This week has been my worst as well as my best week since I started the Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Training at Tattva Yogashala. Why?
On Wednesday, as the afternoon was passing by, I started feeling weird, small things getting on my nerves and becoming bigger and bigger, my ego raising and looking stronger and stronger for internal and external fights… By dinner time, I only wanted to be on my own as I couldn’t look at anybody in the eyes without feeling an intense urge to cry. So, when the group moved to ‘the Office’ – a cute shabby restaurant in the nearby – for dessert, I just decided I would have a better time being alone in my own room, getting some sleep.
The next morning I woke up at 4.30am still under strong emotions, so instead of struggling in bed, I just decided to get out of it and study. Soon it was 6am, time to move to the big shala near the Ganges where since the beginning of this week we’re having our pranayama and asana sessions. The streets were very quite, cows chewing undisturbed half asleep, few of us walking down the hill strangely on our own instead of small groups. At each step I felt like breaking, struggling to keep all my pieces together. So, once on the mat, no way to do the usual small chatting before starting and I felt so grateful to Sunil for starting the pranayama session with meditation: it was balm to my soul! And when unusually the monkeys started badly fighting outside the shala, their screams felt like giving voice to my feelings. It lasted for about 10 minutes.
When meditation time was over, Sunil introduced the Gayatri mantra. I went full lungs in the first round, just to find myself completely broken in the middle of the second one: couldn’t stop sobbing and crying till the chant was over. Nonetheless, I was afraid of disturbing the class, so I tried with all myself to suppress it. At the end of the mantra, Sunil made a point about lot of emotions in and outside the class that day and mentioned the fact that full moon was approaching and to take it easy (I later discovered I was not the only one sharing tears that day).
The session kept going with kriyas and pranayamas and it was so difficult for me, though I felt like soothing a bit more after every practice. And when the end was approaching and we chanted Maha Mrityumjaya mantra – beautiful mantra for conquering death, where Shiva is invoked to liberate us for the sake of immortality – I chanted it full lungs, feeling stronger and stronger, feeling without any emotion left, just like an empty shell, while tears were warmly running on my cheeks, down to the mat. And than it was time for Anandoham mantra and the only thing I could do was to surrender… to surrender to all my emotions, my sadness, my desires, my attachments, my ego… and crying as that was the only thing it really mattered, merging with tears till I could feel them running though I was no longer the one who was crying.
Than the chanting came to an end, but I was not ready for that yet. So, I stayed on my mat, still avoiding others till Monika, a fellow student sitting just next to me, started to talk to me in such a sweet way, inviting me to let it go without trying in any way to force it. And when she hugged me, I couldn’t refrain any longer, I had to release ALL of it! I was crying like a little baby… and it all came… I felt loved, I felt welcomed, I felt I was not alone and that I was ok, I was in the place I was meant to be, experiencing what I was supposed to experience… and 5 minutes later, I was feeling so light, joyful, in love with life and eager to start my asana practice.
I don’t know exactly what brought all of that up: it might have been the trataka kryia, the most intense ever asana practice, the strong minor fascia release session we had on Wednesday, the upcoming full moon or the approaching lady holiday. But I’m glad it came out… it was cathartic!!
And than no time to even think of what was next: Jonatan asking me to assist in the shala as Kamal was sick that morning, me being fully in adjustments for almost 2hours in a row, unexpectedly teaching my first ashtanga class in English at noon time so to get ready for my next week real class, working deeply on learning adjustments all afternoon long and feeling myself 100% in each of those activities, feeded by them, light hearted by them… but to get it all, I had to release first so to make space for all those blessings. This has been my own experience. What is yours?