Sunday, 4 March 2012

My first week at the Yoga Teacher Training in Goa

the way to Ashiyana

Reception Ashiyana

Mandrem Beach

beautiful house by our river
On my way to India I had a one-night stop over in Singapore. I was really excited as I was able to see Nicole and Dennis again :) The time flew by so but at least we had some time to catch up on things. Had to get up at 5.30am to catch my flight to Chennai so.
Flying out from Singapore airport, the Indian guy who checked me in was really friendly. However they were not able to check my luggage through to Goa even flying with the same airline “Air India”. Oh well, might be a good thing I though, at least I can pick up my luggage and make sure it is checked in to Goa :) Boarding the aircraft to Chennai I realized that we were only 2 Western people on the entire airplane and I was the only Western woman. The plan was 40% full, so I was lucky to have a whole row for myself and I was able to sleep a bit.
The first impressions when I saw India from looking down of the airplane:
Wow the houses are so colourful, the red dirty sandy roads look like in Vietnam and some of the scenery too ;) A lot of palm trees everywhere and stunning green fields!

However Chennai airport is just being rebuild and it is a mess :) Have you known, that you are not allowed to stay at the airport in India longer then 3 hours before you departure? That means if you have a layover of 6 hours at any airport in India you need to go outside and then ask for permission to enter the airport again as a visitor, where you are allowed to be in a specific area just with a few chairs, mosquitoes and nothing else really. So was waiting there for 3 hours until I was allowed to go back into the airport building before my departure to Goa. However I met an Indian man, who actually was waiting for the same connection flight, so we got chatting a bit and talked about different cultures and countries and the time flew by ;)

Arriving in Goa, I got my luggage and a driver from Ashiyana was waiting for me at the airport to bring me to the Yoga Centre, which was a 1.5 hours drive. As I arrived around 5.30pm it was a perfect time to watch the sunset in the car!!! The drive was beautiful, through small sleepy towns, just a few shops, no tourists at all, but a lot of cars and some motorbikes, which all drove a way too fast for these small roads. On highways (so called one’s) it is compulsory to wear helmets in India, but on any other smaller road it isn’t. Does that make sense? I doubt it, but 98% drive without helmets! Scary I think! Living in Vietnam and knowing what accidents can happen… :(

For the first two nights I shared a room outside the Yoga Centre with a Canadian girl. We got on pretty well and so we spent some time exploring the nearby village, going for a swim and a run in the morning. It is so nice, calm and relaxing here, I love it. The scenery is stunning and the beach is unreal! So wide and long, perfect for running in the morning!
What beautiful sunrises they have here in Goa! If you think it looks like on a postcard, I can only assure you it does!!!! Fascinating gorgeous!

On our first Saturday night we went to a nearby night market and I can tell you this one was huge! We had 2 hours, but that was not enough! So many stalls and it was so interesting :) I'm sure we will go back. 

A lot of people arrived over the last two days until Sunday evening. We found out that we are 36 people in total for our Yoga Teacher Training! Wow!!! So Sunday evening we had a ceremony to clean our minds before we started on Monday. 

The most difficult thing will be to be in silence from 8pm – 11am!!! No communication at all – not personally or on the Internet. Oh well Kerstin that will be a challenge indeed!

It’s the 3rd day of the training and it feels like I’m already here for weeks! There was so much going on really, that time is flying by! Beside all the Training Schedule I decided to get up at 6am every morning to go for a run before our Asana practise starts at 7.30am.

Yoga Shala
in the Yoga Shala

The beach is gorgeous, long and wide and the sand it pretty hard, which is just perfect for a run. The nights here in Goa are pretty cool (20degrees) and the sun rises quiet late (6.45am). So I usually run in the dawn, but by the time I finish the sun is up. So I am very fortunate to watch the sunrise during my run every morning surrounded by beautiful scenery! The only downside is wild dogs along the beach which are pretty scary and don’t like runners really.

So the local Indian guys taught me to carry a stick with me, which actually helps. Still scary so I have to say. Depending on how much time I have before my Asana practise I usually run around 40min every morning. It does me well, however after the 2 hours Yoga practise afterwards I am usually starving!
Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day I have to say, fresh fruit salad (even with strawberries in it!!! After living in Vietnam you really appreciate this ;) and Yoghurt or a kind of Oat/Milk rice with cinnamon in it! So tasty, I love it! They even bake some fresh bread every morning, sometimes with Walnuts or Carrots in it. It is so tasty and it is served with homemade jam! We are spoiled for breakfast for sure :)

We already had a lot of Theory classes and I know we kind of need them. However it is a lot of information, millions of new words or Yoga jargon to get used to. Everything is really interesting so and I know I will enrich my life for sure! The silent time doesn’t feel too bad I have to say, thought it might be a lot worth. It feels actually quiet good for a few hours to be by yourself and that you don’t have to communicate or talk at all.

The timetable is packed:

  7.30 –   9.30: Asana practise
  9.30 – 10.30: Breakfast/Shower/Getting ready for Theory classes
10.30 – 14.10: Theory classes (Physiology, Anatomy, Philosophy etc.)
14.10 – 15.00: Lunch
15.00 – 16.30: Study time
16.30 – 19.00: Workshops or Theory classes
19.00 – 20.00: Dinner
20.00 – 21.30: Chanting, Music, Movie

It said on the website that Wednesdays are half days and Sundays are off. Today we discovered that Wednesday afternoons are actually only off and that mean 4hours in total. We still have to be here for dinner and the evening program at 8pm! Oh well, I guess we will survive or get used to it ;)

I forgot to mention that we actually started with 36 people, but after the first day one guy disappeared in the morning without telling anybody where he went. He just decided to not continue with the training. He actually flew all the way from the UK to India!!! Seems like it was not the right time in his life so to do that training.

I’m staying in a lovely so called “beach hut” which is more like a “river hut” as the Veranda is facing the river in a beautiful surrounding. 

It is pretty spacious with a double bed in it, a bamboo stick as your wardrobe and a small bedside table and a chest with a gorgeous mirror framed by a lot of different colourful stones. The bathroom is outside and shared with another person.

Lunch and Dinner is pretty much the same every day. Vegetarian food, mostly salad, vegetable soup, rice, some kind of curry and for dinner we have a dessert. Another highlight of the day as it usually contains chocolate or some kind of cake :) Yummy!

dining area

kitchen area

dining area

Bedtime is around 10pm as I am usually so tired, that my eyes just wanted to rest and my body is exhausted and needs to rest. Can only be healthy to sleep so early!

It’s the 7th day of the training now and as it is Sunday it is our day off :) So we were advised to rest and not to do any Yoga practise at all. So for the first time I didn’t run as I decided to have a real rest day!
We’ll be walking to Arambol this afternoon, which is a 40 min walk on the beach to have some coffee and maybe some lovely cake. Apparently it is also a good place for some shopping so let’s wait and see. We plan to finish the day with a lovely dinner outside the centre before returning for our Evening event tonight.

I am excited how the next week will go :) Will keep you posted. Enjoy life :)


  1. Hallo Kerstin, ist immer wieder erstaunlich, Deine Beschreibungen von dieser fremden, unbekannten Welt zu hören. Ich freue mich, daß Du all diese Dinge so aufnehmen kannst und als positive Erlebnisse in Dir speichern kannst. Ich bin persönlich davon überzeugt, daß es extrem bereichernd ist, wenn man neue Dinge zulassen kann. Bitte pass auf, wenn Du läufst, das mit den Hunden klingt wirklich gruselig!!!
    Für's Essen würd ich jederzeit auf einen Besuch vorbeikommen ;-) (bin ja Vegetarier, und was Du da beschreibst, klingt echt lecker!).
    Hab vergessen, wie lang Du in Goa bleiben wirst...? Und was machst Du nachher?
    Ganz liebe Grüße aus Wien, Susanne

  2. Sounds so cool and cleansing for the body and soul, thanks for sharing these gems with the blogging population kerstin!

  3. Hey Kerstin,

    Looks and sounds great. Don't know if I could stop talking for that long each day or refrain from eating meat but the runs on the beach and sunsets are attractive.
    Take car and the ELI misses you!

  4. Hi Susanne,
    Danke fuer den comment. Das Teacher Training geht bis Ende Maerz. Dann treff ich eine Freundin in Nepal und werde dannach wieder nach Indien kommen und dort noch ein bissl reisen. Dann geht's zurueck nach Danang und mal sehn ob ich dann English und Yoga unterrichten kann ;)
    Lass es Dir gutgehn und Gruesse nach Wien

    Hi Alessandra,
    hehe, it is exactly that :) Would have never wanted to miss it! An experience of a lifetime ;) You should come and try it as well. I am sure you would like it.

    Hi Quentin,
    Thanks :) It is indeed lovely and great! Still haven't touched any meat yet. Pretty proud of that ;) I miss ELI as well, but will be back :)

    1. Thanks for the useful information. Your article is beneficial for us and those who are searching for yoga teachers training in goa.

  5. nice blog..thanks for sharing it....

  6. Thank you.. I am going here for training in October :) x

  7. This is really a nice blog. very informative & very interesting. I m Glad that fortunately i found it on Google, thanks for this Great Info. Yoga Teacher Training in Goa || Yttc in Goa || 200 hours Yoga Teacher Training in Goa || Yoga Retreat in Goa

    1. You are welcome! I am glad if other people find my blog beneficial. Enjoy doing Yoga :)

  8. Thanks for sharing this! I'm doing my training in February and getting a bit nervous now. It's great to hear from someone who has done one!

  9. Enjoy Jessica! Glad you liked the blog entry :)