Yoga School, Day 2, February 3, 2023
The verdict is still out and I know it’s early. I am not jumping to conclusions or making first impression decisions. Today was hard. Probably the hardest thing about it was having to sit on the floor – all day. I never sit on the floor. I hate sitting on the floor and even though I could sit on a bolster it was still very uncomfortable. It’s not like I have an injury either it’s just uncomfortable and always has been for me.
I was very tired and sound asleep when my alarm rang at five. I managed to sneak in coffee before I had to report upstairs for the first hour and a half of actual yoga. I understand about 75% of what these men say and at least today I didn’t completely tune them out. My first yoga instructor annoyingly says just about at the end of every sentence “is it clear? Do you understand?” He told us a couple examples of situations he has run into and what was really a two or three minute story turned into 15 minute ones. We hardly did any yoga at all because he was too busy talking and not talking about what he should’ve been, in my opinion. As a teacher it is very difficult to be in a classroom with a poor one. And to top it all off the room was absolutely freezing. People brought blankets and wore their winter coats and had their hoods up. It was very uncomfortable. After that it was meditation and chanting and we didn’t do too much of it but the chanting we do is in Sanskrit and we have to repeat after the teacher and I don’t understand half of what he is saying so I just mumble or I don’t say anything at all. I did not like that class. The next class was pretty much as bad and everyone was still freezing and by this time we were starving to death. Breakfast was good and then we had the same guy “ is it clear? do you understand?” for teaching methodology. It took him an hour to tell us that we need to ask two questions at the start of every class - 1. Do you have any injuries? and 2. May I adjust you? which means can I touch you. We did a lot of breathing and talked about what yoga is. Based on the instructors that I have had in yoga, to me it is really nothing more than exercise as in stretching and strengthening but that is only a very small part of it. It’s a spiritual, emotional, social, physical and mental activity. I think I have to concentrate so much on what I am doing and how I am doing it that I’m barely able to breathe properly let alone think about the other stuff however it was during a restorative yoga class that this whole trip came together for me and so there was a bit of something else going on at that time. It’s not that I’m not open to that but I think I get the spirituality, emotional work, mental calmness and socialization from doing other things.
Next was “self study” and I had nothing to study so I sat on my balcony and warmed up but the dogs were going insane so I came back in. Lunch was too close to breakfast so I wasn’t really hungry and then we had my favourite class which was anatomy which was really just grade 9 science. The philosophy professor came in and he is a professor with multiple masters degrees and two PhDs and I was very much looking forward to what he had to say until he said a few things that I completely disagree with and that aren’t true and what I found the most disturbing is he’s talking to a group of very young and impressionable kids and warping their minds. I will not argue with him but I am not going to enjoy that hour.
The last part of the day was an hour and a half of yoga but because this is teacher training we have to learn the proper way to do the poses and we spent a lot of time on downward dog as it is a relaxing pose just like child’s pose. I have never felt that way about it because I guess I have not been doing it correctly.
I wasn’t really hungry at supper but there was a dish that you could almost think was meat sausages in a tomato sauce but it turns out it was soybean sausages. I am already tired of the food although at lunch we had a grated carrot dish that was sweet and really really good. The hot ginger water is good too but you have to get it at the start of the meal otherwise they just keep adding water and it gets tasting like nothing.
I’m enjoying visiting with people - Lis from Germany is the next oldest person here and she is probably in her late 50s. There is another Canadian from Toronto – a young thing. It’s interesting what these people do for a living. One woman is a lawyer, another an occupational therapist, another is building a hotel in Peru with a Wellness center, John from the UK is a civil servant and a few are involved with computers but not as many as I’d have thought.
I hope I enjoy tomorrow more than today and that the room is warm.