Whenever my friends or family agree to to do yoga with me, I always make sure to avoid any chanting. Walking right into a class where a bunch of people are moaning at you can be a little (a lot) uncomfortable. But given the right circumstances and with an understanding of the sound, "Om" can be much more meaningful.
CorePower's teacher training manual explains Om like this:
Om is more than just a sound or vibration. It is more than just a symbol. Om is the entire universe—what we see touch, hear and feel. It is all that is within our perception and all that is beyond our perception...
Starting from the belly and back of the mouth, an "a" sound is produced. This sound represents the beginning of creation. Following "a" is "u" is the thoracic/middle palate of the mouth. The "u" represents life sustainment, the heart and lungs and dreaming state of consciousness. The "m" sound will follow at the tip of the lips, representing communication, thoughts and mind, death and transformation, and deep sleep state of consciousness. Finally, silence comes. Sitting in the silence after the "Om" sound represents bliss, samadhi, grounding and peace. The cycle then repeats.
To me, Om was never a huge part of my practice. I've made the sound in yoga classes before, and sometimes I can get into it while other times I've found myself blinking my eyes open and gawking around at the strangers moaning next to me. Sometimes I get wrapped up in it and other times I laugh at the "crunchiness" of it all. It honestly depends on the day and on my mindset.
Participating in Om during teacher training is an entirely different experience. At the end of each session, we all sit in a circle together, hands touching, and release three Oms to the world. It sounds cult-like, but I genuinely enjoy the connection. Embracing the vibrational energy that occurs in the silence—if just for a few moments—can help settle the energy produced from our class and prepare us to return to the "real" world.
This week, I achieved:
- Holding a handstand for about 6 seconds
Yesterday, we had our first full round robin. There were five of us, and each of us ending up teaching about 12 minutes of class. It was insane to see how far people have come since the first day. Already, at the beginning of our fourth week, there's more confidence, less robotic cues, and increased awareness.
We all messed up at one point during our sequence. Some forgot breath cues, others (like myself) forgot poses all together. But we powered through.
I was assigned the Hip, Spine, and Surrender Series. I didn't hold some of the poses, like Pigeon, long enough, I put Seated Forward Fold in the wrong place, and omitted Happy Baby all together. Even with all of my mistakes, I was reassured by my peers that I did well. Our instructor, Kushbu, reminded us that we're being trained to teach, and that the sequence order will come. The purpose of teacher training is not to only be able to remember the C1 sequence, but also to go out into the world and be able to make our own sequences. Memorization can go a long way, but building the leadership and teaching skill will go farther. I'd much rather have a fishing pole than a fish.
Since I had the Surrender Series, I was tasked with bringing my peers in and out of Savasana (Corpse Pose). Bringing peace to my students during Savasana is one of my top goals as a teacher in training, so I ended class with some words about our journey.
Some days, we come to the studio stressed. Sad. Angry. Dissapointed. Blocked. But, you made it here. Each breath you've taken today has landed you here, surrounded by postivity, love, and acceptance. And if you can take one thing home with you tonight, whether that be settling in with your intention, embracing the surrounding peace, or simply just being, just existing, just living your life—if you can bring any of that home—I welcome you to bring your hands to heart center. May your heart always be open. Bring your thumbs to your eyes. May you always see the best in those around you. Bring your thumbs to your third eye. May you always spread and receive love. Thank you for sharing your practice with me. Namaste.