Tuesday, May 11, 2010

After Graduating from the Saturday Leadership Course

Since joining the leadership course… A journey.

CST (Craniosacral Therapy) has been a huge gift that I have gained by joining the AM therapy course. I have cultivated awareness through touch and sensitivity towards other people. I have learned more about the cranial bones and muscles as well as the sacrum. This experience has ushered in yet another way to still the mind and practice one-pointed concentration.
Letting go of my ego has been another aspect of the AM therapy course. Through screaming, dancing, and laughing meditation I have been able to let go of focusing on who is around me and just experiencing with myself what I am feeling. My ego is such a big part of my life and it is nice to enter into a space, bring awareness to the fact, and then consciously explore the different ways the ego is expressed.
Tarot cards, which we use almost every class have helped me to take the time to reflect on my life at the moment. The group provides a safe space to look inside and exorcise and begin to process any issues that are weighing me down or anything I am currently celebrating.
The first time I witnessed Family Constellation Therapy I was not interested in participating. It felt theatrical and the language barrier created gaps in my understanding of the situation as it unfolded. As time passed and I witnessed more sessions and was called to participate in some I began to experience a shift in my thinking. FCT has allowed me to see patterns in my family life and understand my family dynamic more acutely. After healing first hand through it, I have come to have a respect for this form of therapy.

The afternoon yoga leadership course has helped me cultivate awareness of my practice, as well as, gain a better understanding of the complexity and simplicity of yoga. We have talked about a vast array of topics ranging from yoga theory, yoga history, oriental medicine, posture adjustment, asana, and pranayama.
I have been able to practice self-discipline in class. Sitting in this class has actually strengthened my back muscles. HAHA. It is something I have always wanted, but never made time for. It has helped my asana practice. During class time I have also had time to stretch my legs and allow for more flexibility.

In both classes:
Above all I have appreciated having a yoga community that I am a part of. It has felt so empowering to come together with a group of conscious individuals and create a community. As a foreigner living in South Korea I had initially struggle to find a space that was inclusive of me. I was living in the margins and had no place to feel a sense of home in. The yoga studio and specifically the community of yogis that have formed the Saturday leadership course have helped me feel a part of something bigger. I understand yoga to be a solitary inward journey, but it is nice to have people to turn to along the way and lean on. There have been many times in my 19 months here in South Korea that I have hit road blocks, been confused, lost, or hurt and having this loving space has made a world of difference.
Another aspect of the Saturday course has been having a safe space to ask questions and refine thoughts. Not just in class, but going out after class, throughout the week, and in the Daum Café. There is such a safety net of people available to just get messy and explore yogic thought. It stretches to the many facets of life as well. Some of my most profound thoughts have occurred while sitting among the Saturday yogis.
The Saturday leadership course has been the most intense immersion into Korean I could have ever asked for. To spend an entire day surrounded by the beautiful language and to have it reinforced in English whenever I don’t understand has been such a deep and meaningful experience for me. I studied Anthropology in University. The biggest realization that I had during my studies was that if I ever went to another country for an extended period of time I wanted to make it my priority to learn the language of the people.
Another incredible experience has been becoming part of Body Design. After being a member of the leadership course for some time I was invited by the Body Design teacher to be an assistant teacher in her class. It has been such an incredible opportunity. I have been able to experience new styles of yoga, making adjustment, and I have been able to witness by body-mind changing. Through this class I lost 12 lbs and my body has changed shape. I am more conscious and understand the relationship between asana and pranayama more deeply.
Since graduating the course I have received a certificate to teach, as well as, started teaching two of my own classes on Saturdays. The studio continues to foster my growth. I have even been given space to teach at one of the owner's cafes in downtown Daegu on Sundays. There are constant gifts that I keep receiving from taking this class.
Most recently I have joined the recently restarted all-night meditation on Fridays in Manchon. I had never had the opportunity to explore meditation deeply, but through this course and thanks to the studio, a space has been created. I am learning more about my limits, prana, the power of the mind, and about surrendering into quiet space.
I also just began the Supervision course, which is the level 2 leadership class. It is an year-long program that allows for an even deeper examining of the self, yoga, relationships, teaching, and any aspect of life that manifests during discussions.
I want to mention my gratitude here for all of the people who have taken time to translate the AM and PM courses for us foreigners. I know at times it can be stressful, but it has been greatly appreciated. Bulbi’s English is so simple and poignant that it goes straight from the brain to the heart. Yatren has a flowing way of sharing what is being discussed. He is also quick to clarify or make a joke. He keeps things light-hearted. Tan has a ridiculously developed vocabulary and has been able to help translate even when she is sitting across the room. Jonathan was perhaps the most creative translator I have sat with. He was the king of adding his take on the discussion to what he translated. Suwon quickly warmed up to helping translate the class. She was a great team player. We worked together to decipher any difficult vocabulary we came across. Q had a short attention span, but his passion for English and yoga combined into a very fun and funny experience.
Also, another thank you to all of the members of the leadership course; this was a beautiful journey and I am so grateful to have made it with all of you. I look forward to this next semester and another learning and growing experience.