Excerpts taken from Christina Totina of Bulgaria’s blog.
Read her full blog here.
I used a highly sophisticated method in choosing the school I was going to do my teacher training with. It is called intuition. I am so glad I trusted my intuition and chose the Asia Pacific Yoga School for my training. Steve and Joleen were fantastic and I am so grateful to them for sharing and imparting their knowledge and wisdom so generously and effortlessly*.
The training took place over three weeks near Waipu Cove, in Northalnd. We did heaps of yoga. Had super interesting sessions on yoga anatomy, philosophy and all things yoga. Although we were busy with yoga pretty much all of the time, we still had time for heaps of laughter and good times. I loved it! My very favourite part of the training was the opportunity to teach each other from as soon as we started the training. Such an invaluable part of the training. My deepest gratitude to my fellow yoga teacher trainees for sharing their knowledge with me. Namaste.
I experienced very many beautiful moments but there were two in particular which were so profound that I was floored. I have written a bit about each of them below.
Bye, bye sore muscles
One night half way through the training I dreamt that my bed was a giant cloud and I was weightless and regardless of how hard I looked I could not find a single sore spot anywhere in my body. Then I woke up and found myself in a spinal twist with my legs bent at the knees to the right, my arms in ‘cactus’ by either side of my head. I held my breath and tried very hard to find soreness but there was none. The feeling was awesome and hard to believe but it was real. This is not to say that yoga couldn’t lead to muscle soreness. I have had some pretty intense muscle soreness after yoga sessions where I’d pushed far beyond what my body was ready to do at the time.
Also, it took me about two weeks and many hundreds of sun salutes to regain my appreciation for them. They are so awesome. The DFD (Downward Facing Dog) did wonders for my perennially sore and achy feet from the hundreds of kms of running and tramping. The Forward Folds did miracles for my hamstrings, though right hammie isn’t still completely where it could be but I know full relief will come in time.
It’s all about the breath
(spoiler alert for anyone who is still trying to figure out what meditation is about)
This realisation is so profound that I am still in awe by its enormity (chuckles). After years of avoiding meditation all together or using it as a sleeping pill at the best of times, I came to this moment of realisation, after my first ever yoga Nidra during the training where I didn’t check out completely or stayed awake thinking my thoughts, not following the narrative. It was all about listening to / following the breath and being present. I finally get what you’re on about Jon Kabat Zinn. I guess this is yoga humour and suspect that it won’t be funny to a lot of people but it’s a somewhat decent joke and it is on me.
Although I am now a qualified yoga teacher I feel like this is just the beginning of the journey for me. I look forward to seeing where my practice will take me from here on. And look forward to staying in touch with my teachers and fellow yoga teacher trainees (now fully qualified yoga teachers) going forward.
*A note of gratitude to my teachers:
Joleen, your grace and lightness revealed how beautiful yoga could be when performed with mastery and made me fall in love with it again. Namaste.
Steve, my gratitude to you for holding space for us so masterfully, keeping it open and contained at the same time. And I’m forever grateful for guiding me (with ahimsa all the way, every step of the way) to a place of peace and stillness within which is beyond my grasp to comprehend. Namaste.
Check out Asia Pacific Yoga’s New Zealand Yoga Teacher Training.