Wednesday, 27 August 2014

3 weeks completed at YTTC. Just the beginning!

Today we complete exactly three weeks of yoga teacher training course at Teacher Surinder's class in Rishikesh. 

It's been an amazing journey so far. We've done asanas (yoga exercises) for about 4/5 hours everyday. We've lived on simple food. We've studied about the philosophy and the anatomy of yoga. We've opened up and let our emotions out. We've learnt to accept ourselves a little more. We've learnt to connect with ourselves a little more. We've become more flexible and stable with an increased stamina. We've sweat out the impurities and got our body fluids moving. We've learnt how to support our spine better. We've learnt to breathe proper, control our breath and hence control our emotions via controlled breathing. And very importantly to put ourselves to sleep. This and a lot more. And a long way to go. This is just the beginning of the beginning.

My class wherein I told everyone to do the asana which they love the most. 

Renata's birthday celebration by Yoga Family.

Meme at it! Super!

Yoko's class. It was great.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Power of Nature.

Teacher Surinder today in asana class told us, qualities of water and how we can apply it very successfully to ourselves and even meditate on it. Water qualities include, purity, flowing, adjusting to any shape, no ego, cooling, calm. Thus we can concentrate on water and then gradually become water ourselves. These statements might seem ridiculous to someone but when you are in that peaceful, serene, spiritual environment, it all makes sense. Every word of it.

Where you are is exactly where you need to be.

Finished with the morning asana classes. Chilling in Yoko's (a sweet girl from Japan) room. It smells so nice. Of sandalwood. Smell reminds me of my grandmother's room somehow. Never really knew her. Unfortunately. Outside is a beautiful view of green trees and bright sky. Can hear the birdies chirping. Feels devine. I feel grateful for being here. I am glad I ever came here. Total bliss. I wish everyone could feel this.

Reminds me of the saying 'where you are is exactly where you need to be '. :) 

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Vashishta cave @ Rishikesh.

Today being a Sunday was an off from yoga regular classes. Except we did the Neti (taking water in from one nostril and releasing through the other ) in the morning. It felt really good after that since my blocked nose felt much better. 

Chris doing Neti.

I had been wanting to go to Vashishta caves mentioned by a local guy, Himanshu, for sometime. So together with Sandra, we hired a scooty and decided to ride up into the mountains. It was about a 35 kms ride up into the beautiful green mountains with fresh air. The ride was bumpy at times with a few streams and off roading at times. But it was an amazing ride. We went along singing songs and just chilling all along. 

Sandra walking the road for the patch where it was very bumpy and slippery.

About an hour later we reached the vashisht caves I had heard so much about. They were beautiful. A dark cold cave outside which was a huge massive banyan tree. And  the cave had been turned into a temple with a shivalinga inside and a temple structure outside. Inside the dark, dingy, cold, silent, quiet, peaceful cave sat two yogis meditating. It seemed so mesmerizing. We  spent sometime there and then walked outside to the beach.

The view there by the riverside beach was stunning. Trees covered mountains all around, a fast flowing river, grey pearly rocks and a sandy beach alongside. God's lap ! It seemed to me as if I was experiencing all nature's gifts -mountains, trees, water, desert in one spot. Under one sky roof. It was out of the world and I couldn't stop clicking pics.

We sat there yapping for a bit and then Sandra left to meditate on her own by the shade and I just made myself comfortable on two rocks in the river and just soaked in the beautiful, mesmerizing nature. 
Can you see Sandra, a speck, in the snap below? ;)

 I felt so happy and peaceful. That's all I want I think. See different beautiful places. Have a friend to share it with. Eat some good food. Write a little. Mmmm. Life's perfect.

After about two hours we left. On  the way back we stopped at this little waterfall which was streaming onto the road. It was beautiful. We had indian masala chai, tea, and maggi at a nearby small vendor. It was simply yummy and extremely tasty too.

An hour's drive back with small shopping breaks in between brought us back to pavilion. We returned the scooty and walked into Cafe Bella at Lakshman jhula by the river Ganges. We devoured a salad and banofie pie there.

Almost didn't realize the time and it was almost ten by the time we left. A twenty min walk back and Sandra went her way and I reached my lil cosy room.

A day well spent. Got  the vashisht cave off my to-do list, saw a beautiful new place, had an adventure riding scooty in the mountains, ate good food and chit chatted happily :)
Simple pleasures of life !

Friday, 22 August 2014

Understanding oneself at Yoga.

As teacher Surinder says, the most important thing we are learning here (in yoga) is communication. He says we go to school to discover ourselves. So true. Each day I am discovering new things about myelf too. Trying to bring the change in myself I want to see in others and accepting myself moreso.
An incident today in the yoga class made me think about the way I communicate, my actions, my words and my reactions. I really cannot control my environment and everyone in it beyond a point, but I can definitely work on myself and bring the change in me that I want to see in others. Easier said than done. But again, not impossible. :)

"Our divine nature is of a Cow. While our mind has a monkey nature" - Teacher Surinder.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Younger the better @yoga

15:00 hours / 21 August.

I remember once as a kid, trying to imitate my father, I tried to meditate. My legs folded and with my Eyes closed, tried to see a light at the centre of eye brows as suggested by him. Couple of days I actually slept while doing it. And one day my mum saw me do it and she scolded me out of it. Made fun of me too. Don't know why. I wonder if I had started younger would it have led me to yoga earlier ! 

I've been wanting to do yoga for almost 6/7 years now. Would have been nicer had I followed my instincts then itself. I would have been far ahead in the game. But as yoga says 'right time and place for everything'. So ya I got to it when it was the best time for me to get into it.

At times my Yoga batchmates feel very surprised that I haven't learnt any yoga before. But learning classical indian dance, kathak, for six years and korean martial art, taekwando, for almost three years has definitely helped my body and its structure in many ways. I am glad I learnt these arts, if not yoga itself. 

Infact I feel everyone should learn a defense art, especially Indian girls and learning a dance form and any instrument is always helpful. I would really want to teach my kids, whenever I have them, to be on a constant learning path. Learning something new every year. In various fields. Starting young always helps. According to the ten thousand hour rule, by Malcolm Gladwell, one can master anything that he/she does for ten thousand hours. One of the best theories I have read about.

19:20 hours / 21 August 2014

Among other things we discussed 'truthfulness' and 'ahimsa'. Wrong and right. I like the definition of wrong and right as per the book 'Shantaram' which states that to know if an action is right or wrong, imagine that the whole world is doing the same action. If the result is good and constructive then it's right. If it's not then it's a wrong action.

Ahimsa, in the way yoga describes it sounds out of the world. Ahimsa meaning nonviolence at all times, to all living beings, non intended to hurt or cause misery. Considering the amount of negative thoughts one has and causes pain to oneself, it sounds ahimsa is a long way off and needs some solid work. Not putting oneself through misery is one of the most important yet difficult things to do. 
Teacher Surinder's words 'appreciate yourself' can be pretty helpful in achieving ahimsa I believe. You can't indulge in self harm if you love yourself.


Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Body giving up @ yoga

Last night I couldn't sleep properly. Result. Got up with a horrible body ache. Felt feverish. Went for the morning asana class non the less. The pain continued and I left for my room after lunch. Any kind of a noise or voice was maing mr crankier so I wore my headphones and listened to mantras non-stop. Came back ad passed out in the room. My body was breaking with pain. Got up at 630pm. Missed the adjustment and the evening yoga asana class, unfortunately :(  

Feeling very weak and lifeless. My body seems to be giving up on me ! :(

Finished dinner of aloo paratha at Oasis cafe next to my hostel. Bought medicines, some munchies for the room. Now back in the room, reading the book, 'butter chicken in ludhiana'. It's a sarcasm filled book about India and the tourist life here. It's bang on describing the society just the way it is. 
Hope to sleep early tonight and be regular at yoga classes again. This recent illness pang messed up the focus lately. Have to get back on track and attack it with the same fervor.
Looking forward.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Nightmares and Fears! They are linked ? I never knew.

19 August 2014
Last night I had terrible dreams. A dream within a dream. I woke up scared and crying. Slept soon after deciding not to get scared and chasing the ghosts away.
Next morning I walked in to yoga school and the first thing I did, was tell Teacher Surinder about the nightmares and told him how I get them very often. He asked me if I was scared when I got up and I told him I was. 

He then explained  number of things and beautifully well. 
1) it's a general tendency to fall into sleep thinking of worries and with various thoughts running in our head. That ways we carry all those thoughts into our sleep leading to dreams and nightmares. 

2) we all have fears. At times cropping from the many 'DONOTS' we hear since childhood. Many a times this leads to fear which settles down in our subconscious mind, a mind which is much bigger than the conscious mind. He mentioned that spiritual science says its good to have a fear while medical science says the opposite. Spiritual science says be fearful but of God. Feel answerable to him. In that case a person will not just superficially be nice to people but will have his heart and soul clean. 
He told me that I carry a lot of fears inside. Those fears need to be uprooted and not just superficially removed. I denied that I had any fears. But he insisted that maybe I am not even aware of them and that the subconscious mind is stronger than the conscious mind. ( really? and I thought I was fearless )
3) teacher said  that we will gradually work on our fears and have them uprooted.

Later at breakfast while explaining to him how I get my 'singh' surname from my 'kingly' forefathers he said how we all are kings since we all have  kingly heart and give to everyone and take care of everyone. :)

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Cause I feel happy @ yoga.

9 am / 18 August 2014.

After many rigorous asanas when we were relaxing in the srava asana I studied my life right from childhood till date. Closely feeling the highs and the dips. Realizing what's it's been like. The moments I've been disappointed with myself and moments which made me just happy and be. Finally working up and realizing the 'current' moment where in I was performing an asana, doing exactly what I wanted to and being exactly where I wanted to be. And I felt happy. Happy and smiling. :) it's a beautiful feeling.

Yoga Happy.

Teacher Surinder told us how we oscillate like a pendulum in our lives between our past thoughts and future worries. And how to actually live we need to be in the current moment. It's not the first time I've heard about this. But the way he explained was really nice. He said that we will always appreciate ourselves and be happy with ourselves if we stay in the moment. We feel happy when we are in the middle of nature cause we are in the moment and trying to soak in the experience and are one with ourselves. To be one with our true nature and our soul we need to be in the moment. Beautiful words, thought and way of being.

17:35 / 18 August 2014

Today we had the teacher-practice class wherein every student chose a partner and tutored the partner into a chosen asana while 'teaching' the asana to the entire class, giving detailed instructions and tips at each stage. I partnered with Christian, a guy from California who joined the Ttc class today, and tutored the shoulder pose or the kandharana asana. It went pretty well. Few batchmates mentioned that it went pretty well and my communication was clear and confident. A kind word, a pat on shoulder, a thumbs up, some motivation, always help. It helps to move forward in this life 'happily'.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Beautiful life!

My current life seems like a dream. It's beautiful. I have an action packed day learning a new art, Yoga. I interact with different people. Exchange thoughts, words, experiences. Have people around me who care and are kind. I eat proper food. Get enough exercise. Living in a beautiful, peaceful, green place. Have an excellent teacher who is an inspiration. I read good books. This is really a beautiful life. 

Litte-Cutie baby cow, right outside our yoga school.

Beautiful Rishikesh. I could live here forever.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Maintaining Energy. Controlling Ego.

Marie, a girl from France, asked Surinder a question .. 'how do you maintain your energy level consistent throughout the day?' He answered saying ' if you feel people who you interacting with drawing your energy out, you should lower your energy and frequency. Also always do you best and work with your heart. Lastly place whichever God you believe in above you and believe it that its him supporting you and carrying you through everything. It will also ensure that your ego doesn't soar. ' very nice words. 

Evening asana class today was v tiring. My energy level was very low. I am still told by others that I am doing well! So that does keep me going. I think I need to buckle up and work a lil harder. I can stil do better :) 

After dinner, Katiya and me went out for dessert. We tried the 'Himalayan queen dessert' which was basically lots of biscuits, with banana, dryfruits and ice cream. ' 

Yummy Himalayan Queen.

I am glad I followed my Heart to Rishikesh to learn Yoga.

Fresh after a break of Sunday, it was great getting back to yoga learning. 

It's been a quiet day so far. An early morning asana lesson at 6  am followed by a physiology class by Vivek. We learnt about Nadis and how one can achieve SUSHUMNA which literally means 'most balanced and beautiful state' which one can achieve after about 14 continuous years of Yoga practice. In this state a person is balanced and doesn't feel any emotions. A person can also taste amrit in his own body if he does it right, and can hence achieve immortality or in other words be able to control all five senses so beautifully that he will not be affected by fire, water. Sounds damn cool. :) 

The teacher also mentioned that Yoga is being a 'woman' and practice of yoga is learning to nurture the qualities of motherhood and a woman. 

It's amazing all that we can achieve if we FOLLOW OUR HEART. I am so happy that I came here. And feel blessed that I am able to experience this amazing journey. My best decisions in life have been when I followed my heart. Just did what I really wanted to do. Not following what the 'society' says. Not falling in for peer pressure. 'People' will talk about 'me' for maximum ten minutes in a day. That's all that 'I' matter to anyone barring the very closest ones. So why really lead my life cause people might think or say this. Better to follow MY heart which I have to live with till the last day. :)

Another very interesting thing that the teacher pointed out was that when a child is born he knows everything. He has worldly knowledge and that a mother can never teach her child, cause the child already knows everything. But gradually after all the conditioning that the child receives from his family and environment he 'learns' things which begin to form his reality. Thus washing away the real cosmos knowledge by the environmental feeding. Food for thought for all parents consistently telling their kids what is good and  what's not all the time.

I had real fun in the asana class today. Felt more energized, balanced and focused. As strenuous as the class might be, after the class is over, I always feel so amazing and happy from inside. We have two asana class / lesson everyday, morning 6 am and evening 4 pm, each of two hours each. Never could I have thought before that 'EXTREMELY LAZY' me will enjoy such hard physical work every day and look forward to a Monday on a Sunday. :) Though there's one asana which I feel scared of and don't really look forward to it.. the surya namaskar! It takes the life out of me. But it's said that it's one of the most important asanas of yoga and it in itself is pretty sufficient for a general yoga practitioner. So I strive hard everyday at it ! :)

Just read in 'swara yoga' book that the ion content of city air is high on positive ions which cause illnesses, depression and emotional anxiety in residents. Is why people escape to the hills to rejuvenate and 'get  breathe of fresh air'. 

No wonder I was I think on the verge of depression in Delhi with all the pollution. yuk. I am so happy with my decision to simply pack up my bags and come here. It was the only thing I could think of doing. The only thing I could do. It was almost as if my soul screeched that it wanted to get out of Delhi and a longing to come here to Rishikesh. I can only thank god for filling me with it and setting me off for this. 

Day 5 ends. Looking forward to tomorrow. This is life.

Day4. Sunday

Being a Sunday it was off for yoga practice. 

I came to the yoga school-hostel at about noon. Had lunch. And went out shopping for books and fruits with Sandra. Had a yummy fruit salad at the juice centre, which is very famous here in Rishikesh.

Had a discussion with Sandra about war in general and army. I shared my opinion that to me any kind of killing is the same. The armies I feel are people who are fed which energies of hatred in the name of protecting their country and are used by the political people in power to gain control and to satisfy their hunger. If all armies of the world were to drop their guns there would be no war. But it's difficult to preach this logic to anyone. 

Sandra got all worked up and angry at my opinion and over a smoke said that 'I was narrow minded'.
Gladly it didn't make me angry or react. I  haven't felt or gone through what she did. And through her conversation too I realized that these are not her true opinions. These have been fed to her by her friends. I can only wish that she will realize that war ad fighting is not her natural either. And  that she has  travelled all  the way to India and Rishikesh to cure herself of the harm done by the so called 'country protection'. 

I don't think that my wanting peace and no war and no support for any kind of killing be it an army or terrorist activity leads to narrow mindedness. She called it my 'box'. What's wrong in having a peaceful box around me if it's not harming anyone and I am not involved in any killing. What if every single person on this planet had this box ? Wouldn't it be a happier place. Doesn't even yoga teach that with a negative action the result will also be negative.I don't believe in fight. It's harmed me as an individual. It hasn't done me any good. I can't believe it will do any good to anybody.

Love and peace! 

Let us just eat banofie pie and forget all fighting. Slurp!

Friday, 8 August 2014

Day2 yoga, Rishikesh

Day 2 was full of various classes, asanas, theory etc. By the end of the day I felt tired n a little cranky as I have been in the 'tamas' mode for the longest. Getting out if it ans channeling the energy to satvik obviously cant be easy.

View outside our yoga class

View from the Yoga class.

Our daily breakfast. Porridge and fruits. Simple and healthy.

My selfie in Yoga class

Downward dog asana

I ended the day looking forward to the next day. This is life. This is the life I wanted. Happy on finding my way to it. :)

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Day1 yoga teacher training course, Rishikesh, India

Finally after a lot of hunting for almost three days I found a brilliant teacher and a school for learning yoga an acquiring a yoga teacher's course certification. Thankfully I managed to skip the many fraudulent and indecent yoga teachers here in Rishikesh, who in the name of yoga are doing many illegal and frivolous activities. All thanks to this local guy, Himanshu, who helped me find exactly what I was looking for. A sensible, good teacher with a good experience. 

A snap of beautiful serene Rishikesh. Teacher Surinder before taking me in his class asked me WHY RISHIKESH. Look at the picture below. WHY NOT RISHIKESH.

My teachers name is Surinder and his experience sounded pretty similar to mine. An unexpected sudden rise at the corporate level, leading to increased stress levels which made him burn out n he quit the corporate world. Sounds a lot like mine own. Looking back, I don't regret one bit of it. My past one year has been everything I could ever ask for. It's been fantastic to say the least. And best my love for traveling lead me to yoga, which I can see will soon become my life.

Teacher Surinder doing a head stand. Oops you cant see his face :D

It's amazing to think how I never did it before in spite of wanting to do it for almost 6/7 years. Infact there were times when I felt that I was born in India just to gain this experience. And now, when there are barely three months left for me to shift to Netherlands and join my boyfriend there, I finally find my way to Rishikesh, the yoga capital of the world, and come across a yoga teacher suggested by lonely planet. Not only this, I was lucky enough to land up at the doorstep just the very day the lessons were about to start.

A selfie taken just before leaving home, Delhi for Rishikesh. I was just so happy that I was escaping Delhi.

So today starts my yoga journey. I am sure it's going to be a fantastic fulfilled journey, exactly the way I want my life to be. 

Day 1 of yoga teacher training class ends. Looking forward to tomorrow. Happiness to all !