For some reason, I haven’t written about my training since July. I guess it’s because the things we have been doing have been really personal and metaphysical, which is so far beyond what I normally prescribe to. Despite my being a yogi, I’m not a very spiritual person. I don’t pray, don’t really believe in God and the idea of an “out-of-body experience” makes me roll my eyes. I try to keep my mind open, but still have many, many doubts. Growing up in a Roman Catholic house (and subsequently breaking from it) can do that to you. So, these past few months have been…interesting.
We spent the weekend doing hemi-sync exercises. Basically, we laid down and listened to brainwave exercises for hours during the three days. It was actually very restful and relaxing, but I was frustrated with myself for seemingly not getting much out of it. I didn’t have any visions (like I did last time) and it was difficult to focus on the specific exercises. I eventually fell into some level of sleep during the majority of the day(s).
I do think that hemi-sync is an interesting concept and it obviously gave me a very haunting vision in the past. It’s also incredibly relaxing and can imagine it to be very healing or rejuvenating for those who need it; many people in training seemed to get a lot out of the experience. However, I’m still skeptical and can’t help but think that its founder, Robert Monroe, was at least somewhat mentally unstable. I will definitely keep an open mind to it and try it when it’s offered to me, but don’t think I’ll have any out-of-body experiences anytime soon.
Despite the criticism, I am very grateful to have tried it that weekend. I did take one of the exercises and applied it to my yoga classes; the basis of the exercise is to create a box to store all the things that don’t serve us or cause us distress, and then tightly lock the box. I really like the concept, imagery and the plethora of ways it can be interpreted.
Now here is something I do firmly believe in: sound therapy. I love the vibrations of music and sounds have always been extremely beneficial for me. This may sound weird, but certain sounds resonate with me; they make my body tingle (specifically my head and fingers) and help my mind either focus or relax. So, when Amber took about an hour to guide us through a sound therapy session I was ecstatic.
She played crystal singing bowls, which emanate varying sound waves. I love, love, love the crystal bowls and get excited whenever they’re used in classes. They’re healing and tap into all seven Chakras, creating balance and harmony within the body’s system. Amber also played the gong and chanted a bit throughout the session, but my mind was obviously focused on the crystal bowls. It was such a beautiful experience, and that is putting it mildly; I could have stayed there all day.
We also talked a bit about what it means to be a yogi and how different texts caused some self-doubt. I quite enjoyed The Yoga Sutras, but they did put a lot of pressure on me to be Patanjali’s idea of a “perfect yogi”. But, there is no true “perfect” yogi. Yes, I can renounce everything that gives me outside pleasure, meditate for hours, let go of anything that makes me remotely selfish, and totally devote myself to God, but that isn’t me. At all.
Me? I swear. I can be incredibly crude and vulgar, but also very sweet and sheepish. I like drinking every now and then. I like to dance, to watch trashy TV, to laugh and enjoy my life in ways that go against the “perfect” yogi lifestyle. So, basically, I’m human. And I’m a yogi. There are times when I don’t so much as think about yoga for days, but I always come back to it. Just be who you are and don’t compromise your morals or integrity for anyone or anything. Cool? Cool.
I’m not a perfect yogi and I’ll probably never be a perfect teacher; I’ll have to learn to accept that and be as good as I can be.
I'm a 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher, writer and cat lover in Orlando, Florida. Thank you for stopping by!