Ashtanga Yoga Mysore 200 hours teacher training: end of week 1

Only 7 days of the course have passed and already we are a quarter if the way through our 200 hours of training. We are almost 20 students, split into 2 groups starting at 5.30 with 2 hours of yoga or 1 hour of meditation at 6am and then swapping activity. At the start of the week we were like empty vessels ready to be filled with knowledge. Our days are intensive as we study asanas (postures) along with their benefits, limitations and adjustments. A doctor comes to teach us anatomy and we learn about the art of teaching. We also have an hour of yoga philosophy where we study the sutras of Patanjali, a set of 196 verses that from the principles of yoga. Interestingly only 2 of these refer to the physical form of yoga as we know it.

Our class on day 1
Our class on day 1

So far I have been extremely impressed with the asana adjustments session which we have in the afternoon. The teacher Ramesh has studied ashtanga yoga for over 25 years and has used his own experience to develop the adjustments that he teaches us. He even has his own school and is secretary of the Mysore Yoga Association.

Rameshji has helped me to achieve chataranga dandasana in just once week – a posture which had eluded me for 2 years. I think this posture alone deserves it’s own post. He had taught us excercises which we can in turn teach which would help students deepen their practice. For example, in sun salutations one has to bend down and place their palms flat on the floor.

In order to achieve this, the preparation is to stand who your legs apart, facing the wall with your finger tips against the wall. Exhale, bend at the waist and place your hands on the floor, inhale place your finger tips on the wall again. Repeat a few times, and then streth sideways against a wall. Try again and getting the palms on the floor is suddenly achievable. From him I have learned that you can learn a lot by going within and observing your own body.

Reaching for the wall
Reaching for the wall

Exhaling, placing the hands on the floor

Reaching sideways
Reaching sideways
Placing the palms on the ground is now within reach
Placing the palms on the ground is now within reach

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