The time has finally arrived!!! Some of you are embarking on a grand journey to Gokarna, India, where you will be attending a yoga teacher training at the great Shree Hari Yoga School. Already you have been courageous enough to take the leap and do something good for yourself by signing up. Now, you are only a week away from putting your dream into action.
As with any new adventure, you’re probably feeling scared yet excited at the same time. That’s normal, and that’s ok. Embrace whatever feelings rise to the surface and know that as the month progresses, so will you. Your practice will become stronger and your knowledge deeper. And before you know it, you’ll be graduating with your 200-hour teaching certificate in yoga.
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you’re preparing for this incredible expedition of yoga and all it has to offer. (And, of course, these tips can also be applied when you undertake any new trip and begin any new goal.
- LESS IS MORE
Packing. It is one of those things that can cause much unneeded stress before setting out on a trip. Even a weekend get-away requires quite a bit of attention because no matter how long or short a trip is, you always want to be sure you did not forget anything, right?
I have taken my teacher training away from home and I have been traveling from the United States to South East Asia, Central America and Europe for the past 5 years. Sometimes I pack every few days or weeks; when I’m home in Thailand, I get to take a break from packing for a mere 6 months. I pack so often it has become second nature, and it has taught me a lot.
My advice for you is simple—less is more. First, whatever it is that you may forget, you can replace it when you arrive at your destination. Ok. Sure. Cellphones and computers may be a bit expensive to replace. But let’s be real—I’m sure you won’t forget these. However, if you do forget your IPhone or Samsung charger, for instance, it is replaceable. And it is usually not too expensive to do so. Whatever it is you happen to forget, you can get it en route to or in Gokarna.
Second, yoga in India is very different than yoga in the West. You do not need a new yoga outfit for every day of training, so it’s not dire you pack all your best Lululemon and fancy yoga apparel. Traditional yogis in India tend to wear loose fit and light clothing. Just make sure you are comfortable and don’t put too much emphasis on what you are wearing.
You’ll need a pair of sandals and maybe a pair of travel shoes, nothing more. You’re on the beach! You’ll be barefoot most of the time anyway!
Check the weather forecast before you go, so you have an idea of what the weather will be like. My suggestions: one long sleeve, one pair of pants. A couple shirts and pairs of shorts. One swim suit. Perhaps a poncho or raincoat as it will rain sometimes. That’s it. Seriously.
Remember, too, that you’ll be in a new place and you will probably want to buy some of the local styles anyway, so make sure to leave room in your bag for souvenirs.
2. BRING A JOURNAL
I have told myself numerous of times: “I don’t need to write it down. I will absolutely remember this pertinent information and unbelievable moment for the rest of my life.”
I don’t remember half the things that I thought I would. Whether it is what a yoga pose is called in Sanskrit or the names of the different parts of the spine, or whether it is what the name of the delicious dish I ate in Kerala or the name of the deserted beach I went to with my boyfriend in Malaysia, the exact details of the experiences and information escape me.
If only I had taken a few minutes to write it all down….
This is why I highly recommend you bring a journal and use it—all the time! What you are learning at Shree Hari Yoga School is intelligence you will take with you for the rest of your life. It is your guide to the next level from being a practitioner of yoga to a teacher of yoga. It is extremely important and must be treated as such.
In addition, all your emotions and experiences surrounding the training are just as important as the actual training itself. It is not just the facts to be looked back on, but also all the personal growth you’ll be doing during your training.
This teacher training isn’t designed solely for you to become a teacher, it is designed for you to become a more virtuous person.
Write it all down. You will appreciate it later.
3. BE OPEN. BE PRESENT.
No one can prepare you for the transformation you will experience during your teacher training. For each person it is a different journey and for each person it is equally special. There are endless possibilities of what may happen and what may not. Because of this, it is advisable that you remain open to it all. Having no expectations means that you will not be disappointed and thus you can welcome whatever comes with open arms.
The more open you are, the more you are able to receive those gifts that come your way. Open your heart to the challenges you will face and be grateful for the opportunity to overcome them. Open your mind to new perspectives and rituals. Open your spirit to those who have passed this tradition down to you, and see the power it instills in you. Watch the potential ignite inside of you.
4. BE HUMBLE. BE GRATEFUL.
As you begin to receive the gifts of the practice and the training, be humble and be grateful. You are the vehicle by which age old wisdom is passing through. Hari Ji is sharing all he has learned from the great sages and seers who came before him and from his intensive study and daily devotion to the yogic lifestyle. And after the training, you are now responsible for sharing this great custom in a compassionate way to your new students, passing the torch onward.
You earn the right to spread the knowledge you gain from yoga teacher training to those who also want to learn from you. Great leaders do not need to show off or show vanity. Great teachers lead by example through humility and gratitude.
You have chosen to give yourself the gift of yoga. Welcome it with open arms and accept all it has to offer to you. Remember that we do not get these moments back, so be present and record your experiences, emotions and thoughts. The Yogi lifestyle teaches you to need and want less, so that you can be more. Focus on what really matters in the training—not on how your hair looks or how cute that guy is or what you are wearing. Focus inward. Focus on your spiritual growth. Focus on who you are and who you want to be. Focus on the moment.
You are plunging onto a most auspicious voyage!!! I wish you nothing but greatness and love.