As I write this, I’m travelling at 30,000ft and am making my way home from Thailand. There’s good news and there’s bad news… The good news is I’ve passed the course and am now a qualified 200hr Hot Yoga teacher! The bad news is I’ve had to wave goodbye to one of the most incredible experiences of my life. But as they say, all good things must come to an end.
You may have noticed that my week three blog was missing and there’s a very good reason why; for the past two weeks my life outside of teacher training hasn’t existed. For anyone who thinks this course is a yoga retreat don’t be fooled. It’s been intense, it’s been pressured and at times it’s been emotional. It’s also been exciting, fun, fulfilling and completely life-changing but I’ll come to that later.
By week three the ante had well and truly been upped and we had to learn 5-6 postures a day. Bearing in mind we had 3 hours of yoga practice and 6 hours of study classes a day, any spare time we had was spent studying. My dialogue book never left my hand – I ate with it, I slept with it, I swam with it, I even showered with it propped up beside me.
During our final two weeks, our teachers introduced the ‘hot seat’ concept at yoga practice where each trainee had their turn in the ‘seat’ to teach a posture to the whole class. It was a great way for us to practice teaching in a realtime environment. As well as this, during our morning practice we were introduced to different forms of meditations and Kriya cleansing techniques. Lucas Rockwood, who is the business brains behind Absolute teacher training, taught us many new techniques to focus our breath, cleanse our bodies and combat any stress and anxieties in our bodies. Some of it was quite extreme but I’m always fascinated by some of the traditional yoga practices so enjoyed experimenting with something new.
During week three I also noticed a complete change in my personal yoga practice. They say it takes two weeks for your body to adapt to a new environment and that is certainly true for me. The aches, pains and exhaustion I felt from practicing for 3 hours a day disappeared and I could sit deeper in postures, hold them for longer, and take them to the next level. Everything finally seemed to clicked in to place with regards to my personal practice.
Week three ended with well-needed rest on Sunday before heading straight in to exam week. On Monday we had our first full teaching experience by teaching a full 90-minute class to a fellow student whilst being monitored by a teacher. What I’ve learnt is you need a lot of stamina to talk nonstop for 90 minutes – I was gulping down the water at one point – kudos to all those hot yoga teachers out there for making it look so easy!
Our main teaching exam comprised of splitting a 90-minute class with a partner and teaching the sequence to a group of fellow trainees. We split the class in to quarters – I taught the first quarter, my partner the second, me the third, and so on. What an exhilarating experience! It certainly wasn’t perfect and at one point I accidentally had the whole room in a fit of giggles (not very zen!) but the feedback I got was amazing – my teaching style was described as ‘chamomile tea with a shot of vodka’ which made me smile!
The final part of the course involved taking an online test covering history, anatomy, general hot yoga and sequence questions. This was really just to showed we’d listened and paid attention in class over the course of the month.
Once all our exams had taken place, it was time for us all to let loose and party! We had a graduation ceremony on Saturday night before heading out for a night on the tiles. After a celebration drink and a spot of karaoke we all let loose and danced the night away in the Green Mango nightclub in Chaweng.
On Sunday it was time to say goodbye and there were more than a few tears. I’ve talked in my previous posts about how close I became to my fellow trainees so saying goodbye was hard. Some people I know I will see again, but others I fear I will not. Whatever happens we will always remain connected (with a little help from Facebook) and I will always be there for my little yoga family.
Sitting on the plane I’m thinking about what comes next. I always knew I would learn to become a yoga teacher in Thailand but I never knew I would learn so much about myself. I’m emerging from the course a more confident person who is able to take more control over the decisions in my life. What the future holds and where I will be this time next year, who knows. But one thing’s for certain, I can’t wait to get back to Sweat Studios (where I’ll be teaching) and start putting all this hard work in to practice.
Hello, my name is Susie and I am a hot yoga teacher…