Samma Karuna – YTT – Week 1
Today (now yesterday due to no Wifi in the storm) is day 7 of yoga teacher training (YTT), and it is also our one rest day (aka, day off) each week! We are at yoga camp over 12 hours each day, and I felt how tired I was last night at dinner. It was barely 9PM, and we were all ready to head home to get some rest!
Samma Karuna is located on the island of Ko Phangan off the coast of southern Thailand. The school has two yoga shalas nestled in the coconut and palm trees. It is an awakening and healing school which means the teachers don’t strictly teach yoga classes and yoga teacher trainings for the sake of exercise, but the school believes in a holist approach to learning and practicing yoga. This is where I get to spend my days for the next two months! How this is life, I do not know, but each day I am so thankful to be in this place at this time with this group of amazing people from all over the globe.
A typical day for me begins with a 6AM alarm. This gives me approximately one hour to get going for the day, stretch, open the doors to my beach hut to listen to the waves, have a shower, and catch the van to school by 7. (Tomorrow I am renting a bicycle so that I can bike to class, as it is only just over one mile door to door.)
First fun of the day is one hour of mindful meditation in the larger of the two yoga shalas. All 24 of us are in it together! Sometimes this begins with a short breathing exercise, sometimes we go right into meditation.
I suck at meditating. No amount of pillows or cushions will keep my ass from hurting. No amount of sleep the night before will keep me awake (sleeping is NOT meditation we are reminded daily). My mind is thinking about when I can eat something, what they are cooking for lunch, how hard our yoga class will be at the end of meditation, did I bring my swim suit today, why is it so blazing hot, how am I already this sweaty, my leg that is already asleep five minutes in, not killing the mosquito/fly/gnat that is currently annoying the crap out of me, etc. We cannot kill anything in true yogi tradition, and we are not supposed to move (aka, react) during meditation. This means the mosquito wins! I get bites THROUGH my yoga tights. Those dang things attack me.
There are tons of benefits gained from a regular meditation practice. For me, a goal of meditation is to establish awareness of self. Meditation helps you clear your mind of the daily stresses that we are all under. Greater self-awareness leads to better asana (yoga) sessions, improved breathing, slower actions/reactions, and connectedness.
I’ll go more into detail about the other parts of my days in future posts, but the general structure is: One hour of meditation, two hours of yoga asanas (postures, aka, yoga class), break for lunch, 2.5 hours of lectures, afternoon break, 1.5 hours of asanas, one hour evening lecture which seems to always run long!
We have had four different yoga instructors thus far, and they are all incredibly talented, committed, and excellent at what they do. They each have a different style which I am loving, and I cannot absorb everything fast enough!
I have made fast friends with many of the girls thus far, and it has only been one week! I inspired my new yogi BFF Steph (who happens to be a Brit), to start up blogging again, and she and Jo are now taking up “no sugar” for one week this week with me! Be the change!
Okay, time for bed! Week two begins tomorrow!
PS: I am still quite behind on my travel posts. I am not sure when I will be able to get to it, as it take SO LONG for pictures to upload! I have so much to share, and I will as soon as I can! Thanks for sharing in my journey.