BY YARANG MICHI
Taking a long break from teaching and becoming a student once again really helps me to find the essence of yoga, which is “balance”. At the end of the day the skill of balance is what yoga really is all about, either on or off the mat. In Mysore, I’m beginning again into learning the beauty, depth and diversity of yoga in detail
The “Ashtanga Yoga” tradition involves putting the body through a progression of series of postures called Vinyasa while, synchronising the breath. The process produces intense internal heat and sweating, which detoxifies the body and the mind.
I still remember the day I landed in Bangalore on 4th August 2016 waiting for the bus to Mysore and writing in my journal – “be a beginner and learn more”.
Since Mysore is known as the birth place of Ashtanga yoga, my hopes were pretty high to merge with the advanced asanas and learn more of Mysore style techniques. But what really drew me to Ashtanga is the first sutra of Patanjali ” Atha yoga anushasanam – Yoga is now/ here” , which deeply resonates with me and I’m so grateful to have this opportunity to be able share what I love.
Gokulam is a yoga hub and definitely is a beautiful place to refresh one’s mind. It is a clean and organic yogic environment, right from the surrounding vegetable stalls to cafes. Many schools here offer custom Mysore style classes, where everyone is practicing their own sequence. Alongside there are also volunteer opportunities such as – fund raising activities for poor people, sexual violence awareness, charity through kirtan and yoga classes. This is more like a collective energy evolving into awareness. Best thing is that every person I connect with in Mysore, shares the same common love for yoga.
Apart from Gokulam being an excellent place to study yoga, it’s also a small community moving towards the direction of ever expanding self awareness / true self, a gift of yoga practice and it’s this main charm that I cherish about Mysore.
Coming back to yoga study, which is the only reason that brought me here.
For 3 months I followed a strict and disciplined schedule, with Sunday’s as a day off. Philosophy of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, The basics of The Bhagavat Gita, Yoga Anatomy, teaching techniques and limitations, Asana practice, chanting, self-study and self-practice was the focus of my time in Gokulam. I did my Advanced Teachers Training Course in Indea Yoga, where I had the opportunity to study under Bharath Shetty, a Yogacharya with 23 years of Yoga experience. He started his first training under the supervision of Yogacharya Kumara in Shantivana Trust, a Yoga & Naturopathy Center.
To spread the benefits of Yoga to the world, he decided to become a professional Yoga teacher and in this pursuit he underwent training with Padma Bhushan B K S Iyengar himself. It gave him deep insight into the Iyengar Brand of Yoga, certified by Indian Yoga Institute, Vivekananda Kendra, Bangalore and International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center, Trivandrum. Now students from all over the world seek training from the Yogacharya Bharath every year. There are 600+ successfully trained Yoga teachers who are a part of the Indea Yoga family. At Indea Yoga they conduct Yoga Teacher Training’s in both Hatha and Ashtanga method. The Level 1 training at Indea Yoga is 300+ hrs and the Level 2 training is 500+ hrs.
The intensity of course is what really helped me to observe and absorb. Every day on the mat I would concentrate closely on my alignment, movements, breathe and inspecting every moment, fluctuation of the mind which keeps me away from presence.As one sutra says “keep practicing consistently, for a long period of time and with respect for the practice. I paid attention to when I was lazy and when I overworked. I concentrate on everything which lead me to grow as a teacher and as a practitioner. I delved deep with each asana, looked for the patterns in different asanas and I learnt my limitation in each asana. When I link them together wisely, I thought of what my other limitation would be. So I could teach my students to do what I have learnt.
I can say without a doubt that Bharath Sir’s knowledge and course enhanced my own knowledge and provided me an opportunity to deepen my practice. Each day I learnt more about me by simply being present on mat, which is the beauty I adore most. I also definitely gained a better understanding into the world of Ashtanga Yoga.
Find out more about Indea Yoga on Yoga.in.
Yarang Michi is a Hatha Yoga Teacher who has been travelling and teaching in India and abroad for the last three years. Currently she lives in Ziro, Arunachal Pradesh and is the Director of Yoga and Naturopathy at the Indira Gandhi Technological and Medical Sciences University.