It has flown away, the 28 days to do a Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) in Hatha yoga for 200 hours at Samyak Yoga in Mysore. Exactly two years after doing my first yoga class (OK, two days missing) my diploma was given. Like said at the ceremony, it’s like a rebirth. An old life ends and a new path of yoga starts.
Take a cup of tea or good coffee because here is a long review. I was glad to read those things before starting so I am happy to write one also for those orientating on the huge market or YTT’s.
Once upon a time…
I never planned to do a YTT (me?) until I saw an enthusiastic blog post at Ohmybuddha.fr, so I looked at their website http://www.samyakyoga.org. Very informative and after 28 days I can confirm everything that has been written is true and truthful 🙂 The price (€1400) is a good and realistic price given all the lessons, the housing and the food. My then teachers convinced me (thanks forever Louise and Rosalina) so the interest was getting seriously.
The contacts before entering my adhesion were very hope giving, always quick responses on my questions by e-mail or at Facebook. I have looked at some other YTT’s but the feeling that I had with Samyak was so good that I even haven’t considered them really.
After entering the submission form everything went very smoothly. Aryan from the back office deserves compliments by doing this process so well.
Here we go
Then finally I arrived after a long and wild taxi drive, already one month ago. The room is very spacious, single, with a private shower and toilet. At arrival everything was very clean and everything is cleaned thoroughly once a week.
The food prepared by the hardworking Jittu and Chiboun is of course vegetarian (ahimsa, you know). Officially they do not provide vegan food, but I think that my vegan colleagues didn’t have any problem to eat vegan. Every day it was well prepared, not too spicy, enough and most important delicious ! Simply said, it was restaurant quality, it matched easily the food I ate “out of home” (for your info I visited Dhatu and Greenleaf in Mysore)
Also the personal care is high. Sick people got the help they needed and even help was given to organize the trips on the days off !
Then where I came for. The training. Only three words: Very very good. The teachers are all very dedicated, warm and helpful. We’ve gotten a very good base in yoga philosophy, things as pranyama and kriyas and above all the asanas, the art of teaching and correcting. These are the big strength of Samyak, the classes are very much based on experiences, competences and insight.
The philosophy is beautiful explained. At a certain moment I was disappointed that we didn’t study the yoga sutras, but at a certain moment I was reading them and recognized what was told by Arvind. By the way, it is handy that you have a base knowledge about the eight limbs of yoga and the principle of duality (parusha/prakrit) because there is a lot to learn in a bit of time.
Around hundred asanas (postures) are reviewed deeply with all the possible corrections you can give. The nice thing is that you’ll get the information on an (self to be brought) USB stick.
Maybe unique for this training is the fact that you get to teach and learn to teach so much from day two until the final exam of forty minutes to one hour so you can learn to deal with performing stress and start to develop your own style. (by the way last week you teach only during the exam, but also in this period you have a lot of opportunities to practice with your fellows).
Another strong point is that Samyak has maximal 18 students each course! (Some more in their Paris summer training I think.) 18! I see class pictures from other schools with more than 50 students. So enough attention for everybody and time to answer questions which I wisely used of course. (Though I’m waiting for an Instagram picture of the Marichyasana D :))
Besides the many, many big strengths there is always a small weakness. For me that is the fact that we did get only a bit of western- and yoga anatomy. I knew this before I came, as it is written in other reviews and part of the school’s philosophy (“you only need anatomy if you want to give yoga therapy classes”).
Regardless whether it’s a real need or not, there is my personal interest and questions of students (why can/can’t I do this, can you really physically stretch/lengthen a muscle etc.) and luckily this is something you can study this easily on your own with some good books (for example by Kaminoff, Long or Clark) and Youtube videos, so it’s a very acceptable trade off for me (more attention for teaching and asanas versus less anatomy).
No pain, no gain
For me personally it was not too hard physically seen. No big pains and only few small pains in my body. But it is really wise to have a regular practice of at least three times a week for a longer period (six months or more) as indicated. Sometimes I thought “What made me think that I was eligible to do this” – (Module 2!) but everything was very doable for me. Also mentally it was less hard than I had foreseen. No big emotional roller coasters (except two days at the end of the first week) in my head. Also less than foreseen in those of the colleges, although you never know what they don’t tell you. But it is a fact that everybody has undergone changes in feelings and mindsets. I’m so very curious where everybody stands in two years, as teacher and in personal life (who will still be with the current partner;)). Remember, two years ago I started with yoga and see the path I walked.
Ready to teach?
It’s “only” 200 hours and there is so much to learn. I just feel like I opened a box and only see the surface. Do I know enough to be a teacher? It’s a long discussion. The teachers indicate that the course is a base and advice to deepen your practice first for a while and slowly start teaching friends etc. Really teaching as a job should be able in one or two years after the training. It also depends on your own background.
But seen the joy and relatively easiness while teaching the daily classes (except feeling being in a TV show) – and also earlier this year combined with all the knowledge and experiences that I’ve gotten here at Mysore I’ll be absolutely not afraid to offer already classes here and there, replace a teacher who didn’t arrive (*), do pop up yoga or give sessions at the campsite where I’ll hopefully work next summer (It will be Fabulous, be prepared ragazzi :)) Fact is that I’m already orientating on what to learn next. Vinyasa Flow? Kids Yoga? 300 hours in some years?
*) In fact I did, not even a month after the training and due to the practices and experiences it went very automatically like you’ve always done it. 🙂
Like said the teachers are very friendly, knowledgeable, accessible and warm. So I recommend Samyak, Trupta, Rakesh, Arvind, Stephanie with their support staff with everything I have in me. Definitely worth it! It was a great time being with Andrew, Chloé, Gaelle, Sabrina, Elin, Elene, Christel, Marek, Jean Pierrre, Sebastien, Jeanne, Elisabeth, Huyen, Laure, Lyla and Maria. With some I’ll cross paths again for sure, some are less likely but you are all part of the month that pretty sure will be seen as the best time of my life if I’m (really) old. Thank you all. Namasté. Happy to be member of the Samyak Family 🙂
I know it’s not easy to choose a YTT, so if you have any questions, feel free to contact me!
Amazing life changing experience with good teachers and solid curriculum
+ teachers are very knowledgeable, experienced, friendly and accessible
+ classes are very much based on experiences, competences and insight
+ you get to teach and learn to teach very much from day two until the final exam.
+ small class size; maximal 18 students each course
+ delicious food and comfortable housing
– only a bit of western- and yoga anatomy (easily done with self study)
(Post not endorsed. regular price paid)
P.S. Click here for all the articles on this blog about Samyak
P.S.2 Click here for my collection of links about Samyak at Delicious.com (some in French)
P.S.3 read this beautiful review/story of Karuna Ezara Parikh about her YTT!
P.S.3 Unfortunately Samyak has been split up. Arvind and Rakesh continue this traditional path in Mysore. Trupta and Stephanie continue (together with other teachers) all over the world as YogaDeepti. The personal site of Stephanie is Xandrayoga, Trupta gives classes, workshops and lessons under the name of OilYoga