Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Just Beginning





Going back through the original agenda that our host, Stephanie Adams, Yogafit Master Trainer, sent to us before we arrived, I have to smile. About a week or so into the training, she realized that we were getting a lot more lecture than asana (physical practice) and asked Anand, our teacher, to add that back in... but let's just say everything was on "India time"... lecture that was to be one hour, was usually 2 or 3 hours. And asana was mainly pranayama or Kriya based. Which, I feel was actually perfect. I think everything happens for a reason, and that we got exactly what we were suppose to get out of the training including valuable female relationship dynamics. (Nothing like sharing a space of 2 rooms and 2 bathrooms with 11 women and a number of revolving guests!)

Sessions with Anand meant he would just simply talk... lecture without notes or seemingly a care in the world. He would often close his eyes and reflect for a moment or pause before starting to focus attention and mindfully be guided in the discussion. His amount of knowledge was just tremendous. And, as the days wore on... and our attention span and was up and down...he was sensative to our questions and at the same time demanded that WE be open minded to the teaching and respectful of his reply. I never felt reprimanded but did feel his frustrations in the beginning, but toward the end, sensed his joy in how each one of us began to see things in a new light and began to relate what we were learning to our own circumstances and lives.

Real life. Lived out. Yoga without a mat. Imagine that.

Yoga Sutras 1:14
Sa Tu Dirgha Kala Nairantarya Satkarasevito Drdhabhumih.

"Continual practice and devotion that is deeply grounded and without doubt. Living Yoga through awareness, so that it becomes effortless."

Enjoy the day--

Melissa


Our journey... (comments in bold)









Anand & Puja

Day 1:

Shuttles from airport (The women I met on the shuttle... soon became bunk--mates and intimate confidants)

Welcome Circle/Satsang

Trip to Grocery Store (some of us stocked up like we were preparing for a hurricane, others just the necessities... how different we are from the start!)

Mon, Tues, Weds & Fri:


7:30-11 am Master Classes (taught by each one of us daily), PEP, Pose Breakdown & Satsang (42 hrs) with Stephanie (ummm... this was an amazing opportunity to see how each of us taught yoga... I learned a lot and gleaned something special from each person.)

11-1 free (
1-2:30 Chanting, Satsang & Theory with Anand (18) (OK, this schedule... not really happening this way... very fliexi.)
Half hour break


3-4 Chanting, Meditation, & Pranayama with Anand (12)
One Hour Break


5-7 pm Integrated Practice with Anand (22) (Um... just 3 times, in 3 weeks... no worries... was meaningful each time.)



Thurs:

Master Class with Steph (6) (a walking mediation to the river twice - at the crack of dawn, then joining Stephanie at flow for a class there. Which I loved!! It's a totally different dynamic to join her in a large group setting-- trainees mixed with regular folk was a great combo)

Chanting, Satsang & Theory with Anand (6) (again, this was so flexi, as we were on "India time" and whatever suited for the day!) Hour break

2-3 Chanting, Meditation, & Pranayama with Anand (3)
One Hour Break


4-6 pm Integrated Practice with Anand (6)
Break
7-9 pm Satsang/Shared Dinner with Steph (6)



Sat:

6:30-10 am Master Classes, PEP, Pose Breakdown & Satsang with Stephanie (10.5) (hum... we started later than that-- and loved that we had at least 36 hours on our own time... we needed it... even if Jules, Marliee and Beshka and I went and did more yoga in Portland!)FREE from 10 am Saturday until 6 pm Sunday for excursions, etc.


Sun:

6-8 pm Satsang/Shared Dinner with Steph (6)

LAST COUPLE DAYS:

Tues, Aug 11th:
7:30-11 am Master Classes, PEP, Pose Breakdown & Satsang (3.5 hrs) with Stephanie (did we do this? I don' think so... it ended up a little different for many reasons...)

11-1 free
1-2:30 Chanting, Satsang & Theory with Anand (1.5)
Half hour break


3-4 Chanting, Meditation, & Pranayama with Anand (1)
One Hour Break


5-7 pm Closing Practice/Circle with ALL (2)

Weds, August 12th:

7-9 am Integrated Practice with Anand and Puja (2) (This was the most beautiful class we had. I'm sure most of you would agree... as I saw many a tear and emotions were running high on the last day.)

Bring comfortable walking/hiking shoes and your swimsuit. (I know a few of us dipped in the pool. I however, spent most of my free time walking up a hill, any chance I got!) There is an unheated lap pool in the green house off the sanctuary, and great local lakes and rivers for swimming. Amazing waterfalls to hike to abound throughout the Gorge. We may choose to do some our sessions outdoors. (Many of us went on hikes -- to a waterfall and others to Mt. Hood-- just beautiful.)

TEACHING TO YOUR AUTHENTIC STRENGTHS You will each be leading one integrated asana practice during our time in Mysore. Stephanie lead the first master class. Your class will need to be from 90 minutes to 2 hrs long (no shorter and no longer ) and include some Sanskrit, asana, pranayama and an integrated theme where you integrate chakra symbolism/visualization, or sutra and/or Gita references (similar to classes taught in Level 4). This class will also focus on using your *Strengths to be, authentically, the best teacher you can be.

CONNECTING ONE-ON-ONE

In addition, you will each sign-up to assist/adjust one class during our time together. (This was wonderful-- to see how many of us had never adjusted before, touched and added to our postures was amazing!)

The last 90-120 minutes of our time together each morning will look like this:

* If used, the teacher will be required to breakdown physical execution of any poses taught in class that are not from the YogaFit manuals using SPA (Seven Principles of Alignment) and/or teachings from your YogaFit Anatomy & Alignment training. We will also break down some of the poses Anand teaches in this same way, from time to time.

* Finally, each day, we will do a PEP (Praise, Encourage, praise-- I highly recommend this practice for every day life... works with children, spouses, co-workers, really everyone!) session for the previous day's teacher and the previous days's assistant. Each of us will have a homework assignment to prepare for each teacher that will evaluate use of their Strengths* using PEP Feedback that will be due the following day.

* Finally, we will practice refining techniques learned in our RYT 200 hr programs, including adjusting/assisting. We may integrate Satsang, pranayama or meditation into our time together. (Ok, really we had very little time left over after PEP but Stephanie worked hard to find it!)

Satsang

We will additionally have satsang, at least, 2-3 times a week (sometimes over a shared meal of our choice). Perhaps, dinner at a restaurant in town or a potluck at the sanctuary. We will also have an initial satsang on the first day, Weds July 22nd at 4 pm. (I enjoyed satsong... and feel like it was truly a time where we could ask anything)

Homework To Be Done

www.authentichappiness.com and do the *Strengths questionnaire. Please do the VIA Signature Strengths Test (it will take about 15 minutes to complete - do not do the "short" version). (This was so beneficial... and great insight to each other's strengths and how our teaching matched or didn't match them. Take it now, if you haven't.)

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