Before starting my round-the-world trip, one of the few things on my agenda was a yoga teacher course. I figured I will have the time to spend one month in a yoga studio and that it will be a good opportunity to deepen my practice.
As the months went by, I was doing research and asking for good courses at every yoga studio I visited. I was almost completely flexible on timing and location, but wanted to find a set of good teachers in a genuine yogi environment. After dozens of options that did not match what I was looking for (from courses with great teachers held in posh business hotels in Ko-something in Thailand, sometimes at crazy prices, to remote locations in deep Sri Lanka where one had no idea what exactly will be taught), I gave up on the idea of becoming a yoga teacher this time around.
Months later, I was in Pokhara, Nepal with a couple of days to spare and nothing to do. I walked into a yoga studio, loved the teacher’s approach (one of the best I’ve ever had) and returned the next day for some more. At the end of that second class, the teacher asked me if I ever thought of doing a teacher course, she gave me the address of the school were she usually teaches and off I went. I cancelled my plans to visit Laos, got an Indian visa and booked my flight to Goa.
The one-month teacher course was intense – the days started at 7am and finished at 8pm with only a lunch break in between. Besides two daily asana classes, we listened to the theory of yoga, explored human anatomy and had lessons on “the art of teaching”. We also spent two hours every day in alignment classes focussing on only a couple of poses each day, learning how to get in and out of them properly, how to align them in every last detail, how to feel them energetically, how to adjust them for people with different health issues, how to use props and more. We closed every day with evening meditations that ranged from team-building techniques, to self-discovery methods, chakra meditations and analytical meditations on topics such as self-confidence or – this one seem to be coming back – see here – death.
All in all, the course was very technical and provided me with an in-depth understanding of basic yoga topics. As much as I appreciated this, I missed the slightly more esoteric approach and deeper discussions about our respective yoga practices. I missed being guided by experienced, wise teachers with decades of experience rather than by, although great and enthusiatic, still very young teachers who were only beginning to seriously discover the path themselves. Amidst tons of technical information I missed some wisdom that could help me grow my practice to the next level. But I guess that remains for me to discover for myself on the mat. Working on it with lots of enthusiasm and patience. Namaste!
(Note: most of the pics below are not mine but were taken by my yogi friends)