After one of the most beautifully demanding and rewarding months of my life, I can now officially say it: I’m a certified yoga instructor!
Last Monday was the conclusion of my 200-hour yoga teacher training immersion at Blue Osa, one of the best wellness retreat centers in Costa Rica. After a touching temple ceremony, us twenty-three women fittingly celebrated the feat with cocktails, dancing, gelato and a moonlit bioluminescent swim. It was the perfect (if bittersweet) ending to an absolutely fantastic four weeks.
I knew this month of my life would go by mind-boggling fast, yet somehow I’m still in a bit of disbelief that the training is, in fact, finished. We first solidified our plans to return to Blue Osa last January. That meant there was a period of around ten months that consisted of me trying to stay present on our travels while subconsciously counting down the days until I was back practicing yoga in paradise. Naturally I can’t help but feel a touch of shock that the training is all said and done with now.
Despite my insane excitement leading up to the teacher training, I never could have imagined just how life-changing this experience would be. I came to Blue Osa with the idea that I would learn how to be a yoga instructor and perhaps deepen my personal practice in the process. But as one of my fellow trainees put it perfectly, when I said deepen my practice, I really meant move deeper into the yoga postures (perhaps with a bit of self-improvement on the side). I couldn’t have been more naïve.
What Yoga Teacher Training In Costa Rica Is Really Like
For starters, the women I was able to go through this journey with were absolutely awe-inspiring. For being a group of twenty-three women, we formed an incredible bond, abounding in estrogen yet devoid of any drama—a titanic feat when you’re spending all of your time together in the middle of the jungle. Each conversation, each laugh, each exchange with each woman deeply touched and inspired me. I’m sure our group was not an ordinary one, and I consider myself eternally lucky to have known every one of these ladies.
Of course, I learned heaps about myself over the past month. These lessons were very personal, not always easy to face yet utterly necessary to further me along on my journey of self-discovery and growth. Some of the lessons were mind-blowing, like realizing I actually can (and even kind of enjoy) the practice of meditation. I discovered how much power there is in getting still and steady and the gift in allowing myself to move inward and feel at home within myself.
Other lessons dealt with the power of surrender, of letting go of deep attachments and disappointments. I’ve always been good at setting goals and doing my best; I’ve always struggled with working my hardest but letting go of any resulting expectations. Throughout the month I was consistently reminded that when we let go and surrender our attachments to the things we think we want and need, then the universe has a way of opening doors that are bigger and better than anything we could have imagined in the first place.
Under the guidance of Yogi Aaron and his assistant Jerko (an inspiring Belgian life coach and all around sweetheart), I began to refocus my attention on what I do want and not what it is I don’t want. I stopped ruminating on the past and worrying about the future, instead focusing on being immensely grateful for the present. And I learned that when in doubt, just return to one-to-one breathing.
And as we dived deep into meditation and mantras, Kriya and Kirtan, Ayurveda and chakras, (and loads of other concepts I had never heard of before the start of the month), I remembered perhaps one of the most important lessons of all: there is immense power in expanding our comfort zones, in learning new things, and in opening ourselves up to new experiences. You never know what can happen as a result.
In a bit of a fun little twist, I was able to begin my journey as a yoga instructor much sooner than expected—the same day that the yoga teacher training officially ended. A woman arrived at Blue Osa for a private yoga retreat, and when Aaron asked if I wanted to lead it, I was ecstatic. I was also bursting at the seams with nervous energy, but this was one opportunity that there was no way I could turn down. The week consisted of me teaching three hours of yoga each day to an individual client. Not only did I have the unique opportunity to put into practice everything I had just spent 30 days learning about, I also had a one-of-a-kind experience to discover more about my role as a yoga teacher. I’ve always thought I wanted to teach yoga professionally; this week solidified that passion and excitement for what the future might hold.
The more I learn and practice yoga, the more passionate I become about the life-changing effects it can have on the mind, body and spirit. I fully believe that the world would be a much happier place if everyone practiced yoga, and I am eternally grateful for the experience this past month at Blue Osa has provided me with to further my yogi journey. Of course, I’ve barely peeked the tip of the iceberg. I know it will take me years to process all I’ve learned—and the power of what I’ve learned—but I’m ready for the ride.
I highly encourage anyone who even has the slightest interest in yoga to consider taking a month out of their life to participate in a yoga teacher training. You don’t need to have years of experience (one woman had only been practicing for a few weeks) and you don’t need to want to be a yoga teacher. But if you want to learn about yourself, venture inward, and spend a month challenging yourself in ways you never thought possible, then a yoga teacher training might just be for you. If you can take one month off of your life and invest in 30-day immersion, all the better. As always I’m happy to answer any questions you might have about the journey, so feel free to drop us a line at any time if you are considering deepening your own personal yoga path.
Have you ever considered a yoga teacher training or a yoga retreat?
I participated in Yoga Teacher Training as part of a work exchange that included writing a review. All thoughts and opinions on A Cruising Couple are my own.
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