Day 1

An invigorating start to the program. The day started with some light chanting and meditation (an everyday affair), followed by a vigorous vinyasa class by Citra. Good workout. Then it was off to breakfast, followed by two hours of yoga philosophy with Dada the monk, whose full name is Acarya Dada Vibhakarananda Arudhuta.

Today’s lesson was about the “layers of the mind”. We learned about:

  1. kamamaya kosa
  2. manomaya kosa
  3. atimanosa kosa
  4. vijinana kosa, and
  5. hiiranmaya kosa

I tried to look up kosas (sheaths) online, and although they largely refer to the same concepts, it seems various schools of thought (?) call them by different names – well, some of them anyway. Like annamaya kosa for the “food” sheath and pranamaya kosa for the “energy” sheath. Hiiranmaya kosa sounds a lot like anandamaya kosa. Will ask Dada about it tomorrow.

I think if you’re coming into this cold, these are really difficult concepts to understand. They would be difficult for anyone, to be honest. A few students I spoke to said they found the lesson somewhat confusing. Perhaps over time, these concepts will become clearer as we continue to discuss them in philosophy class.

Next, lunch.

After lunch, we played some introduction games and got to know the group better. I was paired up with Michelle for most of the exercises today. She is an American-Filipino who moved to Canggu a year ago with her family. She had a beautiful energy and I felt grateful to have her as my partner.

We practised teaching Sun Salutation A and it was nice to start feeling comfortable teaching this standard sequence after a few tries with Michelle.

Then, we did a series of arm balances in pretty quick succession: crow, crane, one-legged crow, flying pigeon, headstand, and tripod. It was pretty crazy but super fun.

I was able to coach Michelle into a crow pose and that made the both of us feel pretty good, I think. It’s rare I think to go so quickly into so many different poses – but Joe’s intention I think was to give us an idea of how the different balance poses progressed. And also, to help us see where we are in terms of mastering (ok, maybe not “mastering”, more like just barely able to get into) these more advanced poses.

It’s now the end of the day and I’m pretty beat. We started at 7am and it’s now 8pm. Overall, a pretty good day. Looking forward to tomorrow!

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