Tuesday, 3 April 2012

The final 3 weeks of our Yoga Teacher Training in Goa :)

Week 2
An Indian person from outside the Yoga Centre visited us to practise Yoga Nidra with us – deep relaxation. It felt brilliant, even if I cannot remember everything. I felt so refreshed afterwards. He taught us, that we have three points where all our emotions go through- the fingers, toes and lips!

Just beforehand we had our 3rd Bakti Session with Yam and I got really emotional when we were lying in Shavassana and listened to the song: “Love is a healer” During that song, Yam placed a flower on our stomach, which I didn’t even realize. We all went together to the wooden bridge, which connects Ashiyana with the beach and we dropped our flowers into the river. It was a beautiful experience and such a lovely picture.
First I didn’t think I would like these Bakti sessions, as they were really intimidating for me. But it seems like I was able to open up and my real me came out. I enjoy chanting in a group, playing some instruments with it and dance ;) Seems like singing with my students in Vietnam really effected me positively ;)

This week just flew by! Unbelievable it is already Saturday. We did a lot this week for sure, we were teaching in groups of nine a few times. Just same small sequences, but it felt good and it was a positive and encouraging experience. 

I even look forward to teach for 20 minutes; also it pushes me out of my comfort zone for sure. But I deliberately put some breathing exercise in my session and some Yoga mantra, as I would like to try it. Maybe even some chanting in the end ;) Let’s see if I am so adventurous.
I am so grateful and glad I picked this centre to study Yoga. It seems to be exactly the right choice for me and I feel more and more every day that I have changed so much in the last 2-3 years as a person. I am much calmer and balanced then I ever was or I could remember. And it still seems like people recognize my smile and my cheeky eyes ;) what a lovely compliment that was! I am more then grateful for this. You know, sometimes we always think about money and we need to save and be careful. Yes, I agree – we should be responsible, however sometimes we also need to spend some money to open maybe another door, another opportunity, discover something we have never experienced and which enriches us as a person and for our life. Is that not much more worth then any money in the bank account?!

On Thursday we had full moon and on that day there was a festival here in India called “Holi”. It was an official bank holiday and it celebrates the start of the harvest season. I would call it the festival of the colours as everyone is throwing colours at each other. So we had an Asana session on the beach that morning and after that we were throwing colours at each other and afterwards had a dip in the sea! It was perfect :) So much fun!

In the afternoon, when we walked in the village, we were stopped from local Indian kids and you could pay a fee or you will be thrown colours at you. So we got coloured a second time :) The colours are really bright one’s and look really funny! What a cool tradition, I like it!

In the evening we had a special gathering at the bonfire on the beach. We could prepare one sentence, written on a small piece of paper and/or one flower. The sentence was about something you want to let go, any fear etc. and the flower was given to the sea and we should think about feelings we wanted to share and give to others. So I did both.
My sentence on my paper stays within me or burned in the fire and hopefully disappeared ;)
I shared my flower with Laura as she had lost hers. I shared happiness, contentment, joy & peace.
We chanted a few songs around the bonfire and danced. It was a lovely evening, one to remember as we all had such a great time :)

Week 3 + 4
The last 2 weeks of the Yoga Teacher Training flew by. We started with our 20min Teaching classes in the 3rd week and I volunteered to teach straight away on Monday, which put some pressure on my preparation, but I felt much more comfortable to go first, then to wait for several days ;) I guess that’s me!
The class went well, and I got really lovely feedback from my “students” like good instructions, clear voice, good adjustments, nice music, lovely mantra and good relaxation at the end. I was once more very happy and smiled all day :)
During our 2-hour break in the afternoon, we usually went swimming and I had some ice cream! It was lovely to have the sea & beach so close by.
Wednesday afternoon was our half day off and we went once more to the Anjuna Flea market, where we just strolled through the stalls, had great coffee & cake and a lovely Indian dinner during sunset until we had to be back to our 8pm evening session. But I loved Wednesdays ;)

We also started our Self-Practice in the 3rd week, which meant we didn’t have any guided Asana sessions anymore in the morning from 7.30 – 9.30am. Instead we were all doing Self-Practice. It was good to rehearse our 20min classes and to slowly think about the following 45min classes, which will start in the 4th week. In the beginning the Self-Practice was really challenging, but it got much better over time I have to say. However I was also looking forward to another guided class from Linda on the beach on Sunday. This was optional, because Sunday is our day off. But I love to do Yoga on the beach, so I was there ;) 

We jumped in the water afterwards, which was a brilliant treat after our Yoga practise.

That's how it looks like when Yoga mats need to dry after they got cleaned from all the sand on the beach ;)

As it was our last Sunday together as a group, Jose and I decided to walk once more to Arambol on the beach and have some food there and a shopping stroll. I also had to buy my bus ticket for the following week to go with the overnight bus to Hampi. We had a great day off, such a tasty café latte and apple crumble.

On Monday our 45min teaching sessions started and I volunteered again to teach Monday afternoon. I was excited and nervous at the same time. The Yoga Teachers gave us a lot of guidelines, what had to be included in our lessons, so it felt like the 45min were even too short. This time I even planned to include a chant in it. I really fell in love with chanting I have to say. It makes me feel good! There was a lot going on in the 4th week as we also had to sit an Anatomy test and this was not my best subject really. But I decided to start 2 days beforehand with studying after I finished my 45min teaching class. Some people were studying for 3 weeks, but I didn’t stress myself. I really wanted to enjoy my time in Ashiyana and not getting stressed. I think I got that from the Irish people ;) I could have never been so relaxed without living in Ireland for 8 years! Thank you Ireland and for sure thanks to the lovely Irish people.

My teaching session went well and once more I got lovely feedback. Students told me I nailed the Sun Salutation Instructions and they loved my Spiral flow. Overall the whole lesson had a good flow :) As you can imagine, I had a big big smile on my face afterwards! One student even told me that she would pay for my lessons. Does that sound good?! Yes, it does :)  

I was anxious to receive the final feedback from our Yoga teachers, but it was not planned until Saturday. Long time to go really, but I enjoyed attending all the other Yoga teacher classes from the other students. You can already see all the different styles people have and will develop over time. It is amazing & fascinating at the same time. 
It seems like I have a combined more styles into my class as my Sun Salutations & Spiral flows are challenging and more powerful Yoga, but the Pranayamas and the relaxation is very mellow and soft :)

On of the evenings in the last week, Chris actually took us all for a walk – a mindful, silent walk up the nearby hill to watch the sunset. It was stunning and very peaceful :)

We had another guest speaker in Ashiyana, which I really liked. He is offering another workshop on Yoga, where you will be trained to find out what different Asana’s and practices suit different students taking into account how each person is built. Have a look at the website if you are interested :)

I loved his approach, his name is Jai and he is from Australia. He might do an 18days workshop at Ashiyana in October this year. Let’s see, but I would love to join this one, as it appealed to me and I think he has the right approach!

Some students already got a bit distracted and some even stressed, because they were already thinking about leaving Ashiyana soon, even if it was still a few more days to go. I think or maybe better said I felt, that I was able to live much more in the present moment, instead of always thinking about the future and to plan ahead. I’m actually even a bit proud, that I am finally able to do it and even can relax ;) I feel good and hope I can even improve it over time.
All our teaching sessions were over by Thursday, followed by our Anatomy Test in the afternoon, which actually went well. To my own surprise, I scored 81%, which was really good for me :) I was pleased.

On Friday we had some more Partner yoga sessions.

In the afternoon we all split into groups and took some lovely pictures on the beach in different Asana postures. Doesn't it look gorgeous?!


Jose and myself took a few more shots ourselves afterwards during the sunset and I finally was wearing my new cool Indian trousers :) Aren’t they funky? I love them ;)

Friday night we had our creative evening, which meant that everybody who had a talent could actually go on stage and show it to all of us - except Yoga of course :) It was a fun night, and nice that so many people prepared something. Sandra was a Comedian, Jose taught how to play the drums with our body, Penny performed a song - she has a gorgeous voice and as a group of 8 we actually performed a dance which Ashley helped us to study just an hour beforehand - but he is a professional dance instructor and we did well :) For sure we all had fun!

On Saturday we already had our closing ceremony in the afternoon, where we received our Teaching Certificates. It was unreal how the time was flying and we all could hardly believe that these 4 weeks were really over!

In the morning we had a Meditation session called “Kundalini”, which was so cool! It was very different to any other things we had done, but I liked it. It was split in 4 parts. 15min of moving on the spot, feet hip width apart and eyes closed. Your feet shouldn’t move at all. The 2nd 15min, we were allowed to move and dance, do whatever movement felt comfortable for our body, but just don’t stop moving. Then 15min sitting on our mat in a cross-legged position and the last 15min lying in Shavassana and just relaxing :)

The closing ceremony was beautiful, very festive :) Have a look at the pics ;)

Our Angels

Our lovely teacher team!

Finally on Saturday evening, I got my personal feedback. Linda told me that I really gained confidence throughout the course and that I pulled off my 45 min class. She loved my Spiral Flow :) Her advice was, to do as much self-practice as possible, be creative and show myself AND get out there and teach! I was more then pleased with that feedback :)

On Saturday night, most of us went to a local restaurant around the corner to have some lovely dinner together. I ate some homemade pasta and for dessert some chocolate bonbons with ice cream :) What a treat!

I still haven’t had any meat or alcohol since 4 weeks ;)

This evening we had to say goodbye to the first people leaving. It reminded me a bit about IBM CSC in Vietnam, however it had been much more intense during CSC times then here in Goa, thank god! We were 36 people compared to 10 in Vietnam, which made a huge difference.
Jose had to leave already as well, even if I would have loved to travel with here for a while. I am sure she would have been an awesome person to travel with ;)
But who knows what lies in the future, maybe another time :)

Bye Bye gorgeous Mandrem Beach, Arambol and Goa! I am sure I will be back :)

I will miss the tasty breakfast!!!

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