Self Practice – The Key to Being a Great Yoga Teacher

As part of the Shades of Yoga 200 hr Level 1 Yoga Teacher Training certification, our students are required to complete two ‘self practice’ assignments per week. At Shades of Yoga we believe that it is essential that …

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Boreh Pijat- Traditional Balinese Healing


One of the main reasons I chose Shades of Yoga’s 200 Hour RYT was due to its amazing location in Ubud, Bali.  I fell in love with the idea of fresh flowers, ceremonies, warm people and most of all luxuries at an affordable price.

One of these luxuries that is affordable to the general public is the abundance of massage options in Ubud, from spas to traditional healing centres to everything in between. From my handful of experiences, I must admit that having a Boreh Pijat treatment was the winner.

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The Five Bandhas

Shades of Yoga RYT 200 hour course focuses on teaching the basic principles of Hatha Yoga in order to develop a solid foundation and understanding of how to safely progress through asana’s.  Understanding the bandhas is the primary step to perfecting basic postures such as Tadasana, while creating body awareness and mental focus during practice.

In Sanskrit the word bandha means to lock or tighten. In yoga there are 5 bandhas which, when engaged, lock in prana (energy).  The energy locked in the bandhas is flowed throughout the body to create balance and helps to control various systems in the body such as digestive, sexual, hormonal etc.

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Yoga, Meditation & Self-Empowerment Retreat in Ubud

Shades of Yoga recently ran the first in a series of Yoga, Meditation and Personal Empowerment Retreats at Taksu Spa, situated in the heart of Ubud, Bali’s global centre for spiritual tourism.

The retreats are orientated towards giving the participants the tools to transform their lives through daily yoga sessions, active meditations, and lectures designed to help individuals overcome personal blocks that might be hindering them from reaching their full potential.

 

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Bali Heavenly Relaxation Centre: Jaen’s Spa

relaxing pedicure at Jaens Spa
relaxing pedicure at Jaens Spa

As many of our past Shades Of Yoga students would know, The RYT 200 Hour 21-day yoga teacher training is designed around proper alignment, building a solid strength foundation and of course, flexibility. Due to Shades of Yoga’s integrity to hold this standard, it is not uncommon for our students to indulge in a relaxation on their days off.

As a registered yoga instructor and former yoga student of Shades Of Yoga, I have done my fair share of relaxation indulgence in and around Ubud’s  many local spas. My most recent was at Jaen’s Spa located on Jln Raya Pengosekan. When I first arrived to Jaen’s Spa I was promptly greeted by the wonderful receptionist whom was both personal and professional.

My two-hour treatment consisted of a relaxation body massage followed by a green tea body scrub. My treatment began with a short but sweet foot wash in flower water and a gentle scrub. Throughout my soothing massage I was granted the option of choosing how much pressure my masseuse would apply, which allowed for a truly authentic experience. The green-tea body scrub left me feeling fresh and rejuvenated with a natural glow.

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Beach Yoga and Surfing Day

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The numerous benefits of having a regular yoga practice have been written about and expounded on many occasions. Yoga’s ability to calm the mind, create body awareness and aid in the rehabilitation of injuries are second to none. I have found however that one of the great by-products of having a regular yoga practice is that it prepares the body and mind to take on any of the other challenges and physical activities that we choose to attempt through the course of our lives.

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In this regard we at Shades of Yoga offer a day of beach yoga, cross training and surf lessons to the students as a way for them to not only un-plug for a day from the rigours of successfully completing their RYT 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training, but also as a way for them to truly appreciate the diversity of benefits one can receive from a strong, daily yoga practice. Few can deny the feeling of achievement, the sense of freedom and joy that comes from riding a wave. However, surfing is not an easy sport to get the hang of, as it requires strength, balance, timing and perseverance, but the rewards are substantial.

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YOGA TEACHER TRAINING CLASS

Ku De TA – Restaurant, Waves and Sun.

Shades of Yoga run their highly popular and successful RYT 200 hour Teacher Training course in the beautiful Balinese town of Ubud, a place that lends itself to yoga in many ways. Great food, arts and crafts, yoga and spa centres, a sense of spirituality not found in many other places in the world and of course, the tranquil and serene mountain slopes and rice paddies.

During our course, our students have the weekends off so we like to encourage them to go out and experience all the many splendours that the magical island and sweet paradise of Bali has to offer. This not only allows our students an opportunity to have some fun, but most importantly allows them to ‘unplug’ from the course for a couple of hours, ensuring that when they return on a Monday morning they are feeling refreshed and invigorated and raring to go. One of the most popular destinations for our students is Ku De Ta Restaurant, perched right on the endless stretch of pristine Balinese beach that is Seminyak.

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A Day in Ubud

A pink smudge begins to push back the grey light of pre-dawn, and heralds the rising of that great giver of life, the sun. Like clockwork, a chorus of roosters begin their morning crescendo of cock-a-doodle-doo’s, my new alarm, and a sign that it is time to get up.

In my opinion chickens could be seen to represent the overriding theme of life here in Ubud. A grounded, earthy feeling seems to infiltrate daily activities, as humans and animals alike,  go about their business searching for food and shelter. Yet, every so often, a rooster will lift his head and call to the heavens above, crying out to something larger than life itself. In much the same manner, the local people will regularly take 5 minutes out of their days to light some incense, and make an offering to the sacred spirits at one of the many shrines that adorn each and every single house in Ubud.

Today is my first day off since I started as a student on Shades of Yoga’s RYT 200hr Teacher Training course offered here in Ubud, Bali. It’s been a long week, filled with both physical and mental exertion, and I’m incredibly happy with how much I have learnt thus far. However, I have been so focused on my course work that I haven’t spent much time absorbing the culture of this beautiful city, and have decided that today I am dedicating to exploration.  I considered renting a scooter for the day, but in all honesty traffic here is crazy, and I don’t trust my own ability to safely navigate my way through the streets of Ubud without doing myself some kind of harm. The last thing I want is to jeopardize the rest of my teacher training course due to injury. I figured renting a bicycle would be a great way to see Ubud, as well as go off the beaten tourist track. It would be great cross-training as well.

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