Today was day 1 of my yoga teacher training course in Cusco. Intense? Yes. I am one of four students who signed up for the 3-week teacher training course in the ashtanga and anusara disciplines. What does that mean? The training combines the intensity and constant flow or movement of ashtanga (power yoga came out of this style) with the alignment and heart opening principles of anusara yoga.
The course looks something like this: two 2-hour theory sessions each day focused on topics such as pranayama breathing, asanas (postures), chakras, and meditation, as well as two 2-hour yoga classes each day. (You can read more about the course here: http://www.yogacusco.com/yoga-cusco-teacher-training.php)
Another important part of the day: Agni Hatra, an ancient fire ceremony in which I meditate and welcome in the day with a group of women at the moment of the sun rise.The ceremony takes place each morning at the healing house, my new home in Cusco. The house is home to all sorts of travelers staying for an extended period of time and doing all sorts of interesting exploration such as cranial-sacral therapy courses, reiki trainings etc.
So what does this teacher training mean for me? What is my intention for the next 3 weeks? To deepen my practice, to develop and begin to explore what teaching yoga means for me. Yoga has been an integral part of my last 2 years. My yoga mat was my comfort during the constant ups and downs of Peace Corps, it was the place I explored new postures, challenged myself, reflected in my journal and practiced meditation. This process of exploration led to introducing mothers and children in Llama to yoga, to new movements they had never tried before, and to sitting in meditation or reflection. The importance of yoga and my practice became clear during my travels when I returned again and again to the solace and passion I found in my heart on my mat.
The meditation and spiritual components to yoga have fed my soul these last two years, the practice has given me breath during the ups and downs and filled me with energy that keeps me coming back for more. So I sign off for the next few weeks as I delve into this training. I promise a detailed report at the end!