and let things happen. I practice patience.

So I guess I have a new mission. Now that humility is working quite well – I have discovered Bhakti Yoga, the yoga of worship, for myself, but more about that later – and my perfectionism is reduced to a minimum, I still have capacity for further growth. That is why I include the practice of patience in my catalogue of further development.

Dark Exercises Fitness Yoga Skull

Week 4, Day 2: Sunday, 30.08.2020

Shanta Bhava – Seeing God in Nature

Apart from teaching instructional techniques, there is a lot of yoga philosophy on the agenda. As I already mentioned in Pt. 1 of my diary, yoga does not see itself as a religion but as a philosophy. Nevertheless it is often about God. Or whatever you want to call it. So there is even an own yoga path that deals with God. The path is called Bhakti-Yoga and Bhakti-Yoga is about how to worship God.

I am surprised myself, but I am really very pleased with this path. In our teaching book it is said: Bhakti Yoga is love for love’s sake. Isn´t that beautiful? I think that I have also gone a step further in my development of humility. However, it is also written in the teaching book: Modesty is the basis for Bhakti-Yoga. Looks like I still have a new project…

Be that as it may. I have discovered my new favourite way to worship the divine. One of the forms of worship is Shanta-Bhava. There the divine as pure peace and tranquillity is worshipped. One way of doing this is to worship the creation itself, the nature.

Since my conversation with the tree, I am often attracted by the Silvaticum, where there is an apiary with a natural meadow in front of it. There the bees buzz, the flowers bloom and the cicadas chirp. An absolutely peaceful place, which radiates an extremely pleasant tranquillity.

The natural meadow in Silvaticum - my favourite place in nature
The natural meadow in Silvaticum – my favourite place in nature

Whenever I have time, I lie down in the grass there. And there I am simply grateful, grateful to be allowed to be there and grateful to have found such a beautiful place. It can be so easy to worship the divine!

Dark Exercises Fitness Yoga Skull

Week 4, Day 3: Monday, 31.08.2020

Pratyahara – Withdrawal of all Senses

In order to find oneself, one must be able to control one’s mind.

One way to positively influence your mind is Pratyahara – the withdrawal of all senses.

I have been doing it like this my whole previous life. If you abstract listening as a sense. For me, there is nothing better than having headphones in my ears, listening to my favourite songs and fading everything else out. But I guess that does not count as a real Pratyahara, because not all senses are withdrawn.

Today I learned in the yoga class another nice possibility to practice Pratyahara or to combine it with an asana, which I love anyway. With a Halasana variation. Because once I have arrived in Halasana with my lower back problems, I feel very well in it. I feel best when my back is rounded and my knees are next to my ears.

Pratyahara - withdrawal of all senses
Pratyahara – withdrawal of all senses

In today’s yoga practice, our teacher Adinath still put his hands on my head. So I was completely inside myself. A harmony of body, mind and soul. How beautiful it was! Safe and secure. Only through me and for me. All senses were withdrawn. What a wonderful way to be in harmony with oneself.

Dark Exercises Fitness Yoga Skull

Week 4, Day 4: Tuesday, 01.09.2020

Millionaire of Moments

Today was a day of absolute silence. No talking. Not even during the lessons. It was recommended to keep your eyes lowered continuously. Withdrawal of all senses in extreme form. Only dwell within oneself.

The day was filled with meditation and gentle yoga. With this all senses were addressed. And in such a marvellous way that you could stay in your innermost being, feel extraordinarily well there and never want to go back.

“If Silence is golden then I’m a Millionär to this day…”

Inverted Enlightenment by Aleah

What a beautiful day with so many wonderful moments. Just because of the silence. I have never felt so peaceful. My body, my mind and my soul were really fused into one. So gorgeous!

Dark Exercises Fitness Yoga Skull

Week 4, Day 5: Wednesday, 02.09.2020

Many new Views

Today began in a sporty way. Partner exercises were on the programme. What fun we had! There are many asana variations that you can do together. For example Sarvangasana.

Yoga partner exercises
Yoga partner exercises

Asanas for two open up a whole new view on the execution of the posture. The Pranayama, which was performed back to back, was also lovely. The partner was not visible, but all the more noticeable.

We did a very special exercise in the preparation of the partner exercises. We met at eye height. And really with our eyes. All the pupils walked around the room and sounded the singing bowl, everyone searched for the next person opposite and looked each other straight in the eye. For several minutes.

How different these views were. Some eyes were sparkling with spirituality. Some eyes radiate an incredible goodness of heart. In other eyes, on the contrary, it could be seen that they were not really comfortable.

A very interesting exercise, which again opened up a new view on my own life. Especially how special some (long) eye glances are.

Long Eye Glances in the Teaching Test

I also had long eye glances in the last of my three tests, which took place in the afternoon.

One class for advanced students was to be held. You were allowed to pick out the asanas on your own (according to the correct sequence according to the Yoga Vidya basic series). I was well prepared and thought my class planning was quite good.

Preparations for the advanced yoga class
Preparations for the advanced yoga class

Joyfully and with a lot of fun I led the class. Even the breathing instructions and the sun salutation, including correct breathing during the sun salutation, worked perfectly.

When I was just about to introduce the deep relaxation at the end of the class, the examiner intervened and said I still had 20 minutes. What did she say? On my alarm clock there were just under 15 minutes left! Just right for 10 minutes of relaxation, 2 minutes of mediation, a mantra and various master greetings and “Oms” at the end.

What had happened? My alarm clock was on the floor. And my view of the alarm clock was unfortunately a bit crooked. From my angle it showed me 5 minutes later.

Long moments in the teaching test
Long Moments in the teaching test

But since I have recently acquired a spontaneous and relaxed attitude, this was not really a problem. So my participants were allowed to make the tree pose and the dancer pose and then everyone – including me – could relax deeply…

Dark Exercises Fitness Yoga Skull

Week 4, Day 5: Thursday, 03.09.2020

Mantra Sanctification

I have made a choice. For a long, really very long time I thought about whether I should go to the mantra sanctification or not. Attentive readers of the previous three parts have certainly noticed this.

After all, it is a task to meditate every, really every day between 20 and 40 minutes. Furthermore, it is the purpose that the mantra has an impact on daily life. You should think carefully about whether you want to do that.

After especially the silent meditation day gave me so much peace and I enjoyed all the other meditations very much, I decided to get a mantra.

And today was the last chance for me to do the mantra sanctification. Freshly showered and in freshly washed -white! – clothes I was sanctified. Even my nose was freshly showered. With my new pot and the newly acquired knowledge of the Kriya exercises.

In harmony with myself after the mantra sanctification
In harmony with myself after the mantra sanctification

The mantra sanctification was really very beautiful, so solemn. An experience that you will never forget.

Baptism of Fire

In the evening there was a special event for us prospective yoga teachers. A Homa. The Homa is a fire ritual from the Bhakti Yoga, my new favourite yoga path. You sacrifice something into the fire. You give something and get something in return.

I got a lot. After this morning’s mantra I got a new name. Because if you are initiated into a mantra, you can be given a spiritual name.

Therefore, after the Homa there was a very exclusive ceremony in which Sukadev personally took over the “baptism”. And so now you may not only use the name Sabine, but also Kālīpriyā.

What an extraordinary day. Somehow I feel like a little bit reborn.

Like new born - after the mantra sanctification and the spiritual naming
Like new born – after the mantra sanctification and the spiritual naming
Dark Exercises Fitness Yoga Skull

Week 4, Day 6: Friday, 04.09.2020

My Mantra is coming to me

The day before the big exam is a study day.

Before everyone is absorbed in their books, we meditate and sing together in Satsang. The first meditation with “my” mantra. And indeed – as if the mantra had been waiting to be allowed to come of its own accord and not only when I call it, it comes automatically. It feels as if it had always belonged to me. As if it had never been otherwise.

Seems as if I had made the right decision.

Dark Exercises Fitness Yoga Skull

Week 4, Day 7: Saturday, 05.09.2020

The big Exam

Today was the day. The day of the theoretical final exam was here. Writing down yoga theory for four hours. As there was always very little time to catch up and deepen my lessons, yesterday I studied until late at night and this morning I got up at 4 am to repeat everything again.

As always the day started with Pranayama (breathing exercises) and Satsang. This took away a lot of the nervousness and gave new energy. Besides, singing calms the mind so nice. I will really miss that.

After a short breakfast, which was prepared especially for us examinees – otherwise we did not eat until 11 o’clock – we started. Now I was nervous after all, very nervous indeed. These Sanskrit words just will not stay in my head. It is really even more difficult to learn than the Finnish language.

Nervousness before the big exam
Nervousness before the big exam

And I did it! My great test has been passed: I have defeated my perfectionism! As in my teaching tests, I was satisfied with much less than I would otherwise have done. Much less demands were placed on me than before.

The training is the first step on my yoga path. You do not have to be perfectly equipped for this path. On the way you will certainly find many things that will be useful. You do not have to arrive at the end right at the beginning.

Of course I also passed the final exam. And so I was able to relax and enjoy the banquet that was given especially for us.

Welcome of the freshly graduated yoga teachers to the banquet
Welcome of the freshly graduated yoga teachers to the banquet

My next training will be the training of my patience. But I am afraid I will not be so successful in such a short time…

Dark Exercises Fitness Yoga Skull

Week 4, Day 8: Sunday, 06.09.2020

Day of Departure

The day of departure came. At the beginning the four weeks in a row seemed like a big mountain to climb. But in the end, time passed far too quickly.

On the one hand it will be nice to have the children again. On the other hand I felt so good here. I have never been so at one with myself. Yoga – a harmony of body, mind and soul.

But I am also curious about what is still to come. Because the journey has only just begun…

For the farewell I may read suitable words in the guest book of the house
For the farewell I may read suitable words in the guest book of the house
Dark Exercises Fitness Yoga Skull

My conclusion of four weeks of yoga training at Yoga Vidya in Bad Meinberg:

I have never been so at one with myself; calm and composed in all my strengths, but above all in all my weaknesses.

I was allowed to experience and learn an incredible amount here. I am extremely grateful for that. Even if a lot of salt water in the form of tears or sweat flowed.

Gratitude is the greatest feeling I have right now. Gratitude that everything has come about the way it did. Even if it was not planned that way. And gratitude for all the nice people, for all the profound conversations, for the helpfulness and tolerance that is lived here. I felt so good that I would have loved to stay!

But to use the words of Kaunis Kuolematon, who accompanied me for the whole four weeks:

„Paljon on muuttunut
matkani alkanut
kohti uutta ja kaunista.“

“Many Things changed,
my Journey has just begun,
towards something New and Beautiful.”

Ikaros by Kaunis Kuolematon (a Finnish band, whose name means Beautiful Immortality)
Dark Exercises Fitness Yoga Skull

Thank you so much for accompanying me on the first steps of my yoga path.

ॐ Om Namah Shivaya ॐ

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