My Yoga Teacher Training Retreat: Last Day

4:45am –For the first time here at the Santayana Ashram I had a full night’s sleep so I didn’t mind getting up before the birds today. I have begun to appreciate how magical this time of morning is. It’s so still, the air is crisp, when it hits your face and you breathe it into your lungs you can’t help feel anything but alive!

The sky was lighter this morning with a slight fog over the mountain tops and just through it you could see the remaining sprinkle of stars before they disappeared for the day. Our teacher Joan has joined us and she led the morning’s restorative class. At the end when I had my eyes closed in Savasana she came around to me and I felt as if she wrapped a cocoon around me. As this cocoon slowly made its way down my body I got a sense of heaviness, as if every single muscle and bone fell into a deep relaxation.

Porridge for breakfast (urgh) Marley ever so kindly leaned over and gave me her banana with a smile, she must have seen the look on my face as I sat down 🙂 I met Vinci in our room after mauna (silence) finished and we decided to go for a walk and explore, I haven’t had much of an opportunity to spend time with her so I welcomed the opportunity to. As we walked we swapped so many experiences about our lives, I was telling her all about my red carpet interviews, to fire twirling days, to band camp, to strip clubs and we were laughing so hard by the end of it wondering how many lives it is that we have actually had.

Karma Yoga, I seem to be doing a lot of sweeping which today I don’t seem to mind. I find it quite therapeutic actually and I catch myself humming along to nothing in particular.

I’ve observed that I’ve transitioned from two days ago feeling frazzled about not knowing what to do, to wondering off alone. So here I sit in the heat of the day, on my own, shoes off, grass under my feet on a rock seat right next to a waterfall.

What is it about the sound of a waterfall? They seem to have this irresistible charm of bringing me back to my centre.

The gong goes for Yoga Nidra, everything here in the Ashram is run around the sound of the gong.

Mmm Yoga Nidra, something I tried for the first time only three weeks ago and hated has now become my favourite part of the day. I come out feeling completely blissed. It’s the weekend now and with it has bought the addition of “family yoga” to the Ashram so there are kids running around the grounds – it’s actually quite nice to feel the change in energy that the kids bring to this place. I look at them and I wonder if they know how lucky they are to be exposed to these types of leanings at such a young age.

My guru gave me the most amazing description of yoga just before lunch. He explained that most of our lives we can’t help but grow, because we grow up from baby to an adult but sadly most people stop there. What yoga does is helps us to continually grow in maturity. To question everything and remember that we never have all the answers.

Quite often I struggle with the question of how can I have any positive impact on the world? I am constantly thinking about this sometimes until I become overwhelmed with sadness that I will never be able to. Today my guru unconsciously gave me the answer to this to.

“Work on yourself. Always“.

This and remember to have awareness in all things and to not just react.

Reactions are usually a response we learn when we’re 3, we’ve most likely just sophisticated it as an adult.

Stop and think about how you want to respond because things will always happen and you have a choice in how you react.

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After dinner I am off to Kirtan again. I really enjoy it and tonight the kids are dancing around. I love to sing. I usually sing in my car or the shower (occasional karaoke) so it’s awesome to be in a room with sober adults who just want to bust out into song too.

Last night I was finishing my book by Stephen Cope when I read a chapter that seemed to wrap up my experience here and I wanted to share it with you.

“The entire path of Yoga, there is really only one lesson. It is the one lesson that we have to learn over and over again. And each time, it arrives as an epiphany, as it did, again, to me that day with the frogs; whenever we relinquish the craving, clinging, and grasping, whenever we stop the war with reality, whenever we are totally present and undivided, we are immediately in union with our true nature.”

Apart from enlightenment, you know what the best thing to come out of this past week is?

Laughter.

I have never laughed so hard in my life.

Hi, I am Sarah Keenan, a Yoga Australia certified level 1 hatha yoga teacher. I completed my Teacher Training Diploma with Nikola Ellis, Joan Miller, Mysan Sidbo & Mark O’Brien at Qi Health & Yoga in 2014.
I am also a qualified infant massage instructor and a Sydney city corporate receptionist.

imag2657_1Life can be challenging, so here in my Yoga blog I write about my successes, struggles and how yoga along with all the wonderful influences I am surrounded with help me to over come them.

My spare time is made up of going to the beach, a lot 🙂 Living in Australia I am lucky enough to have access to the most beautiful beaches in the world. I also love hiking, meditating, getting lost in a good book, oh and of course lots of Yoga!

Catch more of Sarah’s personal blog at Innercitiyogi

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