I arrived in Ubud, Bali 36 hours after departure with perfect timing to make my 7:45am introductory RYT course. I encouraged my brother who had never tried yoga to come with me for the day just to kill time. After the first day, he too decided to join the ‘path of enlightenment’ and spend the next month studying the yoga asana and philosophy.
In a physical sense, my yoga has forever changed, but more importantly I have discovered body awareness and control. I have learned how to tuck my tailbone to protect my back, bend my arms to reduce the risk of hyper-extension, grip my fingers to distribute my weight on the mat evenly and many other details that one could only discover for themselves on the Shades of Yoga RYT 200 course. I feel that I have gained a solid foundation on yoga asana safety and feel confident projecting instructions to a class. In a spiritual sense, I have learned a new path, one that is indifferent to any prejudices, and truly focuses on loving “God” as the true self. The yogi philosophy is based on incorporating Patanjali’s yamas and niyamas into one’s daily life.
Yamas or universal ethical disciplines:
- asteya – freedom from stealing
- ahisma – nonviolence
- aparigraha – freedom from hoarding
- satya – truthfulness
- brahmacharya – moderation
Niyamas or personal ethical disciplines:
- saucha– purity of the body and mind
- santosa – contentment
- tapas – discipline
- svadhyaya – self-study
- isvara pranidhana – surrendering to the divine. An understanding that we can only control ourselves with the realization that our actions affect everything, as we are all one.
The amount of knowledge I have gained from this course is hard to define,it has shaped and influenced my life in so many positive ways! I was introduced to new concepts so foreign to my standard western upbringing, yet simple to live by. I made friends from around the world and feel like I am now part of the yoga community. A community that strives to be non-judgmental, to focus on self-realization and to live in the moment as it comes.