Freedom is not the absence of commitment; it’s a commitment shifted from the smaller things in life to a commitment to the unbound. One ought to remember this especially when about to embark on a journey as liberating and thoroughly absorbing as a Yoga Teacher Training, one to be held in magnificent Nepal.
Nepal, it’s a country of age-old Hindu and Buddhist spiritual traditions. Nestling in the bosom of the Himalayas, the country looks over the unbound great outdoors of a larger-than-life landscape. The Mantra of the Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva reverberates through the air, spreading auspiciousness. The iconic temple of Shiva, Pashupatinath stands in all glory here in this country of unparalleled ethereal beauty and deep, restorative, meditative bliss. To be setting foot in Nepal is to open your soul to new spiritual possibilities and experiencing a kind of freedom when standing amidst the great outdoors that you never before had the taste of.
Take this perfect opportunity in attending a Yoga Teacher Training in Nepal to be curious about who you are when unshackled from limitations of a conventional life. Go into the wilds, into the arms of the overwhelming nature, into the depths of your meditation, and freedom. Here goes a guide for you to prepare for the transformation–
Manage Your Expectations
Expectations play a big role in how our experiences are formed. A month-long intensive training of Hatha and Ashtanga yoga can sound like a handful and hard to handle. But wise will be those who won’t let the anticipation run so high that the focus from the task is lost.
If there is one orientation that yoga gives us elementarily, it is the will to perform an action without attaching to the outcomes of our endeavor. Give this mental setup a try and start living the moments, the challenges posed in everyday work, and make the most of the possibilities that present before you.
Chin up to tackle the hurdles and never losing spirit on apparent failures. Be on the lookout for knowledge without being nitpicky. Leave analysis and scrutiny at the door when you enter the sanctum of learning and give all the benefits of your doubts to the teacher. This is not to say, become passive and have the teacher’s spoon feed you through to the end of the course. Only, remember to enquire, not to ‘question.’
An open mind and the thirst to know shall open many doors, but preconceived notions and arguments in vain to meet the preset ideas will be futile to the entire purpose of learning and freedom at your yoga retreat in Nepal.
Set An Intent
Intent- don’t make the mistake of identifying intent as the same as expectation. When you expect, you put the onus of giving meaning to your experience on external factors. For example, you expect your teacher to address your lack of conviction, your innate restlessness, and lack of goal-orientedness in life. However, ‘intent’ is to remain conscious at all times why you have come to immerse into yoga in the solitude of the spiritual destination of Nepal.
Turn your focus upon those aspects of your character which you think need to change for the better. It could be about better mindfulness, an intent to be more loving and compassionate, to dispel anger and ill-will, to do away with unwholesome habits, recognizing alcoholism as a problem, or simply, an intent to be more harmonious in thought, speech, and action.
Remember, you are your best judge of character and the best reformer.
Concentrate On Your Fitness
Struggle gets real at intensive yoga teacher training but determines you don’t have to struggle through and through with no leeway for relaxing and enjoying the delicious effect which the asanas bring to your body. Determine your fitness.
Starting a month or two prior to the retreat. Start taking your fitness seriously. Jog a mile, cut down on the junk food, deepen your existing yoga practice, start memorizing sequences so that you can catch up quickly with the intensive practice about to ensue. Also, take tips from a reliable diet coach and undergo a few days of detox to wring out the accumulated toxins in
It is evident in YTTCs that those attending completely uninitiated and careless about their fitness tend to suffer more injuries and take more time to adjust to a routine. When you are fit, joyful, and free of toxin accumulation, you will bag straight at the course effortlessly. Also, at a personal level, the transformation and joy redoubles.
Follow A No-Meat, Less-Wine, Less-indulgence Routine
Yoga is not only a health and spiritual discipline, but it is also an ethical discipline. One of the greatest teachers of this century, Swami Sivananda has highlighted the core of yogic ethics to be ahimsa, or non-violence.
“Ahimsa is not mere negative non-injury. It is positive, cosmic love. It is the development of a mental attitude in which hatred is replaced by love. Ahimsa is a true sacrifice. Ahimsa is forgiveness. Ahimsa is Shakti (power). Ahimsa is a true strength.”– Sivananda.
This worldview compels the yogi to be protective of life on earth. Some yogic sects go so far as to avoid violence to plant life and only eat what falls off the trees. While you cannot make your lifestyle compatible with such a noble worldview right away, do follow reductionism in meat consumption.
On the same note, use this time to prep up and spend your days at the yoga teacher training Nepal to reduce consumption at all spheres. From the excesses of dining and wining to buying things you don’t need, and consumption contributing to environmental depletion. Align your lifestyle with preservation and care rather than excesses and needless consumption.
Develop A Habit Of Meditation
Meditation cannot be an overnight goal. The mind needs to be able to focus and order the million passing streams of thoughts day in and day out. At one point, there needs to be a clean slate and silence so that only the throb of life and the soul remain. If you are looking forward to your days of retreat to take the first step in meditation, you will still remain far from blissing out at the end of the course.
Instead, start the discipline to bring the monkey mind to command before your journey of Nepal begins–
- Find your own corner and light a candle in the dark. Concentrate on the flame and rub your mindscape clean of thoughts.
- Embrace a mantra. A mantra that resonates with you and gives your resolution a meaning. Chant it in the solitude of the night and let the mantra become you. Still all other deviations inside your head.
- Take a walk out in the silence of nature if sitting still is not your kind of meditation. Bring your steps to a constant rhythm and consciously keep up with it. If your mind caves into distraction, your steps will also lose rhythm like an unsynced song and you will have to start over.
- Get hold of a Mandala painting book and fill the intricate circular designs with the colors of your choice, without going out of the margins. This art therapy is very effective for the artistically-minded as it works as a stress-reliever.
- Sit in padmasana and take 10-15 minutes time out from a busy schedule to just be. Breathe and become mindful of each little detail. Bring your mind to the different parts of your body, one at a time. Tune out from sounds, sensations, and internal distracting thoughts. As a more restorative practice, you can lie down on your mat in svanasana and perform this meditation as yoga nidra or yogic sleep.
You would know about these techniques listed above if you have completed a 200 hour YTT. The next step forward then will be taking the 300 hour yoga teacher training in Nepal in which these meditation techniques feature for a longer length of time and are more intensified.
In the auspicious land of Nepal filled with the calm of the mountains, meditation will be a natural, effortless state of mind and your preliminary meditation practice will make the shift into this state smoother.
Leave Your Ego Out Before Boarding
When your flight is here and about to take off to Nepal, stop and contemplate. This may be a good time to drop your ego off and away and enter the journey without the weight of your ego.
In yogic philosophy, there is a well-known Sanskrit aphorism- Ahaṁ Brahmāsmīti, or, ‘I am the Infinite’. Quite a haughty thing to say isn’t it? But this aphorism is also the reflection of the core yogic goal– to be self-realized and achieve oneness with the all-pervading Universal One. What stands between this ultimate, liberating realization and the ignorance of the unrealized individual is the ‘ego’, the vanity of flimsy identities.
At the threshold of entering Nepal, do come down from your high horse. Feel humble, open up to the many fountains of knowledge without encouraging argumentativeness, free your heart of animosity and prejudices and only give love.
Take Your Emotions Out That Secret Box Back Of The Mind
Human psychology is a complex subject. We have some innate methods to come to terms with loss, failure, or unrequitedness. Some people choose to be angry and resentful while others shut their unresolved emotions in a box and throw it at the back of the mind to get on with life.
However, both resentment and denial have severe repercussions which may manifest in unsavory ways. Since the outreach of a Yoga teacher training in Nepal is also going to be psychological, you need to deal with your shut-away emotions and resentments before embarking the journey.
Come face to face with everything that you identify have happened to you unfairly, anger-invoking and resentment-brewing. Accept them. Accept them either as fate or challenges and hardships integral to every beautiful life. Now, you can take this process of self-acceptance further on the retreat.
Boost Your Reading Habit
The teacher training of yoga has a wide-ranging curriculum which also includes theoretical forays into yoga. Ask your yoga retreat in Nepal for an elaborate booklist or just start your own research.
Make a note of treatises, quotes, and core ideas you require annotations on so that you can put your questions across to the philosophy teacher in the house.
On a side note, a month away in solitude can also be a good time to complete reading that great fiction that you could never make the time for.
Consult Your Medical Doctor About Upcoming Intensive Practice
Do drop in at your doctor’s before the journey. Carry the asana chart of the training you want to take and discuss whether there are any medical risks in going on an intensive practice in the context of your present medical condition.
A lot of asanas happen to be out of bounds or advised to be accessed in modified ways for the patients of diabetes, thyroid malfunction, or asthma. Collect proper medications and cautions.
Decide About Solo Adventures On Your Days Off
A lot of people find solo travel an integral part of journeying spiritually, and the mountains of Nepal is a backpacker’s paradise. Once you schedule your yoga teacher training Nepal, get an estimate of the days you can get off the course.
At some retreats, there are many inclusive local trips, trekking excursions, and overnight outdoor yoga sessions. In others, you have to make your own arrangements. Any whichever way, it will be a big miss not to go trekking in the splendid Annapurna range, spend delightful afternoons at the Phewa Lake, or make a visit to Durbar Square, Kathmandu.
Practice Opening Up and Participating In Group Activities
Yoga retreat in Nepal does not just provide you the time and space to go deeper within in perfect solitude. A destination holding a certain magnetic pull for wonderful yoga enthusiasts from over the world, these retreats are also great models of community life.
You need to take joy in being part of such a delightful fraternity, come out of the shell and socialize. There is going to be plenty of group activities, partner yoga, intercultural exchanges, and spiritual conventions over these few days.
Practice opening up and being part of the wonderful commune!