In a yoga class, there are many ways to get started. At our studio, the teacher usually relays some thoughts that give the students a theme or purpose to come back to throughout class. While I am only one weekend into the 200-hour teacher training, I thought it was appropriate to give my own thoughts about this beginning.
It started on Friday with Orientation. With the nerves and excitement clearly bubbling in the air, we were told to flip open our new binders to find our yoga travel companion and…it was ALI. It was ALI? IT WAS ALI! With confirmation that Ali and I were officially on this journey together, and once we had joined with our group and mentor (Jen Grims, who is awesome!), we were off and running.
As the weekend progressed, I felt humbled and reminded why I challenge myself and why I do not shirk away from a difficult situation. So far, we are being challenged by and immersed in massive amounts of information and physical poses. We are being asked to feel the poses, to remember the words, to rise above the fear, to sing loudly and even to speak the directions to the class. We are being asked to focus and listen and then do it again. It has been exhilarating, scary, bountiful in beauty, and it has only just begun.
The part about the beginning of class that makes me open my ears and listen more closely, is that I like to look for an idea to hold onto and ponder throughout my practice. I like to be aware of whether the meaning of the beginning words change throughout the class, or remain the same for me. One thing is for sure: I always feel different, mentally and physically, after laying in savasana (corpse pose), closing the practice with the sound of Om, and speaking the word, “Namaste.”
On Sunday, we began our session by learning the Gayatri Mantra. I had heard this mantra before, and felt a comfort wash over my body as we sang the Sanskrit words together. The Gayatri Mantra has many meanings, but the one we discussed and that has stuck with me was related to the sun rising. We were reminded that the sun will rise each morning; that is a given. This mantra was a reminder that the beginning will keep coming. The night may fall and the sun may set, but the sun will rise again tomorrow, allowing the start of a new beginning.
At this point, I can only imagine what the end of this illuminated journey will fee like; I can only imagine that perhaps it will feel less like an ending, but another beginning.