I have just completed three weeks of intensive yoga teacher training. Or, what I like to refer to as a lesson in austerity. I was expecting the vegetarian cooking, and even looking forward to it. What I did not expect was no caffeine and no sugar (and, self-inflicted, no gluten). ‘It will be good for us!’ I told myself, prepared to shed expectations and embrace life, come what may, for the next twenty two days.
I arrived on a very rainy and cold Saturday. There was a beautiful fire crackling when I came inside and plenty of herbal teas to sip. I was the first to arrive (an unshedable tribute to my former life) and met the girls that I would be spending every morning, noon and night with, one at a time. They were all lovely, upon first impression, and I am happy to say that this impression remained with me throughout the course.
The ‘ashram’ we stayed in was a thirteenth century house complete with a large garden and olive oil mill and overlooked the quaint town of estellencs as well as the Mediterranean sea. I ended up with my own room (most were shared) and had a window view looking out onto thus splendor, which also captured the magnificent sunsets.
Our days were long and full and we absorbed every ounce of yogic information possible. When we weren’t busy learning anatomy, history of India, philosophy of yoga and correct postures we were chanting mantras in Sanskrit, meditating and taking breaks napping in the hammocks on the veranda. We also engaged in some more eccentric activities such as fire altar rituals, ecstatic dancing while drinking raw cacao and visiting a homemade sweat tent made of sticks and rugs where we crowded knee to knee with 90-something strangers in little to no clothing and sang in absolute darkness. Oh, and paddleboard!
In the end, we all passed and are now certified yoga teachers! When and how this will factor into my life is yet to be determined; though I would like to find a place for it.
Tiring as it was, they were a magical three weeks. And although I never again want to look at another bowl of polenta, I am so thankful for the memories, my ‘sisters’… and the occasional contraband cafe con leche. ❤