My Yoga Teacher Training Retreat: Part 5

So, I’m sitting back in my room getting ready for bed and my roomie is burning a violet and pear candle one of her friends had made, delicious.

So you’re probably all wondering how my first official attempt at teaching went!?

To be honest I wasn’t even nervous right until the very two seconds before I got up. My fellow yogis were a ball of nerves and verging tears but I guess I’ve had a little more experience being in front of people so I tried to remain calm for them (and secretly for myself!).

I have been on red carpet for radio, I played the flute in a band for 4 years (I’ve even been known to bust out a tune on a clarinet and a saxophone too). I studied rock school for a year and played the drums (failed miserably at guitar). I have also been on stages before for endless dance eisteddfods and acted on several theatre stages, all of which I feel have been great preparation for moments just like these.

I was the last to teach and I felt like the other two nailed it, I was so proud of them, just like I have been of all the girls here. I was really happy with the class we provided as I feel like we bought a really fun element to the afternoon practice but most of all, it was so much fun! We all received supportive feedback; one of my favourites was that people said they forgot they were in an assessment environment and legitimately in a yoga class.

I can’t ask for more than that 🙂

At dinner (pumpkin soup and rice salad) Jess, April and myself burst into singing Mamma Mia during clean up and this seemed to be the beginning of a night full of singing for me as tonight I will attend my very first Kirtan class.

After dinner I just needed some time on my own to collect my thoughts. I find I do this more often these days – I need to allow myself the time to process things before I can begin to discuss them. So I make my way to sit alone in one of the beautiful gardens I came across when I was searching for the shed in karma yoga earlier.

It has a Buddha statue the size of me in it and an Om symbol waterfall over a pond in the middle of the garden. When I had walked into the garden there were lots of animals happily making noise but when I sat down on the stone bench underneath the hanging maple tree, it became dead silent.

So I decide I would sit there and meditate and try to find my place in the garden instead of an being the intruder and stay as long as it takes for the animals to be comfortable with my presence to begin to make their calls again.

I sat there in silence for what felt like 5 minutes before the frog right in front of me at the pond edge started croaking, I could feel the smile begin to spread across my face, and then a response came from a frog on the other side. I could sense they were hesitant as it started soft and sporadic until they eventually began singing in call and response to each other louder and longer.

Trees started rustling again and by the time I left the garden was yet again full of life 🙂

Kirtan Time. Be warned I am officially now living in the alternate world. Allow me to set the scene, there’s a drum, a bell, two singers and an accordion up front. You sing ancient chants in Sanskrit by call and response and it gets quite ‘uppity’. Some people dance around but I seemed to have had a really fabulous time sitting and singing along in my space on the floor.

I’m not going to lie I was skeptical, despite my teacher Joan having been suggesting me to go for months now. She suggested it as I was telling her how I love to dance but I don’t want to get drunk to do that anymore so I seem to dance less, which is sad for me.

Dancing is my bodies favourite way of getting some good prana when I am feeling a little flat.

People get scared off by the Sanskrit in Kirtan and think it’s “cult” like because they don’t understand the words. Rather you should think of it just like the frog calls in the garden the meaning of the words (or sounds) aren’t important but rather the feeling and the energy that surrounds you is what makes it so magical and fun.

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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