Learning a new language can give you a whole new perspective as you grapple to make sense of how other people see the world and so find new meaning yourself – you know the whole Eskimos having hundreds of words for ‘snow’ thing.
We attach language to those things that are important to us – descriptive, emotive words and sometimes beautiful, poetic turns of phrases in order to convey a depth of meaning – so Eskimos distingush “aqilokoq” for “softly falling snow” from “piegnartoq” for “the snow [that is] good for driving sled”.
In English we talk of love, and mean affection. We speak of compassion and kindness and passion and romance that are mere parts of love. We write of love that joins not shackles, that unites not trusses together, that inspires and motivates, not compels and obliges – an unconditional love that means you try as hard as you possibly can without having to try hard at all. The love I feel for my kids.
We quote Shakespeare and Keats and any number of great poets and yet still we don’t capture the meaning, the language of love.
Learning a new language challenges your brain and twists your tongue, and in my case twists my body too.
Yep, I’m a word nerd who brings my love of language to the mat, but also a fear that I will never have words enough to express yoga.
You see the hardest challenge I think with taking on yoga teacher training may be learning the Sanskrit words for the postures, or asanas, I’ll be studying.
It’s not that at 45 my brain is ‘fading’ faster than my body, but I’m practicing physical yoga regularly and there is muscle memory there, which I suspect may be more reliable than my recall of Sanskrit words like: UTTHITA HASTA PADANGUSTHASANA. (26 letters long).
Basically, standing on one leg is quite funny – also known as standing leg stretch to toe. And if you want to add a twist to face your head in the opposite direction to your outstretched leg and arm then it becomes PAVRITTA (rotated) UTTHITA HASTA PADANGUSTHASANA.
I’m all little worried I might put my PADA (foot) in it, when it comes to spitting out the correct Sanskrit terms of the postures I’ll learn (I have 89 in a yoga teaching manual I’m studying, one a day, prior to staring training in 3 months).
Officially three months to go and lots to learn before I even start.
The longest asana term I’ve come across: Triang Mikha Ekapada Pashminottanasana’ or ‘three-faced forward bend’ is 33 letters long! Not sure I can do the pose either!
I also want to remember yoga ‘words of wisdom’, let them seep into my soul, so I can learn the lessons and convey them to those I might teach one day.
Because the best yogis don’t just instruct, they enlighten.
Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured. ~ BK Iyengar.
Pretty wise words there.
The attitude of gratitude is the highest yoga.~ Yogi Bhajan
You cannot do yoga. Yoga is your natural state. What you can do are yoga exercises, which may reveal to you where you are resisting your natural state. ~ Sharon Gannon
A mind free from all disturbances is Yoga. ~ Patanjali.
Yep, my mind is feeling rather blank right now. Must remember to have fun!
Must remember to laugh, and breathe too!
Linking up with the lovely Jess for another IBOT.
Love to know any tips for learning languages or new things in general? What was the last thing challenging you studied?