Two Weeks with Timji
Today I am traveling to San Diego to participate in a two week yoga training titled “Third Series Teacher Training” with Tim Miller. I am so stoked beyond belief right now because I have been planning for this trip for quite some time.
Tamara and I met Tim at his shala back in 2004 when he was located on “E Street” in downtown Encinitas. We had just returned from a trip to Mysore, India in which we met and practiced with Sri K Pattabhi Jois. We were both blown away with Tim’s devotion and dedication to Ashtanga yoga and I can safely say we knew we had found “our teacher.”
We completed Tim’s First Series Teacher Training in 2005 and that was the catalyst for our return to Florida and the subsequent opening of Native Yoga Center in Juno Beach. With some diligent practice of the First Series and the opportunity to teach it on a daily basis naturally led way to moving into the Second Series.
In 2009 I had the privilege of attending Tim’s Second Series Teacher Training at his new shala in Carlsbad. I was a fledgling in the full Second Series and I have to admit it was a life changing experience for me to say the least. I learned so much on so many different levels! Prior to that experience I had overworked my desire to improve. I pushed to hard and paid the price physically. One thing that is positive about experiencing pain and suffering is that it can help encourage one to stop and look at the cause of the misery. This can be a challenging task but the growth I experienced from slowing down and really investigating my intentions has helped me to put clear focus ahead of unrestrained ambition. A process in the works I must admit.
Now 10 years from my first training with Tim, here I am, going back for Tim’s first time ever Third Series Teacher Training! For those of you not familiar with Ashtanga yoga or the Third Series I am not sure how exactly to explain this. It needs to be seen to be believed. The first time I saw someone practice Third in person was on my first trip to India. Noah Williams set up in front of me and moved so effortlessly through the most incredible display of strength and control I was left dumbfounded! I was meandering through the quagmire of my early experience with the beginning of First and seeing that display of Third blew the doors off of my narrow perspective of what was humanly possible. I remember feeling so inspired in that moment that I think that spark is part of why I am here now embarking on this journey. In essence, yoga for me, is a quest to expand our horizons. This is a key to what inspires daily practice….the dream to move beyond the ordinary by becoming completely ordinary!
The reality is that the Ashtanga practice requires continuous practice over a long period of time. I feel like the words ‘Teacher Training’ hold various connotations. I think a more apt title in relation to my own experience is “Student Cultivation.” Someone had asked me last week if I really needed more training? My wholehearted answer is Yes! I feel like the more I can cultivate my experience of being a “student,” the better I can serve in the role of “teacher.” The moment we think that we have learned everything and that we are beyond the experience of learning we loose interest in our subject and all meaning is lost. Once our passion losses meaning then we start searching for meaning outside ourselves which typically leads to a dead end path. Moral of the story, a competent teacher is of utmost importance.
I love being a student. There is a sense of surrender that helps me transcend my own limited perspective that comes with taking refuge in the practice. In many respects it is the confluence of like minded individuals into a focused session that leads to discovery. I remember seeing Guruji and Tim together and having a hard time distinguishing who had more respect for each other. Mutual respect for each other, be it for our friends or our family, is the foundation of a sound society and culture. It can all come back to the golden rule, treat others you would like to be treated yourself. It is that simple!
Right now, taking two weeks to be a “student” and to step away is monumental for me. To be away from family for so long is hard. It requires my wife to be ultra on duty and I love being with my children so much I don’t like to be away from them. I am so appreciative of my extended family for helping out to make this possible. My dad and sister are covering my Mysore classes and my mom helping with the kids brings light to the saying ‘it takes a village.’ I appreciate our incredible team of teachers that hold down the fort at Native Yoga and make possible the ability to maintain a busy studio schedule run smoothly. I am extremely thankful for all of the tremendous support!
I feel as if I am standing atop a precipice. My intention is to learn from my teacher, to be safe and to grow. Two feet on the ground, except when upside down. 🙂
Two Weeks with Timji