All yoga teacher training programs are somewhat different. I’m lucky I stumbled into one that allowed me to combine and learn the spiritual sides with the alignment side of yoga. I had a truly amazing experience. Even as some of the other girls complained about all of the homework and reading, I was on a high, learning about these amazing concepts and philosophy and excited to learn even more. This was why I left my job, and I’m so grateful I did for such a neat experience.
Our days were all different, but were all pretty intense. I was sick for both of our “days off” so I just used that time to catch up on my studying and reading.
Our training program was at the Love Temple in Arambol, Goa. Arambol is one of the cheaper towns in Goa, and is the most hippie. The nightly drum circle took place in front of the Love Temple, and it was really fun to be in such a great locaiton. Many of the places, like the Love Temple, Magic Park, and Cheeky Monkey, treated their raw veggies and fruits appropriately, so you could eat a salad. It was really wonderful. The sunsets on the beach were just gorgeous as well.
Our days went something like this:
5:50 a.m.: Wake up. Chant my mala beads with a mantra. Go running for 30-40 minutes. Quick shower and change before class.
7 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.: Meditation, chanting, morning asanas. Typically, our hardest of the practices.
9 a.m.-11 a.m.: Breakfast while discussing Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.
11 a.m. - 12 or 1p.m.: Break to get lunch, drop off/pick up laundry, run any errands, study, read one of our five books for class, prepare for presentations.
3 p.m. - 5 p.m. (on most days): Afternoon practice or workshop - discussing things like Ayruveda, yoga for women, injuries and yoga, assessing flexibility.
5 p.m. - 7 p.m.: Break to shower, study, peek in at the drum circle
7 p.m. - 8/830 p.m.: Evening practice - usually something gentle, like restorative, yoga nidra, yin yoga.
8:30 p.m. - 9:30/10:30 p.m.: Dinner with discussion - sometimes the lineages of yoga, types of yoga, business of yoga, etc.
After - study or read and pass out.
The days were long. As the month went on, it got hotter and hotter. Some girls wore pants, and I found them too hot to wear to our daily practice. During out 7p.m. practices, I learned to wear pants, lest I become mosquito dinner.
Our space was “Temple 3” - which was open air. It was lovely to hear the waves crashing, birds starting their day, seeing palm trees. It was difficult for asanas where we wanted to practice with our legs up on the wall (like full-arm balance or sirassana).
We ate a lot because we were hungry from practices, but mid-day, I’d usually opt for something like a fruit salad with curd - anything much heavier and I’d taste it during our mid-day practice.
I began to appreciate how awesome shawls were. I’d wear it during meditation and chanting in the morning practice when the night air was still a bit cool, and then cover myself with it during savassana. It was good in the evenings when you didn’t need a sweater but needed something, and I found them lovely and stylish.
We read the Yoga Sutras, and I really understood them. I reread Healing Mantras, and picked out a mantra to chant to inspire creativity. (Three days later, I wrote my first short story in over a year.) We colored in The Anatomy Coloring Book as we learned about the bones and muscles. I read Chakra Yoga, and discovered which asanas and pranayama opened which chakras. We consulted Iyengar’s Light on Yoga, treating it like our bible for every bit of instruction.
We met other yogis and doctors and learned from their perspective. I sent the occasional email, but barely went online and didn’t do any other reading (besides the required reading) - we were so busy.
I knew Wayne was coming at the end of my training program, but I was so focused on the awesomeness and intensity of the present moment that I couldn’t even anticipate that much.
The program taught me alignment, asanas, mantras, how to create a home practice, and so much more. It also taught me that this yoga training is helping me to heal my stressed body. It taught me what I really want in life. And it taught me it all through yoga.