Yoga Teacher Training: India, Feb 2017
Here's a copy of my blog post after my 200 hour teacher training month in India, enjoy!
A month living in the jungle, being vegetarian, living make-up free and completing 200 hours of yoga training to become a confident multi-style certified yoga teacher!
Before I went
When I first decided to do a yoga teacher training, my main goal was to understand all the yoga postures and their alignments correctly and to be able to put together safe and effective classes. I chose to do my training in India because it is the home of yoga. I wanted an intensive style course to fast track my development and to emerge myself in this wonderful practice. There were many courses available but the one with Trimurti Yoga instantly felt right from reading their website, it’s focused on what’s true for the individual. Their course also seemed to be the only multi-style course; training people in Hatha, Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga. Great for someone like me, who wants to explore different styles, rather than focus on one.
Travelling to India
I embarked on over 36 hours of travel; flying from Nagoya to Tokyo, then onto Delhi and then finally landing in Goa. After some looking around I spotted my taxi man and I was relieved to find I was sharing the taxi with three other girls on my course. When the taxi stopped I did wonder where on earth we were. There was no sign for the yoga school and just a small gate opening to a dirt track. Luckily, 15 metres later we entered through a large gate and walked into the yoga school, few! I was so excited I was actually here, doing this! I instantly felt the relaxed laidback vibe of my new home and I liked it!
My cottage was simple, containing a bed and four shelves each for me and my roommate, a lovely polish girl. We had a basic bathroom soon to be used for all our cleaning and laundry needs! I soon emptied my belongings onto the shelves and went to a local restaurant with my new found fiends. It was technically not open for dinner but the lady served us a selection of food. I’m not entirely sure what all of it was but it tasted good and was vegan (so no chance of any weird animal parts)!
Most of the food was included as part of the course package and it was simple yogic vegetarian cuisine. We had fresh breakfasts consisting of fruits, porridge, muesli, yogurt or banana bread and Indian lunch and dinners consisting of rice, dhal, soups, veggies, salads and breads. It took a few days to figure out what was best to eat with my sensitive stomach but I soon got there and enjoyed most of the meals. The portions were plentiful and I really couldn’t believe that I didn’t miss meat! On our days off I tried some other vegetarian foods at the beach, which were also delicious and great value!
There were no TVs, no reliable wi-fi, no large comfy sofas, no luxuries (by western standards) and I didn’t miss any of it! I barely looked at my phone, I was simply living in the moment, which felt soo good! Living a simple, outdoors, in nature lifestyle definitely suited me, much to my surprise!
I stayed between Palolem and Agonda beaches in Southern Goa. I also visited Patnem beach but Agonda was definitely my favourite. It had a long, deep open sandy beach with clear warm water and an amazing laid back rustic atmosphere. The views of the sunset over the ocean were beautiful; so stunning and peaceful. There were numerous restaurants along the beach, as well as along the main road behind the beach that contained some shops also; selling jewellery, tea, clothes and toiletries etc. No surprise being India, there were cows roaming along the beach, the roads and I even saw one walking out of someone’s garden! I didn’t really see anywhere else in India but I am told Goa isn’t the real India, its cleaner and typically has higher standards. The people were friendly and it felt very safe, I’m sure I could find an excuse to come back again in the future!
The Training Schedule
We typically had classes 6.5 days per week, starting at 6:30am until 7pm. Each morning we did breathing exercises and chanted mantras, followed by a two hour physical yoga practice – the classes were AMAZING! Next we had anatomy, which was fascinating to learn how the body functions and how different each of our bodies truly are. Then we had the art of teaching class; learning about communication, space, chakras, pranayama, specific aspects of each yoga style etc. Next was philosophy; hearing many stories and historical insights from a true Indian yogi. Then we had alignment and adjustment class; breaking down each yoga pose, including how to carry out safe hands on adjustments on clients to help them reach the full benefits of the pose. The final class of the day was varied, consisting of a more relaxed yoga practices such as Yin, learning massage techniques, acro yoga or yogic singing called Kirtan to name a few.
The teachers were all very passionate and talented, coming from a range of backgrounds from Europe and India. They were each very open and supportive and always encouraged us to respect our bodies and never push ourselves past our limits. I never felt like they held back, they shared their knowledge with us authentically, each offering something different and valuable. They never judged us and I felt the students and teachers were on the same level. They worked very well as a team, which made the course work effectively. I can’t thank them enough for their patience, support and knowledge!
Yoga ‘TTC’ stands for ‘teacher training course’, but in the eyes of Trimurti teachers it can also mean ‘total transformation course’. In addition to developing my practical yoga postures, this four week period was an opportunity to look within, learn about my true nature, face some fears, let go of what was, practice living in the moment and not worry about the future. It was a chance to gain a range of amazing new experiences, along with a range of emotions; expressing myself in a free, safe and non-judgemental environment and get comfortable with sometimes being uncomfortable. The group of 30 others on this course all had their own journeys but we all shared a respect and love for one another, everybody was supportive, beautiful and amazing. We were like a yoga family. As a result I feel happier in my own skin, more confident in who I am and what I want to achieve, greater confirmation that thoughts are not facts, a more grateful outlook, more compassion and my ego has definitely been reduced! As a consequence I feel I have a deeper connection with people and the world around me, as well as myself.
Importantly, I also developed from yoga student to yoga teacher, putting together everything I had learned into my final teaching practicum. Although I was nervous beforehand, I really enjoyed it and felt calm and collected. It was a real confidence boost to receive such positive feedback too! Teaching yoga is totally what I want to do! Finally, I have found what I want to do in life! Hoorah! I am exactly where I need to be!
I aim to start teaching yoga to friends and teach classes in Japan, whilst working on my personal practice also. As a teacher I hope to empower and inspire others through their own yoga journey.
Hoping to share peace and yoga with you in the future,
**Thanks to Trimurti yoga and everyone else for sharing some of these wonderful photos**