The second weekend of training has come and gone. It's up to me over the next few days to practice what I've learned, attend lots of yoga classes, and get a whole bunch of reading done by Friday evening. We've been asked to attend at least one class a day. Now... I'm not sure if this simply means that we should be practicing every day, or that we specifically need to attend classes every day. I'm thinking it's the latter, so I'm going to try to do that, but I'm also going to try to continue my home practice, at least a few days a week. This will be tough, both physically and temporally. We'll see what happens.
The new nutritional challenge this week is to cut all refined sugars from our diets. After abstaining from dairy for a week, avoiding sugar will be a piece of cake (though not literally, of course). Honestly, I can't think of too many foods I eat that contain refined sugars... the occasional oatmeal cookie, perhaps. I'm sure as I become more aware of what I eat and drink throughout the week, I'll find I consume more refined sugars than I thought. The gallon-a-day hydration challenge has been difficult. It's just hard to remember to drink that much water, but I do feel adequately hydrated for perhaps the first time in my life.
I've been doing the morning routine we've been assigned every day when I first wake up. The routine consists of a series of tai chi movements, neck, wrist, shoulder, and hip opening movements, some chi gung, 3 sun salutation As, alternate nostril breathing, and a ten breath meditation. It's actually been really nice to begin the day this way. The whole routine warms the body and awakens the breath. The alternate nostril breathing is particularly soothing, and I'm liking the tai chi more and more. It's very meditative and pleasantly heating.
As an exercise in awareness, we have been given black elastic bands to wear around our wrists, which we are to move to the other wrist whenever we find ourselves arguing with reality by voicing negativity (not to be confused with criticism, by the way). This exercise has made me much more aware of my thought patterns, and is revealing to me the piddling, insignificant events to which I relinquish my peace of mind on a daily basis.
Beyond all of this, we (the trainees) have been on the receiving end of some general pressure to shape up and be good examples in the way we live our lives. I'm realizing now how much I'm being asked to commit to this training. There have been moments of doubt, but overall, I'm excited and hungry for more.