Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Of Hilly Roads and Rocky Pathways

Days 25, 26 and 27.

Good morning, Samui! 5am and time to put on those running shoes.

My back was significantly better so I decided it was the right time to start running again.  There was something about the stresses of having to teach our final class, that I felt any chance to get out of the Sanctuary was a sweet escape. 

Escaping the Sanctuary.  Oh, such irony.  

On my first day back into the running grind, I remember practicing dialogue and sequence in my head that it did not occur to me that it was about a good 15 minutes of downhill after I made that right turn out of the small road from the Sanctuary.  So go figure, the run back to the resort was deadly.  All those uphills killed me.  Halfway through the run back, I was so close to giving hitch hiking a try, in fear that I would not make it back in time for our 7:30am yoga class.  Thank God I made it back at exactly 7:27, with time for a super quick shower before going in class.  Not only was I panting like a dog, I was also as red as a tomato (so perfect as my face is just as round as one).   But we live and we learn, so the following day, I switched to the Cheong Mon route instead.  Beautiful scenery, friendly dogs, some babies here and there taking their morning strolls.  I would pass my 5-kilometer mark and would not even notice that I had been running for a bit.  It was a breath of fresh air.  The beach was beautiful.

Cheong Mon beach at 630am on a cloudy Sunday.  Quite and calm.  Just the way I like it.

The next days were dedicated to practicing for final peer teaching class.  Our room and the poolside became favorite practice spots for Eve and myself.  I still cannot get over how lucky I  was that my peer teacher was also my roommate.  That Sunday night, the night before our final class, Julie came by our room for another one of those pajama parties and I had coffee and jungle brownies brought up from the Kitchen.  I will miss those nights.  And I will also miss falling asleep next to my books and posture card.

This is how one prepares for final teaching. I thank my roommate for the photo.

A cup of coffee too short makes you fall asleep with the teddy bear class.

We taught our final class to Group D.  It was an amazing experience, though I will never forget how nervous I was before I started.  The poop and pee in my pants feeling were back again, just like how it was during our first practice teaching.    Surprisingly, I got into the rhythm of teaching halfway through the standing series.  I had forgotten my teacher was in the corner of the room, being a busy girl, evaluating me.  I made a few mistakes here and there.  Small ones, like mixing up my rights and lefts (still) and big ones, like fast-forwarding to Dandayamana Janusirasana instead of Garudasana.  I swear I saw Eve from the corner of my eye giving me THE stare from the other end of the room, as if to say, “what in the hell ARE you doing?”.  I quickly made a not-so-smooth recovery and got them to twist arms and legs like ropes, the way they really should have. 

Considering all aspects, Eve and I did good.  I think my teacher thought so too, even if she was pretty hard on us and really particular about the little things.  I do not mind.  We need those.  Constructive criticism is much needed for new teachers like us.  Our class was small but there was good energy flowing.  Thank you, Bree, Wendi, Richard, Yulia and Margaret for working so hard at class that day.  I would love teaching a billion times more if all my future students were like you.  Extremely inspiring.  Again, thank you.  You guys rocked our final class!

Happy smiles.

We had our final written exam that day too.  It was a while since the last time I held an examination sheet and I am just thankful I went over our books and lecture notes a couple of times in the previous week.  I would have done better if I was not a nervous wreck about final teaching.

My little friend who would come down to the pool and would go for a swim so early in the morning left to go back home to Bangkok that weekend.  I will miss her.  She was such a joy to have around, my extra sunshine on a gloomy morning.

She had beautiful baby's breath.

Some photos from teaching, lectures and Satsang that week.

One to one teaching = check! Guiding James through his final Savasana.

Listening to James guide me through Prasaritta Padattonasana A.

Thank you, Harreson for the photos!

Pajama teaching.

Yes, Aisa! You can do it!

When NOT to do hands on corrections: when your students is so much taller than you.


These are my important realizations from those 3 days.

1.  When you do yoga, you open up your body, allowing yourself to let go of hurts, irritations, fears, etc.  I do not wonder anymore why I end up in tears after a good class, which has been the case the last few weeks.  

2.  I could have tight hips because I carry all of my burdens there.  I will do more Kapotasanas and Baddha Konasanas to open my hips and hopefully then, I will be able to let go of those little hurts and pains from the past.  On a lighter note, it makes me wonder if my bum would be quadruple the size if all of my burdens would be saturated in that part of my body.  Thank God that it is not.

3.  Teaching smaller classes suck the life out of you.  Bigger classes run on their own energy, especially if you have Bree Veins as one of your students.

4.  We give out so much energy and if we only sit still and try to feel the beautiful and positive energy around us, we can feel so much lighter yet stronger.  I felt Jessica's strong energy at meditation at class one morning.  It creeped into my finger tips from hers and went out my left nostril.  I am not kidding.  That is exactly how it felt like.

5.  A simple but genuine "kob kun mak krab" (thank you in Thai) can go a long, long way.  It can give you the biggest of smiles, not to mention an extra Jungle Brownie.  People at the Love Kitchen, I love you guys so much.  I really do!

6.  Forgiving one another is one of the most precious things in this world.  Let us learn to do more of it.  Again, just live and let go.

7.  My brain feels like it expanded a few millimeters from all the studying that I had done.  

*Fun fact:  The adult human brain is about 2% of total body weight and has about 100 BILLION neurons.

8.  I am so dark, I think my mother will disown me when she sees me.  Julie calls me her little dark chocolate Kiss.  Its shape also has a perfect similitude to my own physiological appearance.

9.  In life, it is those times of tears, hardships and frustrations that will mold us into being stronger, wiser and better persons.  We should embrace them.  And when we finally pick ourselves up from those times, embrace them even more.  Do not forget that the oak grows strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure.  We NEED those hilly roads and rocky pathways. 

For all my co-trainees and teachers, this one is for you.  

"May all things be happy and free."   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usJl7oiZPnc 

Only a few more days on this island and I am dreading the day that I will have to write about leaving Samui.  Until then, I will treasure all moments in the safest and deepest parts of my heart.

I send out happy, positive energies of love and light from my fingertips, to yours.

Your little yogini,

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