Hello again, and welcome back to day three of my September YTT weekend. We took another field trip on Sunday. We are very lucky to have one half of the couple that owns the Lake Pointe Inn in Deep Creek, Maryland as a part of our YTT group. She and her husband very graciously offered to host us for a day spent doing yoga and meditation in a beautiful and serene lakeside setting. We had a truly magical day, and I hope you’ll read on to hear all about it.
A Practice in the Sun
We began our day with a wonderful welcoming gift from our fellow YTT-er. As a means of place-setting for each of us, she had laid out towels and boxes with our names on them on the croquet lawn at the Inn. She gave each of us necklace and pendant made of a precious stone or crystal. She carefully selected the stone for each recipient, and she gave us a printout of the properties associated with our chosen stone. My pendant is a heart-shaped malachite, which is full of wonderful properties and blessings. It’s definitely a keepsake and treasure from our time together, and such a beautiful sentiment.
Our main theme for the day was meditation. After getting settled, we did our morning practice, the focus of which was getting ready for lotus pose. Lotus pose is, of course, probably the pose everyone thinks of when hearing about meditation. The ancient yogis are often pictured perched in lotus atop their meditation cushions.
I must admit, I was tired and the sun was brutal. We spent the first half of the practice on our backs, but I was still sweating buckets despite the slow, easy movement. I was so grateful when our teacher-trainer checked in with us and I could voice my discomfort. Being the nurturing person she is, our teacher-trainer moved us into the shade for the remainder of the practice. I felt much better after moving, and as the sun crept over me again, classmates graciously made me trade them places. Lesson learned: I’m not a huge fan of outdoor yoga!
Let’s Talk Meditation
After a delicious lunch provided by the staff at the Inn (our fellow YTTer’s husband is the chef!), we gathered around on the patio for a talk about meditation. I think we all got a lot out of this particular conversation, even if we all haven’t found that commitment to daily mediation practice. We do have one seasoned meditator in our cohort, and I always enjoy hearing her insights into cultivating a better meditation practice.
We had a frank discussion about the difficulty in just scheduling the time to meditate. I know for myself, it can be hard to strike the right balance in finding the time. Others also spoke about difficulty in finding time to meditate with working full-time and family obligations. It’s always nice to hear you aren’t alone! Perhaps because of the atmosphere, the discussion seemed more laid back. There was almost a brainstorming session of sorts, and we tossed around ideas and strategies that have helped us in our quest to become better at meditation practice.
Meditate to Elevate
Before our session, we were to write a five minute guided meditation as a part of our homework. You might recall that I shared my guided mediation on the blog a few weeks ago. After our discussion, it was time for us to pair off with another member of the class and do our meditations.
A truly amazing thing happened between my partner and I. I read my meditation for her first, and she gave me some great feedback. She really enjoyed the imagery I had used, and expressed a desire to perhaps be able to write a similarly descriptive meditation of her own in the future. I was so glad that my meditation spoke to her in a way that she found helpful.
Then my partner read her mediation to me. Hers was focused much more on mechanics: breathing, being, accepting, and non-judgment. She could not have known, but I’d had a tough few weeks prior to this weekend. I just wasn’t feeling very upbeat, and I was being terribly hard on myself. Her urging me to release that judgment and harsh expectation I’d placed on myself were exactly what I needed. It’s the kind of thing that can be difficult to explain after-the-fact, but we both knew we had been guided somehow. Each of us wrote our meditation for the other without knowing it ahead of time.
Chatting on the Lake
We followed up our meditations with a boat ride on Deep Creek Lake. It’s a beautiful area full of gorgeous scenery. We boated out to the dam and spent some time floating while we had another conversation. This conversation centered mostly around our looming graduation from the program. I keep saying this, but our time is going by so fast!
We spoke at length about the project we will do for our final weekend. We each chose a special population to give a presentation about and design a sixty-minute yoga class for. Each of us will then present our project and give a copy of our sequences to the group. We will then all come away with several new class sequences we will be able to use in the future.
We also spoke about our final exam, and life after 200-hour YTT. Our teacher trainer stresses to her students that this course is merely the beginning. She talked with us about continuing education and requirements for certification with Yoga Alliance. We also talked some nitty-gritty details of the business side of yoga, and we will talk more about them in the next few upcoming weekends.
We ended this packed day together with a group guided mediation. Our teacher trainer led us through a guided mediation focused on lovingkindness for all beings. Our mantra was, “Lokha Samastah Sukino Bhavantu”. This translates as, “May all beings everywhere be happy and free of suffering.” It was a lovely way to end the weekend. I think everyone was a little slower to leave than usual, even though the drive home was a little longer for most of us. It was a truly wonderful weekend, and my personal favorite so far on this journey.
Thanks, as always, for reading along with my journey. I hope this post finds you finds you happy and free of suffering. May you remain so all of your days!