It’s 5 o’clock on a Sunday morning and it’s my day off. I’m lying in bed, the night is still pitch dark outside and inside my room. The wind is howling, a cold breeze seeps trough the windows and reaches my bed. I’m cold, I need to put on a third blanket. India is getting colder by the day, the hot days of only one month ago are only a nice memory.

While getting warmer I listen to my body: I am aware of every single muscle of it. There is no pain, though I feel all my body has been working hard for the last 3 days. My muscles are tired, I need a rest and I’m very glad today I have no practice whatsoever 🙂

So, what happened over last 3 days?

My 300hours Intermediate series Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Training Course at Tattva Yogashala in Rishikesh has started! And what a start!!

I still have 2h asana practice in the morning followed by 1.30h pranayama, yoga philosophy in the afternoon and meditation in the evening, but the very difference compared to the 200hrs AYTTC has been the 2h ‘Preparation to 2nd series’ asana session with whom we’ve been starting the afternoon. The aim? Build flexibility, strength and stamina. For 3 days in a row I’ve felt like being part of a special Marines boot camp!

back-bendAfter a warm up that includes jumping up to the wall for at least 5 minutes without stopping, we’ve been deeply working on back-bendings, using walls, straps, blocks and partners to get as deep as possible, focusing on different parts of the spine so to learn how to isolate them and open them, expecially the middle and upper spine. And as there are only 5 of us attending the course, Yogi Kamal is on us all the time: demoing to us, adjusting us one by one, practising with us every single asana… and breaths have become countless… you keep it as long as you can, and a little more.

And then time to move to twists, getting deeper and deeper, while working the quads at the same time… And the results are amazing: my back has been opening, my pashasana is improving for the first time since more than 1 year I firstly got it in my practice, other 2nd series asanas I’d never attempted before have become approachable.

So the afternoon asana session has proved to be tough, intense, tiring but thanks to my fellow course mates and Kamal, it has always been great fun… laughing moments have never got wasted 🙂

There is still a long way to go for me to master intermediate series, but based on the last 3 days, I have big expectations (I know, no good :-D) for the upcoming 6 weeks…

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