first asked me if I
was interested in the Okido Yoga teacher training a few years back. At
I told her “no, that I was too old”. But some 18 months
later I was aware of
things happening to my body that did make me start to feel a little
particular an ankle injury that I hadn’t even remembered doing. I
began to feel
the need to find out what was going on with my body, and then it struck
the teacher training might be an ideal way of doing this, as the aspect
training would help to keep me focussed. I didn’t think about the
cost in terms
of time or money; my sense, rather, was that I simply needed to do it.
And so, about
three and a half years ago, I enrolled on the teacher training.
as I have experienced “being there
and doing it”.
training was about my personal development and my quest to find out
my body, rather than about becoming a teacher. As I had hoped, the
provided a good way for me to remain focussed, rather than merely
and out of Okido Yoga when it suited me. But, of course, as time has
gone on, my understanding of what this yoga
training is about has deepened and
this time I
have become more flexible and my posture has improved significantly, even
though I am in my late 50s. However,
for me, the journey has been much more
than a physical training, much more than long trips back and forth to
dojo in Holland, more than stretches, asanas, breathing and meditation.
journey has taken me to a deeper understanding of myself physically,
and spiritually and it is a journey that, now begun, continues. And, in
final year of my training, I now feel that I might actually like to
teacher of this wonderful form of Yoga.
an adjunct to the
training, last year Tomoko asked myself and Anna Mackenzie if we would
a new translation of Master Oki’s pledges. I was happy to oblige
and the three
of us spent many hours poring over the meaning of phrases and words;
even a single phrase might take hours to work through, only to need
through again a few weeks later. Tomoko led us with great tenacity
process, translating from Japanese, whilst Anna and I would try and
most appropriate English wording, all the time bearing in mind two
seemed difficult, an impossible uphill struggle; sometimes it was light
easy, as if freewheeling downhill. But, during the past 18 months,
Tomoko has remained
constant. As a result of this process,
my understanding of and appreciation for the pledges has changed
they seemed a somewhat eccentric prelude to many activities in the dojo
Holland and in Suffolk. Now, I see in them deeper meanings. And, for
provide a means of connecting consciously with many activities that we
unconsciously for much of the time.
Tomoko showed me the layout of the new pledges book with the Japanese
side of the page and the English facing, it looked almost like poetry,
the strings of Japanese characters reminded me of the wisteria that
outside my window.
training continues and I
hope to complete it early in 2015. In the meantime I would
Tomoko for being such a fabulous and inspirational teacher and mentor
throughout this very special time.