Hi Everyone

Hi everyone! I know, I know, I spent so much time trying to get this website up and running so that I could blog every day while I’m here, and then…

Crickets. Crickets.

I suppose, if I’m being totally honest with myself, writing for an audience doesn’t come natural to me. I’ve been writing a lot in my journal but for some reason I haven’t had the inclination to write for anyone else. Until this morning.

I was walking up to the main building from my little nature cottage, when the most beautiful monkey swinging from a tree yelled down to me, as if to say, “Hey, look up here at me! Can’t you see me doing tricks just for you?” I stopped and talked to him for a while and he continued to play and swing from limb to limb with his long arms, legs, and tail. He seemed to be dancing up there to me, just being silly for no reason at all.

There are so many beautiful animals here. That’s the first thing I noticed about this place. One cannot help but be captivated by the gorgeous birds, exquisite iguanas (they are, literally, everywhere–hanging out at the pool, waiting for me outside my door when I come home at night, walking along the path to the beach), funny little monkeys, and dogs everywhere.

Yesterday on my run, my friend Melinda and I left the resort and got out to see more of the countryside. It is so, so lovely. It’s the rainy season here, so it’s very lush and green. Hot, for sure. But absolutely full of life, such that everything in nature seems to be breathing in and out very deeply.

Speaking of breathing in and out deeply, the yoga teacher training, which is what I’m here to do, has been totally amazing. I don’t want to gush overmuch, but the richness and depth of this program is really astounding. I feel blessed to study with Yogeswari and O Rama, as well as the Dr. Zucker, our anatomy teacher, and Gabriella Bozic, our Sanskrit teacher, and all of the mentors, Rita, especially. They are, each and every one, such gifted teachers and beautiful people. I am grateful to study at their feet.

This training is so, so intense. I’ll just put it out there and say that it’s much harder than I thought it would be in terms of effort level and time spent working. But I respond well to a lot of structure and a demanding schedule, so it’s working out okay. It’s an absolute privilege to be here, so as busy as it is, I certainly am not complaining. Every day is incredibly rigorous on an intellectual, physical, and spiritual level. The teachers do demand a lot of us, and they are so inspiring that one wants to rise to the challenge. But it’s not always easy.

My days start around 5:30AM, when my new buddy, Melinda, and I head out for a run. Then up to breakfast around 7 and in the practice room by 7:30. We start meditating at 8AM, followed by some chanting and translations. Then we do an asana practice from 9:00 until 10:30, during which time I sweat my weight in water, followed by another lecture until noon. Then we have “mentor meetings,” where groups of about 20 meet with their assigned mentor (each of them is an advanced Jivamukti teacher–mine is Rita and they are all fantastic and Spanish speaking, too!) then a quick lunch. Back in lecture or practical (working on postures and/or assists) from 2 until 6. Dinner from 6:30 to 8:00, then we have satsang (which just “fellowship,” or keeping company with others who seek the Truth and who desire to have their thoughts, words, and actions elevated) during which time we usually watch a movie, receive another lecture or do something else like work on Sanskrit. This goes until 10:30 or 11:00. Phew! I’m tired just typing it.
Today we will continue with our study of some of the basic philosophy of yoga, which is fascinating to me, and the in the afternoon and evening turn back to Saksrit and Devangari. I confess, I love this stuff the most, especially the language. You can really feel the manifestation of the intention of our words when speaking Sanskrit. It’s such a beautiful and inspired language that it’s hard to not sing everything!
Well, now. This wasn’t so bad, was it? I’ll try to write more later today about some of the content of what we’ve been learning. Or maybe just share some of my musings about this place. It is quite beautiful and peaceful here. As you can see…
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