This Yoga Teacher Training was definitely one of the best experiences I have ever had in my life. Through this writing, I would like to share my eye opening and joyous YTT experience in Bali.
It was quite an interesting experience in regards to how I ended up taking the training with Shades of Yoga (https://shadesofyoga.com/). At first, I was considering to take it in Santa Anita Hot Yoga Studio in Arcadia, Los Angeles, with my awesome teachers, Rheza and America, whom I usually take classes with, during the summer time. But because I was going to go back to my hometown in Jakarta, Indonesia, I could not take the training there.
Later on, I figured to take the training in Bali. I had chosen another training school before Shades of Yoga appeared on my Instagram account three weeks before the course started. After reading the course descriptions and the reviews and did some research, I somehow strongly felt that this school was what I needed. It has a small class size of a maximum 16 students that allows each student to receive individual attention and guidance from the teacher. And surely I needed this. I then got in touch with Tracey, the Director of the yoga school, and after few phone conversations, I applied to the School.
Arriving in Bali
I arrived in Bali around a week before the course started. Being born in Indonesia, this was not the first time I have been in Bali. Regardless, Bali never bores me! I have always felt excited when it comes to Bali. Something magnetic about this magical island. I am pretty positive that most of us feel it too. And so I spent my week exploring places that I had never been before. (The names of some places I went are mentioned under the free time section at the end of this blog, for your reference)
And the RYT 200 Training Shall Begin!
The course started on Monday, August 6th. To my surprise, a M 7.0 earthquake with the epicenter in Lombok, an island to the east of Bali, happened the day before the course started. There was a panic and everyone in Ubud felt it pretty hard. Fortunately, there was no damage at the area where I stayed.
OK, that’s enough for the back narrative. Let’s start with the yoga teacher training story!
First yoga training day, I walked to Taksu yoga from Bella House, where I stayed. I made sure I arrived few minutes early before the meeting time at 7:45 AM. After greeted by Zey, our teacher, and finished signing up, I went into the Shala and there was a beautiful set up of yoga mats on the floor as we, a total group of 8, found our way to sit in a circle. Each of us sat or laid down quietly as we waited for Zey to start the class.
Not long, Zey came in, opened up the class and had each of us introduced ourselves (to make it fun, each of us mentioned our favorite fruits). Everyone was more relaxed afterwards and then we did our first morning yoga session. I got stung by a wasp on my stomach at the start of the asanas, lol. That was my first time to get stung by an insect and it did feel hurt. I stepped out of the class to get first aid from Taksu’s staffs. To be honest, I was quite panicking inside while trying to keep my calm ;p.
We got to know each other more during the breakfast time. After the breakfast we went into the Shala again with the table set up this time.
(Kim, the Client Relations / Operation Manager, distributed the welcome packages after Zey finished explaining our upcoming daily schedule inside the Shala that would be our home for the next 25 days!)
Daily Schedule (M-F) with slight changes in length/duration on some days:
– 7:25 am – 8:00 am: Meditation
– 8:00 am – 8:15 am: Pranayama
– 8:15 am – 8:30 am: Short Break
– 8:30 am – 10:00 am: Asana Practice
– 10:00 am – 11:00 am: Breakfast!
– 10:30 am – 12:30 pm: Lecture
– 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm: Lunch Break
– 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm: Lecture
– 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm: Asana
Saturdays half day until 12:30 pm.
No class on Sundays.
Our day started with Noble Silence upon waking up in the morning. This means no electronic devices, no internet, no speaking to anyone in both real and virtual world. This was indeed quite an unusual yet interesting experience for me. One of the challenging things was that we were not able to speak any word to all of the friendly people who would greet us as we walked to the class. So in this case, a warm smile and a nod back at them would do! 😄
Everyone had to arrive at the Shala at 7:25 AM sharp to get ready for the 7:30 AM meditation. This was the first time I meditated for more than 15 minutes a day. The surprising thing for me was that I kinda like it. Yes, some days can be harder or easier to meditate but definitely the surrounding nature sounds of insects and streamflow helped in creating a meditative ambience.
(Photo credit: Shades of Yoga)
Following the meditation was pranayama. Three pranayama techniques were taught in this course (one technique each week):
1. Sama Vrtti: equal fluctuation of the breath, inhaling and exhaling at the same counts.
2. Dirga Swasam: Three-part yogic breath, actively breathing into three parts of the abdomen (low belly, low chest, and low throat) and then out through the throat, chest, and belly.
3. Nadi Shodhana: Alternate nostril breathing, closing the right nostril with the thumb, first inhaling through the left nostril (ida) on counts and then closing the left nostril with the ring finger, exhaling and inhaling with the same counts from the right nostril (pingala), repeating the process switching sides over for a period of time.
Note: For all techniques, the counts can be inreased or decreased according to our needs as long as the inhalation and the corresponding exhalation are of the same counts. Counts are increased on inhalations.
We always had one asana practice in the morning and second in the afternoon. The morning practice was geared towards more energizing asanas because yes, we needed that to start our day! We worked through all the small details for each pose and believe me, my body was all sore from the first week of the practice! But I did feel good 😊. The second practice of the day, which was done whenever time permits, was more directed towards a relaxing and calm yoga style, such as yin yoga, which I really looked forward to. We also did self-practice in class on every Thursday.
Breakfast was definitely one of my favorite time of the day (I believe, for most of us, especially after the asana practice). Look at all these lovely and delicious ample of food that was provided for us! What I also loved about the breakfast time was that we got to chat and share stories with my charming fellow yogis.
Many topics were discussed in lectures. Some of these topics include history of yoga, anatomy of movement, sequencing, breaking down the poses and sanskrits, anatomy of bandhas, yamas and niyamas, physical adjustments, chakras, injuries, prenatal yoga, yoga for seniors, and aryuveda.
Yes, our days were filled up with assignments. I recommend doing the assignments whenever you have free time during lunch break or after classes so you have more time to explore the city with your friends on the weekends. It is also great to do the assignments during the break time with them.
This was definitely one of the most challenging yet intriguing experience for me. Originally joined the teacher training to deepen and understand more about yoga, I was not confident enough with the idea of teaching. Doubts covered my mind as Zey announced that we were going to teach in the class (Me teaching? Can I do it?). But after looking at our hesitative expressions, Zey quickly assured us that we would be able to teach by the end of the second week (love her!).
This was also one of my favorite time. Why? Cause there are so many great restaurants and cafes that’s worth to try with the girls! Name it, Clear Cafe, Kafe, Atman Cafe, Mudra, Earth Cafe and Market, and many more.
Before finishing the day with the excitement and tears (mostly happy tears), we started our day with the final exam and presentation. We did the written exam in the morning, followed by doing the yoga poses by the Sanskrit’s names and Chakra presentations afterwards. And guess what, everyone passed the exams! Yey!
Upon finishing our exams and presentations, we took our last break to rest and get ready for the graduation and purification ceremony. We met at around 5:30 PM and everyone was so gorgeous wearing red and white theme dresses (the representation of Indonesia’s flag color).
The ceremony started with prayer and chanting followed by purification led by a Balinese priest. The atmosphere was so sacred that we were so deeply immersed in it.
The evening continued with an intimate and pleasant dinner at Taksu Restaurant where Zey showed us pictures from our training days followed by the certificate acceptance.
The night was indeed a very touching and memorable moment for all of us and the short speech that each of us delivered was definitely not enough to express our feelings in words. However, I trully believe that everyone felt the precious bond between us. Nora, Emma, Bianca, Silvia, Amie, Zuzka, Violet, and of course Zey!, I am very blessed to have known you all!
Time indeed flies and so much had happened in this past 25 days. I still cannot believe that we all did it! Upon finishing the course, what I know for sure was that this course has opened my eyes to the broadness of yoga and the endless possibilities it has to offer in people’s lives. I feel that this is just the beginning, the start of my yoga journey, and I cannot wait to share the practices with others.
“A journey of a thousand miles begin with a single step.” -Lao Tzu-
Below are some additional notes I find beneficial for your stay in the lovely Ubud:
There are plenty of accomodations in Ubud. Shades of Yoga will email you the Welcome Letter that has the information about the accomodation options. I booked mine through Aibnb before applying to Shades of Yoga. I stayed at Bella House, located at Jl. Hanoman No. 60, just about 7 minutes walk to Taksu Yoga.
I really like Bella House. The host, Made, is very helpful and responsive. His mom and Wayan who stay there and help taking care the place are also very warm-hearted and lovely people. They clean the room every day and provide you with a jug of hot water every morning. Delicious breakfasts are also provided. My favorite is the Jaffle with banana and strawberry/pineaplle jam fillings inside.
Zest Ubud, Sayuri Healing Food Cafe, and Sage are other restaurants in the area that I would recommend you to try. Had great time with the girls too over there.
Not to mention, Ubud is such a great places for desserts! I am so in love with the food!
You can go to Ubud Monkey Forest, take classes at yoga studios such as Yoga Barn and Radiantly Alive, take a refreshing walk at Tegalalang Rice Terrace and Bukit Campuhan, enjoy the impressively green valley panorama with cascading water of Tegenungan Waterfall, visit the curative holy spring and possibly try out the purification bathing ritual in Tirta Empul Temple, and many more.
(Ubud Monkey Forest)
(Campuhan Ridge Walk)
Thank you so much for reading this post! I hope it helps, especially if you are considering to take YTT. It is my pleasure and you are all very welcome to reach me for any questions! Love and light to you all. ❤️✨
🙏 ~Namaste~ 🙏