Silent Observation

by Lene

22/01/2019

We are grateful, honored – and very happy – to present the second part of the real-life experiences of one of our students, Lene, while her Yogalife Teacher Training in Bonn, Germany. You can find te original text, in German, here: https://lenelieberunperfekt.blogspot.com/2018/05/yoga-teacher-training-teil-2-stille.html

In case you mist it:

 

I am the Silent Observer

To start this training was the best decision I could make. It feels so right for me and I feel so well cared for there that I can hardly wait for it to continue. And, more importantly, that peace that is spreading in me is holding on and transferring into my world, spreading to my favorite people around me, resonating with everything. Now, I have the confidence that my crisis has been overcome and can say that I am doing fine through and through. I feel that nobody can shake my confidence in me so easily.

 

My job last weekend was to be a silent observer. From Friday evening to Sunday morning I kept silent. For a chatterbox like me, who wants to communicate constantly, this was a real challenge! And that’s why I was especially curious about how it would be for me. I expected a certain amount of calmness to spread throughout me and I would move into a kind of meditative state where I would float through the weekend. At first it was very different.

Not only was I completely unsure how to face the others, we all did not really know how we should behave in the best possible way. What happens when I come back to the studio after a week full of joy to meet everyone again? No hug, no greeting, no eye contact. Not for me. I was almost shocked and felt isolated. I still had to catch one or two glances, short, beautiful encounters.

I did not believe it would be that hard and I would feel so trapped. After some time the uncertainty went away, but it was not relaxing, rather the opposite – it was exhausting. The natural impulse to communicate had to be suppressed. The best way to do that was actually by practicing yoga.

Get Inspired

Lene was part of the Foundation Of Yoga course in Bonn. If you wish to do the same course, check out the planned starting dates here.

 

I Was Not Only Silent, But Also Blind

On the first evening, we practiced with blindfolds, so I was not only silent, but also blind. And that felt completely natural, beautiful and right. In this yoga class, I was completely with myself, felt connected to the others and everything fit together so well. As the weekend progressed, I realized that I do not have to talk during yoga, and that it is good to look inward, really to observe. The perception is sharpened by this attitude. You do not think about how you work outward and you can totally concentrate on how it feels.

What I found especially beautiful was when we hugged each other. I felt caught, supported, accepted, as part of a whole. It was such a wonderful experience how different these hugs felt with all these actually still-unknown people, how they smell, how they breathe, how big or small they are, how intense they hug me, how you communicate, if you meet in this way.

Sitting on Fallen Tree

But the really interesting encounter was with me. During the lunch break I realized that I wanted to be alone, so I sat in the car and drove into the woods. There, in all the natural silence that surrounded me, I could eat my food, rest, take a few steps. I sat on a fallen tree and took pictures with a disposable camera from my secret friend and captured my impressions. That way each observation has gotten a special frame. Thank you so much, secret friend, for this beautiful idea! This break in the forest was a really special experience. I never believed in magic and mysticism.

“Now in this training I learn that magic is nothing but the law of attraction. When I start to look for certain things, I will meet them.”

On that day in the forest, I suddenly stood in front of a tree, on which the sign of the Jakobsweg was painted. I could hardly believe that I was “by chance” on this path that I have wanted to go for 20 years and that has been in my mind for the past few days. A pilgrimage on the Jakobsweg is on top of my bucket list. It is an incredible feeling when such a circle closes, when the answers appear so directly, when the way ahead of me is suddenly clear. I saw how much I was longing for clarity in the last few weeks and months and how much I got it! I am full of gratitude for that.

I Want To Release The Brake

There was one more realization that I gained from the silence: My inner blockage, maintaining a certain wall, my almost-always tense jaw, my hardened facial muscles want to relax! I want to show my feelings, I want to release the brake and accelerate.

For years, I have been searching for this feeling from my childhood, for that amazement, for this precious feeling of experiencing something very special during one magical moment. I was jogging through the forest hunting for this feeling, I was looking for it and looking for it and then giving up because I was exhausted. As a child this feeling has manifested itself in nature. There were certain plants that always reminded me of it, but later in my adult life these remained a vague memory of something I could not bring back.

When I walked through the forest along the Jakobsweg this weekend, when suddenly a clearing appeared and I knew that I would find something special there. I went there and was flooded by a wave of memories and this childlike lightness was there again. The tears came abruptly and I was able to build a bridge to that child who I once was, I still am and will always be.

 

What does all this have to do with yoga?

We have learned and realized this weekend that just the observation, the repeated practice of a value-free, focused view from a more distant perspective can free us from our dilemma. Yoga is just that. And we have not only learned it in theory, but also experienced it ourselves.

When we have a student in need of support, we have to look more carefully to understand individual circumstances and break with established dogmas so we can help them. The experience of our own difficulties as well as overcoming them helps us as teachers to be empathic.

Who are we beyond our identities?

Life in our modern society presents us with certain challenges. Its rules, requirements, and everything that has formed us and generations before so we can barely distinguish it from our own natural impulses, creates an inner conflict within us that we can only dissolve if we can find access to our true inner self. Who are we beyond our roles and identities? Who would we be if we were not mothers, daughters, workers, millionaires, car owners, Christians, Muslims, etc.? What remains of us if we take away these externally imposed identities? That is the question that we try to find out in yoga.

I’m sorry all non-yogis that I take away the illusion that yoga takes place on the mat and is a kind of sport with relaxation techniques. It is rather a way of looking at the world and acting. Yoga can be practiced during any activity like cooking, sports, communicating with others, during everything that is done consciously, without passing judgement and being mindful. And that’s not something I want to preach to you so you believe, it’s something I’ve experienced myself.

Maybe if you sit by the ocean and observe the waves, if you enjoy the wind in your hair and forget about what has annoyed you a few minutes ago, if you allow this to happen, you’ll experience it too. I wish it to you. Namaste.

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  1. I will become a yoga teacher | Yogalife Teacher Training | Blog - […] Yogalife Teacher Training – Part 2: Silent Observation […]
  2. Yoga Teacher Training – Part 3: The “Alien Glasses” | Yogalife - […] In case you mist it, Part 1 can be found here, Part 2 is on this page. […]

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