I came to Krishna Village with a very open mind for two reasons: firstly, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Secondly, I didn’t want to go into this new adventure with any expectations, I wanted my mind to be a blank canvas, so I didn’t create any. A couple of months earlier I had handed in my resignation letter to a pretty decent job as a marketing and PR coordinator for a medium sized firm just outside of Sydney. The whole ‘climbing the corporate ladder’ business didn’t really do it for me, despite an attractive salary in a great location. Sitting in front of the computer for 9-10 hours a day made my whole body ache and I couldn’t help myself thinking: “Is this it? Is this what the next 50 years of my life will be like?”. This thought scared me so much that at times I struggled with both breathing and sleeping. I was feeling confused, anxious and stressed.
Following my intuition
A little voice told me: “Go back to what feels good” and yoga popped into my head. I’m not one of those people who knew I would be a yoga teacher from a young age, practicing for hours every day. Truth be told, I’ve only practiced for 3-4 years, my hamstrings are super tight, I have hips that are screaming in pigeon pose (also known as Eka Pada Rajakapotasana - what a great excuse to show off my Sanskrit skills) and I still find it challenging to sit still in meditation. So the fact that yoga popped into my head so adamantly was a bit surprising, however when your gut feeling is telling you to do something you’re obliged to follow through. So I did.
And here I am. 2 ½ weeks into the course already, which is absolutely crazy. I can’t believe how fast the time has passed. It feels as though I only just arrived but at the same time have been here a decade. It’s funny how good we humans are in adapting to our environment - I’m not going to lie - after my first 24 hours here at Krishna Village I went to bed with a head full of first impression asking myself: “WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO?”.
Everything was new. Living in a community, sharing everything with everyone, the food, the heat, the dorm, the routines, eating on the floor in a temple. And the singing! I can’t remember the last time I sat on a floor singing in a circle with other human beings. I’d say it would be back in primary school home in Norway. And now here I am, in Australia at the age of 26, sitting on the floor singing words I’ve never heard before with a group of people I didn’t know. It felt strange to say the least.
“Kirtan is yoga of the heart and everyone is qualified to love”.
Then something even stranger happened. I discovered that I loved sitting in a circle singing. And I mean goose-bumps-sitting-with-a-smile-on-my-face kind of love. Our daily Kirtan is now one of my absolute favourite parts of our daily routine here at the village. It’s 30 minutes of chanting where I close my eyes, relax my shoulders and let myself get immersed in the beautiful voices of my new friends. It’s a grounding and humbling experience sitting in a circle singing with the voice that you’ve got, but as our yoga teacher Lila so beautifully said: “Kirtan is yoga of the heart and everyone is qualified to love”. For someone who only sings in the shower (and not the communal ones!) this was reassuring and gave me the courage to sing along to the beautiful sentences and mantras our teachers continue to present us with.
Turning dreams into action
I constantly have to pinch myself to make sure this isn’t all just a dream. To live with like-minded people in a luscious valley in Australia, eating delicious food, studying and practicing yoga every day almost sounds too good to be true, but it’s not. It’s real. It’s as real as it gets, and I am so grateful for making this decision for myself. For my health, for my mind and for my future. Our days are very varied, spanning anatomy sessions to philosophy, life coaching to business coaching with lots of asana in-between.
The great variety of this course, and the fact that we live on site allowing us to be fully immersed in the yogi lifestyle was one of the key reasons why I chose Krishna Village for my YTT in the first place. And I really don’t regret my decision. Wherever you are when you are reading this blog post I hope you have to courage to follow your gut feeling in whatever it is telling you to do. It usually knows what’s right before your mind does.
If you’re interested in reading more about my and my co-students’ YTT experience here at the Krishna Village make sure to give Krishna Village Facebook page a like, as we will be sharing our stories and experiences throughout the course.