I am one week deep into a 300 hour yoga teacher training course in Ubud, Bali, currently enjoying a blissfully quiet day off. The training days have been incredible -- the lectures and workshops are fascinating, the people are nothing short of wonderful and the vegetarian food is delicious!
The experience has been incredible so far and I am feeling so much gratitude for every part of this journey. There is so much that I am learning (about yoga, about my practice, even about myself!) and I am really eager to share some of that knowledge with my students when I'm back. Until then, I wanted to share a mantra that I heard during a class I took at the Yoga Barn just before training started.
The mantra was introduced at the beginning of class as a way to "set the stage" for each individual student. It was meant to remind students that the practice of yoga is really a gift, an offering, for the body and for the mind. It goes like this:
Starting in a comfortable seated position (or lying down), close your eyes and become aware of your breath. Start to follow the inhales and exhales. Once you feel relaxed and the breath has started to slow and deepen repeat the following words:
On an inhalation say to yourself "Thank you"
On an exhalation say to yourself "I honour you"
To those of you who have been to my classes, you know that I am all about encouraging students to be where they are that day/place/time on their mat, without expectation or judgment, knowing that you'll never have the same practice twice. This mantra offers a great reminder that our yoga practice is an opportunity for self-care -- to honour where your body is in that moment, giving thanks with compassion, kindness and gratitude.
I encourage you to try this mantra next time you step on your mat, and to come back to it any time you feel frustrated or challenged in your practice. Let me know how it goes!