Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Quick Glance at Life in India

Nancy- Rishikesh India

Week two of Yoga Teacher training and life in India has been interesting, exhilarating and difficult all at the same time.

Interesting experiences of the week include:
We learnt a cleansing technique called Jal Neti where you pour warm salty water in one nostril and out the other. I know this sounds crazy but it was actually really cleansing! I have never breathed so clearly.  Dean get ready I'm going to make you do this when I get to Oz. Apparently it's good for preventing allergies and sinus infections. Below is a picture of Yogi Vishva doing it. Of course with a big happy smile on his face!!

Secondly, amongst many other things we learnt about the Chakras this week. Thursday evening Yogi Udea hosted a Chakra Alignment class in the upstairs yoga hall that was particularly moving for me.  After a difficult few days (which I don't care to explain here) I entered the class with no expectations.

We meditated and sang at different octaves for each chakra. Up and down the spine, I was amazed that I could actually feel the energies! We sang into the root chakra, the navel chakra.. but when we got to the heart chakra (love) I noticed I had so much voice, so much breath, so much love! Then the throat chakra (voice, communication) again I had so much voice, so much breath, so much to say possibly! It was a remarkably freeing feeling to just sing out loud at the top of my lungs. Almost freeing in a way.  Next at eye centre my breath felt restricted again or just not as free at the other two chakras. We sang up and down the spine balancing the chakras, I could feel the balance, I could feel the energy.  After the exercises I lay in Savasana longer than usual, I didn't want to leave the yoga room. In the still, dark yoga room with candles softly lighting the room, and quiet chanting playing on the stereo I finally had a moment to myself to reflect and absorb all the experiences of the week.

Finally I left the yoga room and went downstairs to the kitchen to get some tea. There was music emanating from the downstairs yoga hall. It sounded like an organ but was in fact the Harmonium used for Kirrtan and other ceremonies. Beautiful sounds filled the hall, soft and harmonious. I sat on the top step of the stairwell listening to the music and sipping my tea.  I noticed a statue of Krishna perched on the ledge above the stairs, I had never noticed before. Another lady staying at the Ashram must have been drawn to the music as well. She quietly sat next to me and in silence we sipped our tea, enjoyed the music and shared each other's company. There was warmth in her companionship. It was a pretty touching moment. My instructor Chetana was right when she said "It's in times of great distress or loss that signs appear to let us know everything is as it should be."  I'm not alone. Although I'm surrounded by strangers, I'm surrounded by love.

Finally, I taught my first class this morning!  It was just half a class (my partner did the first half) but it was a pretty cool experience. We did it in the front lawn so it was nice to be outdoors. It wasn't as hard as I thought, it acutally came naturally.. I had good feed back from the students, everyone said they liked my voice that I was clam and confident.  I also was thrilled to use my meditation bells in the end.  So much fun! I think I'm going to love teaching yoga!!

So, you may be wondering what some of my difficulties have been of this week. I want to keep this blog postive so I'll just share a few that might be interesting or funny to you.

I came all this way to Rishikesh India the Himalayan city where yoga originated to stay in an Ashram. I thought I came without expectations but I guess I had one. I expected to feel free of stress, noise and be surrounded by nature. However, I have found it quite the opposite. Construction next door makes it hard to study on "study break" dogs on the street bark ALL NIGHT long.. it's ridiculous. And now it's Wedding Season (apparently this happens during new moons) Let me just say Indian weddings are BIG and LOUD.  They go on for days (2 weddings - 6 sleepless nights to be exact) Blasting music in both Indian and English (if Tequilla counts) 'till late into the night. At first was pretty funny but by night three was just frustrating. Let's just say my 7:30 lights out is no more and 5:30 wake up call is feeling like torture now.

There have been a lot of emotions coming up amongst our entire group this week. I gues that's inevitable when you have a group of 35 girls. I'm not sure if it's feeling overwhelmed by the info or if the process is doing it's work to cleans out any negetive emotions that we have been surpressing. There have been a lot of tears this week, including me. However, I can't really pin point why I feel the way I do. Chetana told me, I don't have to pin point it. Just watch it, feel it, and eventually it will dispurse. So that's what I will do.

I am also sad to hear Dean is having so much difficulty finding us a place to live in Australia. All I can do is wish for the best and trust that things will work out. Please send good thoughts his way.

But, to bring this back to a positive note in only two weeks I can already see the lessons I have picked up from this expereince. Yoga is not just about stretching and breathing "jumping and pumping" as Yogi Vishva would say. It's about so much more, it's about physical, spiritual and mental balance. It's about understanding that we are all interconnected with eachother and the earth. It's about everything from what we put in our bodies to how we speak to our partner to how we speak to ourselves.

I bought myself a silver pendant with the OM symbol on it. When I came here I didn't even know what the symbol Om menat. I wear this pendant to remind myself when I get overwhelmed by the mass of info being crammed into my head that I am learning. I am absorbing the info and to have patience with the process. It's not going to happen overnight, Yoga takes a lifetime to study and master. 

1 comment:

  1. This is sooo life changing Nancy! It looks like you are going through a whirlpool of emotions. But maybe this is exactly what this experience is all about. Soak up that wisdom and energy, so that you can pass it along to others, us, the dry plants in Toronto. I am truly happy for you..