Yoga Teacher Training, Goa, India, 2017
Reflecting on this magical experience I find it hard to sum it up in just a few paragraphs, If I did we would be here forever! Boarding the aircraft from Cape Town, South Africa to Goa, India was one of the most bold decisions I have made in my life.
Arriving at Shiva Shakti Yoga school was a nerve-wrecking experience, but in no time I settled in and met the others who would be joining me on this magical journey.
Our group at Shiva Shakti was humorously named the ‘Singing Lions’. We were a small group of 9 for the February 2017 course, ranging in age from 18-55 from all over the world.
Shiva Shakti is a traditional yoga school teaching Hatha Yoga philosophy that signifies “pure consciousness” the balance between active and passive energies.
Shiva Shakti teaches the ancient practice of Hatha Yoga in the land which Yoga originates from, taught by teachers from the land who were also taught in a traditional ancient way.
It taught me to trust, blindly without question, this unwavering trust is ultimately the trust and belief you have in yourself.
To fall madly involve with people you would otherwise have not met, and maybe I’ll never see them again but that love I will hold onto fondly.
To be strong and courageous. There were many, many times during the first two weeks that I thought I could not do it. I was way out of my comfort zone, no hot water, at least 6 frogs ranging in sizes from baby to full-grown adult scattered on my walls.Every. Single. Night.
A mouse that visited me a number of times and would only be deterred by me purring loudly like a cat (take a moment to picture this in your mind), eating foods I had never before eaten, crying in front of strangers, hot humid days and power outages were the norm.
The people, the food, the colours, the smells, the little village and all I came to know so fondly. The beaches, so many and so beautiful but forever my favourite is Kola beach, oh, if a place could steal your heart!
Seely and Prapti who graciously woke up before the sun every morning to lovingly prepare our meals for the day, always with a smile on their face and always with joy. They would retire long after we did, and I would fall asleep to the sound of them cleaning the plates from the night’s dinner. The next morning their friendly faces would be he first to greet me as I make way down to breakfast.
Being in an enlightened environment allowed me to peel off many layers of myself, slowly revealing and coming into my true self, defining my path, choosing a lifestyle, devoting time to things that serve me, to grow, to heal, to retreat, to recover. The spiritual growth occurred in the thousands.
A time I will never forget.The experience of a lifetime.
What to expect at Yoga Teacher Training: A Typical Day
6am- Wake up call/5:30 am on the days you are practising Karma Yoga
6:30am- Jala Neti (nasal cleaning with water)
9am- Yoga Asana Practice- 2 hours
**after lunch there was enough time for me to slip away to the beach for half an hour**
12-3pm afternoon instruction covering Yoga Philosophy, Anatomy, Meditation and Mantra chanting
3pm- Short tea break
3:30pm-5pm Yoga Asana
**After 5 pm we will all head to the beach or the village to enjoy a Lassi and the breathtaking sunset.**
7pm- dinner is served
Contemplating Yoga Teacher Training?
If you are contemplating a Yoga Teacher training there are few things to consider…
1.Where to study?
I would highly recommend taking the time off and travelling to study in India the land from where all Yoga originates. In particular Goa and Rishikesh are the top spots and of course Mysore for Ashtanga.
2. Research carefully
Research schools carefully, only select schools that are registered with Yoga Alliance, their website has a built in. search directory which you can filter by geographical location. There are many different Yoga schools that range in affordability and luxury.
3.Yoga style,location and instruction
Consider the location of your school, the type of Yoga instructed, instruction style, accommodation and meals. Most Yoga schools abroad offer an all-inclusive package, including accommodation and all meals, review a few packages to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth.
4. Go solo
Take the course solo, do not go with friends or anyone you know. The experience is more liberating without having any attachments to anything or anyone during that sacred time.
5. Be prepared
Be prepared for long hours of instruction, the afternoons are usually consumed by philosophy, anatomy, meditation and chanting.
Be prepared to shed many layers of yourself, you will walk out of this a changed person.
6. Take time out
As you will constantly be surrounded by people during your course remember to carve out a little time for yourself. To think, journal, be still.
7. Extend your stay
If you are travelling abroad for your course I highly recommend you book a few days after the course to explore the country.
8. Make lasting memories
Remember to REMEMBER, everything.
9. Get more bang for your buck
Lastly, if you are considering studying in your home country, I stress again, weigh up the cost of studying at home versus travelling abroad. In a lot of cases it is actually cheaper to travel abroad. If you live in South Africa, typically a 200 hour teacher training costs around R 25 000 which covers only instruction and learning materials. It is often not in-house so you will have to commute daily to the studio and does not cover meals or accommodation. vs. Study in India: my course cost a total of R 19 000 inclusive of 21 nights and 22 days single/private accommodation, three vegetarian meals a day and all teaching materials. Of course there is an additional cost of a ticket, which at the time was R 9000 return.
If you have any comments or questions about Yoga Teacher training courses or selecting a school ,submit your comments below and I will get back to you.
With love and light
p.s don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @starshineyogi for daily images and videos.