Every opportunity to travel is an opportunity to learn.
Nothing can really prepare you for the experience you are in for doing a 200HR intensive yoga teacher training but i’ll try my best to explain a little bit of what I experienced during mine. If you’re anything like me you’ll spend months planning to make sure everything is ‘perfect’ but the reality of it is that it’s going to be perfect whether you only spend 10 minutes preparing, or if you are up all night for months on end searching to make the most out of every moment. I was the second one so trust me when I recommend that you should just go with the flow, because either way it won’t be a penny short of an incredible, life-changing experience. And for those that feel called to do a YTT but don’t know if its right for you, yoga is for any and every body, so my suggestion for you is to just go for it and see where it takes you.
.:Choosing a Yoga School:.
Choosing a Yoga School was probably my most challenging decision throughout my entire process, but when you find the right school you will just know. I had already known for about a year or so prior to my commitment to a yoga school that a Yoga Teacher Training would be in my near future, however never would I have guessed that it would take a loss so big that would push me to commit to a training. When my mom, a mother of 7, passed away on valentines day I knew that going someplace new and focusing my attention on something I am passionate about was exactly what I needed to do, so I dedicated nearly all of my free time to plan my journey.
Months prior to me registering I had seen a video for a yoga school that I couldn’t get out of my mind. It advertised sound healing, a positive ambiance, and cocoa ceremony which all had my interest, but it seemed impossible to find this video again once I became serious about my commitment. When I finally found this video again on The School Yoga Institute’s website, I registered right away.
I chose a school that focuses on Shamanic practices and the spiritual aspect of yoga more than the physical because that what was calling me, but during my research I found schools that also focused on asana, hypnotherapy, meditation, tantra, and all other forms of yoga. Having so many options can be a bit overwhelming for some people, but for me I knew what one was right for me. I knew nothing about shamanism before this course, but after learning about what it entails I had to know more. I think committing to what calls you rather than following the trend of what others are doing is the most important factor in choosing a school that will nourish what you’re craving.
My older sister joined me for this training which was a 3 week intensive with a focus on shamanic practice from the Peruvian Medicine Wheel. Shamanism is a spiritual practice in yoga where practitioners reach an altered state of consciousness to interact with spirits and channel transcendental energy. Many guest teachers came to share their work with us and we got to experience tantra yoga, breath work, balinese dance and other forms of meditation. We stayed in Ubud at the Dragonfly Village which was very serene located in the rice fields with a pool, sauna, food on site and nearby, however, it was a bit pricy compared to other similar places in the area so I probably won’t be staying there again. Our instructors were full of inspiring knowledge, and both are moving forward with their own yoga schools. Our group felt very lucky to have them as our teachers for their last training with SYI. Darin and Andi really balanced each other with their different experiences in the various yoga practices that were taught so it was nice to see things from more than one perspective.
Our days started at 6AM with meditation and yoga and ended most nights at 8:30 with music. The food was all plant-based which I didn’t realize until I got there and was taken by surprise. Coming from being nearly a carnivore it seemed impossible to not eat meat, but as each meal filled my belly I found myself missing meat less and less and by the end of the course I couldn’t wait to learn how to recreate these meals to have in my daily life at home. We had about 4 hours each day for lunch which allowed for us to experience the different parts of Ubud, and we spent a lot of our free time studying by the pool sippin’ on smoothies and coconuts. We had 4 days off throughout our entire 3 week training and we spent those days exploring other breathtaking parts of Bali. Some of my favorite places to visit were the Pura Tirta Empul Water Temple,The yoga barn, Rice Fields, Ubud Food Festival, and Waterfalls. Bali truly is magical and the energy there is manifesting.
Saying goodbye is never easy, which is why I always say “see you soon” instead. Leaving the community and support system I was just getting used to wasn’t easy, tears were shed and hugs were shared but memories will forever be cherished. Many of us planned to stay for a few extra days to explore the island where we spent time surfing and hanging out with friends in Canggu and Keramas. Seeing the other parts of Bali was incredible, but it wouldn’t have been the same without the people I shared these memories with. Although I have left Bali, Bali hasn’t left me.
**If you want to see more pictures from my experience in Bali click here**