Reborn again – Review Samyak Yoga Teacher Training

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.

I never planned to do a YTT (me?) until I saw an enthusiastic blogpost 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 backoffice deserves compliments by doing this process so well.

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 vegatarian (ahimsa, you know). Officially they do not provide vegan food, but I think that my vegan collegues 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 helpfull. We’ve gotten a very good base in yoga philosophy, things as pranyama and kriyas and above all the asana’s, 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 dissapointed that we didn’t study the yoga sutra’s, 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 principe of duality (parusha/prakrit) because there is a lot to learn in a bit of time.

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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 fourty 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 summertraining 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”).

Unregarding 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 asana’s versus less anatomy).

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 rollercoasters (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.

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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, knowledgeble, 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!

Summary
Amazing life changing experience  with good teachers and solid curriculum
+ teachers are very knowledgeble, 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 selfstudy)

(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)

Om namah shivaya

The course had ended! The last day of the yoga teacher training started with a lesson of two hours that I gave together with lovely Elene to all the fellow students. We were last in line and we made the theme of the class “gratitude”.

Gratitude for all the beautiful moments, for the beautiful souls we have met, the 1000% dedicated teachers Trupta, Rakesh, Arvind and Stephanie, the delicious food (thanks Jitou and Chinboun!), for doing the sun salutations (12 each day) when the sun was rising (we were lucky to have that coincidence one or two weeks, amazing feeling!), the beautiful sunsets and nature around Samyak, all the knowledge and experience we were given here. We have seen each other being changed by all the wisdom around us.

At a certain moment this week the teacher asked us to give a description or compliment to the person right of you. A rainfall of nice words were spread in the atmosphere. Also I was very touched about the things said to me.

The class of today went very good and also the written test was passed well. Two tests on one day, quit heavy. I felt empty afterwards. The day ended with singing the mantras. I had to concentrate on the letters in my book and certainly not watch others. When I look back at the video I see that I was not the only one.

As said, it was a though day. I didn’t feel nervous but unconscious I was, otherwise I wouldn’t be awake from midnight to 3am. I did do my letter-to-myself writing assignment though because I was totally awake. It will be funny to receive that letter in one and a half year. Let’s see how many of my wishes and goals have been fulfilled.

In the evening I still had a mix of energy, tiredness and emptiness, so I did a yin session on my own in the yoga room. When I went back to my room the stars shined bright. What will be true from the theory about universal energy, personal energy and oneness of that. Can we become one? Are we all one? Amazing thoughts, if it wasn’t that cold I would have laid my mat in the grass and slept outside.

Today I started the day with 12 sun salutations (tapas, discipline!) and we have gotten our certificate and we had to say goodbye. A very sad moment after such an amazing and intensive month. But every end will have a new beginning.  “Om namah Sivayah”.

I have nothing to complain, I will go to Bangkok, Thailand to backpack and doing yoga of course. Keep following the log and Facebook page to stay tuned! Goodbye dear teachers, goodbye dear Friends, goodbye Samyak, goodbye India. Namasté!

P.S. A review of the Samyak hatha yoga teacher training can be found here!

Full moon week

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The third week is over. This was the week of the full moon. On 14 November 2016, a super full moon occurred closer to the Earth than at any time for the previous 68 years and it was  another special week. Full of training of course.

That was another amazing day and evening here in Mysore. The moon was like a light bulb. When praying for the father of our fellow students I felt energy between my hands, an amazing discovery. I hope that even a little bit is transferred to Scandinavia…

Last but not least my birth horoscope has been read this week. I’m sociable and sensitive, meet always a lot of people, like discipline and might going to earn my life with something spiritual or yogic around the world. How cool would that be if that becomes true. And handy to know: the love of my life seems to live somewhere in another country (“not surprising if you move so often between  countries like you do”). Unfortunately it couldn’t be told where she lives exactly and when I’ll meet her (maybe I’ve met her already without knowing it, who knows?).

We’ve started the preparations for our final presentation / lesson. Together with Elene I’ve the honour to finish the series of lessons on the last day with a nice sequence of around 90 minutes that we’ve prepared for our fellow students. We have to present also a short meditation and breathing exercise. The process of planning a class, studying the postures and her corrections, working together is as educative and important as the  teachingof the final class  on itself. Of course our final sequence will be shown on this weblog when we have done it, it has to be a big surprise of course!

Somewhere was written that the third week is the week of the crisis. Luckily I didn’t suffer from it, neither do the others very much as it seems. But of course you don’t know what they don’t tell you. And for some of us the process will start here but the crisis and changes will occur once they are at home.

My body is still very okay although sometimes I wondered what made me eligible to do this training (Module 2!). Although others have small and bigger pains due to four hours of yoga each day  I’m really blessed with my body. I still have enough (some people say ‘a lot’) energy in general and my mind is still fresh as always, although some phrases said by me and others make things boil in my head. (‘Because you’re worth it’) The results will be visible after some processes I guess. And I thought that yoga was meant to stop the movements in the mind…

Anyway the conversations get more interesting every week now we get to know each other well. Such a pity that I have to say goodbye in a week of these beautiful souls. Don’t think about it, don’t think about it. Saying goodbye is also part of the way for new paths and Mr. Destiny will make you meet again those who you need to meet again. But don’t think about it for now.

Let’s see what will be in our future. I always was too scientifically for that but I might start to believe that everything is written in the sun, the moon and the stars….

Becoming a yoga teacher, one verb at the time

One verb at the time, that’s the mantra of this week. Each day we have to prepare three poses and to teach them to our fellow students. Softly the pressure and the standard is getting higher to get us at the best level possible. The feedback given to me is that I give to much instructions at the same time and sometimes I mix things up so the students get confused. When I started the mantra of one verb at the time, like “Put your left feet backward. Lift your arm. Go down”, it’s getting better and better.

One of the reason of the confusion for the students but also for me that is that I have to work on my motoric and body awareness. And on the syncronisation of  thinking, speaking and demonstrating. Due what happened in my first year of my life I think that that part of my brain is not as good developed as other people.

Also I’m very nervous for the daily presentation. The problem is not that I have to give the lesson to the fellow students but the fact of being judged. That was the reason that it took six(!) examens to pass for my drivers license. It feels like I’m in the TV show So you want to be Yoga Teacher and that every day somebody is eliminated (The final price is of course a yoga shala on the beach of Goa). The teacher had a good laugh when I told him so and of course I know that’s not the fact. But to know and to feel are two different things.

But we’re full in the process and that feels damn good. Who knows I’ll win the show at the end 😉

First week already over

The first week is over already. Time flies when having fun! Spending it with equal feeling souls going for one target. Taking all the knowledge into you to become a good yogi and yoga teacher. I got already then feeling that this won’t be the last training.

And today on our day off we went to Mysore, the town near our yoga school and visited the royal palace and some shops. Being in an Indian town is a special experience for someone who is used to rules and order.

Like there is no light without dark, there aren’t only ups without downs. When there are joy there are tears. At an intensive course like this almost everyone will break. Some once, others more times. Some soon, others later.

I don’t like massages so when it was my turn to be massaged I wasn’t very eager to undergo it and certain boxes opened. Still the day after I feel some sadness which for sure will be filled with light and joy soon..

It was a good lesson about the thin line of challenging yourself by going out of your comfort zone and staying between the lines you shouldn’t cross.

After all that’s why we’re here. Lessons, not alone about yoga but also about life itself. Namasté

Just started teaching

I just finished my second real day als yoga teacher training student at Samyak Yoga in India. Totally no regrets, the other students are great, there is a very good vibe in the group and everybody has his own stories and strenghts. It would be a very nice tv-format to follow a group of wanna be yoga teachers and tell the story of everybody.

The teachers are very good, they are very skilled, knowledged and always happy to answer questions. And the big advantage of this school is that you start teaching already at the second day. How cool is that. We started today with the first poses of the sun salutation. Some people are a little bit nervous but thanks to the opportunities I had this summer with friends and guests at the campsite it wasn’t something scary for me.

The course takes around 200 hours. How does  the days look like?

  • 6.00 – I wake up. Early early early
  • 6.00 – first class, mantra chanting (we sing this one) and affter that a yogasequence of around 90 minutes
  • 8:30 – breakfast. Fresh fruit, cereals, toast etc.
  • 10.00 – lecture about yoga philosophy
  • 11:30 – explanation about yoga poses and more  important how to teach them
  • 12:30 – we teach the poses we just learnt. At said, at this school you already start teaching from the second day!
  • 13:30 – lunch, self study and rest
  • 16:30 – evening practice.  We do a sequence but there’s more time for questions and explanation
  • 18:30 – we learn about breathing excersies (“pranayama”) and meditation
  • 19:30 – dinner, self study and bedtime

They are long days but until now it looks very balanced and doable for me. Let’s see if I still think that at the end of the week 😉

Just arrived at the Yoga Teacher Training

After a journey of 24 hours traveling and waiting I arrived at the Ashram of Samyak Yoga where I start the RYT-200 for Hatha Yoga tomorrow. From the hostel to Schiphol (Amsterdam) to Abu Dabhi, having a layover there of one hour, to Muscat, waiting 4 hours over there (of course practiced at the airport), to Bangalore, finished with a car drive of 4 hours.

If you think Napels (Italy) is crazy, think again. Everybody uses the claxon, passing left and right, four cars in a lane when there’s place for three, people walking along the highway etc. etc. But I had a very skillful driver and I think two third of the time I’ve slept…

But I arrived safe and well. Some introduction formalities and then a relax. Getting to know the other students (a lot of Frenchies, Mr. Destiny doesn’t want me to forget the language of Molière apperently) Having lunch, walking to the river close to the ashram, having diner and for the rest il dolce far niente. Tomorrow we start at 7h30 with a self practice and at 17h the openings ceremony!