Day two of teacher training has come and gone. A massage and a long soak in the bath were a well-deserved treat. I am like a sponge trying to absorb both the teachings.
My jet lag makes my dreams very vivid and when I dream after a day of training it is like my brain is sorting through this vast amount of information…in both languages. I wake up with a word running through my head and I have to get out the dictionary to look it up. So far I have added to my Japanese vocabulary yokubou– desire, kokyu- the breath, kokateki– effective, ishiki– conciousness, tsunagu– connect, heikou– parallel, ishindenshin– to understand each other without words, seishinteki– spiritual ippanteki-general, teinei– mindful (I have only used this word as “polite” I didn’t realize it had another meaning.)
Unfortunately, I still did not have enough words on hand when John asked me to explain why revelation brings Chit and Ananda…. in JAPANESE! I fumbled terribly. I tried to keep it simple and Yasushi-san helped retranslate my explanation when I was finished. John probably knew I couldn’t translate it…I mean its hard enough in my first language, but I think he was seeing if I could simplify it and challenge myself. I mean that is why I am there, why I am in Japan doing this training rather than in the U.S. I want to be able to teach this practice in both languages.
Today’s teaching was on makes a good teacher. John boiled it down to three things: vibrant body, sharp mind, and soft heart. We then used the talent of our sharp mind to observe and verbally adjust our partners. John then threw in the 5 elements: Space, air, water, fire and earth. I would adjust one person in English and the next in Japanese- back and forth until at one point I stopped thinking and just spoke. I realized it when I started translating for Amy Ippoliti- a certified teacher who is assisting. I just sat in the place of the middle between the two languages and just flowed. When I couldn’t find the exact word I became water and flowed around it to rephrase it. My mind was like the sky and wind- dancing between teaching, listening, and translating. I couldn’t stay in the middle- I began to tire and lose my focus but I had a glimpse of it. Finding the place of the middle, sattvic, was not effortless- it was more like a balancing act- walking a tight rope. But sometimes, after a few steps, it seemed that the rope became wider and my steps easier. The rope had not changed though…only my mind…my perception of the rope. When I lost my focus the rope appeared smaller and I fell off. Once you have tasted that balance, the place of the middle, you just want to get back up there and find it again.
Day two also brought new friendships. I had dinner with the Hong Kong yogis and shared some great insights into Anusara yoga training. We love the mental and physical challenge, we like to be called up and put on the spot- we want to strive for excellence. If and when we are certified it will mean something. When John explained the elements, he explained fire as transformational. He is so right.
I believe that training to be an Anusara yoga teacher is transformation through fire. Like a Japanese sword, we are heated and pounded with skill and artistry. Slowly, over time, the raw metal that we came from is molded and transformed into something new, beautiful, unique, strong, and graceful; and as anyone will tell you about a Japanese sword- the best in the world.