Hatha leads to Raja, and yoga begins NOW!
When we first met here on the Anuttara Yoga Shala blog I started by saying how my very first day as part of Anuttara Hatha Yoga Teacher Training was set to be an experience that would definitively transform the rest of my life, and over a few months I shared with anyone willing to read how inexplicably true that was. From sitting in a room cluttered with strangers to becoming part of an amazing and ever-expanding family of yogis I did my utmost to document and describe some of the lessons we learned and the moments we shared on that initial journey, however this adventure into the sacred science and divine truths of yoga has only just begun.
Now comes Anuttara Raja Yoga Teacher Training, and from the first class it has proven to be just as thrilling and as challenging as I expected. Arriving late at the back of the library I am met by a sea of faces, some more familiar than others, with a few teachers I trained with in the previous months for Hatha Yoga. For me to have been gone from the shala so long when work had pulled my life in a different direction, not to mention provided me with a few vicious days of being caught up in vrittis, it was so liberating and heartwarming to be back in these rooms to learn and train with these wonder people.
So many new faces, who I can already tell have plenty of profound personal insights and a passion for developing a comprehensive and extensive understanding of yoga, only make me more excited about the next few months, because as the conversation into the philosophy and history of yoga aims to deepen the opinions and interactions will broaden to include unique ideas. Everyone here seems set on building an intimate relationship with the practice of Anuttara Raja yoga, and with a Yogacharya like Philip, we are all sure to get exactly that.
Right away I see how this training will contrast that of the Hatha training; the class already seems more designed toward creating a deliberate and diligent study of history and philosophy, and not because those were elements lacking in the Hatha training but because right away we are all following along in our books and taking notes on the Sutras.
The Sutras, as presented in…, are a hybrid of Jain and Buddhist philosophy, which both could be categorized under the umbrella of what Philip states would more accurately be called “Indianism” because it is a term encompassing various aspects of the vibrant and rich ethos of India, including:
- Family/Social life
- Religious beliefs
We talk about the Tri Mutri or the 3 Forms of god as referred to by some of these theologies, which are:
- Brahma the Creator
- Vishnu the sustainer
- Shiva the destroyer
All names that he covered in Hatha Yoga training, but we again go into detail about their stories and everyone who was not part of the latest Hatha Yoga Teacher Training has a chance to ask questions, letting the whole class engage in introspective discussion.
Yogacharya explains to us in abundant detail some of the stories and beliefs based around these theologies, all while keeping with his typical fashion of putting the “wise” in “wise-crack” to make sure everyone is happy!
For a moment Philip rejoices in the news that scientists have detected gravitational waves that could theoretically offer a window on the origin of the Universe. Apparently these are the same waves that were first proposed 100 years ago by Albert Einstein, as a key prediction of his Theory of General Relativity, and we relate these ripples in the fabric of space-time that are produced when black holes collide and stars explode to the expansion of the universe as talked about in ancient texts on the philosophy of yoga, predating modern science by an astronomical amount.
As this training begins I can see how the Part 1 of Anuttara Raja Yoga Teacher Training will be an intense and vivid experience, and I am elated to have another chance to share my favorite moments and thoughts on this training with you. As space time expands, so does our Anuttara Yoga family and our connection to all that has already happened, and all that will be, but as Yogacharya has said… YOGA BEGINS NOW!
Until the next class- Grace and Peace