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Exam weekend

Exam is finished and the results will be presented in December.

2 years of interesting and occasionally stretching  experience are almost finished.

While I can follow most of the physical and mental benefits as well as I see the clear structure and building blocks of Patanjali’s 8 step path, I had and still have a hard time with the christianised version of Yoga, which we had been taught based on Yogananda’s linage. The must read “Autobiography of a Yogi” contains more than 200 times the terms God, divine and the like, which for me is not what the sutras convey. Anyway. Its just one type of vocabulary and one shouldn’t take it too serious.

Same for the metaphysics thoughts, the multiple bodies, karma etc., which is reflecting to me the Hinduistic worldview that is quite stretching and contains too many aspects I cannot buy.

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2 years are almost over and the final month of preparation approach. The learning cards are written and its about to get them into the head. 70 asana, 20 mudras and 15 breath exercises as well as Patanjali’s main sutras make up the main core of the exam together with crafting Yoga sessions for all types of situations.

Who am I?

wave

“Who am I?”, asked the wave and disappeared in the ocean.

After some days this quote appears to me the most memorable from my first yoga teacher weekend.

The 2 year curriculum

The 2 years will be stuffed with the full spectrum of what yoga is about in the tradition of Dhiranandaji. It aims at the development of the body, the mind and the soul. The yoga path targets to be fully conscious of yourself. It gives tools and methods to work on all three aspects. From anatomy to understand the effects of postures and to learn how they work, to limitations on when not to apply to the spiritual background of the teachings.

The art and goal is to find the right mixture and guidance for an audience of say 10-20 different individuals with their individual stage and limitations. And its not about showing how great the teacher can execute an asana, but to give all participant the good feeling about their practice and the motivation to stay engaged.

Clear message at the first week-end is:

You don’t get this in a crash course in 10 days or 4 weeks. You have to evolve and develop and enter a path, which is nicely summarized in the first sutra of Patanjali:

Atha yoganusasanam

The path of yoga starts now

You start looking at your thoughts and by looking at them you change them, you look at your breath and by looking at your breath you change it. You develop a mindfulness, which resides in the now and will inevitable result in the understanding that clinging to the past and to future will make you miss your life.

ImageA initial lecture showed that this is going to be different. The sequence was sort of similar to all the yoga classes I participated in so far. However: The entire session was framed with into a relaxation phase. Each asana was executed in the following pattern: Take the position, hold it for a given time, take the mirroring position and go into relation posture either directly (if the asana includes any type of pressure on organs) or after 3 rounds of exercise. It was pretty impressive how this small change in the exercise influenced the way you can consciously focus on the effect of each posture. 110 min went by quickly and our teacher revealed that this was going to be the last lecture he will be given as for the next months, we will have to give them in order to practice teaching. 🙂

The first impression

It’s cold outside, about 5 below zero.

32 participants with, on paper, the same goal, but completely different background and desire. There is a warm welcome by the teacher and a first get in touch with the group, who decided to do this journey.

After some organizational announcements, the first lesson started right away and it got clear from the very beginning that this style or tradition is completely different from what I have experienced so far in the context of Yoga.

A surprise, I bet not the last one and not a negative one either.

First weekend to come.

It’s getting exiting. At the weekend the first session will start. All preparation is done. You screen the participation list and wonder, who’ll be the other participants. Not really surprising is the fact that the gender distribution is like in any Yoga class I visited so far, be it the classical Hatha Yoga or be it one of the hundreds derivations. 95% female participants traveling up to 350km.