Yoga teacher trainings are very special type of intensive courses. YTTs have the potential to change people’s lives for better. Majority of our students told us how their worldview and attitude towards life has changed during the course. We are proud of being able to create such an environment but still we must admit they did the majority of the work. Let’s first understand why those trainings are so powerful.
In YTT200 courses, the students study the Yoga philosophy and practice Yoga Asanas a lot. So they are getting physically stronger and increasing their wealth of knowledge. This might already sound enough, but it goes far more deeper then that.
Yoga practice aims for self transformation leading towards a spiritual liberation.
No matter which type of yoga you are practicing the aim is constant evolvement, constant growth. We have so many unconscious defence mechanisms within us that resist against transformation, against change. Transformation means leaving the familiar grounds and venturing into unknown. Exploring unknown territories is usually scary. Because we don’t know if we are strong enough to deal with new, unfamiliar challenges.
In a Yoga Asana session the Yoga instructor offers a practice that challenges the students. In a well prepared Yoga class the physical challenge is offered in such a way that the practitioner also experiences it as a mental and emotional challenge. If a safe environment is created then the practitioner gets in touch with their own power. The wisdom of Yoga tells us that the power we seek is within us Only through challenges we can discover how to we can use this power. So only through challenges we grow.
In Yoga teacher trainings, students actually study how to encourage self-transformation through the tools that are offered by the thousands of years old tradition of yoga. In our Teacher trainings we always tell our students not to teach things they don’t practice. If they are not practicing self-transformation then how can they teach yoga? They can’t. YTTs offer unique opportunities for spiritual growth.
Now, the question is what does this have to do with the venue.
Think about why we are so resistant to change. We don’t feel safe in our environments. We are expected to do the same things everyday in our professional lives. Most of us live in the concrete jungles which also do not change very frequently. All these aspects about our environment effects us makes us rigid. We usually tend to think that the environment we live in is something that does not necessarily shape who we are. But the wisdom Yoga teaches us how everything is connected. Your environment is important. The first step of Patanjali’s eight limed Raja yoga is dedicated to our interaction with our environment.
Yes, the teachers, the content, the other students , etc. are important factors that will affect your teacher training experience but so will the venue. As Shades of Yoga we hand pick our venues. We have been working with TAKSU Spa in Ubud over seven years. And it offers us an amazing environment for a journey of self transformation.
During the process of self-transformation you open yourself up, lowering your guards down, so you are more susceptible to influences.
Bali is known as the Island of Gods because it is spiritually very powerful. Balineese people invest a lot of time and energy to their spiritual rituals and that makes their island very special. Ubud is in the middle of the island way from the seaside touristic areas, Nevertheless it is culturally very rich and it is the part of the island where people come to heal.
Ubud literally means medicine. It is one of the best places on the planet where you can lower your guards and expect to be surrounded by positive energy.
Taksu Spa is a hidden heaven in the middle of the town. No matter which part of the spa you go, you will always be surrounded by lush green jungle.
There is even a small waterfall within the venue. If you look up towards the trees you will see squirrels jumping from one branch to another, colourful glorious butterflies flying by, chickens walking around with their little chicks following them. Always changing, always refreshing. In such an environment you cannot run out of inspiration and motivation for self-transformation.
Pranayama practice is an important part of a Yoga teacher training since it is essential to yoga practice. During Pranayama practice our students open their bodies to fresh air, and deeply breath full of Prana. Where could be a better place to do that then a lush green jungle?
In a venue like Taksu you look around and you are filled with the desire to inhale the amazing energy of nature that surrounds you.
The location is also perfect. It is in the heart of the town. There are heaps of places to eat, to get a traditional massages, find a healer, make new connections with people form all around the world, listen to good music, learn an art, dance, meditate. But, you may fail to find a fast food restaurant. In this town eating healthy is easier than eating junk food. In every corner you find something new that you can try out. Something new that encourages to open yourself to change.
The shala is very important as well. Everything happens in there. The practice, the learning, the sharing, the connecting. The shalas in Taksu, for examplew, are beautiful, spacious, all of them overlooking the jungle. They are always clean. Our students own the shalas throughout the day. They make it their own enviroment with their energies. They make the shalas the place where they can feel at home. Home is the safe place, where we go to when we need to gather strength.
Change is always stressful. The calming and welcoming energy of the venue is vital.
In Taksu, the staff always greets our students with smiles. Except in the early morning. In the morning we practice noble silence. In noble silence we avoid any interaction in order to keep the mind clear of distractions. The staff understands and respects our rituals. We also get the chance to witness their rituals. Because they also surround us with their beautiful spiritual energies. The Taksu staff is always there when we need them. They are always happy to help and provide for different dietery needs of our students.
Our venue, Taksu is a healing heaven. As you can understand from the name, it offers spa services. But the healing opportunities Taksu Spa is not limited to amazing massages. They have sound healing sessions, psychodrama sessions, they have Theta healers, reflexology therapists, and many more.
Good and healthy food also very important during a Yoga teacher training. Intensive asana practice help cleanse the body.
One requires a lot of energy during a Yoga Teacher Training. In Taksu we begin the day with an amazing open buffet breakfast. With colorful tropical fruits, different nuts, different kinds of vegan and regular milks, choices of fruit and green juices.
Hydration is vital for our body. It becomes even more essential when you are in a tropical island and practicing more then a couple of hours a day. Taksu Spa provides supply of fresh ginger tea, fresh filtered water, and coffee and black tea all day. This not only helps our students to keep themselves hydrated but also helps to create cosy environment. Still sometimes our students feel like a smoothie or a fresh juice or a young coconut. From the restaurant they can order these refreshing drinks knowing that they will get fresh and healthy drinks.
In most teacher trainings the theoretical lectures are held in the shalas. Students sitting on their mats with the help of the boostersand blocks. It is very challenging to sit up straight on a mat and take notes. Having a table and chair set up helps a lot to encourage active learning session. There are so much to learn, so much information to digest, so many thought provoking ideas are discussed in the classes. Staying active during lectures and discussions mentally prepares the students for self-transformation.
In teacher trainings students are also required to study on their own time. They have assignments, they also need to review the content as we go deep into intricacies of yogic wisdom. Having a peaceful place to study is also very helpful. Taksu has a beautiful garden area where the students can come together and study.
Bottom line, the venue is a very significant part of a Yoga teacher training.
The venue might change the experience and the outcome of the YTT completely. It is a delicate matter to choose the right Yoga teacher training for yourself. So here comes a one last tip.
No matter what you choose in the end, have a yogic approach and be content with your choice. Make sure that you benefit and enjoy that special time of your life as much as you can.