By request and with the help of Editor Lisa Cosmillo – now in English.
So… 2 months have gone by, and I haven’t been updating much. I honestly haven’t had anything to say – so many processes have been going on. Most of them on a more subtle level, no big drama. It’s been quite interesting to experience. A couple of times, it’s been tear-jerking and ground-shaking.
During the 200-hour training, I tasted a bit more of some of the things I was struggling with last year. Things I kind of thought were over-and-done. But they came back for a short visit. However, as opposed to last year, when I was quite miserable for the first half of the training, this time, I only had a few shitty days. Some of it was due to insomnia. For the first 2-2½ weeks, I didn’t get more than 4-5 hours of sleep per night. Needless to say, that’s not enough, when you’re full on for 12 hours per day, right? So, mostly I practiced an ongoing theme throughout the training – indifference. Indifference to lethargy in the morning and late afternoon. Indifference to my surroundings. Indifference to my control-mania that wanted to decide the time we would hold a pose. Indifference on every level. Which turned out to be to my benefit during the next training.
For the first week of the 300-hour training, I was waiting for the storm to rise – so to speak. Nothing really happened. All around me — yes, but I was not a part of it. And I stayed out of it to the best of my ability. By the end of the second week, I had a meltdown. But in contrast to my other breakdowns, this one wasn’t only due to facing my own limiting beliefs, old patterns and destructiveness – this was provoked by something outside of me. My teacher.
Before I begin telling about my experience, I want to make it perfectly clear, that I have no doubt, that I found a gem. My teacher’s knowledge, his experience and the amount of training and information that was passed on to us, is astonishing, intoxicating and profound. He is teaching yoga! Not just the physical aspect in the form of a bunch of asana. But yoga as it is – a science, a way of life. And for that, I am forever thankful and in awe.
So, the first 2 weeks of my 300-hour training got increasingly mean and tough. I felt like I was in a military bootcamp. All I got for the first 2 weeks was shit. I would like to call it tough love, but take the love out of the equation, and add a bit of cold, hard and annoyed attitude, and we are approaching something that might describe it. I seriously began to think that he actually hated me. And I began to wonder if it was all in my head. Then three or four of my fellow students came to my rescue. They asked me whether I had had a fight with him and what was going on between us. That confirmed that I was right, and it wasn’t just in my head. Not that it made everything alright – definitely not. But I could slowly begin to separate from it because it wasn’t about me. It was him. Talk about a SERIOUS indifference-challenge… I was still struggling though. The fact that I only got shit from the “bootcamp-boss,” and no tools to fix what was “wrong,” and the fact that other students were clearly being favored was too much. It made me question why he ever approved me for the 300-hour training in the first place. If everything really was that bad – what the h*** was I doing there?
As I began to separate from his behavior toward me, and just not give a s***, things got a bit easier. I owned the term of indifference more and more each day. I did have a chat with the assistant teacher about it though. She caught me in the middle of a meltdown-tears-included, and I told her, what was going on. I haven’t got the slightest clue if she talked to him about it or what was going on, but around our final 9-day-week, I got my first non-critical/annoyed comment from him. A pat on the back followed by a “Good job Maria” – which left me speechless and unable to focus for about 15 seconds. Did I actually just get something positive from him?
It is not like I was looking for his approval or praise, but those 2 weeks were tough, and really made me question everything about myself and yoga. Nevertheless, I made it through 500 hours of training back-to-back. 200 hours of self-required repetition and 300 hours of in-depth training. And I’m still alive, my smile is back on, and I feel good and am still practicing my ability to remain indifferent. And there are enough challenges coming my way, which is good – learning by doing. Everything from stupid arguments, constant changes of plans, other people’s opinions or behaviors. That might take some years of training to fully establish. But until integrated – awareness is the way.
It might be difficult to understand, why a teacher training would bring up all sorts of rubbish, and even more difficult to explain. But just like any other self-development process things will come up to the surface, when you begin to stir. And I’m more than dedicated to it. You never clean your house only on the outside – you do it thoroughly on the inside as well. Sometimes you give the walls a new colour, move the furniture around, and sometimes even move to a new house. If something better is accessible and can be reached with some effort, wouldn’t you go for it?
I returned “home” to Gili Air the 5 days we had between the two trainings. It was amazing. It’s been 11 months since I left – and everybody remembered me. Even the old people in the village… it was touching and heartwarming beyond description, and it still feels like home. Four days there was not enough. I don’t know when I will get back there, but at some point I will.
After finishing the 300-hour training, a group of six of us traveled to Yogyakarta, Java, arranged by our other teacher, Katherine. It was an action-packed 2 day adventure. We left Bali in the early morning and explored the Prambanan temples and got a glimpse of what Hollywood stars must feel like. All the school kids on a field trip wanted to take pictures with us. White-ass people are apparently not only something that exists on TV. Some asked, others just (more or less discretely) pulled out their camera phones. It was SO funky. They were all very cute though.
From that, on to the Merapi volcano. No trekking this time… my feet are still traumatized from climbing Rinjani last year. We got driven around in jeeps. It was such a crazy experience. Most of all, it was like all those jeeps with tourists were in the way for all the workers there. A massive amount of trucks and workers loading rocks and sand/ashes, tourists in a bouncing jeep, an eruption museum and a very big rock were the highlights on that trip. So strange, and REALLY funny.
Next day 4:30 am – Borobudur temple, a UNESCO world heritage site. To see the sunrise from that temple was breathtaking. But to further explore all the details and beauty and hear the stories related added to the experience. Oh yeah, and a few hours later, still at Borobudur, a bunch of school kids wanted to take pics – again.
A few hours of exploring Yogyakarta afterwards and back to Bali the next morning.
Now I’m here. Art Café, Ubud. Updating you lovely people all around the world. In 33 hours I will be on a flight to Brisbane, followed by a connecting flight to Mackay, Australia. I’m stoked to see my very-best-Gavin and his family again. I feel ready to take the next step of my adventure, and at the same time, not really ready to leave Indo. Everything so far has been SO intense; I hardly have had any time to take it all in. There are book reports to be written. Practice to maintain. Mantra practice to begin. People to reconnect with. Columns to write. A webpage to update. A new town, and a new country to explore. And hopefully a job to be found.
I’m so overwhelmed by these past 2 months, grateful and happy. I have ups and downs, challenges and beautiful experiences, things to sort out and laundry to do – an everyday life, just like all of you back in your homes. It’s basically not so different. But much more rewarding, evolving and meaningful to me. I love you all, but it’s SO good for me to be where I am instead of Denmark.