Qualified…

So, yesterday was the end of my month long yoga teacher training course. Today I got to have a lie in before attempting to file my tax return online – am still attempting to file it several hours later but the least said about that the better as I may explode and that wouldn’t be very ‘yogi like’ !!!

The course was great and I learned so much in a short space of time. Coming from an Ashtanga yoga background – which is something of a power yoga – it was refreshing for me to learn a completely different style; although it did take some getting used to as the pace is so much slower.  I needed to expand my knowledge though as I knew there was so much more to yoga than what I had been practicing. I remember listening to someone once talking about yoga and saying that if you only ever look at one side of the mountain then that is all you will ever see. It is not until you climb to the top and look at the whole way around that you get the complete picture. That is what I feel I have accomplished with this training.

I now have such a better understanding of the roots and tradition of yoga that I can now see the whole picture. We covered a lot of the philosophy of yoga on this course and I have fallen head over heels in love with theBhagavad Gītā – one of the most important texts in the history of literature and philosophy and sometimes referred to as ‘the manual for mankind’.  Within its pages Lord Krishna states that the knowledge of Yoga contained therein was first instructed to mankind at the very beginning of their existence. Its words are just so meaningful and pertinent now as when they were first spoken.

One of the other great things about this course is that there was only two of us on it and so we both had so much individual attention. For me it was not so important to learn about ‘how’ to teach as I have been doing that for the past 6 years, but to be able to perform and execute the postures correctly and have the knowledge about why we do yoga etc, that was important. When you are in a big group (there were about 30-35 of us on the last training course I went on) then you get lost and the time spent on you and your knowledge is limited but here we had a month of pretty much 1-2-1 attention. We also got to ‘practice’ on some people that Maggie our teacher had invited along, one of whom had never practiced yoga before and one who had a fair amount of health problems and limitations so we really had to think on our feet and get a taste of what a real class with different abilities would be like.

I am so glad that I got to take this course here in the mountains of Southern Spain. The location was just perfect and for most of the course the weather was so good that we were outside the whole time practicing in the sunshine which just added a whole other dimension to the experience. At the moment the almond trees are coming into blossom and the valleys here are fragrant with their smell. It is quite intoxicating and a beautiful sight to see all the mountainsides dotted with pink and white flowers.

So, I am feeling pretty grateful to the universe for bringing me here and allowing me this wonderful experience and I am very excited about the next step as we start to plan our ‘Yoga and Raw Food retreats’ and where we are going next!!! It’s time to be thinking about moving on to somewhere else and experiencing more of what this journey has to offer us.

In the meantime here are some photo’s that I took on the last day of the course. The weather wasn’t so good so you will have to imagine the scene bathed in sunshine but it gives a good idea of what I have been up to for the last month.

 

Views and almond blossom

More views

The terrace where we did most of our practices and a lot of our studies

The ‘caravan’ where we studied when it was too cold to sit outside

Me receiving my certificate

Maria receiving her certificate

 

Namaste…..

Off road driving……

I started my yoga teacher training course on Tuesday. There is just me and one other lady (Maria) at the moment so we are starting off the lesson’s at our teacher’s house. On the first day we met Maggie and followed her down to her house as it is ‘off road’. The drive down was interesting as it was a lot like this picture (no kidding) and my knuckles were white by the time we got to her little cottage.

At the end of the first day I drove Maria back up to the main road to meet her husband and arranged to pick her up the following morning.

This I did with no problem and we started along the track to Maggie’s house. This is where it all started to go horribly wrong. Maria and I were chatting – she is from Argentina and although her English is good it is not her first language and so we were both concentrating on the conversation – a bit too much it would seem!! After a while we realised we had overshot Maggie’s turning and now weren’t really sure how far along we had come. I managed to turn around with no problem and we headed back down the track looking for the right turn off. We thought we had found it but this track quickly became bumpier and steeper and we knew we had taken the wrong turning. Trouble was there was no way to turn around and so the only option was to continue to go down.

I was getting worried at this stage as the track was very rocky and very uneven and I wasn’t sure if we would get back up again!! We got to the bottom and I turned around and we started back up the hill. All went well until the first corner which was also the rockiest. The car literally had no traction and we started to slide backwards. I managed to stop but there was no way we were going any further which meant reversing back down to try again. Unfortunately by this stage the two wheels on my side of the car were in a gully and although I could reverse back I couldn’t get them out of the gully. Eventually we were getting closer and closer to a bank of rock on one side. I couldn’t go forward as no traction and I couldn’t go any further back – we were well and truly stuck.

I’m so glad I wasn’t on my own although I am pretty sure Maria wished she wasn’t with me!! We phoned Maggie and I managed – in between bouts of panic that we wouldn’t get the car out – to explain to her what had happened and she set off to find us. We left the car and walked back to the main track where we finally met her. Hugs and a few tears later we made it back down to the car. Maggie immediately knew that this track wasn’t a good one but she had hopes that we could get us out ourselves, until she saw where we were!!

Once she had assessed the situation we headed back to her house to try to find someone who could come and rescue us. My car is big and very heavy so it was going to take some doing. She phoned her ex-husband who lives 5 minutes away and immediately he sorted out a rescue mission. There was a chap at his house digging out his drive which had been impassable for a few days. We could have Raphael and his caterpillar digger once he was finished.

An hour later we were back at the car and Raphael made easy work of pulling me out of the gully. But then he had to pull me back up the hill. We got almost to the corner but then the little caterpillar couldn’t manage any further. So, I had to start my car up and between us – him pulling and me inching forward very gently we finally got back to the top. I was SO relieved. It cost me 10 euros and he got a hug as well as I was just so happy that the car was still in one piece and had suffered no damage.

So, the lesson to be learnt here………don’t drive down an unmarked track in Spain if you don’t know what is around the corner…..but if you do then make sure there is a Raphael on hand to pull you out.