Hello Friends and Happy New Year!
First off, I’d like to apologize for the lack of posts this past month, but I’ve been in a whirlwind of activities since the start of December. Obviously, the one that most stands out as reflected in my title was my 200HR Yoga Teacher Training that took place in Mallorca, Spain over an intensive 17 days. There’s SO much I could share with you on this training, but I’m going to do my best to keep it as short as possible, so let’s give this a go.
To rewind just a bit, there was a moment sometime in mid-September when I realized my love for yoga had reached a certain point and my interest in furthering my practice was sparked. Since graduating college just over three years ago, I had picked up yoga and established my own self-practice at home. I hoped that by incorporating yoga into my routine, I’d see less injuries from running and working out. At the time, I only saw yoga as an alternate form of stretching and injury prevention that would allow me to continue running the long distances 365 days a year. Little did I know, that physical aspect was just a SMALL part of what yoga truly is.
Back to that September day, I made the commitment that I’d look into completing a yoga teacher training sometime in the next year. To be honest, I wasn’t necessarily 100% sold on teaching yoga, I truly wanted to do this for myself. I saw it as an opportunity to be in the present moment away from the hustle and bustle, grow, get to know myself, push boundaries, get out of my comfort zone, and of course, further and deepen my practice both mentally, physically, and spiritually. The idea of teaching yoga and running my own class at the time was actually terrifying to me since I never really saw myself as a teacher. Anyway, after only a few google searches and scrolls through bookyogaretreats, I stumbled upon the most fitting yoga teacher training in Mallorca, Spain. I can’t quite put my finger on what it was about this particular training, but I just knew it was the one and without little time to waste, I quickly applied and was accepted soon after.
Fast forward to December 1st, the day of our arrival. After over 13 hours of traveling, my anxiety and fear was through the roof. Between traveling on my own to a foreign country, meeting 27 other people from around the world, submerging myself in a truly INTENSIVE program (I mean physically, emotionally, mentally, all of above), and being completely in the unknown, I was no longer in control. I realized quickly I had to let go of my fears and just be in the present moment. Though I knew this was the approach I HAD to take, it certainly took a few days to accept and surrender to the program, be OK with the variety of emotions that overcame myself, and lastly, trust that we were in the amazing hands of our teachers.
I’ll be honest, the first few nights were definitely a struggle. I kid you not, I texted Justin after the first night “I MISS YOU SO MUCH!!!” and his response was “Babe, it’s only been a day…you have 17 more to go.” HAHA. Luckily, it only took a few more days (those of which were probably the hardest), to settle in and make friends. Fortunately enough, making friends was the easy part. I can barely put into words how truly amazing and kind-hearted everyone was from the very first second we all met. It was clear we were all here at this training for a reason. As we got to know one another, we all seemed to be at different cross-roads in our lives, but there was one thing we all knew for sure, and that was that we had set out to complete our yoga teacher training and somehow ended up on this beautiful little island off of the coast of Spain to achieve this goal together. Having this support system throughout the program was paramount in getting through the various emotions, challenges, fears, unknowns, excitements, and joy that each day had to bring.
Between 4 hours of yoga a day, to adventuring off through the trails that lined the coast, to meditating under the full moon while watching shooting stars fire past us, to running our very first yoga class, to practicing acro/partner yoga on the beach, to devouring homemade vegan meals daily, and to being vulnerable and opening our hopes and dreams up to one another…this experience was truly life changing. My expectations coming into this were completely naive. I assumed I’d come home nailing a handstand and adding hundreds of new asanas to my “toolkit” but what I ended up getting out of this program was SO much more.
We learned the history, philosophy, and foundations behind yoga. We learned about anatomy, cueing, safety, and sequencing. We learned about meditation, all of the amazing health benefits that yoga and meditation could bring, and the holistic approach known as Ayurveda. We made ever-lasting friendships. We conquered so many fears and (quite literally in a small fire by the beach) let them go. But what surprised me the most, was what I learned about myself and how much I grew in just 17 days. I know I have so much more to grow and couldn’t be more excited to see where my continued yoga practice takes me and hopefully, is something that I can teach and share with others one day!
I know that may all sound sappy and cliche but it’s 100% FOR REAL. I had heard before going to my teacher training that this experience would be life changing. At the time, I just shrugged that comment aside, not thinking anything of it. But, hey, I’m here to tell ya, it’s the truth! If anyone is interested in hearing more about my experience or just has general questions regarding yoga feel free to shoot me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org 🙂