So how does it feel to be back home after six weeks of intense yoga teacher training you might wonder? It feels weird.
Do not quit your job
I don’t know how to explain it in any other way. Sometimes I wonder if the last six weeks even happened because everything is as per normal out here in the big bad world. People are mindlessly scrolling and staring at their screens, they are power walking down the footpath with a take-away coffee in their hand, too busy to even say hello, with an angry looking frown on their face. People are too worried about their looks, and eating at a dinner table on a chair feels excessive. I miss eating on the floor among my 40-50 Krishna Village friends! My family is the same, my partner is the same, my neighbours are the same, the news talk about the same things they did 7 weeks ago. Everything is the same. But me. Nor my 11 co-students, now yoga teachers. Lila, our yoga teacher, did warn us about the post YTT blues in our last class together; “Do not quit your jobs, break up with your partners, sell all your belongings and move to a different country during the next week. Give yourself time to land after this experience”. I can understand where she’s coming from.
I never used to sing before
I have to admit I’m very grateful for us having to memorise and try to understand the ashtanga yoga system, despite not feeling like it at that time, because I do need to work on my yamas and niyamas to ensure I’m not falling back into old behavioural patterns. I’ve always considered myself quite a mindful person, at least compared to the average Joe in busy Sydney, however I do think there’s still heaps of room for improvement and I would love to keep the routines we had at the Krishna Village at home as well. Such as waking up at 4.30am and being mindful throughout the whole day, taking time to meditate and continuing with my own asana practice outside of work. I would love to continue with daily kirtan and taking a moment to be grateful before putting any food in my mouth. These activities sound extremely easy however I’ve failed miserably in all of them the last 7 days. I’ve slept a lot lately (we are talking 9pm to 8am), been low in energy, stuffed my face with food and gone back to the habit of having a daily coffee. Hello austerity. When I went to bed at 8pm to get up at 4.30am my partner found me anti-social and when I sat on the floor to do a bit of singing meditation my mum was wondering what the heck I was up to making a comment that I never used to sing before.
Hippie or conscious living?
To say the least; the “outside world” is not as supportive of our “hippie living” (as my mum calls it. I prefer to call it conscious living, as we do at the Village. And again, as Lila said, we will eventually have to merge our way of living with the rest of the world, unless we want to live fulltime at the Krishna Village which is an option of course. While this option is not for me (I’m still 50% zen and 50% entrepreneur which is too much passion for Village life) I can totally understand those who choose to stay. There’s something magic in being surrounded by likeminded individuals. The Krishna slogan “Simple living, high thinking” very accurately describes the Village life but maybe not so much the city living. I’ve realised how much more work there is to practice what we preach as yoga teachers outside of the Krishna Village. It might not come as a surprise to hear that the niyama I’m going to focus on these upcoming weeks is ‘tapas’, also known as austerity or self-discipline.
Still not to dwell on the negatives, many positives to note, as Bridget Jones would say. I’ve just moved to a new city with my wonderful partner and my chest is almost bursting with excitement when I think about all the new opportunities this brings. Instead of being sad about one chapter ending, I am going to embrace the new chapter as a certified yoga teacher with a passion for holistic living. And for the YTT course: I will have the friends, memories and experiences with me in my heart forever.