Committing to a regular yoga class at home is a great tool to calm the mind and relax the body for doing other things like working, caring for an animal, caring for an elderly parent and so on. Taking a yoga training abroad however, is a special opportunity to turn your yoga practice into a lifelong foundation.
Yoga teacher trainings, whether or not you want to actually teach, are a time for profound absorption of knowledge. A teacher training should be a time of sweet, insightful, immersion; it is your time to indulge all of your senses in yoga. Let’s face it, a yoga training of 200, 300 or 500 hours is intense. You’ll laugh, cry, be confused, and have amazing A-ha moments. You want to be able to feel it all, not just experience it for a moment and return to your regular life of serving others. You deserve more than that. To really absorb, you need time, mindfulness and reflection.
In a yoga training (especially International yoga training) you meet new people. You are open to new ways of thinking. You are with like-minded people who are also away from home, so you create this beautiful connection with your training group. You do go through a lot together! After a day of training, if you don’t fall straight into your bed, you can take a silent walk, journal, meditate in peace and reflect on your teachings of the day. You have a new found freedom in your nonclassroom time. Your free time is not filled with commitments to others. You’ll get plenty of that when you get home, and everybody wants you to teach them some of that yoga you’ve been studying.
When I travel for training, it is so freeing to hand off daily chores to somebody else. It feels like I make space in my busy mind for something new to learn. I can’t imagine trying to cram a spiritual yoga training into the same mind space as “pick up the kids at 3” and “walk the dog when I get home.” Instead, at the end of a long day in International yoga training, I take time to re-write my notes from the lectures or classes in that day. I may have to read the manual to prepare for the coming day. I have no other commitments other than nourishing my body and mind and soaking it all in.
“During an immersive yoga teacher training,
the sadhaka (spiritual seeker) should be able
to eat, drink, sleep, and dream only of yoga.”
– Anna Laurita
Numerous students in our yoga teaching training programs have said, “I am so glad I did this training away from home. I got so much out of the program by being away from my daily responsibilities.”
Here are three good reasons to Take your Yoga Teacher Training away from home:
1. You Will Gain More Knowledge –
Your mind will be free from the clutter of demands at home; you’ll have a higher capacity to absorb information. Think about 200 or 300 hours of information absorption in under one month. How will you make space if you have family commitments and tasks at hand that create a challenge for your time and attention?
2. You’re in for Awe and Surprise –
There is an excitement in going somewhere new, like a cute Mexican beach town, for your yoga teacher training. You wipe the slate clean. It’s like starting new. You get to try out the basics of a new language, new culture, new food, and even the weather may be very different than at home. There is possibility in everything. Expand your awareness and expand your mind!
3. You’ll Change Your Old Habits –
In one teacher training, I gave up my (habitual) cup of morning coffee, and instead adopted the healthy habit of tongue scraping and drinking warm lemon water. In another immersion, I gave up worrying about things I can’t control, while picking up the tool of alternate nostril breathing before meditation to balance the mind. This is how we make some eye-opening transformation.Getting out of our routine is good for us.
Putting everything on the back burner while you immerse yourself is the RIGHT thing to do. You have so much to gain. Don’t waste your money in a yoga training where you can only be half there. Be fully present. Get the full benefit of your investment and be a better yoga practitioner or teacher afterward because of your dedicated immersion.
SO…..Hand over responsibility, take as little as possible and pack a thick notebook and pens. Go far away from it all.
Be like a sponge! Soak it all in and in your free time, nourish your body with the local healthy food, reflect, re-write, breathe, meditate, and rest.
Your home commitments and responsibilities will still be there when you return, but YOU will have changed. You will be able to manage these tasks with clarity, peace, and creativity.