I am so pleased to say that I completed my 200 hour Yoga Teacher in Training in India at Upaya Yoga School! I am so excited to share my knowledge and experience to you all, I had the most wonderful experience.
My instructors were very knowledgeable and informative and my classmates were friendly as we became "one" and a family. It was a bittersweet at the end to say our goodbye’s but we shared some magical moments together! Not to mention, the delicious Aryuvedic Food that they served three times a day – YUM! Perfect Yogini Food.
The location of Upaya Yoga School – was so peaceful and beautiful. It was surrounded by two mountains and the Ganges River running by next to it. Every student had their own personal hut to themselves and private bathroom – which was really nice. Our Yoga Shala was nice and spacious – it was still under construction since they just built the shala not too long ago since we arrived. The nature surrounding this place was luscious greenery, flowers and trees. It was EXACTLY what I envisioned my experience to be!
Why did I decide to go to India to do my YTT Course?
When I was researching YTT Courses around where I live – I felt it was over rated of how much they charged and I thought to myself ‘If I am going to spend this much money, I might as well travel somewhere and do it for the same cost’ Not too mention, for those who do not me very well – I LOVE to travel! So it was a great opportunity to do so and I envisioned myself going to India to get my YTT Certification. Of course why not do it in the Yoga Capital of the World – RISHIKESH!
Rishikesh is a city where it is known to be a spiritual holy place where the Ganges River runs through the city and many temples all over the place. This city only served vegetarian food and does not serve any alcohol. Which was perfect because that was the energy that I wanted to be surrounded with.
Why is it the Yoga Capital of the World? Just alone in this city- there is more than 1,000 yoga schools! If you can imagine- it was a bit stressful to find the PERFECT place for myself and I am glad I did :)
- Ashtanga Yoga
- Hatha Yoga
- Kriya Yoga
- The Art of Teaching
SCHEDULE | Six Days a Week for Three Weeks:
7-7:30am: Meditation or Pranayama
7:30-9am: Ashtanga Yoga
10-11am: Art of Teaching (Week 1) ; Philosophy (Week 2); Anatomy (Week 3)
11am-1pm: Alignment Class/ Adjustments
1pm-3:30pm: Lunch & Self Study
3:30-4pm: Karma Yoga
4-4:30pm: Yoga Nidra
4:30-5:30: Hatha Yoga
5:30-6:30: Meditation/Mantra Chanting (Week 1) ; Students Teaching Class (Week 2 +3)
Every morning I woke up at sunrise and listening to the birds sing while all of mother nature is waking up, it was a beautiful way to start the day. We were told not to speak during sunrise until our first class which was at 10AM. It felt weird in the beginning but it was actually quite nice not to speak and really tuning into our mind and connection to our body before we spread our energy onto others. It was a nice practice to quiet the mind and to feel where our thoughts were coming from and the inspiration that it would bring. This practice was called Noble Silence.
I really enjoyed every class because I wanted to absorb as much as I could while I was there – and to immerse myself with the culture of yoga and everything it has to offer because I feel yoga is not just about doing the asanas aka postures – it goes deeper than that. Yoga philosophy is the connection to the body, mind and spirit – which I am on the path of tuning into myself and treating my body as a temple. How we feed ourselves is very important, not just about food – which is very important as well – we are we eat but how we feed our mind and how we nourish ourselves to others. When we think positive, our mind and body is FEELING the positive inside of us instead of negative which leads to DIS-EASE to our body and the mind. It is to be mindful in every action we do in our daily lives and how we treat others as well because in all reality we are just reflections of each other going through different perspectives in life, we all come from the same source of creation. It is dedication as to one-self to achieve this path and I believe yoga has great benefits to help do so along the way in my daily life.
The highlights of my time there was probably the OSHO meditation and the chakra clearing meditation – which ‘WHOA’ I had some beautiful crazy visions in my pineal gland aka third eye. Also I really enjoyed learning about the Alignment and Adjustment class because it is so beneficial to know how to pose in each asana and adjusting to others for correction – which is very important for Yoga Teachers. I loved learning about Pranayama (breathing control/techniques) and different kind of meditation practices which I am starting to develop in my own practice, now that I know the foundation I can create in my space.
Our classes were spent inside the Yoga Shala in the early morning and late afternoon, when the sun was shining we had class outside on grass which was great since January it is pretty much COLD in Rishikesh - especially in the mountains and river flowing.
I absolutely had an amazing time – I did have some battles of my own because I did get sick from a stomach flu for four days and I had to miss a couple of classes which I was getting upset with myself for being sick that long and I was getting frustrated but that is part of life and I had to get over the fear and negativity that I brought to myself because it wasn’t worth it and I had to let that go- which can be hard but a great practice to 'LET GO' of stories that we put onto ourselves.
Overall- if you are interested in becoming a Yoga Teacher or getting deeper into your practice – I say DO IT! It is a beautiful journey and lifetime moments that you will be creating for yourself and remembering the beautiful moments you have made for your own very being. If you are thinking about abroad - do your research! Not all yoga schools are created equal so be sure to look at the reviews, what they offer, if it is registered through Yoga Alliance, meals and transportation included and accommodation. Much love!