Interview with Sadajyoti
Level 2 of the yoga teacher training is a powerful, transformative course. It deepens your understanding and experience of yoga and life. Sadajyoti (Trudy Ryan) participated in the part-time Level 2 course over five months in 2010. She spoke to us about her experience.
Did you enjoy the course?
Yes, I enjoyed it. It was quite a powerful time in my life actually. It was definitely a turning point.
The Yoga Sutras (an ancient yoga text) had a really big impact on me. There were two key words that have stuck in my mind and helped me to stay on track: abhyasa and vairagya. Abhyasa is constant practice and it reminds me to just keep on going and not to look for results.
And vairagya which means non-judgemental, non-attachment had a big impact on me. It doesn’t mean that you don’t care and you’re not involved anymore. It just means that you stay balanced in the middle of likes and dislikes and keep a healthy perspective in the drama of daily life. It just makes life so much more enjoyable when you can let things go.
You said the course was a turning point in your life?
Yes, it was very much a turning point. It’s like an anchor. It taught me how to stay grounded when things come up. And the course did bring things up in me. Some of it was hard – but that was part of what we were learning. When you come out the other end, it’s absolutely life-changing.
What was so hard about it?
Well, my previous conditionings were coming up! Like deep-seated insecurities that had been composting in the back of my mind. Goodness knows where they were from! But it was all well worth it because you’re extending yourself and stepping out outside of your comfort zone. The course helped me to see what I am capable of.
Was that stuff coming up because of what you were studying?
Yes, definitely. Particularly the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. They did a lot to shift my mindset. You don’t really realise until you start practising yoga just how much you’ve adopted everybody else’s ways of living and thinking.
Sometimes we fall into old patterns of negativity – but with yoga training you are quicker to notice these thought-processes arising and not get lost in them. That created a really big shift in me.
It expanded your understanding and awareness?
It felt like unravelling actually. Taking it back to innocence – but that word doesn’t really describe what I’m trying to say. Simplicity is the right word.
Were there many practices involved in the course? Was it more theoretical?
Shantimurti made it clear that it is 10% theory and 90% practical. So we learnt some yoga philosophy but also more advanced asanas (yoga postures) and lots more meditation practices.
And you would practice these techniques between the teaching weekends?
Yes. We had a month to practice them and find out for ourselves how powerful they are. Everyone had a lot of ‘aha’ moments during the teaching weekends, but it was the practice over the month in your own space and your own time – that’s where the fruit was.
That’s when I’d notice how much they were changing my life. It was amazing to see what they brought up in me.
Would you recommend Level 2 to other people?
Absolutely. Level 2 really helped me to understand why yoga felt so important to me.
It really deepens your knowledge, and I know Shantimurti uses that word all the time, but it does. It deepens your understanding and knowledge and awareness. It makes you realise just how infinitely fathomless the whole science of yoga really is. Maybe after Level 1 you think you know some things, but then Level 2 takes the lid off that and you realise you can’t even see the bottom!
It sounds like you had a great experience.
Oh I did. Absolutely. I knew I needed it to learn how to live the kind of peaceful life I wanted to live.