Yoga teacher training - weekend seven

Another weekend down, and we're 70% through yoga teacher training already! 

Crazy. Insane. Nutso. 

I can't believe it's almost over, and - even more so - I don't want it to be over. Who even needs weekends, anyway? This was a course I signed up for on an absolute whim, with no vision or plan of what I might do with the certification after I obtained it, if anything. Now I'm thinking thoughts like, "oooooh, what should my brand be called?!"

(To which, by the way, I have no idea. Yet.)

Weekend #7 was a lot more philosophy, as well as some sequencing. I found the sequencing particularly tough, which is bad news for me, since it turns out that if you want to teach more than one yoga class need to be able to actually, you know, design a yoga class. I've pretty much got my exam sequence memorised now, so I can teach that. Aaaaaand, that's it. That's all I can teach. So yeah, sequencing? Kind of important.

The philosophy was brilliant, as always. We started with a lecture on yamas and niyamas, which rather than being types of sushi (as I might have guessed a few weeks ago) are codes of conduct or ethical rules. The five yamas govern our relationship with the world at large (don't commit violence, be truthful, don't steal, moderate yourself, don't be possessive); the five niyamas govern our personal relationship with ourselves (cleanliness, contentment, fiery cleansing, self-study, devotion). Deep stuff.

Then we had four hours of ayurveda, described as the medicine of feeling, rather than the traditional western medicine of knowing. It's really interesting, and largely linked to the idea that 'You are what you eat and how you eat it.' Yoga and ayurveda stem from the same philosophical background, so they're very complimentary therapies. And here's a disclaimer: if you need surgery, or you lose an arm or something, for God's sake go see a doctor. Think of ayurveda as a great healing treatment for chronic conditions rather than acute.

And if I could sum up everything I learned in four hours of ayurveda, it would be thusly: It didn't make me feel like a very healthy person. It's all largely focused on the health of the gut, which is where 95% of serotonin is produced. So, even psychological disorders should be healed in the gut.

For example, you know those breakfast smoothies I'm so proud of myself for eating? Turns out mixing more than three fruits can be highly inflammatory! And eating them cold, in the morning, mixed with milk (even almond milk) is a really terrible idea. Since in the morning the body is cold, slow, heavy, we should be avoiding having cold, slow, heavy foods. Instead, you should exercise (even just 15 minutes) and have something light and warm, even if it's just a cup of hot water.

More bad news from the ayurveda front: about 90% of supermarket products aren't 'food' by ayurveda standards, but rather 'food-like products.' Particularly the cans and other products that stay on shelves for years. The thing to remember here is: 'If bacteria doesn't want it, YOU shouldn't want it.'

There was a LOT more to it, and of course, in four hours we barely scratched the surface. Don't even get me started on the long conversation we had about mucus. Or the other conversation we had about, well, other bodily fluids.

So basically, there are lots of things that we should not be doing, assuming we want to lead an ayurvedic lifestyle, not to mention that one thing I am supposed to be doing is making my own ghee. Because yes, in addition to everything else I've already got going on, I'm now meant to churn my own butter. Apparently ghee is magical for the gut. And, please don't hold your breath for me to start churning, but I nevertheless found the concept so interesting, and I just love being more open to alternative therapies and opportunities. I actually want to go have an ayurvedic consultation now! 

Then our final module on Sunday afternoon was about chanting, which I looooove. I know to some it may seem cultish or funny or silly, and that's fine. To me, it's just beautiful. I love singing, and this feels like playing with our voices, much like physical asanas are like playing with the body.

And that's kind of what this is all about, right? Playing. Trying new things. Challenging and pushing one's own boundaries. Some things will stick and others might not. As long as it's interesting and enjoyable, why stop now? 

Can't stop. Won't stop. Namaste.