Sustain-Able 余 : ♥

….wild is the wind…creative freedom is the seed….

#Covid19 #Lockdown Diary: My 200+ hours #Yoga Teacher Training Practice Journal

6th July 2020 It is Official! I registered with Yoga Alliance and Black Yoga Teacher Alliance. My current “Home” Yoga studio is registered with Hartford KTC Buddhist Center, working in collaboration with Menla Holistic Health. I love this location as it is one block from the home of Harriet Beecher Stowe (author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin) and across the Tree-lined park from the writing studio of Mark Twain! I reconnected with my Vajra Sister Malou Dusyn and we decided we will “do something” when Covid19 lockdown is over! I think that’s truly auspicious and hope it makes our Root teacher proud, that we are doing something beneficial and useful for Peace, instead of “buzzing like bees”. ( Lol. Injoke). I received kind words of Congratulations from BYTA Director Jana.Long and the lovely Trinity. Perkins from Yoga Alliance. Thank you so much. Thank you Steph for generously sponsoring my membership to join BYTA! I can’t wait to teach more when I have time and there’s no more Covid19 Lockdowns!

200YTT Cecilia Yu Certificate

1/7/2020 Completion: I am a certified Yoga Teacher now, what next?

I had a very positive and genuine “Empowered Women” chat with Stephanie Ball Mitchell. I would be honoured if she would consider me as a fellow traveller and a friend on the path of Yoga. Beyond respecting her as an intelligent and visionary business woman, I can see that she is a very genuine teacher who works hard and succeeded in growing a small family business into an international global school. As professionals, I respect her innovation and fore-sight in taking yoga teaching online ahead of everyone else. We are setting examples for others to learn from. I am glad I spoke up and we got this chance to be great examples for others. We are 100% in complete agreement about Equality, #Blacklivesmatter and Inclusiveness. There were misunderstandings but there were never disagreements on the principle virtues of Yoga Philosophies.

Thank you Stephanie for taking the time today. I am very grateful and thank you for reconnecting me with the discipline of Yoga during Covid19 lock-down. As my Tibetan Yogi Root Guru frequently concluded in Sanskrit: “Sarva Mangalam!” (or spelled Sarwa Magallem in Tibetan Sanskrit text).

Meaning: Just as a drop of water that falls into the ocean, Will never disappear until the ocean runs dry, Merit totally dedicated to enlightenment will never disappear until enlightenment is reached. May that peace be everywhere and in everyone. Mangala is a Sanskrit adjective meaning “auspicious, lucky, fortunate”.
Short meaning: May all be auspicious!

I came across this short modern fusion track today titled: Sarwa Magalam by Shanti people ( She spent 10 years studying Vocal Yoga in Indian Vedic tradition) . I wanted to send this to Stephanie by way of Thanking her for her generosity and kindness, because we both know the huge difference between Cultural Fusion and Cultural appropriation. ❤

Lyrics for my Hindi speaking freinds:
भूमि – मंगलम (भूमि – मंगलम), उदग – मंगलम (उदग – मंगलम), अग्नि – मंगलम (अग्नि – मंगलम), वायु – मंगलम (वायु – मंगलम), गगन – मंगलम (गगन – मंगलम), सूर्य – मंगलम (सूर्य – मंगलम), चन्द्र – मंगलम (चन्द्र – मंगलम)
जगत – मंगलम (जगत – मंगलम), जीवा – मंगलम (जीवा – मंगलम), देह – मंगलम (देह – मंगलम), मनो – मंगलम (मनो – मंगलम), आत्म – मंगलम (आत्म – मंगलम), सर्व – मंगलम भवतु भवतु भवतु , सर्व – मंगलम भवतु भवतु भवतु
सर्व – मंगलम भवतु भवतु भवतु , भूमि – मंगलम (भूमि – मंगलम) ,उदग – मंगलम (उदग – मंगलम) ,अग्नि – मंगलम (अग्नि – मंगलम) , वायु – मंगलम (वायु – मंगलम) ,गगन – मंगलम (गगन – मंगलम) ,सूर्य – मंगलम (सूर्य – मंगलम)
चन्द्र – मंगलम (चन्द्र – मंगलम), जगत – मंगलम (जगत – मंगलम), जीवा – मंगलम (जीवा – मंगलम), देह – मंगलम (देह – मंगलम), मनो – मंगलम (मनो – मंगलम), आत्म – मंगलम (आत्म – मंगलम), सर्व – मंगलम भवतु भवतु भवतु
सर्व – मंगलम भवतु भवतु भवतु, सर्व – मंगलम भवतु भवतु भवतु ,सरिग रीसरि सरि गनि नि

Day 27: 15/6/2020 (Total Hrs= 203) Finished 16hrs Intermittent Fast. Did Sky Meditation and Sun Salutation first thing in the morning! I know I reached my 200hrs+ of Practice Goal, but today just felt like another ordinary day. I am glad my routine continued through Covid19 Lockdown as it takes discipline to get past all the emotions to stay on one’s practice. I also discovered that in the course of speaking with Doctor Kumar’s volunteers, I renewed my commitment to my Root Guru ( རྩ་བའི་བླ་མ) in Tibetan Buddhism Yogi Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche (the name means “Ocean of Ethical Conduct”). Amazing, I did not think it needed renewing, yet here we are! Unfortunately this meant I could not take up the commitment with Doctor Kumar, as in the event of (not that there might be, though philosophically there is a possibility) conflicting instructions, I would still have to prioritise Khenpo Tsultrim’s Meditation on Dharmakaya (the inherent emptiness (mirage) of appearance-emptiness of phenomena) over the yogic assertion of an “atman” (see Bhagavad-Gita). I am so glad this was clarified and I respect that in any traditional Yoga school, this point must be clarified for all students. So if one did not have a previous commitment I would recommend Dr Kumar’s Traditional Yoga school if you wished to delve very deeply into the philosophies behind Yoga. Sarwa Magallem!

I also heard from Yoga Alliance USA. A very poise, calm and analytical Trinity Perkins hosted our Zoom meeting today. We agreed on a harmonious solution with OYS, so I am ready for certification in the USA, as arranged. Yoga Alliance will continue to assist and already offered membership opportunities as soon as Mrs.Mitchell issue the certification. I also heard from Yoga Alliance Professional UK. They are also eagerly awaiting for the arrival of my certification as they would like to promote the work I can do with “Social Distanced” Office Yoga Corporate Consulting. I am so happy we found a harmonious solution and will continue to send my good thoughts and positive energy in that direction! I should also mention with thanks: Diversity Development Director Maya Breuer , in the empathy she showed for an Asian-Australian on the path of yoga teaching!

What a 200hrs+ journey of getting in touch with my yoga and my Far-Eastern philosophical roots! Namaste! 🙂

Day 26: 12/6/2020 (Total hrs= 187 ) Finished my 16 hrs Intermittent Fast. I follow this under the advise of my GP because Dr.Jason Fung based his research on the spiritual habits of Fastings around the world, especially in the Far East and Middle-East. I also learned about the spiritual aspects of Fasting from Tibetan Buddhism, such as the Nyungne Method of the Thousand Arms Chenrezig visualisation. It is a wonderful discipline especially when the world is so chaotic at the moment. I find that it helps me keep my perspective and equilibrium whether I hear good or bad news. 🙂

1hr PM Yoga as I’ve been very busy and needed to clear my head. Keeping this discipline is not so easy when there are many upset around me due to fears and stress.

I heard from Yoga Alliance Compliance officer and OYS. The school offers to do the final certification as if the incident over #Blacklivesmatter never occurred. I have a meeting with x2 Yoga Alliance officers so they can help and advise me. I have no personal issues with the quality of the training I received. I just wanted more equality in my yoga study space.


Day 25: 11/6/2020 (Total hrs =170) I had to travel by train to deal with business inter-state. I did not have a lot of time to Practice.


Empty Mecklenburgh Square, Bloomsbury London

I did manage to practice my Yoga stretches in the sleeping car of the new Caledonian Sleeper. It was a very interesting experience as the cabin was very cramped. However I surprised myself by doing 2 hrs of practice, during my 2×8 hrs commute overnight. I did a lot of floor poses like the Fish, the Plough, Bridge pose and even Eagle pose with modification (as the train was moving very fast and very bumpy). I also meditated on calm + healing amidst chaos. The city was empty of people even at noon, during peak hour. The enormity of Covid19 and its impact on the economy hit me! I send Kindness to all affected!

Day 24 8/6/2020 (Total hrs = 168) Felt like relaxing as lots of things happened. Some of it quite exciting. But I cannot announce until all the paperwork are done. 🙂 #secrets

Am 1hr Studied and performed a 30mins Iyengar sequence by BKS Iyengar from 1985. I found his alignment instruction on the Triangle pose very helpful as I always felt a little bit wobbly. Huge difference in the stability when I follow his “mind” instructions.

Oh! I heard briefly from Director Jana Long from Black Yoga Teacher Alliance, USA. I thoroughly endorse the charitable work of her organisation. Black yoga exist to heal the trauma caused by centuries of slavery and violence inflicted on black people in the USA. Obviously it is needed, if there are still some with Stockholm Syndromes, mimicking the patterns of white supremacist oppression systemically.


RFK & MLK Photo (c) LIFE Magaine (Left) Photo of RFK & Mrs.G.Lee Hong Kong Philanthropist with CCP China orphan Refugees, 1962 , photo (c) A.Moy, Los Angeles. (Top Right) Photo (c) Robert Kennedy Foundation Digital Library (Bottom Right) Reproduced with Thanks under Creative Commons 2.0, Fair Usage. Not-for-Profit

PM 1hr I wanted to focus on the Full Moon Meditation from my dear friend on the Board of Spiralmuse days in San Francisco Mireya Alejo Marcet, a Mexican-American Art Therapist and Holotropic Breathwork Healer, who qualified at the California Institute of Integral Science, founded by Sri Aurobindo. When I do my Pranayama Office Yoga consultation, I intend to draw on parallels between Holotropic Breathwork and Classic Indian Yogic Breathwork. Thank you so much, Mireya. So happy we share the same “goddess mandala”. Please be safe and well in San Francisco! XXOO Love C

Day 23 7/6/2020 (Total hrs = 166)

Noon: 2hrs I am invited to deliver a 10 mins video about my research in Sustainable Cultural Heritage in 6 days time for an International conference hosted online. I’ve been thinking about the topic. Perhaps I will talk about the negative impact of Western Cultural Appropriation and the monetization of Yoga that has the potential to permanently erode a 5000 yrs old cultural heritage for the Indian civilisation. We will see.

For some Lateral thinking, I decided to accept an offer to contribute to a Sci-fi short story anthology about living in Space, once the settlers are admitted into the UN. This sounds very odd, but it is done in conjunction with some Astronaut Space’s project from Russia! The book will be published as an e-book as well as hard copies. A copy of the digital book will be launched into Space, next time they send something up to the International Space Station. I know! It sounds so “Star Trek”! Too geeky? I wasn’t keen initially. But I decided to use the creative writing exercise to give my mind a rest from Academic Art research, UN ECOSOC charity stuff, grand applications and even my own Art Development. Is everyone’s Lockdown THIS BUSY?

space station

photo (c)

PM 1 hr 30mins PM Yoga. 30mins meditation on my decision to file an online consumer complaint against my former yoga school if Yoga Alliance cannot help to mediate. I am optimistic something can be resolved so I do not lose my 140hrs of hard work.

The decision is based on the epic dialogue between Arjuna and Krishna on “non-attachment”. While I enjoy the course and its content, I have to set aside my general goodwill towards the Founder of the school on a personal level, to take actions in Truth. Those who speak up about a genuine concern should not be punished. I am very comfortable with my choice so I also emailed Black Yoga Alliance to inform them of my decision as it is my intention to register with BYTA. I would not hear about their existence if a black yoga student did not post the information, which was deleted by OYS’s admin.

Day 22 6/6/2020 (Total hrs = 163) AM 1hr Pranayama + a wonderful conversation with a student of Dr. Kumar about the disaster that was my last yoga school exchange. She laughed and said,”That sounds like a student’s nightmare! That’s outrageous!” Lol. Unfortunately they can’t accept a 140hrs transfer so I can get my YTT certificate or I would love to explore more mysticism with them! I said I would meditate on everything.

sleeping cat

My cat in Equanimity! Lol.

So….Yoga Alliance will eventually arbitrate on the way I was treated because one staff (who never met me or spoke to me) decided at Online Yoga School she hated my “tone of voice” and therefore I must be a rule-hating cow. Yes, for all of my readers who know me, after years of United Nations work with human rights law, of course I am a bloody Hippy Anarchist! #sarcasm It was so nice to laugh again with a kind yogini with a human voice who understood the strictness of UK lockdown ! I also emailed my teacher in Melbourne Australia to get some guidance! Things don’t feel “normal”. I never met or spoke to Steph, she only existed by emails and facebook for most of her “students” ( for me, it feels more like pay-pal “subscribers” )!

PM 1 hrs Meditation on Equanimity and trying the Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana) until I get the strength to go up to an unsupported wheel pose (Urdhva Dhanurasana) again. I missed the days where I could just go boom…then I’m up and away! It was one of my strongest peak pose when I was a teen!

Day 21 5/6/2020 (Total hrs = 161) 16hrs Fast. So much going on in the world!!!! Thank you so much to @uberbars for posting me some healthy, insulin efficiency boosting Yummy bars! What a wonderful gift of Dana at a time when I am feeling not 100% about the world! ❤

*** I’ve decided to contact Yoga Alliance to seek help & mediation with OYS for the loss of 140hours of work, course-work when they unilaterally terminated my course because I raised the issue of a need for changes in admin moderation towards Black Lives matter issues. At first I was not going to stand up for myself but I believe it is important that I should not be punished for the problem! I am very glad the school had changed its policies but it did not address its censorship & punishing of me for failing to just accept their admin’s actions. This is also about me learning to be kind to me and protect me in the same way as I would protect others when they feel bullied or censored. That is my decision in Satyagraha.

PM (1hr) I finished a book about British history of Slavery from a Black-Brit Feminist ironically titled, “Why I no longer talk with White people about Race!” by . It is not what you think it is. The chapter on White Feminism is fantastic and her verbatim transcript of her interview with a Leader of a White Supremacist Political Party was surreal and idiotic! I laughed ! She combines humour, knowledge and a little bit of sarcasm. Love it! Because I see myself as a Satyagrahi , my next bit of audio will revisit the essays of Gandhi. So appropriate for the world in flames!

(1hr) Meditation on Satyagrahi and light offering as I got a message about last night’s Hong Kong Protest and Candlelight vigils for #TiananmenMassacre #TankMan, 30mins Practicing Asanas. I’m attracted to Matsyasana (Fish pose) today. I have to take this pose gently as my lower back is vulnerable. But most of the time when I do it, it works very well.

Fish pose

photo (c) @elisa_lusianawati

Theraputic Applications

  • Constipation
  • Respiratory ailments
  • Mild backache
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Menstrual pain

Contraindications and Cautions

  • High or low blood pressure
  • Migraine
  • Insomnia
  • Serious lower-back or neck injury

DAY 20 4/6/2020 (Total hrs = 143) Just because I am in the middle of changing 200 hrs YTT online school, doesn’t mean my practice stops! My practice is not dependent on external people! I slept with a heavy heart as I felt actual energetic disturbance in the Cosmos. I had a busy day so I had to ignore that “being energy vampired” feeling until about midday. Most of it I attribute to the Toxic energy of Trumpland and not to any particular individual! Still….it is not pleasant to experience!


Noon. (1 hr) I got a chance to go for a walk and did a sky meditation. That grounded me. It gave me some clarity. The silencing of the voices of Black students bothered me and the school let disrespectful comments from some White Americans about the Bhagavad-Gita because they don’t like it, think it is trash and threw it up against the wall or in the bins‼ Why would nasty response to “Black Yoga Teachers Matter” be so controversial that one has to shut down comments ? I decided the best thing to do was send positive energy and take back my own empowered voice by letting OYS know that from the return of my course fees, I donated part of it to Southern Poverty Law Center. They fight hate crimes, KKK violence and help victims of hate crimes. I feel better knowing that I took back my own voice and showed my disgust towards racial discrimination in some western yogic practices.

Simple Moon Salutation

(c) Jill Paschal Yoga

PM (2hr) Did Basic Hatha yoga stretches and had a look at Dr. Kumar’s preliminary Meditation series because I wanted to see if there is a good match to transfer to his traditional yoga school. We will see. I was very slow to decide on OYS and for the most part, they are a really good practical online knowledge-based course! I have no complaints about the content of the course, I did not like the energy added by some of the people around the teacher. I didn’t expect it would be quite so disrespectful about diversity! I always pick my yoga learning space slowly, so this too will be a gradual process. I waited a long time to do my YTT so there is no rush to complete. Again. My practice, not my ego! It is hard to imagine why a teacher like Steph, who seems respectful, experienced, gentle and loving would end up with people who abused other’s sacred books, abuse her effort to add better information to the course and the Satyagraha efforts around her. Sometimes the best intention is not received by the right context and conditions. That is a challenge for all teachers. I decided to practice Chandra Namaskar Moon Salutation.

Day 19 3/6/2020 (Total hrs = 140) I just got refunded by the school from my 200 YTT online course because in their face-book group, one admin keeps shutting down threads that talk about “Black Yoga Alliance” and “Black Yoga Teachers Matter”, by either deleting the post or shutting down comments of support. That really worried me so I contacted the school and the staff admin who did that. We cannot see eye to eye. I love the course but I do not agree with the stance of the course advocates, so the founder refunded me. It is not what I want. Since they remain silent since cancelling my access, I believe it is best I find one that fits the ethos of my personal belief about Equality, how to support that and be good allies for racial equality. If in a fb group, one shuts down a discussion of 300 Black yogis + allies because one or two people write things like “All lives matter” or “Jews lives matter” in a sarcastic way, that is not respecting the basic ethos of the #Blacklivesmatter movement at a time when the struggle is so real and so dangerous for peaceful protesters in the USA. I believe it taints the purity of the Energy for me, in spite of the fact that it is a very informative and useful course and I have nothing but good wishes for the Founder Stephanie Mitchell. I wish her well and thank her sincerely for her kindness and generosity.
From the official site of Yoga Alliance: Showing their support for #BLM

Yoga alliance BLM


Day 18 2/6/2020 (Total hrs =135) 16hrs Fast, Broke fast with Italian Brunch delivered to the art office, Taiwanese Mango Green Bubble Tea and Laughter with friends. (3hrs) I am sure there is a Joy, Generosity (Dana) & Gratitude Practice with my name on it! 🙂
Noon 1hr Personal Training, Cardio and Weight resistence live online via Skype.
PM 3hrs (1hr) Universal Peace Meditation and (1hr) Restorative Yoga + (1hr) Aromatherapy Oil and Bath, Chakra healing.

DAY 17 1/6/2020 (Total hrs = 112)

Yoga with cat

AM 2hrs This may sound strange. I hope not. This big pair of green cat’s eyes stared at me for no reason for 1 hr this morning…why? he doesn’t want anything, he just stares!!!!! lol. It feels like he is feeling neglected because all my spare time and energy goes to my Yoga course, so I tried a bit of “Yoga with Cats” with my Cat! He clawed my new yoga mat and took out a few chunks. 🙂 So I decided to include him in my yoga! Except in reality every Yoga I do is Yoga with cat! I tried to do a bit of Netra Lola (Eyes Yoga) with the cat…He won the staring competition!

PM 2hrs Worked on my Yoga Asana, Sequencing and Final Class plan. It is going well. I practice the plan on my one2one students. They like being a guinea pig for my class plans.

Iyengar quote

Reflection: After hearing about all the riots because of the Racist killing of #GeorgeFloyd I thought about this BKS.Iyengar quote. I consider Racism “what need not be endured”. When I was a teen, I was introduced to a lot of practice wisdoms of BKS.Iyengar, I am only just growing with it now. Namaste.

“Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.” BKS.Iyengar

DAY 16 31/5/2020 (Total hrs= 108)


AM 1hr Organised a Lockdown Balcony Yoga class to my neighbour while I was doing Yoga Stretches this morning in the sun! Just got another offer to do Online Office Yoga Class to Corporates stuck at home Teams, complaining and driving their managers crazy. That’s x2 in a week!!!!🤣

I am researching Diversity Inclusive Yoga so that I can teach in compliance with ALL EU laws on Equal Opportunity and Office environment!!!! I am doing a sample Balcony desk yoga with my neighbor who manages big teams of Bank desk workers….she says,”Pls tell me as soon as you qualify and get your insurance. WE NEED THIS !!!!” How great is that??? Eid Mubarak! Happy Ramadan to all my Muslim friends around the world who went on a Ritual FAST for one month! Amazing! All ancient cultures have fasting rituals connected to Spiritual developments! 😇


Noon 3hrs Finished “The Audacity of Hope ” and the Biography of Rosa Parks. In light of what happened to #georgefloyd RIP I feel that it is my spiritual practice to build my allies with my African American friends and also to better understand their culture. So I’ve been reading more books in Audible and reaching out to those who may feel vulnerable given the Level of hate crimes in the USA under the vile orange nazi Trump. Coincidentally my Scottish friend sent me these two portraits of Obama. I like the one in the Tan suit !


Finished Audio-Reading the Audacity of Hope by Obama. Yes it is worth reading! I enjoyed it. It is smart….too smart for a section of Trump land who is too “Thick” to get that he wants for them what I’ve had my whole life in Australia, Hong Kong, Sweden, EU, Britain, India, China even Bhutan, Tibet and Nepal….basic healthcare for all…. That’s all!

PM 2 hrs PM Yoga with Patricia Walden’s Moon Salutation inspired sequences. Also had a look at BKS.Iyengar’s lesson notes to his students, some of them shared by his son Prashant Iyengar as open source.

Day 15 30/5/2020 (Total hrs = 103) 16hrs fast , breaking fast with Swedish Cracker bread, Strawberries on Mascarpone, Spirulina Smoothies and Basil Tea! (My favorite Brunch)

PM 3hrs Studying Anatomy + Asanas Urdhva Dhanurasana on the yoga ball as support+ Practicing Restorative yoga. Focus on Contentment! Asanas and Meditation.


Reflections: I am enjoying my yoga teacher online course so much! ❤

I noticed today that while I was waiting at the shops in the queue I was correcting my posture Iyengar style AND…Out of nowhere….this guy who is volunteering to take donated food to all those who are stuck at home (mostly elderly and disabled) asked me,”Do you want some bread? They gave us loads!” and I was like,”No I don’t take carbs. Thanks! But I’d take the flowers!” He goes,”I would but I can’t, they are for the old people’s common Room!” I go,”That’s great. Thanks. Have a great day!” How nice is that? ❤

The vibes you send out is the vibes you get back….Basic law of Karma!

Day 14 29/5/2020 (Total hrs = 84)


photo (c) Bruce Lee in Padmasana pose !

Noon: 1hr It was a very busy day. I had to meet a proposal deadline. I don’t think I drank enough water. But I was able to do a bit of Shavasana in the sun on the balcony!

PM 3 hrs Kurmasana, Krounchasana, Malasana , Matsyasana, Supta Virasana, a lot of stretching into Upavista Konasana and Padmasana really took a lot of slow training and effort. I can try Hanumanasana for the Divine Monkey Pose slowly….maybe I will get it eventually. 🙂 I used to get it straight away and I took it for granted!

Day 13 28/5/2020 (Total hrs = 80 ) Another busy day. I got a chance to do some practice when my day finished.

Vrikshasana Iyengar

(c) PKS Iyengar

PM: 2 Hr Asanas on the Balcony practicing the following asanas, slowly with Iyengar style alignment instructions: Sukhasana, Siddhasana, Padmasana (that took a lot of gradual hip opening stretches, not as easy as when I was 16 and could just slip straight into the Lotus), Virasana, Dandasana, Gradual stretches for Akana Dhanurasana, attempted both Padmasana and Akana Dhanurasana , I attained it but lacked the muscle strength to hold it for very long. So I focussed on breathe and gradual alignment. I noticed while I was doing that I really remembered the Iyengar teaching to my first teacher Liz and also discussed by Patricia Walden about “Your Practice, Not your Ego”. That was like a mantra for me when I attempted the more difficult poses. When I could not hold the advance poses and went back to Tadasana & Utkatasana. I did several rounds of Nadi Shodhana Pranayama followed by Paschimottanasana. Then really focussed on Vrikshasana, trying to stay balanced. I noticed there was pronation of my right foot because there was slight lateral rotation of my right knee in Vrikshasana Peak Pose, so I trying to use strap to modify when I did Utktasana to make sure my knees stay in alignment above my toes, hip width apart. This was good body awareness training for the next time I try Vrikshasana. I am aware of my postural problem so I am very careful and slow with each pose.


I also tried a supported Natarajasana using the rail of the sunny balcony.

1hr Shavasana Meditation on the Present Moment, with my own Tibetan Singing Bowl sounds for chakra clensing.
Reflections: Staying in the Present Moment was very important for me today. I have a work deadline and had to attend a UN online Africa Regional briefing about Covid19. I keep thinking about the mantra-like reminder of Guru Iyengar: “Your Practice, Not your Ego.” I found myself repeating that as I did my Asana. That was very positive.

DAY 12 27/5/2020 (Total hrs = 77)
AM 1 hr Nadi Shodhana Pranayama (Alternate Nostril Breathing) + Contemplated the concept of “offerings” in the form of generosity “giving of DANA (dāna is the practice of cultivating generosity) “.


From the Upanishad (root text of yoga) तदेतत्त्रयँ शिक्षेद् दमं दानं दयामिति[21]
“Learn three cardinal virtues – self restraint, charity and compassion for all life.”— Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

Noon 1hr Weight & Cardio training with a Personal Trainer. Got more advise about Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF)

PNF is a progressive stretch involving muscle contraction and relaxation. My physiotherapist used PNF on me by gently stretch the muscle and I resisted the stretch by contracting the muscle for about 5 seconds. When I relaxed the muscle, my physiotherapist gently stretched the muscle further for about 30 seconds. There is about 30 seconds rest and the process is repeated again several times. My Trainer also used this technique sometimes.

PM 1hr Online Yoga Zoom with Haley to discuss modifications and adaptations for Chair pose for a client with strong muscles but delicate hips, using straps etc…

2hr Study the Anatomy related to backbend poses + Practiced Ustrasana (The Camel) against the wall. I mostly studied the Adaptation of the Camel (using a wall support) as I had one student who is a dancer with Glutes strain, so I wanted to find a way for her to ease slowly back into the camel in the future, without losing confidence.

Day 11 26/5/2020 (Total hrs = 72) 17hrs fast. Broke my fast with very Yummy Italian at Lunch. I drink a lot of water during fast days, as well as Basil tea. I rewarded myself with a midday Pink Gin and tonic in the sun after the Urban Yoga! 🙂

Today was a very busy day. I had to rush to the office because the maintenance staff needed to get into my space to check the plumbing. During lock-down, the building pipes while un-used and leaked so the place looked like a construction site. LOL. We offered the poor Building Concierge a drink at lunch. He needed it.

Noon 1 hr: I taught my first “Urban Yoga” Class. It was so much fun. We went slowly and focused on alignment and breathe. I got to use “adaptation” because someone had a delicate hip. Because of social distancing, there were no chairs for me to use as a support. But we found a very sturdy industrial sign that was a very solid Tripod Public sign, so we went with it! Finished with a Mother-Daughter De-stress Pranayama session with the Gourmet Chocolatier in the same building as my artist studio.

PM 1hr: 10mins Guided meditation on Healing Peace + Silent mindfulness focussed on breathing and decreasing blood pressure. Used Tibetan singing bowls to clear Chakras. This is one of the best Tibetan singing bowl chakras clearing healers I know! 🙂

Day 10 25/5/2020 (Total hrs = 53)

AM (1hr) Chanting Guru Rinpoche Mantra: OM AH HUNG VAJRA GURU PEMA SIDDHI HUNG OM AH HUNG purify obscurations arising from the three mental poisons: desire/attachment, aversion, and ignorance.

Noon (1hr) : Had a look at the Shift’s network (I am very familiar with their work because of my work with Voices of Women in NYC), web material on “Chakra work” as suggested by my YTT training material.

PM (1hr) 30mins Yoga Asanas: Still working on Natarajasana, left side. 🙂 + 10mins Guided meditation of “Self-worth” with Steph’s 10 days of Meditation course + 20mins silent meditation.

Day 9 24/5/2020 (Total hrs = 50)

AM (3hrs) Sunrise Meditation: Tibetan chanting OmanipadmeHum Sanskrit: ॐ मणिपद्मे हूँ (mantra of Buddha of compassion), Studied Anatomy for Yoga, Yoga Sutra of Patanjali and did a short Yoga at your Desk by Rodney Yee (a preparatory routine for meditation) as I think I would like to design something for Office workers as one of my class plans. He has very simple and clear verbal cues and has great alignment in all his poses.

This is the pdf text of the Tai situpa publication of this Tibetan Chenrezig ritual chanted in the video here:

PM (2hrs) Yoga + Shavasana (Meditation on Forgiveness – 10 days of Meditation)


Reflection: I noticed I’m finding it much easier to get into Natarajasana (King Dancer Pose) if I spend more time with the preparatory poses. When I was a teen, yoga came easy to me and I did not develop a good daily practice. When I first returned to daily practice of yoga under Covid19 Lockdown, I was very stiff and had a hard time doing Natrajasana on my left side due to stiffness of the left hip but it was easier today.

“Ability by itself seldom leads to maturity in practice. When ability is restricted, then determination, will power and full intelligence develops and your practice matures naturally and quickly. Ability alone is limiting.” Prashant.Iyengar

Day 8 23/5/2020 (Total hrs = 45) An easier day of Rest.

AM 2 hr Studying the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, read as an audio book, over Brunch.

PM 30mins Flow Yoga with Pranayama.

30mins Journaling: Very grateful for receiving my First Edition of “Around the world with Auntie Mame”. It arrived today! As soon as I read ” Auntie Mame” and saw the film, I knew I was destined to travel as it validated all my teenage impulse to see the wonders of the world and all the amazing things in it. The film visualised a Life affirming story based on a wonderful book and script! After travelling around the world x2 , Up the Himalayas, into Tibet and down the Amazons, into the Jungles to see a new Mayan burial site, I bought a Rare book First Edition copy of Patrick Dennis’ book in its glorious pink silk cover ! 🙂 Thank you for the great joy and defiance Auntie Mame represented. Quite frankly, as a Professional Visual Artist, I do not find her “outlandish” at all. She seemed quite normal, as was her friends and her love of Yoga with the Maharaja. lol. ❤ ❤ ❤

Day 7 22/5/2020 (Total hrs = 42)

AM 1hr Yoga Flexibility and Shavasana (Sunrise Meditation)
1 hr Studied the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali.


“sunrise from my yoga mat”

PM 1hr Yoga Flexibility -Patricia Walden ( the Italian language version 🙂 ), so I switched off the sound and focused on following her Alignment and postures! I really liked that she showed the Sanskrit name of each pose with captions. This helps me learn the Asanas for the course! I am multi-tasking! The opening sequence showing off her flexibility is so impressive! Stylistically, she looks like a carbon-copy of my first Yoga teacher Liz in Australia. I can see they both learned from the same guru, BKS.Iyengar, because of their precise alignment, discipline, strength and flexibility! 🙂

Day 6 21/5/2020 (Total hrs = 39)

Fast & Meditation. I decided to do a 16hrs Fast. Broke Fast with Fresh Guava, Pineapple, Apple and Blue Spirulina Smoothies. 🙂

Blue Spirulina


AM 1 hrs Meditation on the Bhagavad-Gita and the Buddhist Diamond Sutra: Non attachment to the outcome of Action. Non-attachment to the extremes of duality, not even to the duality of the existence of an Atman. See Diamond Sutra.

1hr Yoga flexibility Stretches I am a little stiff in the left arm from the weight training yesterday so just focussed on stretching the upper torso area.


PM 1 hr Yoga : Conditioning for Women Patricia Walden Gaiam Program. I had a very busy day and I felt some stiffness in my left hip so I decided to do the Patricia Walden Program because in the past when I felt stiff from sitting in front the computer, this program helped me stretch out and open my hips/pelvic area to alleviate lower back tension. I aspire to get the level of smooth “flow” in her program. I love the way she transitions from different pose so smoothly, seamless and effortless. Usually her programs are very elegant compared to the awkward transitions of less-experienced instructors.

1hr Shavasana: Meditation on Gratitude.

Reflections: I would like to let go of the feelings of frustration when the days are too busy, the ordinary tasks just cannot be done as I would like to. On my Wish-list, right now, is to have the resources to hire a professional cleaner as I feel the effect of so many weeks of Lock-down. The energy of my whole space needs a deep clean. I guess it is a longing for renewal and order in my immediate environment! So I would like to reflect on how I am very Grateful for a beautiful and supportive Home during lockdown. ❤

Day 5 20/5/2020 (Total hrs = 19)

Noticed the Swallows nesting under my roof. Added Meal worms to my shopping list for them. ❤ I was really inspired by them, knowing they lived there for years, watching their babies turn into adult swallows gliding through the air, effortlessly!


AM (40mins) Asana Warm-up with 5mins opening up chest area with block, Supported Bridge position with block 5mins: Slowly Practicing Urdhva Dhaunrasana or Chakrasana The wheel using a wall and also with a Yoga Ball as a support to gradually get into the Pose. Very slow, focussing on Alignment, bringing the elbows in, keeping legs and feet hip width apart, pushing chest forward as I slowly bring my torso up, think of making a upside down U-shape, very very slowly and breathing deeply. Breathe. (2hrs) Bhagavad-Gita audio book study while performing various daily tasks with mindfulness of breathe.

Midday (40 mins) Shavasana, Biaural Beats with Tibetan Singing Bowls for Deep Relaxation, raising positive energy and letting go of negative.

PM (30mins) Weights and Resistence Private Training session to strength arm/back muscles. (2 hrs) Studying Anatomy and Asanas, thinking of how I would plan a Beginner’s class to help alleviate Back Pains and Stress, with slow gentle, useful but effective transitions. Thinking and applying what I know/learned…doing it slowly, drafting ideas with the Yogidia tool.

Class Planning

Open source Photos (c)


Day 4 19/5/2020 (Total hrs = 13)

2hrs AM Meditation + Pranayana + Yoga Study

I meditated on Aspects of Chenrezig or QuanYin, Buddhist Practice for Compassion and Universal Kindness. Chanted the Chenrezig Mantra OManiPadmeHung in Sanskrit. brethe work.

Study: Started my Yoga Asana Sequence ideas on Yogidia with Fantastic Sequencing resources for teachers. A free alternative to Tummee.

2hrs PM Yoga Study + Hatha Yoga

Then studied Yoga sequences and ideas for my own Classes reading

1hr Hatha Yoga focussing on Moon Salutations.


Day 3 18/5/2020 (Total hrs = 9 )

1hr AM Meditation: Great Invocation, Meditation and Pranayama.

1hr PM Yoga Flexibility Stretches with Yoga Ball, able to do BackBends with Yoga Ball to Keep Postures.

10min Guided Meditation on Happiness

Reflections: Noticed my procrastination with my proposal writing which is a heavy weight on my chest. Decided to focus on my Heart chakra instead of all the ‘should”s and “must”s.


Day 2: 16/5/2020 (Total hrs = 7hrs ) I slept a lot after my first day of online Yoga school….but then my cat woke me by PLAYING THE PIANO. MY CAT PLAYED THE PIANO! OMG!!!!! Is there nothing that Cat will not do to demand attention??? 🤣

I laughed with Great Joy Animals bring to our world and shared that with All online.

30 mins AM The Great Invocation for Universal Peace. Pranayama : Alternate Nostril Breathing (Nadi Shodhana Pranayama) and Yoga Stretches.

The Epic (Truly epic) advise Krishna gave to Arjuna on the “Freedom from the Bondage of Karmic Inter-causality, through conquering the Distortion of the Mind and Attachment of the Senses (The great illusion), by realising the Immateriality of One’s Attachment thus Free-ing oneself from the clinging/cravings that cause Sufferings…” is actually the BASIS and the Starting Point of the Philosophy of Buddhism. I read different aspects of the Mahabharata many times because I was lucky to having good Sanskrit & Pali Scholars in Tibetan Buddhism Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso and Lamas trained by him, that gave me a FULL picture of how Buddhism developed and how it differs from Hindu philosophy YET is born of it… Thank you so much. Namaste GuruJi 🙏

1.5 hrs: Hatha Yoga Class online with Swami Satchidananda Chanting + Asanas + Pranayama

Thoughts/ Responses that came up with: I noticed there were bits of my body that was different from when I was a Teenager doing the same posture. At first, I felt a sense of adversion, thinking,” Oh no, that’s not a good look.” But then as I progressed with the entire Class with Swami Satchidananda, he talked about “Yoga is not a competition.” And I laughed realising I am being competitive with my younger self and tried to let go of that! Hahaha! It felt both silly and liberating! Om Shanti Shanti!!!
Later I googled the Swami and found out that he was the yogi that Hillary Clinton mentioned in her book that I just finished. I am amazed by how I subconsciously gravitated towards his class today. His chants had very strong and powerful vibrations and I imagined Swami Satchidananda opening the epic Woodstock Music Festival with his chants! How wonderful and fun! Under lockdown I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to go to a Summer Music Festival NOW! ❤

Day 1: 15/5/2020 (Total hrs = 3) (3hrs Practice)Under Covid19 Lockdown. I decided to start my Yoga 200 hrs Teacher training. Morning: 30mins I began with a Mindfulness Meditation of Gratitude for my Past Yoga Teachers. Starting with sending a Positive “thank you” message to my first Yoga teacher in Melbourne , Liz Coon who was student of BKS Iyengar in India.
After my Gratitude Meditation, I added this photo (c) Elizabeth Coon (Founder of Harmony School of Yoga) with BKS Iyengar to my Spiritual development Vision board: I aspire to retain my flexibility and suppleness when I get to Liz’s age!

9pm-11pm: I went through the first Introductions to the 200hrs course materials and Finished with DAY 3 of Steph’s Guided Meditation on Equanimity: 9ming guided + 30mins silent.
Thoughts and Reflections: I noticed that my lower right eye lid and upper cheek was twitching and my left jaw was slightly clenched at the beginning of the meditation. There were some feelings of being angry/annoyed that I had not anticipated when thoughts came up about the past. I had some judgement about myself ie. not making the full use of my time from when I was doing a teen able to do all the advanced yoga position, to now…where I feel like I lost a lot of my suppleness. In the meditation which lasted another extra 30mins after the guided meditation ended, I felt more affirmed. I came out of the meditation thinking: Actually I did my best. It is okay to accept that my body cannot do the same as what it could do as when I was a teen. It doesn’t mean I cannot return to my best yoga form for my current age again! 🙂 Namaste.

4 comments on “#Covid19 #Lockdown Diary: My 200+ hours #Yoga Teacher Training Practice Journal

  1. Deborah Boller
    July 22, 2020

    Hi and namaste Cecilia!

    I couldn’t agree more that the the USA system of education is racist. The country was “founded” on racism. First they tried enslaving the Indians and when that didn’t work, they tried eradicating them and brought in Africans. Really horrible. And it’s still going on. I am ashamed to be an American and white. Anyway, I believe yoga (and I’m talking about the purist hatha yoga you mention) will save the world.

    Om shanti shanti shanti


    Liked by 1 person

    • ceciliawyu
      July 24, 2020

      Dear Deborah

      Thank you for your further comments.
      I value the efforts of my great great grandfather Yu, whose friends and colleagues made San Francisco much more diverse at the turn of the 19th Century. He saw in USA, a land of potential for great freedom as well as the daily inequities he experienced as a young man. Contrary to many racist assumptions, very well educated immigrants built the USA from all over the world. It is the lies and distortion of white supremacy that we should fight!

      I am so happy to meet you as a woman of conscience on the path of truth and thank you for leaving a comment.

      On a personal note: I valued the professional quality of my 200YTT course. Everything was resolved with good will when the school’s founder and I got a chance to speak face to face. We are in 100% agreement in our support for Black Yoga Teacher Alliance. We both joined BYTA in support of their missions of promoting historic slavery-related Trauma alleviation for Black Yoga students.

      Namaste. Blessings and Love to you.
      🙏🙏🙏 Cecilia 余


  2. venusinny
    May 18, 2020






    [image: IMG_5400.HEIC]

    On Sat, May 16, 2020 at 8:28 PM Sustain-Able 余 : ♥ wrote:

    > ceciliawyu posted: “Day 2: 16/5/2020 (3.5 hrs) I slept a lot after my > first day of online Yoga school….but then my cat woke with me PLAYING THE > PIANO. MY CAT PLAYED THE PIANO! OMG!!!!! Is there nothing that Cat will not > do to demand attention??? I laughed with Great Joy ” >


    • ceciliawyu
      May 19, 2020

      Namaste Vina. I appreciate your kind thoughts and hope we can connect very soon. Sending you good thoughts and great health!
      We are all on lockdown in Europe. I heard news about New York and I am very sorry to hear about the situation especially for those in the Bronx. The Racists Unequal treatment in USA must Stop. I was both shocked and disgusted that only in 2020 did Princeton get an Afro-American Valedictorian. That Shows how Racist the USA education system is!
      I am enjoying Yoga very much especially the inspiration of more traditional Purist Hatha Yoga teaching Swamis ❤️🙏 Om Shanti


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This entry was posted on May 17, 2020 by in Innovation & Creativity.
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