I participated in a yoga teacher training for 21 days this summer in Bali. Perhaps you’re wondering whether to do a 200 hour training and how to choose a yoga teacher training. Maybe you’re simply curious about what it’s like to participate in a training. Keep reading to hear about my experience doing a 200h yoga teacher training.
My teacher training
I have just become a certified vinyasa yoga teacher after participating in an intensive training of 200 hours with Bodhi Yoga Academy in 21 days in Bali!
It has been intense. But also educational, tranformational, tough, wonderful and life-affirming all at once.I have gained so many new impressions and so much new information during the training, that it’s completely overwhelming.
It’s only now after the training I am able to digest everything. Now that I have the time and headspace to process and reflect on all of it. I don’t know how to write a blog post than even begins to cover the whole experience, a blog post that manages to give an impression of what it’s like to do an intensive yoga teacher training.
As a start, I’m just going to divide my yoga teacher training experience into small sections. The sections won’t be enough to explain how it was to experience all of it in the flesh. Hopefully I can still give a little insight into what it’s like to become a yoga teacher in 21 days.
My motivation to participate in a yoga teacher training
I didn’t have teaching in mind when I signed up for the training at all. Signing up actually came from a wish to gain more insight into yoga and dive deeper into my own yoga practice. I wanted to know more about the asanas (poses), anatomy, alignment, sequencing, pranayama (breath work), and meditation. All of it so I could have the tools to deepen my own practice.
So when I saw on Instagram that there was only 5 spots left and that the training began exactly 2 days after I finished my stay at a folk high school (a danish type of boarding school for creatives), I did it! I spontaneously signed up that same day.
The physical practice
I definitely recommend starting your own home yoga practice, if you haven’t already, before doing a yoga teacher training. Before the training I did yoga probably 5-7 times a week for at least 20 mins every time. If I had done less yoga before the training, I simply wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much. The physical exhaustion would have taken the attention away form other things.
Every morning I showed up at the studio at 6am with all of the other students. We would practice until 8am. In spite of my own (almost) daily practice beforehand my body was not used to doing yoga 2 hours (at least!) a day. Needless to say, the first week of the course I was completely sore all over. I felt quite tight everywhere and it actually felt like I had never been less flexible! On the other hand I felt strong.
A day off can make a world of difference
We were off every sunday. So after the first sunday day off, showing up to practice monday at 6am made for quite a different experience! I noticed that my body was adjusting, getting used to the daily 2 hour practice in the morning. I felt less tight and sore in my muscles, on the contrary! My practice has never felt more floaty and free than it did for the last 2 weeks of my yoga teacher training.
An important piece of advice is to do a training with teachers who inspire you! I cannot stress that enough. It was such a motivating factor for me, that I was learning from teachers, whom really resonated with me. Every morning practice and every new day was a possibility to learn something new from them. Doing the training with a view to go on to teach classes afterwards, it just makes so much sense to learn from someone whose style of teaching you actually like.
Yoga as a lifestyle
During the course of the training I finally truly realised that yoga is so much more than just the physical poses linked to the breath. Yoga is an entire life philosophy on its own. Besides the physical poses (asanas) there are 7 other limbs of yoga, which hold so much valuable information too!
The yamas and niyamas of yoga
The yamas and niyamas (two first limbs of yoga) are the moral guidelines / the life ethics in yoga philosophy. It surprised me how relevant and applicable to modern life their messages were even though the were written such a long time ago!
I can highly recommend reading a little bit about them for yourself to see which nuggets of wisdom you might find there. In the training we were speaking about these moral guidelines / life ethics from the perspective of our own daily lives. It opened up to a lot of reflections and stories about how to lead a fulfilling life. A life where you find contentment. A life where you reflect and improve your behaviour towards yourself, others, and your surroundings. I might write a later blog post on some of the ways to apply the yamas and niyamas to your own life to find contentment and fulfillment, if that sounds interesting?
To sum up what the philosophy lectures gave me: It simply gave me such a drive to lead a better life! To practice self-reflection, self-love, and self-development in my daily life. To question my old habits and ask whether they’re serving me or not and to stop running on auto-pilot so often! They gave me a drive to become a better version of myself and to do more for the world I live in. And it all starts by taking care of ourselves and listening to our own needs and wishes.
The social aspect
When you are going through the full range of feelings with the same group of people. Reaching physical exhaustion together. Are mentally and emotionally challenged together (a special thanks to the public speaking classes for this, which were super personal and some of the most challenging experiences I have had for a long time!). You become a little family during the training (like my friend Kate from the training worded it).
Having a group of people to share all of these experiences with, was what made it so special.We got to know each other more and more with each passing day. More and more layers were pealed off. One of the best memories I have from those weeks is sitting at a restaurant the night before graduation squeezing around 20 people in at a table meant for 10 people. Having a drink and feeling absolutely at home amongst these people.
Enjoying one of those last moments together as a group before everyone would all go back to our home in all sorts of difference places in the world. I’ve met people at the training I really hope I get to meet again. And I am extremely thankful for social media like instagram when it comes to this because I get to stay in touch with those people. It gives us the opportunity to follow along each others lives and to share our experiences as new teachers with each other even though most of us live far apart.
There are lots of things about doing a training I haven’t covered in this post. I might write another one where I elaborate on the experience, if you want to know more.