The effects of staying up late for CorePower Yoga Teacher Training and doubling up on classes are starting to set in! The moment the clock strikes 8 i’m usually in bed, but classes on Tuesday and Thursday go until 10pm. By the time I get home I’ve noticed that it takes me almost an hour to fall asleep because I’m overtired. I’m pretty sure this is also due to working out before heading to bed (as we practice yoga during posture clinics) and an information overload. Have you ever had a test the next day and couldn’t sleep because you were trying to process the material in your mind prior to falling asleep? That’s exactly how I feel! But hey, nothing worth having comings easy and I’m totally fine with that!
(OM)g let me get back to the main point of this ‘journal.’ We started off day five learning about OM, the sound of the universe. You can feel OM through vibrations, physically see it, and even hear it from within. OM is pronounced ‘aum’, so when you say it out lout you’ll start with ‘ah’ ‘oOo’ and round it out with ‘mmmmm.’ I’ve probably lost you guys at this point, haha! We did a few rounds of practice together before listening to a clip of people OMing. We would take two full breaths in and out and then start with the ah, then repeat the breath cycle to come into oOo, one more breath cycle to finish with mmm. We put that all together once after we broke them apart to better understand their sound and where the vibrations were noticed (belly, throat, chest, lips, top of mouth, cheek bones, etc…).
I almost had to walk out because I couldn’t stop laughing! I’m not judging OM or anyone who OMs, but my brother and I have the funniest experiences in church growing up where I’ve almost had to walk out because I couldn’t control my laughter. He would come home and speak sing as some priests do in church to make me laugh and it’ll be something that will always make me laugh. That being said, when we started OMing my brother was the first person to pop in the back of my mind. I kept thinking about what he would say or how he’d mock me and had to just stop OMing. Luckily everyone’s eyes were closed!
After we practiced OM we started discussing the history of yoga as well as the 8 limbed path created by Pantajoli. This was one of my favorite discussions! Everyone was sharing their thoughts, stories, and perspectives on each of the limbs. I feel as if we bonded on a whole other level and came up with some really great ideas. Some of us even got emotional! We connected to the point where I realized despite our differences, we truly are one.
The 8 limbs of yoga are separated by external and internal. The first four external limbs are; Yama (total of 5), Niyama (total of 5), Asana, and Pranayama. The four internal limbs are; Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadi.
Internal: Yamas and Niyamas are the first foundation limbs. Again, yamas represent your external social restraints and how you treat others. Niyamas represent your internal behaviors and how you treat yourself. Asana literally means seat, but as yoga developed over the years, Asana represents postures and gaining control with your body. Pranayama, in my opinion, is one of the most important limbs! Pranayama means breath and also signifies your relationship with your own energy.
The 5 Yamas are as follows:
- Ahimsa – Non-violence / non-harming. Our teacher brought up the idea of removing yourself from gossip when you’re surrounded by others talking negatively.
- Satya – Truth. Bring your thoughts, words, and deeds in alignment.
- Asteya – Non-stealing. Don’t steal other’s time, energy, or ideas.
- Brahmacharya – Moderation of the senses. Don’t become obsessive over things like food or sex. Don’t overuse food or people for pleasure. I brought up the idea of Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility meaning the more you consume something, the level of satisfaction you receive decreases.
- Aparigraha – Non-grasping/hoarding. Don’t attached to a specific outcome or set your expectations too high. If you’re looking for a specific outcome and it doesn’t happen, you’ll lose hope and interest.
External: Pratyahara means to withdrawal from the senses. We talked about how this term means to focus inward and how you feel from within. This one was a little tricky and we’re working on coming up with a few more examples to get a better understanding. Dharana is your focus or concentration (attention to one thing). Our teacher made a good point stating that Dharana is a focus on now what you want, but rather what you want the most. Dhyana on the other hand means meditation. The way I distinigush Dharana and Dhyana is the acronym DIY. In order to meditate, you have to do this internally yourself, so I always remember the meaning of Dhyana by the Y in the name. The last limb is Samadi which means enlightenment. You reach and feel Samadi when you’re mind is in equilibrium. It’s the idea that you are not separate from anyone else. I’ve felt Samadi before in class when my breath was flowing directly with my movement as if I was floating through water. I’ve also felt this on vacation in the mountains or on runs when I really sit back and take in all the beauty i’m surrounded by.
The 5 Niyamas are as follows:
- Saucha – Cleanliness. Simply having a clear mind and keeping what’s around you neat and tidy.
- Santosha – Contentment. Being content with where you’re at now. This goes in line with Aparigraha.
- Tapas – Self discipline and internal heat. Embrace the uncomfortable in order to overcome obstacles and achieve a goal. MIND OVER MATTER is a perfect example. If you’re in a pose and it’s uncomfortable to hold, embrace the uncomfortable and teach your body that your mind is much stronger.
- Svadhyaya – Self study. Writing in a journal about your days, intentions, gratitude, or experiences is a perfect way to self study. So is yoga!
- Isvara-pranidhana – Surrender. Put someone else before you by dedicating your practice to another human in your life. Offer up time to help someone else even if you have a personal task list longer than a CVS receipt (ok, what a waste of paper, right!?)!
We learned a A LOT of information, but it wasn’t so bad thanks to everyone contributing. It was more of a discussion versus a lecture. Back to posture clinics on Sunday! Recap from day four can be found here.
I am PASSIONATE to learn, grow, and share with the world around me.