A Day in the Life of a Shades of Yoga Student

“I’ve made an appointment with the bank to discuss my options on going to Bali for a yoga teacher training.” That’s the message my mom received 15-days prior to my departure from Saskatchewan, Canada to Ubud, Bali to train in Shades of Yoga’s extensive 21-day, RYT 200 Yoga Teacher Training program.

The reactions I got were all very similar – people couldn’t resist commenting on how “lucky” I was and how I was “living their dream.” I think people thought I was going to be sunbathing and daydreaming in the rice paddies all day and enjoying yoga to receive an “easily accredited certificate.” Truth be told, I think that’s what I thought I was going to be doing all day too!

Although I did get to do my fair share of sunbathing, trips to the beach, surfing and hiking around rice paddies, the course was intensive and strong, and required large amounts of my mental and physical energy on a daily basis.

“Cock-a-doodle-doo!!” crows the rooster outside my room,  “It’s 5:00am, you better get up! Can’t you hear me?! Cock-a-doodle-doo I said!” This is generally how my days begin. I often laugh at the fact that I set an alarm for 6:30am to begin my day, but the roosters won’t ever let me get that far – but it’s ok. I’ve made friends with them, and it’s certainly a whole lot better than waking up to the sounds of honking horns and traffic back home!

– We have taken a vow of noble silence till after our morning meditation sessions, so I awkwardly avoid all eye contact with other humans on my 10-minute walk to Taksu Spa as to maintain my integrity to remain in silence.

7:30am – We begin our morning meditation for 30 blissful minutes.

 8:00am – It all begins; the longest, most beneficial, most intense asana I have ever participated in.  We’re all sweating in places we’ve never sweated before, looking at each other for support to push through.

“Tuck your tailbone!” “Engage Mula Bunda!” “Hold it!”

Ugh, I’m dying already and we’ve only been practicing for 30-minutes.

“Exhale, down through Chaturanga. Megan, you’re dipping! Get your elbows in.”

– I am feeling alive, vibrant and glowing with energy! I have that feeling of accomplishment and am proud of surviving another session of what I like to call Yoga boot camp! My body has undergone a huge transformation and I have started to notice muscles in places I didn’t even know existed! I’m going to start referring to myself as “Muscular Meg.”

9:45am – Every morning the Shades of Yoga students are provided with a clean and nutritional breakfast from Taksu Spa and Restaurant. We are given the option of a fresh, tropical fruit bowl, green juice or a freshly squeezed juice of our choice, followed by a main course which includes an abundance of vitamins, minerals and energy for the rest of the day.

10:30am – Our facilitator jumps straight into yoga philosophy, anatomy, physiology and self-enquiry. There is so much more to yoga than I thought. Tracey passes on her extensive knowledge of all the different types of yoga, Patanjali’s ‘eight-limbs of yoga’, how to run a successful yoga business, and the list goes on. It is clear to me that this knowledge is being passed on by a woman that has been successfully involved in the yoga industry for a long time and has a wealth of knowledge that she is more than willing to share in an accessible, non threatening manner

Lunch – We enjoy lunch when we can.

 2:30pm –The afternoons are often when we listen to Energy Anatomy by Caroline Myss, learn about holistic, clean nutrition through the Yoga of Food program which Shades of Yoga offers, discover anatomy or watch educational films such as Home, Louise Hay: You Can Heal Your Life or Dharma Mitra: Spiritual Discourses.

4:00pm – Feeling totally exhausted and wishing I really was sunbathing and daydreaming in the rice paddies, I as a Shades of Yoga Teacher Training student, drag my feet to the yoga shala once again to practice meditation and basic pranayama.

Inhale, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight; exhale, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight… Inhale…

4:30pm – More asana! My favorite. I am just going to remind myself that my arms and legs are not going to fall off because I’m ‘Muscular Meg’ now, “my arms and legs will not fall off. My arms and legs will not fall off…”

– HOME TIME! My body is 100% sore, in a positive, well-worked way, from head to toe – or in the cool new Sanskrit words I learned today, from Hasta to Pada!

6:30pm – I head out to Ubud town to find myself some dinner at one of the many excellent restaurants offering a wide range of meal options ranging from ripe or raw food, vegan, vegetarian, Italian, Mexican, Indian, Thai, whatever type of meal you want, you can find for dinner in Ubud!

9:00pm – I quickly squeeze in a shower, brush my teeth and hit the… Zzzzzzz