Yoga Teacher Training Diary, 3rd Edition

March 18, 2015 at 3:45 am

I’ve now completed three full weekends of Kundalini Yoga Teacher training and thirty days of my assigned 40-day sadhana. This stuff is tough! I had to laugh at the end of our weekend training while we watched a Yogi Bhajan video. He said (about the Warrior Exercise he was about to teach):

I’m not willing to let you misunderstand this. If we start doing it, we’re going to reach a stage called ‘The Twilight Zone,” and then there’ll be humongous pain; pain so much that you do not know. . . . Set yourself, folks. You asked for it. I forgive myself and wash my hands of it.

It reminded me of something I had read online in which a critic of Kundalini Yoga called its practices masochistic. Sometimes it can feel like torture, to be honest. But, as we often talk about in class, the practice of Kundalini Yoga is about training your mind-body to serve your spirit, and if you can command your mind and body to endure a difficult yoga exercise, it becomes easier and easier to command your mind and body to endure anything. It’s like a fire-drill.

When I signed-up for teacher training, people kept talking about how it would transform me and my whole family. Here are some things I’m noticing so far:

  • IMG_20150314_173643133I can sit/stand up much straighter, and my stomach muscles are getting firmer. Doing Nabhi Kriya every day is definitely doing something. It’s definitely getting easier to do all the leg lifts.
  • My second week of doing Nabhi Kriya, I started experiencing hip and lower-back pain. I told myself that it was straightening out my crooked spine and everything was adjusting. The pain faded, so that’s good.
  • I had been doing Kirtan Kriya most days before I started teacher training. But my instructor assigned some other meditations, so I stopped doing Kirtan Kriya. After a week without it, I sort of started unraveling, and my anxiety kicked-up. I added it back in, and I’m feeling a lot better. It is powerful (and heavily studied).
  • My family appreciates me more. I think. My husband has been a sort of single dad every other weekend, so everyone’s usually pretty glad to see me when I come home after my trainings. I keep reminding them (and myself) that it’s temporary.
  • Sometimes I feel like a total alien. I don’t really “fit in” anywhere. At yoga teacher training, I’m one of a few who have children (and certainly the only one with four of them). I’m one of the youngest students (making it all the more bizarre that I have more children than everyone else). I eat meat and eggs… pretty much every day. Not surprisingly, I’m the only Mormon. Which brings me to the other side of the coin… Not many Mormons wearing turbans and chanting mantras in Gurmukhi (though that is changing). Stepping outside the box, I guess. The yogi box and the Mormon box and probably a whole lot of other boxes.

Some highlights from my class notes:

March 14, 2015 (with Sangeet Kaur)

  • Why start daily yoga/meditation practice at 4:00 a.m. (amrit vela)?
    • master glands secrete
    • angle of the sun promotes meditative state
    • energy centered in the nervous system
    • abundant prana
    • early in the morning, get up and multiply yourself by infinity
  • Teaching yoga isn’t about technique, it’s about your presence.
    • need to have a certain steady level of consciousness to pull people up
    • when people look at you, they are reminded that there is a God
  • Am I willing to act and think in my highest consciousness, or do I want to hang on to my old identity even longer?
  • In God I trust —> in God I dwell.
  • Confront your ego/shadow self until you get to I am, I Am.
  • Mmmmm sound brings a “central vagus nerve high.”
  • We are microwaves of the Great Macrowave.
  • Mul Mantra– the “karma killer”
    • entire mantra is a compass that points toward God
  • One who obeys the Lord’s command once he has heard it… no word can describe his greatness —> BLISS
  • Aakhan Jor mantra
    • protection like nothing else
    • by denying that you have any power, all power comes to you
    • power flows through me, but it is not me

IMG_20150314_173654885_HDRMarch 15, 2015 (with Sangeet Kaur)

  • Each of us carried the seed for all things done to all people through all time.
  • 4-part inhale, long exhale
    • steadies the mind
    • works against anxiety
    • re-calibrates the nervous system
  • Forehead bone is porous to let light in
    • If bangs cover forehead, Yogi B says, “Wear hair like that, go crazy!”
  • Hair is our crowning glory.
    • Think: Samson… don’t cut/shave it off
    • Nature places hair at key locations where major glands function
      • affect hormones and electromagnetic field
    • Hair has electrical conductors that help the body release energy
    • As you treat your hair, so you treat your energy
    • Antennae that emit and receive electricity
  • “Chew well, the stomach has no teeth.” -Yogi B
  • We are bodies of water.
  • Be awake at sunrise; at sunrise the system flushes itself.
  • You can have the most wonderful diet in the world, and if you’re in a constant state of negativity or anger, you will “turn bliss into piss” and make yourself acidic.
  • Can you go the distance when you don’t know the distance?
yoga card

A card my sister sent me this week :-)