Week One of Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh

yoga teacher training in Rishikesh

Week One of Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh

Countless times in the past week, I have looked around at my surroundings with gratitude and awe. Coming to India to practice yoga has long been on my list of things to do, and here I am, working towards my yoga teacher certification. Sometimes, I have to pinch myself.

These moments often happen in yoga class, when I’m in the middle of a pose and fixate on a point outside of the classroom. The open windows look out to the Himalayas and people going about their normal routines. I stop and think about how lucky I am to practice yoga in the place where it was born. To learn the history and practices in its place of origin is an experience unlike any other. Sometimes, I feel as if I’m living in a dream. For as long as I can remember, this is something I have wanted, and now I am here.

yoga teacher training in Rishikesh

Getting here, to this moment, was complicated. It all started with last year’s trip to India that never happened, but it led me to where I am today. When I landed in Delhi last Friday evening, after a fourteen hour flight, everything felt right. I know I was supposed to be there at that moment, even though I was unsure of what my next seven weeks would bring me. Unsure of who I would meet. Unsure of what I would be doing each day. Unsure of almost everything. Now, after a week of yoga teacher training in Rishikesh, I am feeling more aware of myself and the life I want to lead.

This week has been a bit of a whirlwind, but it has also been transformative, powerful, and has reached beyond my expectations. While I’ve only had a bit of time to explore it, Rishikesh is a magical town and while I have yet to see the rest of what India has to offer, I feel a strong connection here. Situated among the Himalayas, with the Ganges running through it, it’s hard not to fall in love with this place. I am grateful to be living here for a month, so that I can take my experience even deeper.

yoga teacher training in Rishikesh

Each day, I wake up between five and five thirty, then head downstairs for tea. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, we meet outside, fill up our neti pots and clean our our nasal passages. This is part of Shatkarma, which has six groups of purification practices. Honestly, this is still something I am getting used to. After using the neti pot, we head upstairs for mediation, which includes chanting, then have our first asana class of the day. This takes us to nine o’clock, when breakfast is served. Usually it consists of a flat rice, corn flakes with warm milk, or oatmeal. If we’re lucky, there’s also chai masala.

After breakfast, we head back upstairs for an hour of philosophy and an hour of anatomy before lunch. Then, we have a break until our four o’clock asana class, the hardest of the day. Dinner is at six-thirty and lights need to be out by ten. Saturdays are all about Shatkarma, where we cleanse a part of our body, then rest and Sunday is our day off, which includes an activity together and free time.Each meal is vegetarian and some of the best food I have ever had. I hope to keep up a vegetarian lifestyle once I return home, hopefully, I can make my meals as delicious.

yoga teacher training in Rishikesh

My yoga school, one of many in the area, is everything I hoped it would be and so much more. My teachers are kind, supportive, and don’t let us take ourselves too seriously, which is important in a program such as this. Still, they work us hard each day and test our limits. Classes are exhausting, but at the end, I feel stronger and more confident in my practice.

The classes are small, there are fourteen of us here, and all of us seem to be on the same energy level. We help lift each other up and have become each other’s personal cheerleaders. It’s so wonderful to have the support of each other, especially during the difficult moments. In less than a week, I feel that I have already made friends that will last a lifetime.

Before coming here, I didn’t really have any expectations of what this experience would be, but each day, no matter how hard I am working, I know that this is where I am supposed to be right now. It’s hard and I struggle, but I am never miserable or want to quit, I am willing to put in the time and hard work to achieve this goal. The opportunity to deepen my yoga practice, in a place as beautiful as this, is something I am grateful for, and I am looking forward to seeing the changes within myself in the coming weeks. Namaste.

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Comments (17)

  1. Natalie @ In Natalie's Shoes

    This sounds absolutely wonderful, Erin! Completing a yoga instructor course in India has been something I’ve always thought about, but have been nervous to even research. I had no clue what it entailed or what each day would be like, so I just put off looking into it. You’ve done a great job of easing my mind 🙂

    1. The World Wanderer

      I totally know what you mean! There’s so much out there. I’m going to write a post about picking the right yoga school for you, so that should help you too. It’s hard because you don’t really know what to expect. I highly recommend the school I am at – it’s been quite the experience. If you want more information, let me know!

  2. Kevin

    How exciting! I’m so inspired by and happy for you and the great decision you made to do this! Namaste, baby!

    1. The World Wanderer

      Thanks so much! I keep saying that this is the best decision I have ever made for myself. I knew I needed this and I was right. Such a beautiful journey! Can’t wait to tell you all about it when I see you!

  3. the lazy travelers

    this sounds super intense, but so proud of you for following your dreams and having the courage to do something so unfamiliar. you go, glen coco! xoxo

    1. The World Wanderer

      It is super intense, but then it’s also not. I was most afraid of the cleansing, and we did our first one today – easier than I expected!

  4. Francesca (@WorkMomTravels)

    I can only imagine how incredible and intense this whole experience has been for you. Good on ya for seeing it through to get to India in the first place, and for pressing on even when it gets difficult. So proud of you!

    1. The World Wanderer

      Thank you, Francesca! It was amazing!

  5. Lance | Trips By Lance

    Sometimes things don’t work out on the timing we want them to. I’m happy you finally made it to India. That sounds like a super intense routine but one that will make you a stronger person. Stay strong and have fun!

    1. The World Wanderer

      It was intense, but worth every second. So glad I did it. 🙂

  6. lola

    So happy you are feeling fulfilled and in the right place at the right time. It looks so beautiful there.

    1. The World Wanderer

      It is!! Thank you for all of your support when trip #1 fell through and with this one too. Love you!

  7. Leslie

    I have never thought of India as being as beautiful as your pictures show. It has me re-thinking my desire to go there! It is great that you are able to experience living there for a period of time because it is so much different than just staying in a city for a couple days or week. I look forward to reading more about your time there and the growth you will experience.

    1. The World Wanderer

      Thanks, Leslie! Yes, Rishikesh is a very special place. The other parts of India I have been to so far are interesting as well, not always as we see them depicted. I hope you get to visit one day!

  8. Savvy

    I’ve been to a few cities in India but not Rishikesh. Looks like a really interesting place!

    1. The World Wanderer

      It was amazing! I hope you get there one day 🙂

  9. Amar patel

    i can feel ur words with ur first experience with himalaya, Ganga and wonderful experience of yoga at first time.. all this tree things are inter connected in our cultural manner. and in our india people who stay near to river Gange and himalaya are most lucky one. yoga will definitely change ur health and mind controls but apart of all most import things it will helps you to be better ‘human’ if u keep maintain ur practice.

    Cheers for good time..
    peace

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