Yoga Teacher Training: Day 1
I am completely mixed up on what days it is. All I know is this is Day 1 of the yoga teacher training and I am pretty sure I have been in Bali for 3 days. I only know it’s the weekend because of a phone call to someone in America on Friday (whatever day that was at this point), who said ‘have a great weekend.’
If you are following the journey so far, we’ve gone from what I’m doing in Bali, getting ready to come here, the journey to Gili Meno and now we arrive at the first day of our camp, i.e. yoga training.
We left off that it began raining quite a bit as I was falling asleep on the first. Now I’m pretty used to the rain and monsoon season because of living in Thailand and China, so I didn’t really think anything of the rain here. Luckily I fell asleep quite quickly, around 9.30pm, absolutely shattered from being up at 5am, doing my yoga, heading to the boat, the two boat rides, getting to know everyone, meditation, dinner and finally being in my new bed. I must mention though: when I went to sleep I did have to pee slightly. This is important for the rest of the story, I promise. I am awoken at 2am or so to thunder ratteling everything, along with the sounds of lots of rainfall. No problem right? Well, my bed is noticeably wet and as I mentioned before I had to pee quite bad. So it’s my understanding that I must have wet the bed like a 5 year old because of the sounds of the rain, except that I still have to pee. Strange. So I get up, use the (semi outdoor) toilet, turn on the lights in the room and realize that water has been leaking all over the other side of the room, so I move my suitcase, backpack and wipe down a few things. Back to bed and the other side of it, at that, so as not to get wet. (More on this soon.)
At 4:30am I am awoken to the sounds of the Muslin prayer, which happens on one island, then again on the next at 5am, and finally the third island at 5:30am. It’s still raining at this point, although not quite as hard. I finally get up around 5:20, yoga clothes on, mat in hand, and head to the outdoors dining area/kitchen we have to make a green tea and wait. So here’s a fun fact about this yoga training (which I didn’t know about previously): we have to be silent from the moment we wake up until we go back after breakfast at 10am. So that’s 4 hours everyday that we are not allowed to communicate in any way with others, check our phones, laptops, read, write. That means including smiling to others, pointing to things, etc. or do anything other than just BE and sit with your own mind.
Finally at 6am the bell rings and we are to join the teachers in our outdoor studio for our yoga/meditation for the next 2 hours and 45 minutes. The only thing is that because the rain has been so heavy we have to wait for a bit for them to use towels to clean the outskirts of the floor. Finally, we are on the floor, holding yoga poses longer than I normally ever do and I am EXHAUSTED. My whole body is fatigued. I’m tired, grumpy and all I can think about is that I should have had a coffee before the session (although we have been told a small amount of coffee is fine, too much will affect the quality of our shavasana- corpse pose- at the end). I finally have to duck out to grab some cashew nuts and shove them into my mouth as I scurry back to the practice. However, during this time I realize that my bed has been remade and no one else’s has.
Finally at the end of practice I come back to my room and investigate why I have new sheets. It happens that the roof was leaking in two places. One was over by my suitcases and the other was above my bed. Because we sleep with princess nets (i.e. bug nets) around our bed, the water from above sort of got caught above me then ended up coming down a bit faster than a drip onto my bed. Hence me thinking that with a full bladder and wetness on the bed, maybe I made an accident, HAHA! Well, luckily it wasn’t me and my bladder muscles are still intact.
Now came breakfast! Oh boy how excited I was for this. And I cannot even begin to tell you how good it was! When you are hungry, pretty much anything tastes good. Now add to that after you’ve been doing yoga for two hours, getting up at 5am, and are served food that you actually normally eat at home. #win! We were served porridge cooked in homemade coconut milk (or maybe cream, I’m still not sure, but it’s delicious either way!), fresh dragon fruit, papaya, and pineapple (which is topped with spirulina and lime), scrambled eggs, toast with butter and jam (for those who don’t eat quite as healthy), and a smoothie of banana, dragon fruit and pineapple (beyond good and so pretty looking). We then had a choice of coffee or green tea. Plate in hand with the porridge, fruit, smoothie and a coffee I sat and enjoyed every last bite; especially since we weren’t allowed to talk.
There’s something very interesting about not being able to talk. I’ve never actually done this before and thought it would be extraordinarily hard. And while it is, it’s quite nice as well. We are a culture (globally) of people that need to be heard. Even if it’s saying hello, listening to music, checking emails, or watching tv while we eat, we are always doing something. One thing that I realized with the silence during eating was that you slow down and really taste your food. You enjoy each bite, you chew slower and you set down your fork in between bite. Something so “easy” as this made me understand that I am eating way too quick, always in front of a screen whether laptop or phone, or with others, and never really enjoying every last taste, texture and bite. Now if you think you already do enjoy your food then I really challenge you to try this on a weekend for three hours after you wake up.
After eating breakfast, which I could have sworn was at least 30 minutes for how slow I was eating (when in reality it was a whole 15!), it was back to my room to lay on my bed and wait for another 45 minutes for lecture to start. I must say, I slightly cheated and started reading, which we aren’t allowed to do. I made it from 5am until 9am though…4 hours! It’s just tough when most of the people here have also cheated and most were using their phones, reading, writing, etc. No one talked though which was still ‘kind of’ doing it.
Our lecture was great and our teacher is so passionate. He clearly loves teaching yoga, has so many stories to share and so much knowledge about it all, so we all sat there totally absorbed for the next 2 hours 45 minutes. We didn’t delve too much into the theories and history, but it was still a very interesting class. It was then onto lunch, which lasts two hours. A bunch of us went to a place on the beach called Malia’s Child, which sadly wasn’t that great of food and took absolutely ages. It’s this whole thing of Island Time, which means all food and service takes a longggg time. Like one hour for your lunch, no matter if the restaurant is busy or slow. I got Gado Gado, which is tofu and tempeh, steamed vegetables and a peanut sauce on top. It’s actually quite delicious, although this is after trying it at a few other places.
The rest of the day that followed was anatomy, which is most definitely not my favorite. We have a huge guide book and had to review so many different parts of the body and learn how things move, which joints move them, etc. I love the more creative side of life and science/math based things don’t really float my boat.
Finally it was on to the last part of the day, which was our yoga practical. This is where we learn how to do poses very specifically by doing them over and over and over. It’s very nice to do this because you really learn the correct way and it sticks in your head. Plus it’s more yoga, which is great! By the end of the day we were all absolutely exhausted though and couldn’t wait for dinner. We ended with a meditation, then it was off to shower and get ready for our 7pm dinner. I was in bed by 9.15 and asleep by 9.45pm. The lightening and thunder was crazy again as well, along with the flooding of the ground outside. It seems like a theme that this might happen a lot.
This first day was absolutely magical. It was exhausting, exhilirating, rewarding, and yet more to take in then I’ve ever had to. My mind is overfilled, I am happy, and yet I also know this is going to be a VERY long three weeks. I kind of can’t believe what I got myself into and if I can mentally handle the challenges that this training will through at me. I do realize that by the end I will feel absolutely amazing about myself, life, and have the wonderful benefit of being able to teach yoga, something I have always wanted to do….
So here goes the three weeks! Let’s see what happens!