Reflections From a Yoga Teacher Training

My YTT200 Experience:

If you are wondering what the 21 days of an intensive 200 Hr Yoga Teacher Training would be like and what to expect, here is a tiny glimpse into my own experience…

The training I attended was with Zuna Yoga and it took place in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.  As I was looking into the many different training options, I was lucky enough to be introduced to Zuna Yoga through a friend who had just completed her own YTT200 with them.  I met some of the most incredible people and overall had a wonderful experience of intense growth and learning.

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The Schedule

Intense. Silent mornings. Long days. Fun. Encouragement. Laughter. Yummy food. Practice, practice and more practice. Meditation. Lots of learning. Beautiful People. That about sums up the days of the training! 🙂

  • 6:00am-8:30am: Practice/Meditation
  • 8:30am-9:30am: Breakfast
  • 9:30am-12:00pm: Lecture: Philosophy
  • 12:00pm-1:30pm Lunch/Freetime
  • 1:30pm-3:45pm: Lecture/Practicum
  • 3:45pm-4:15pm: Fruit Snack Break
  • 4:15pm-6:15pm: Practice/Meditation
  • 6:30pm-7:45pm: Dinner

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The classes took place in a beautiful shala open to the rainforest and rice fields.

Lodging

The setting was the beautiful Azadi Retreat where we were surrounded by lush rice fields and infinity pools.  Located just outside of the busy town of Ubud, there was just enough peace and serenity to help center yourself and stay focused.

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Lunch breaks were often accompanied by pool lounging sessions and fresh coconuts.  Talk about Bali bliss!

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What I Learned/My Main Takeaways:

  • Yoga = becoming the best version of yourself.  This was definitely one of the most powerful things I learned from the training.  So much of yoga is not just about the postures/asanas.  Even though that is what people often first think of when you say the word yoga…but it is so much deeper than just that.  The physical level is only a tool to help us reach deeper into the highest aspects of ourselves and our consciousness and become one with our breath.  I always hear people say “I’m not very flexible so I can’t do yoga”…and in reality, it is not about flexibility or how good you are at the postures.  Yes, of course in time it will help improve your strength and flexibility, but it is ultimately so much more powerful and beneficial than just that.  Anyone can do yoga…no matter what level of experience you have…because anyone and everyone can aim to be the best version of themselves no matter what level you are at.  And that is just beautiful!
  • Why our breath is so important: In the past, I never really thought too much about the way I breathe.  Yes, in yoga classes we are always reminded of taking a certain type of breath, etc…but I can honestly say that I never really understood why or how.  Learning about prana and energy and how it all flows through your body and affects your mind and actions was beyond interesting and helpful to me in so many ways.  Ultimately it is all about mastering our breath in order to master our mind and body and become “the best version of ourselves”! 😉
  • Meditation- What it truly means to meditate and the way it affects our brain and life was probably my greatest takeaway.  Beyond the postures and our breath, I learned that this is the ultimate goal of yoga.  Becoming more present and being able to direct our mind can be challenging in today’s world that is full of so many distractions, and meditation is the exact tool we need to help do just that.  Of course, meditation and mindfulness are big buzzwords in our society these days, and although I had some experience with it all, I’m not sure I ever really understood what it meant until I went to this training.  I think I’m definitely still learning, and it’s most likely something I will continue to improve on, and I’ve started to realize that is ok. The important part is moving in the right direction of it all.

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Preparation Tips:

  • Bring A LOT of paper: notebooks, pens, sticky notes, notecards, highlighters, etc.  I’m pretty sure that almost every person at our training ran out of pens to use.  There is SO much information and learning taking place, and you are going to want to take a lot of notes, so make sure you are prepared for it.
  • Limit your distractions. Whether it be your friends, family, other students, teachers, roommates, etc….try to focus on yourself the entire time.  It can be easy to get caught up in other people’s emotions or situations. However, just as you should at any and all times in life, focus on yourself.  (That also means don’t get distracted by your phone when you can finally get on and check to see what the outside world is doing!)  Try to ignore or avoid anything and everything that might take away from your own personal growth experience.  This was something I struggled with at times, and I think it is also one of the most important parts of the process.
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself.   Learning is a process and everyone starts in different places.  Sometimes I found myself feeling frustrated that I wasn’t sure I really understood how to meditate (Was I doing it right? Is everyone else more advanced in this practice than me? Etc…). Just like we should be doing in everyday life, don’t judge yourself.  Focus on self-love and remember that growth is a process.  It doesn’t happen overnight and it is ok if you aren’t perfect.

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Summary

When I first began my yoga journey years ago I had no idea that I would one day decide to become a yoga instructor.  Even when beginning my Yoga Teacher Training, I didn’t really have a clue that I would actually want to teach at the end of it all.  Quite honestly, the urge to teach didn’t even come to me until months later really.  This might be because I was still exploring the world and so removed from any sort of real reality that I was used to.  Or it might be because I was so worn out and mentally and physically challenged at the end of it all (in the best way ever),  that yoga and I just needed a little bit of a break.

As a child, I remember that a large part of my prayers in the evening would be focused on asking to be the best person I could be.  When learning in my yoga teacher training that yoga essentially is just that… “being the best version of yourself”…I can’t tell you how aligned I felt with this practice.  I’m not just talking about the asanas (the postures), but the entire process and lifestyle of focusing on the feel-good things in life, the things that ultimately lead us to be just that…the best versions of ourselves.  So I encourage you, myself and everyone to do just that.  I have a feeling that it will not lead us astray.

When I first made the decision to go to a yoga teacher training I knew that I would encounter some incredible souls.  I didn’t realize how special and impactful those interactions would really be.  I also didn’t realize the depth of learning and transformation that would take place.  The information and skills I have learned and continue to learn are so profound and beneficial.  I am filled with gratitude that I was able to experience it all.

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The learning isn’t over yet either, it is a lifelong process.  If you have ever considered a Yoga Teacher Training, whether it be for self-growth and discovery or to begin a new career or venture, I highly suggest you do it!  It is by far one of the most profound experiences I have ever had and I have no doubt that the skills you can learn will help any and every person.  After all, who doesn’t want to be “the best version of themselves”!?

Namaste! XOXO

(For more info on traveling to Bali, check out my blog about all things Bali Bliss here.)

 

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