It’s been about a month since I finished the 200hr ashtanga vinyasa traning, but Elin and I had so many adventures afterwards in the month of traveling that it feels like ages ago..
While traveling I wasn’t disciplined enough to continue the daily yoga and still now back home, but I did my best to do it as often as possible. I swear! In the school your only focus is learning and practicing, but outside the school there are so many other things pulling at you.. I’m in the learning process of resisting.
So about the training.. did I know what I was getting myself into before it all started?
Yeaaah I kinda did, because I gotta admit I’m obsessed with doing research.
+I follow 2 girls on instagram who did the same training a few months before I went and I binge watched their instastory.
BUT at the same time I really didn’t know what it was going to be like, AT ALL.
It was sweaty
It was freaking hard
It was testing my discipline
It was sore muscles and a body wanting to give up
It was wonderful
It was loving
It was comfortable (I would cleanse with you guys any day)
It was emotional
It was fun
It was one big, crazy and loving family
I wouldn’t have changed ONE SINGLE THING
They might’ve been the most happiest days of my life, including the one month of traveling afterwards.
I miss everyone at the school and the other students to bits!
The school, rooms and surroundings
What I really like about the school is that you’re constantly outside.
It’s not like in most western country’s where it’s a big building and everything is inside of it.
Connected by hallways and what not. No to get to another room we had to step outside(on the balcony for example), but everything was still connected. It’s all very basic, but just enough.
I’m easily satisfied and I don’t need any luxury, but if you’re not like me this school might not be the right pick.
Everyone gets their own room with a double bed, a little table, a closet or shelves and a simple bathroom.
Every room is slightly different and we all came to the conclusion that my room was the shittiest (so make sure you’re not in room 113, arrive early and choose wisely).
There is hot water, but not all the time and I reaally enjoyed taking cold showers!
There is wifi, but not perfectly working 24/7 (also depends on where you are in the school).
The school is located outside the center more up the mountain which makes it more serene(no car honking!), but there’s still enough noise going on though. It’s very nice to walk up the mountain more into nature. Real nature!
The teachers took us on 2 little excursions. Our first excursion was a sunrise visit to the Kunjapuri temple and the second one was a visit to the daily Ganga Aarti+temple.
6:00-6:30 – Herbal Tea
6:30-7:00 – Morning cleansing (Neti Pot)
7:00-8:30 – Pranayama and vinyasa Class
8:30-9:30 – Breakfast
9:45-10:45 – Anatomy Class
11:00-12:00 – Philosophy class
12:00-13:00 – Lunch
15:00-16:00 – Alignment Class
(5 minute break)
17:00-18:30 – Ashtanga Class
18:00-19:00 – Meditation Class
19:00-20:00 – Dinner
Before hand I thought the schedule would be very strict and hard, but not a single day was exactly like the other.
Sometimes a teacher got in late or we had ashtanga before body alignment.
One day we went to a little beach next to the ganges for our ashtanga practice.
Just little things like that.
For me what made it more easy to ‘stick with the schedule’ were the 2 big cleanses we did over the course of that month.
It changed the whole schedule for that day! I’ll talk about the cleansing in a bit.
The classes focused on yoga poses (asana’s) were vinyasa flow, body alignment and ashtanga.
We did about 4 tot 4.5 hours of yoga a day.. yes my body was GIVING UP.
After 2/3 weeks I only got more stiff and sore instead of flexible, but we just pushed through.
It was such a friendly, loving and easy-going environment which made it way more easy.
Almost all 6 of us got some sort of injury and that’s something unavoidable. I got a wrist injury which
I had before and I just skip the chaturanga’s until it’s gone.
Next to that, each and everyone of us made a lot of progress. It’s amazing to notice how quickly you can increase your
flexibility with consistent practice and proper alignment!
It’s not expected that students already know how to perform inversions, know the ashtanga series etc.
It’s a school! And that means you are there to learn.
Each day we had 3 theoretical classes: anatomy, philosophy and meditation.
All classes were held in the yoga hall. We just grabbed a pillow, bolster or a yoga mat and sat down on the ground.
I really enjoyed the theoretical classes as it’s very easy going and more like a good conversation instead of just sitting there listening.
It never got boring!
The teachers are very well educated, know how to explain things in a way that it’s very clear for us and they know how to build a their class.
Our meditation teacher was a monk, what other teacher could you wish for!?
It got confusing sometimes as he obviously knows way more than what he ‘should’ talk about in class haha.
He thought us things like different meditation techniques, history, the proper way of breathing etc. and we meditated for 15-30 minutes at the end of class.
In philosophy class we learned about dosha’s, chakra’s, the eight limbs of yoga, history of Hinduism and yoga,
different types of yoga and a lot more!
The teacher told us to just take in what we find interesting from his class and forget the rest.
And that’s how it is with philosophy.
In anatomy we went through each anatomical system of the body, important muscles and bones, common injury’s,
contraindications, the breath, cleansing methods and 2 classes devoted to ayurveda. Everything we learned was then always brought back to yoga. We didn’t get a theoretical exam, but I took all this knowledge in as if we were going to get an exam.
It’s extremely interesting and also good to know when wanting to become a teacher!
I’ll cherish my notes forever.
One of the reasons why I wanted to go to this school!
I knew they let the students perform some cleansing techniques.
I felt really attracted to it, because my nose has been blocked for a few years now and I’ve been having digestive problems since I can remember.
Everyday started with a morning nostril cleanse using our own personal neti pot.
We all went with it without thinking twice as if we’d done it for ages.
Cleansing with a neti pot basically involves clearing your nasal passages by pouring saline water in one nostril until it
flows out the other. With lots of mucus!!
After 2 or 3 weeks another cleanse was added to the morning ritual, which was cleansing our eyes with gooseberry juice.
In the 4th week a last cleanse was added, but I didn’t perform it once..
We had to shove a so-called ‘rubber neti’ up our nose until it came out your throat.
This is supposed to take out all excess mucus and what not, but I decided it’s not for me.
And so did the others.
1. Vaman dhauti cleanse: induced vomiting
This is a cleanse of the upper digestive tract which we performed at the end of the first week.
Basically you perform this by drinking salty water until you have to throw up. Then drink more and throw up more.
If you don’t find yourself throwing up naturally, you have to stick your fingers down your throat and induce it.
Sounds like a fun group activity right? I bet it would look extremely weird for outsiders just looking..
A group of yogi’s squatting down in the garden, drinking one cup of water after the other, a guy walking around filling up the cups
and every now and then someone started puking.
It’s like sitting at a bar with a very bad bartender, encouraging you to keep drinking and drinking until it goes wrong..
The teachers are aware that not everyone will be open for a cleanse like this and it’s totally fine to skip it, but they do encourage it.
And I do too! It’s such a good experience to have and if you never try.. you’ll never know.
On this day we only had our afternoon classes.
2. Shank Prakshalana: Induced bowl movements
I was excited for this cleanse! Yes, I was excited to poop. A lot.
If you experience digestive problems you’ll understand why.
It’s said that this cleanse removes all impurities from the digestive tract and reboots the system.
For this cleanse we had to drink 2 cups of warm salt-lemon water, do some dynamic stretches, drink again, stretch again until you had to run up the stairs to your room and.. release.
We had to repeat this cycle until what came out of us was as clear as water.
I drank around 30-33 cups when I felt it was done. Others had less or more and 2 of the group also started puking at one point.
On this day we didn’t have any class, because it was SO TIRING. I wanted to sleep, but they told us it was better not too nap.
This among some other ‘rules’ we had to follow for that day.
We had 2 meals(no snacking). One at 11AM and the other at 6PM. Both meals were plain kitcheree which is easy digestible
and full of all the good stuff for our digestive tract.
Did I feel cleansed after this? I sure did! The next day I felt very light and energized, but soon after the cleanse I was constipated again.
The struggles of a messed up digestive tract..
The foooood. Important part of the experience, right?
I don’t know how to label the food we had.. it wasn’t the traditional indian food and also not sattvic.
It was a mix of everything. Every meal was ve-ry random.
The kitchen staff spoke a little bit English and it was hard to explain what vegan and gluten-free means. Elin and I both informed them before hand, but the message didn’t reach the kitchen staff.
A few times they had to prepare something on the spot for Elin and me, because they forgot or maybe hoped
we would just eat it? As long as they provided us with something we were happy and it got better over the weeks.
Most of our meals were great and very satisfying, but for breakfast that was 3 out of 10 times. Just being honest here.
They served us things like poah(a traditional indian breakfast dish with rice. My fave!), oatmeal, noodles, pita and hummus (which meant I just ate a bowl of hummus), fried spring rolls, pasta, white toast without any toppings.. (??)
We stayed respectful and grateful, but when it wasn’t to our liking we told them and asked for oatmeal instead.
Lunch was the biggest meal of the day! Rice, chapati and about 3 other dishes like a veggie stew/curry, something with potatos, dahl..
Dinner was a bit the same, but less options and the amount of food was less.
Overall I was happy with the food provided and so were the other students!
We ate out a few times and the food found in Rishikesh is amazing!
All restaurants in Rishikesh are vegetarian and there’s no alcohol to be found.
It was very easy to find vegan food and even kombucha at our favorite cafe..
But I’m going to dedicate a separate post on vegan food and restaurants in India!
I would truly recommend doing a yoga teacher training to ANYONE.
It opens up your mind and your soul for new ideas, experiences and connections.
It challenges every part of you and it WILL make you see you’re capable of truly anything!
NOTHING BUT LOVE ABOUT THIS EXPERIENCE