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About cleaning methods, rituals and biscuits with chai

Second week of the yoga teacher training in Rishikesh

So much has happened since last Sunday. It is a small challenge to describe the last week in words. I was allowed to spend my twenty-eighth birthday in a completely yogic way, tried to choke down  a metre-long cotton ribbon and stared into my counterpart’s eyes for minutes. I experienced a restorative yoga class and thus discovered a whole new world of yoga for me! Directly on the Ganges we conducted an “ancestor healing ceremony” and meditated in an ancient cave. Every morning the yoga classes with our guru (teacher) Vishva ji are opening more and more doors to a holistic yoga and to myself.

The days are long and the classes in anatomy, philosophy and yoga techniques tought in English challenge me.  But anyway, every class I soak up with great gratitude. I’m learning so much here. At the end of the day I am often very tired and barely receptive. Then only the evening Kirtan singing helps to raise my energy level again.

I’m just discovering two yoga sites that haven’t played a major role in my active life: gentle yoga with lots of pranayama, inner focus and meditation, and bakthi yoga, the yoga of the heart. When we sit together in the evening and sing together the wonderful songs of Hindu mythology, I feel pure bliss. This Sunday I took my first lesson in playing harmonium and for me it is a wonderful balance to my physically active life to now finaly  learn to play an instrument.

In the meantime, I have become fully accustomed to the regular ashram routine. While I experienced strong mood swings during the days of last week, I am now much more balanced. I am happy about the good and safe community in our mixed group.

Here I live a yoga that integrates all aspects into a whole (that is teh meaning of Akhanda actually). Not only that I learn new teaching techniques in this yoga teacher training and can fill my future classes with new and extensive knowledge in philosophy and anatomy. I myself also experience a deep personal development here. I feel the yogic way of life makes me a more joyful, radiant and blissful person.

Vischwa ji’s teaching is unique and I am very grateful to have him as a teacher. Even the morning before breakfast alone is so full with meditation, the yoga class and the fire ceremony.

It is also nice that Vishwa ji occasionally gives us a little “time out”. So on Wednesday afternoon instead of a philosophy class, we experienced a relaxed picnic with Samosa (Indian snack) and Lassi on the sandbanks of the aisle including sunset, kirtan and stories from Vishwa ji. Vishwa ji loves storytelling and teaching in metaphors. So I learn about his encounter with a tiger, how he found his own guru, or how long a student should stay in an asana: just as long as you can leave a biscuit in a masala chai (Indian milk tea) without it crumbling. Aha.

I enjoy this traditional Indian way of teaching, in which we learn very much directly from our guru.

Even if the demanding training days here are not easy, there are always overwhelming moments. It is not uncommon for some tears to creep over my cheeks and sometimes it becomes a sob. But much more often a smile conjures up on my lips, which seems to manifest itself! I smile during the asanas, the fire ceremony, Kirtan singing, during the meals…

Nevertheless, I longed for this weekend, just to be able to refuel, to be able to spend time with myself  (whatever that is :)) and to be able to thank everyone for the many birthday wishes!