It's kind of crazy to think back to the day that I first came across Vikasa yoga, from a Facebook add of all places, how long ago it was but short it seems. I actually never click on those things but for some reason the Vikasa add caught my eye and I decided to give the website a few minutes of my deskwarming time. Now, having completed the course I'm pretty happy about those few minutes I gave up. During a month on the island of Koh Samui I met some awesome people, did lots of yoga, climbed one million stairs, relaxed at the beach, learned about myself and ate lots of coconut, oh yeah and became a certified yoga teacher!
Before arriving in Thailand I wasn't really sure what to expect from the course. Of course we'd be doing loads of yoga, learning philosophy, anatomy and some nutrition, but personally I wasn't sure how much I would get out of it. I was glad that I went in with low/no expectations as it almost guaranteed that I would leave a satisfied customer. It's funny because one of the first lectures Kosta gave he talked to us about not holding expectations for our lives as it often times will set us up for failure, glad I got that covered at least.
To be completely honest the yoga portion of the course was a little on the weak side for me; don't get me wrong Kosta had some tough classes that really kicked our butts, but overall I feel like I could have worked harder. I guess I had gotten used to having a daily, if not twice a day yoga practice, before leaving Korea in February so the amount of practice was nothing new to me. Sure I was a little rusty after a month galavanting through Cambodia but I got back into the swing of things soon enough. I had to step back and realize that I was doing a teacher training and not so much a yoga retreat, so I had to take time and appreciate the other aspects of the course.
Speaking of, the anatomy portion was probably the biggest let down for me, I guess because it was the only part I really had expectations or high hopes for. I thought we'd be learning more about actually anatomy of the body and positioning during asanas however we focused a lot on alignment and adjustment. It was valuable information but the way it was repeated (over and over and over ) again made my attention level plummet. On top of that the instructor was not one of my favorite people, her attitude, personality and teaching style just did not suit me. Oh well, you can't win 'em all.
Philosophy was extremely interesting, even if it appeared that I would have rather napped, to be fair though it was right after lunch - I wasn't the only one fighting heavy eyelids. Ram clearly knows a lot about the history and philosophy of not only Yoga but the Vedic philosophy and sanskrit language, we were lucky to have such an educated teacher. Hopefully I can remember to take some time and refresh myself on all of the information he shared with us once I'm back home (whenever that finally happens).
Although we only had one short day of lecture I was extremely interested in the Nutrition portion of the course, it's too bad we didn't have more time with Nicola. I keep saying if I were to have gone back in time and redone University I probably would have studied something in the health/fitness field and now having delved deeper into it Nutrition seems like the clear winner. I don't want to go into details or start preaching what we learned but my favorite part of the lecture is that it wasn't a lecture at all. Nicola shared with us a wealth of information that she has studied and put into practice over many years, but at no time did she preach to us about what we should be doing. I can listen to anyone's beliefs on religions, nutrition, exercise, or other lifestyle choices, but the moment you drop the word should on me, I'm out. Nicola definitely gave me some things to think about and more research to do when I get home.
I thought this post was going to be short but once again it has turned into a mini novel. The point is, I stumbled across a Facebook add 2 years ago, toyed with the idea of going but didn't really think it would happen, registered, postponed due to staying in Korea, and finally completed it all! It was a two year back and forth feeling of wondering if it would ever actually happen, but now that I'm done it's a great feeling. Actually I don't think it's completely set it. Just today I was reading up on yoga studios in Laos and read a blurb, "If you're a traveling yoga teacher and wish to teach a few classes please contact us", it took me a few minutes to realize that's me!
High on the tourist track for a reason, home of good food (mostly) happy people, rich history and culture. Thailand as many tourist soon learn is just easy. Easy to visit, easy to get around and even easier to stay.