I'm sitting at the far end of the semi-circle in the company of this wise woman and 4 very enthusiastic students. I turn into observation mode. "The others" seem to have already bonded. I saw them earlier in the day eating breakfast together and chatting as if they were old friends. My mind immediately felt out of place. They are clearly 10-20+ years older than me which is fine except that it makes me feel like I should be studying at the kiddie table.
|Corky thinks wearing white makes her enlightened|
|Robin always out OMs everyone|
|Pat is sweet until you make her miss her Tea time|
|Larry is the best dishwasher in Yogaville|
We start the class like most activities on the ashram, we "OM in". Breath in, Breath out, deep breath in and on the exhale let out an "OM" for the whole breath. We repeat then chant and settle into our orientation. We each describe ourselves and the reason we came. There is a retired yoga teacher, a woman who has done the LYT program before, a truth seeker, a citizen of the world and me.
We are introduced to more detail about the ashram, Swami Satchidananda himself, the philosophy of integral yoga and yoga in general. We go over the requirements again. A typical day looks something like this...
5am 1+ hour long meditation
6:20 am 1+hour long Hatha yoga session
8 am breakfast
8:30 am-11:45am "Karma" yoga (selfless acts of service)
Noon - meditation
12:45pm - lunch
1:30-5:00 - Karma yoga
5pm - Hatha yoga
6pm - evening meditation
6:30pm - supper
7pm - Karma yoga
7:30pm - Spiritual studies
10pm - Silence/lights out
Yep. it's intense.
The first week I felt I was in a fog. I nearly broke in between trying to deal with my insomnia, detox off of TV, alcohol, meat and sugar, be of service, perform yoga postures with my achy bones, and study with dementia all while doing so with a loving attitude.
I questioned why I was even here. Was this going to make any real difference in my life? The glutton for punishment shtick I was doing was no longer cute and I really needed to hunker down and go within to see if all this discomfort and pain was worth it. My answer would not come immediately. In fact, it would get worse before it would get better. The eight limbs of yoga were outstretched and kicking every bit of my Yogi wanna-be ass.