Saturday, October 25, 2014

Student guest blog: Until we meet again

by Paula Anderson, 300 hour Bali Yoga Teacher Training student

I left our last morning practice of YTT noticing the soulful energy abuzz in my body. My senses were acute, as though everything was magnified by fear of forgetting the magic that enveloped me. The birds sang their morning songs more gloriously, the colors of tropical foliage appeared more vibrant and the blossoms' fragrances were sweeter than usual.

Paula and Katherine
It was a day of summary, feeling happy that my vessel supported me and carried me successfully through this journey. It was an intense 25 days (yes, with two days off), and the long days became a battle of mind over (my) matter. And somedays were a little more heavy than others, both mentally and physically. But, here we were at the top of the summit and heading to the big slide with only a few hours to go. 

We completed our last class group activity and gathered for our closing circle. It was a surreal moment of our last time in both the studio and in our "space". We became united along this shared journey, aligned by intention but sharing kindness most genuinely from our hearts. The memories dance in my mind this morning and even as I type, I find myself smiling at my iPad screen. I will remember our smiles and gazes and ... life. Thank you all so much for such a beautiful moment, with sincere love and of course, happiness. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Student guest blog: Missions Accomplished

By Lisa Cosmillo, 300 hour Bali Yoga Teacher Training grad

Today was my first day post-Zuna Yoga Teacher Training. All day, I have asked myself the question, how do I feel?

Well -- not right away. First I had to get up and do Pranayama, then meditation and don't forget a few Asana... then I asked, how do I feel?

Then I got to take a tour of some of Bali's tourist traps courtesy of a wonderful man named Dharma... All day I thought, I know what my Dharma is... and how do I feel about that?

So when I got back to my hotel room and was preparing for travel tomorrow, I stopped to look at Facebook. All these new faces and names on my friends list and pictures from the party last night. We were all smiling and crying and smiling.

So one last time -- How do I feel about that?

Lisa visiting Borobodur, post-YTT
I feel changed. I have grown. Even my habits dealing with stressful visa issues today -- I controlled my breath -- and my mind followed.

My missions in coming here were simple: Get my 300 hour training and have some time to myself to reflect and process the past year. I would say my missions were definitely accomplished, and in addition, I have found an inner voice, a constant companion, and I can hear it. I can hear it.

Thank you Everett, Katherine and Courtney and all my new friends @Zuna Yoga. 
Namaste and blessings -- until we meet again.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Student guest blog: Breathwork

by Lisa Cosmillo, 300 hour Bali Yoga Teacher Training student

This week, the second in our training, brought us into deeper meditations, more pranayama and a deep study of restorative yoga, which included our first practice teaching experience.

In many ways, this week we could breathe. We practiced pranayama, breathing exercises, daily, which took some of us to new and deeper places. We also got to do a daily restorative practice taught by our classmates, which was a great opportunity to relax into our breath. Each evening following our restorative practice, we practiced Yoga Nidra. We were warned at the beginning of each session not to sleep -- but not to feel badly if we did fall asleep. This amazingly calming practice has been used to help with Post Traumatic Stress Disorders and more generalized anxiety -- yet another sweet opportunity to reach deeper and breathe.

Toward the end of this calming week, the heat was turned up as we were told we would be teaching the morning practices in our third and final week. Included in this assignment was the inevitable caveat that each of us would be expected to teach the elements of a full Yogic breath -- Agniraj Breathing -- as part of our class, something we have practiced since day one of the training.

So today on our second day off, most of us took the opportunity to rest, relax and take a deep breath. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Student guest blog: Good night moon

by Paula Anderson, 300 hour Bali Yoga Teacher Training student

With the energy of the Blood Moon and Lunar Eclipse, the week was ablaze. Every morning began with fabulous practices a la Zuna Yoga, breathing deeply into the pelvis and learning to remain at peace in a carefully woven sequence of postures. Getting into the gritty, we broke down asana and adjustments with mindfulness. Best take away of the week: learning to confidently give assists into inversions without fear of injury to either party!

After breaking into groups, we all had the opportunity to teach very welcome restorative classes. Each group collectively delivered classes with their own spin on soft deliciousness. Several evenings concluded with amazing Yoga Nidra practices led by Everett.

In lecture we really started to uncover the mysteries of the Hatha Yoga Pradapika and some of its "head scratching and hmmm" verses. Good News: we are stronger than we believe. After delving into the deeper explanation of Chapter 1, Verse 1, I discovered we are ALL heroes in a half shell, courtesy of Hatha Yoga... "For those continually tempered by the heat of tapa (the three types of pain - spiritual, environmental and physical) - hatha is like the shelter giving protection from the heat. For those always united in yoga, hatha is the basis acting like a tortoise." The tortoise is an emblem of patient endurance. The practice of hatha yoga enables strength and control of the body and mind, transforming the body into a protective covering.

Who knew! See you on the mat...
#turtlepower #tortoisepose