My Yoga Teacher Training Retreat: Part 2

Day 2

At 5am I rush down to the shower block to get ready for my 5:30 yoga class (yes, it’s compulsory). I am agitated, annoyed that everything is rushed, tired because I didn’t get much sleep and after our first 12 hours of Mauna (silence) I feel MAD. Angry.

At the end of class when moving into Savasana (corpse pose) I look over and see one of my beautiful fellow yogis sobbing and I begin to instantly feel overwhelmed with emotion. Laying I begun to get a head spin so I opened my eyes. However I couldn’t see from all the tears welling and they uncontrollably start flowing. All I hear is the constant drip drip of them hitting my mat.

IMAG34477am Breakfast – Potato? All the food here is vegetarian which is fine, I am just not used to eating such a heavy breakfast.  I take my cup of tea outside. It is breathtakingly beautiful here, the flowers, I honestly can’t recall ever seeing any before that are so big, bright and just so full of life.
And I sit there by myself and cry.

9am Karma Yoga – I am given the job of raking… the gravel.
Despite me thinking this request is odd it actually ends up being somewhat therapeutic; I rake up all the leaves and then start to rake straight lines in the stones (like one of those mini zen gardens).

Debs is humming away to my right which is quite lovely, when she stops, looks at me with a puzzled expression and asks if I am a Michael Jackson fan? HA! Only the KING of pop. Yes!

She giggles to herself and says “I thought so, I never sing his songs but all of a sudden one popped into my head”, and she carries on while humming ‘Blame it on the Boogie’. Everyone starts to trickle out of finishing their karma jobs so I pick up my pile of leaves and bag them when the resident Yogi come over and asks me if I can then rake another section.

I’m instantly enraged.

I think to myself ARE YOU FARKING KIDDING ME!? You could not have maybe asked me earlier or are you purposefully just trying to piss me off? I doubt it – so I hit ‘default Sarah’ setting and I smile and oblige.

10am Yoga Session – In this session we partner up to work on bringing breathe awareness to certain areas of the body using subtle touch. I was very conscious to try and close my force field to mask this negativity in my body to not let Lisa sense it and cause an effect on her experience. She came out of it feeling quite relaxed and begun to do the same exercise on me. I found it amazing noticing all the different areas I could move my breathe to on demand, however I could not feel any connection with my lower back, let alone breathe into it…Interesting.

11am Morning Tea – I’m finally hungry. I sit outside again as the sun is blindingly shining; it feels so good on my skin. I am sitting here on a stone made seat under a beautiful tree and each time I look up from my page my breath is taken away by the absolute beauty of this place.

We’re in a valley so when you look up there is one side of cliffs made up of lots of beautifully entwined orange and browns. Mountains so tall up one side that it looks like from here the trees on top could touch the clouds. Yes there are a few clouds out today but they are white, big bright white fluffy clouds and as quick as they come they are gone again. I had thought that I would bush walk everyday while here, but today I am tired and I don’t feel like myself.

Something flies by my vision so I quickly swat it away when I realise it’s a butterfly, a pale yellow, white and black one just fluffing around. I become entranced by it. I can hear birds and crickets and someone watering a garden. From here I can even hear the water fountain that is over by the yoga hall.

I don’t quite know where to go or what to do.

I observe that us – the ones that are here for the yoga course look busy.
The residents seem to stand around. They wear different coloured robes; there are the junior yogis that wear white, most likely here studying. Others wear Yellow or Orange which is based on dedicating a certain amount of time/hierarchy here in the Ashram.

2:30pm Screw it – I went to Yoga Nidra.

Emerging I feel super chilled and like a different person, the most relaxed I have been in a long time. This coming from the girl who tried Yoga Nidra for the first time only a few weeks ago and didn’t like it. It is really good for helping people like me who are anxious as it focuses on relaxation and constant change. A lot of the reasons behind humans suffering is because most of us are unable to adapt to change.

4:30pm – low and behold yet another yoga session 🙂 This afternoon slot is for our assessments, this is what I’m nervous about. I’m sure that my exam is the basis of me feeling like this is a prison I cannot escape.

6pm Dinner– over dinner I share my thoughts with my guru about how I’m frustrated this whole place is so time driven and routine and before walking off he says to me “Sarah, the reason that it’s so structured is to keep you coming back to your spiritual practice”. Urgh

I’m then annoyed at the fact that this makes so much sense. Perhaps I’ll be able to appreciate this theory a little more after a good night’s sleep.

7pm – tonight we did a meditation focusing on the out breathe – I really enjoy this. The time flew by like I’d been meditating for minutes when in reality it was over half an hour.
I drifted off, into nowhere really, my lips went numb and at first I had to actually check that they were still there or that I wasn’t embarrassingly dribbling down my chin like after a trip to the dentist. Then I began to not feel the rest of my body like I was floating.

The best part about our night time sessions (not the ‘circle’, where tonight I legitimately talked about clouds) is the bed time story. Tonight Tanya read us one of her favourite books that she reads to her kids called “The Angry Bear”. It was a sweet book with  a wholehearted ending where the bear was just tired and wanted to sleep! (hmph how appropriate).

P.S Did I mention I picked up possum poo in Karma Yoga? This place sucks!


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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