Maa Kunjapuri temple, rishikesh
Travel,  Yoga

200 hours yoga teacher training: the experience

First of all, i have to say traveling to India, to Rishikesh, to take my yoga teacher training was completely spontaneous: this one day i was having salad with a friend and got a text about a training in India that’s affordable and good. Could i do it? I remember thinking this over and over again, while sending out my application, and while paying the deposit, i was still thinking “could i do it?” as if it hadn’t been decided yet. And two and a half months later, i was there. Sitting in the office, filling up forms and papers, seeing the first glimpse of people who would be my classmates for the next month.

Yoga teacher training in India Rishikesh

I remember so well looking at the welcome papers. I read them over and over again as if i couldn’t believe i was there. This is what the schedule was like for me:

  • 05:15 Wake up
  • 05:30 – 06:00 Morning tea
  • 06:00 – 06:30 Pranayama (yogic breathing) and shatkarma (yogic cleansing practices)
  • 06:30 – 08:30 Vinyasa Flow Yoga
  • 08:30 – 09:30 Breakfast
  • 09:30 – 10:30 Anatomy and Physiology
  • 11:00 – 12:30 Yoga Philosophy
  • 12:30 – 13:00 Lunch
  • 13:15 – 15:00 Rest / self-study
  • 15:00 – 16:00 Body Alignment
  • 16:00 – 17:30 Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga Asana
  • 18:00 –  19:00 Meditation / Mantra Chanting
  • 19:15 –  20:15 Dinner time
  • 20:15 Self Study – Rest time.

It felt so good to have a serious routine for a while, because for seven months my life has been nothing but a routine. I felt sucked into it. To the world of learning and yoga. I feel like i can’t simply put it to words so i will write parts of my journal here to share, one post every day for a couple of days – enjoy!

Yoga teacher training in India Rishikesh

Pieces from my journal

2nd of July

“The butterflies in my stomach are calm after so many days and so many tears and so much thinking i can’t do it, i can’t do it. But i am here, laying on my soft thick blanket, casually peeking out my window to see who is outside. For one month i will be here, for one whole month this will be my home. There is 30 people in my course, half of them boys from India and a few from Nepal, half western girls and one guy. First day of studying is halfway, we are doing neti cleansing every single morning, then pranayama, vinyasa flow, anatomy, philosophy… And i am so excited, every single thing excites me, all the new things i am going to learn. So much feelings.”

Yoga teacher training in India Rishikesh

4th of July

“Today i am a bit tired for the first time. Cats kept meowing loudly outside. I kind of wanted to relax and close my eyes and fall to the deep sleep again. But i sat up. Started breathing. Remembering the words of the meditation teacher: “promise me you will do this first thing in the morning. Promise me.” So i did. And breathed. Observed. And breathed. So many thoughts in my mind, Bohemian Rhapsody giving a soundtrack to them. Fat dogs. Cow poop. Should i wear a hoodie? Will the boys be looking at my butt? I wonder if the salt for cleansing is made from tap water because i swallowed it. So many thoughts. And i observed all of them. And the upper back pain, the sighs of frustration i let out, the light creeping in between the curtains, sounds of the kitchen boys making tea, the urge to crawl under my blanket again.

Yoga teacher training in India Rishikesh

And then i opened my eyes and adjusted myself to the dim 5.30 am light, slowly slowly started drinking my water, rose up and went outside to get my morning tea. Drank my tea, did the neti cleanse, did the pranayama, did the vinyasa flow. Chanted. Aligned myself, used all of my muscles, looked up to the sky, down to the earth, straight forwards to the hills with mist. Ate my breakfast mindfully. Did not nap, Changed into comfy clothes, came upstairs to the yoga hall to think. And wait. Next up is anatomy. Skeleton. Indian boys are slowly coming in. Back is hurting again but i have a strange joy that is bubbling out of me. Yesterday i had a strange joy also, i smiled and giggled and i chanted a mantra in sanskrit while everyone listened. Joy is bursting out every way it’s possible. So much good, deep feelings.

Yoga teacher training in India Rishikesh

And this morning class of philosophy was the most beautiful, i wanted to stay and dwell on it, i wanted him to keep on talking for hours and hours. The way he described life, modern life, how we have lost ourselves – now and just now i know what “finding yourself” means. How it doesn’t mean you find your personality, or what you like and what you don’t, what you act like or how you communicate. It’s not you. Finding yourself means going back home, to the you that is the witnessing presence of all this. And he said, you are ready to return home. To you. You think you chose to come to Rishikesh, but the reality is that Rishikesh chose you. Because you are ready.

Yoga teacher training in India Rishikesh

The only way i can describe how i feel: beautiful. I feel simply beautiful. I am understanding everything better hour after hour. And it’s only day three. I feel like this, bliss, joy, love. I promise to myself, to keep up with everything and anything i will learn. To keep returning home, day after day. I might lose myself, i might go wrong ways, but i will always, always keep on returning.”

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