Week Two of My YTT with aUM

After missing all of last week’s training (because I was sick), I was feeling inadequate. We started Sun Salutations A and B. For those unfamiliar, these are traditional practices in Ashtanga yoga. This is where we begin putting directives into play with breath, posture, and gaze. It is a lot of memorization, but even more than that, intuition. With the current state of my body slightly still weak from Strep, I’m noticeably less than myself. Luckily, this week began with a chakra opening. On Wednesday I attended an open class focusing on the sacral chakra — in charge of all things that “flow” in our bodies — tears, the circulation in the body, orgasm, blood, etc. The ideal for this chakra is the acceptance for release as opposed to repression. This practice was very meditative.

The smell of nag champa was lightly fragrant in the air, the class patiently awaited instruction, some breathed intentionally so, in child’s pose, while others sat still with their eyes closed. We started with consciousness of our sacrum, and began to open the chakra with a series of hip opening techniques. I sweat so good. The heat, intentional seemingly small movements, and the tranquility of our teacher’s voice (Amanda); I left class feeling completely revitalized.

Yesterday aUM welcomed the change of the season with a class, 108 Sun Salutations. This practice, open to the public, was led by Amanda and teachers in training through 108 sets of Sun Salutation A. I observed this class and watched as 20+ bodies sweat more than I have ever seen people sweat. I imagine the emotional and physical challenge of going through 108 of these salutations. In some ways it seems torturous, and in others it seems cleansing. This among other lessons in the YTT are teaching me about patience, challenge, and acceptance.

Each evening I leave the studio I find my heart open, and a very certain clarity. It’s funny, whether I feel frustrated, manic, or confused when I walk into the studio, I always leave feeling reparation. I owe so much of this to the amazing teachers, Amanda and Jessie, but I know I also owe it to myself.

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