Monday, September 6, 2010

Hilary the Yogini!

In the next few days I plan to sit down and write long and hard about the extraordinary last month of my life at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. I completed the 200 hour yoga teacher training program with the amazing Devarshi Steven Hartman and Priti Robyn Ross, and I’m still reeling from the sheer intensity of the month. There were 57 amazing people in my class, and in addition to Devarshi and Priti we were guided and mentored by nine incredible assistants. Six days a week we had sadhana - our yoga practice - from 6:30am-8am, followed by class (ranging from Anatomy and Physiology lectures to posture clinics to meditation lessons) from 9am-11:30am and 1:30pm-4pm. Sadhana again from 4:15pm-6pm and a third class or presentation from 7:30pm-9pm. We had different yoga teachers for almost every one of our 2 per day yoga practices - experts in every area of yoga you can imagine, from Vigorous Vinyasa to Yoga Nidra. And the FOOD. Oh, the food. I could wax poetic for years about the food at Kripalu. A completely organic and mainly vegetarian kitchen utilizing almost all local sources for everything served, I was able to eat in the way I’ve always fantasized about eating. I could have steamed vegetables and miso soup for breakfast, or zucchini mint frittata made with organic, local eggs, or the most MAGICAL granola with locally produced yogurt.

That’s just BREAKFAST.

And the PLACE. The Berkshires. The sprawling lawns, the hidden paths through the woods leading to meditation gardens that ooz sacredness from every inch of ground they inhabit, the lakefront and the labyrinth and the ancient trees and….

This isn’t even the beginning of what I need and want to write about, but it’s a taste. As soon as I have a day at my favorite place to focus on things such as writing (it starts with Star and ends with Bucks… I may be a certified yoga teacher who just spent a month at a place that used to be an ashram, but I still love my coffee, just not as MUCH of it as I used to love/need!) I will try to compose my thoughts about my magical month, along with some musings about where I may be heading next.

After my third and final practice teach (a week ago today) my evaluator, whom I had not met prior and whom is a ROCKSTAR yoga teacher, told me: “Just from taking your class I know, without any doubt, that this is your calling. This is your dharma. You were MEANT to be a yoga teacher. You ARE a yoga teacher.” It was affirmation of what I’d started secretly struggling with after about two weeks at Kripalu - my training was feeling less like making a choice about a career change and more about fulfilling something much deeper and more profound. But how terrifying is it to feel that there is something you absolutely MUST do, something you were born to do, something you are then responsible for making happen! But also, truly, how SPECTACULAR!!

Clearly more to come. Much more. =)

“The highest spiritual practice is self-observation without judgment.”
-Swami Kripalu

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