I thought long and hard about how to start writing this one week check-in, and to be honest, I’m still searching for the right words to describe it.
All I could come up with was: Wow. Just, WOW.
Wow in every sense of the word – “wow, this is harder then I thought”, “wow this is more interesting then I imagined” and finally “wow — I actually know very little about how the breath works.”
It’s been a whirlwind week, albeit very challenging. Time has warped into this bubble of learning, breathing, moving, and exploring. On our first and only day off of the first week, I had some time to take a step back and reflect on the giant mental and physical shift in the past few days. Here’s what I took from it:
Expectations make the worst travel companions. I made a conscious effort before starting this journey to leave everything I know at the door, and attempt (and I do mean attempt) to meet every new day with no expectation of how things will unfold.
Having very basic meditation experience, it was a bit daunting to know we would be spending so much time sitting still, but in reality the journey has been amazingly eye opening (more like “3rd eye” opening -- but let’s not go there yet). It’s actually fascinating what we are capable of doing with breath and mind control.
The Zuna Yoga Team have the incredible ability to make the process a step by step approach with a lot of guidance and relatable, tangible techniques.
We meditate in small, accessible chunks, three times a day, and work our way up into longer and more advanced breath work.
Right from the first session it almost quite literally, blows your mind. I didn’t think I could sit in absolute stillness for 10 minutes, let alone 45. Although only in the first week, it’s amazing to see the changes in patience and breath control.
Acceptance & Surrender
There’s only one way to approach this type of training, and that’s with a very open and willing mind. Coming in with all your previous baggage is only going to cause confusion and mental jams with the whole “my way or the high way” attitude.
If you go with the flow and trust the process, it enables you to tap completely into what the training is trying to achieve.
Mornings start at 6am, right before the sun peaks its head above the horizon and through the palm trees of one of the most gorgeous yoga studios I’ve ever been in.
Confession #1 : The first 3-4 days were hard. Let’s just call it the adjustment period. We start the day with a three hour practice; a vibrant mix of breath work, physical asanas (yoga postures, for the non-yogis) meditation, and little workshopping. So far, every morning has been incredibly different. The sequencing is thoughtfully and consciously created to have us ready to meditate in a certain frame of mind. I’m quite blown away at the deepness of my savasanas and the effects of meditation I’ve experienced, unlike anything I’ve ever done.
It’s a lot to take in, and by the time we’re done, I’m more then ready for breakfast, which just so happens to be my favourite part of the day since Canggu has many amazing cafes and restaurants within walking distance of the studio.
The rest of the day goes by rather quickly, our brains full of anatomy, philosophy and physical workshops. The content is a good mix of revision from my 200hr, plus a deeper look into some concepts I’ve always wanted to know more about. We meditate three times a day --morning, mid day and evenings—and every session is a different and really interesting experience.
Another thing I’ve been reminded of is the humbleness that comes from knowing how to take care of yourself. It’s not always about how strong you are or how you’re able to achieve a certain pose. Particularly with this type of training, it’s more of a marathon then the 60min heated sprint I’m use to back home in Sydney.
While our practices are quite heavily focused on mental strength and a physical alignement, there’s also ample space to just be.
I find myself modifying a lot more and being totally okay with it. I have a lot more gratitude for my body and what it can already do. It’s allowed me to know when to dive deeper and when to hold back.
We’re given plenty of breaks to let all the old and new information sink into our brains -- it also helps that the surroundings are absolutely stunning, complete with jungle gardens and pools for some very welcome few spurts of Vitamin D.
By the end of the first week, I was super grateful to have the day to switch my mind off and appreciate the simple things, like a good meal with friends and a scooter ride at sunset along the rice paddy fields. Refreshed and ready for another week — stay tuned for week 2!
Photos by Ellie Bobbie