To start, I just want to say that I cannot believe that this part of my journey is almost over!!!! I know I've been writing about how quickly the time has gone by but here I am relaxing during my break on Day 4 of Week 4 and thinking about how after today I only have two days of training and then graduation on Saturday. It's sad to think that I will have to say good bye to all the friends that I have made over the past month. We have all become sooooo close and I know the goodbye will not be easy. I am so proud of how far each and everyone of us have came and I am excited for the future and to stay in touch with these amazing friends I've made and watch them grow and find their way in life. At least I know I can continue travelling and now know yoga teachers from all over the world and will hopefully be able to take classes from at least a couple of my fellow teachers in training down the road.
With that being said we do still have a couple more days left and I need to make the most out of them. Kosta's evening classes have been really good this week. It's nice to have a good hard class to end our day. Our morning practice has consisted of pranayama and us teaching in groups of 5 which has been going really well. Everyone's confidence is building and you can really see the progression in everyone's teaching from last week to this week. I have yet to have my turn to lead my group but I think I will be teaching tomorrow. This week Kosta has printed off a different sequence each morning for each student to practice teaching that specific class sequence so we no longer have to think about what to do on the spot. I'm not sure if this is more helpful or more of a burden as it has been different from person to person. Some have found it easier while others have said that it throws them off their flow to have to follow a specific sequence. I get both sides and think that in some ways it will be easier for me since I really felt the pressure of having to make up sequences on the spot but at the same time I can see how it can be hard to follow such a specific sequence and make your class seem natural. I guess I will soon find out but I am definitely excited to teach this week and have a good feeling that it will go well and I am more comfortable with the whole process.
This week has been very informative in terms of all the theory stuff we have been learning. We are back to our regular schedule with Ram teaching Philosophy after breakfast and Kosta going into the whole business side of yoga and how to start and run a successful business. Philosophy has continued to be one of my favourite parts of this whole training experience and I have learned so much and it's also just opened my mind to so many new things in which I hope to keep learning about after I leave here. Ram has suggested many books for us to read and I have already downloaded a couple to read on my phone while travelling. During the business portion Kosta has basically just told us what he has done to get to where he is today. What worked for him and what was a waste of time and money. We have learned how to market ourselves and put together a CV which is basically a resume for yoga teachers. A lot of the promotional tools you need to use to market yourself involve having various photos of you performing different asanas and it helps if they are taken in beautiful locations. Lucky for us, we are in Thailand and amongst some of the worlds most beautiful beaches and landscapes so we've all been trying to get in photo shoots to use as promotional tools when we decide to start teaching professionally. Today a small group of us arranged to take pictures of each on of us teaching a class which will come in handy when putting together our CVs and even developing websites or Facebook pages. It was funny because one of the girls is already a fitness instructor so she has done loads of these types of shoots so she was very professional and it was just cool to be apart of and know that I will be so thankful of this when I get home and need to start looking for a job. Hopefully I'll be able to do at least one more photo shoot like the one I did on the rocks last week but on the beach sand and either during the sunrise or sunset. I'm hoping to take pictures everywhere I go along my travel so that I have a good amount when I get home and can remember about this whole yoga journey years from now.
Saturday is our last day here at Vikasa and we will be celebrating our graduation as well as the grand opening of Vikasa Yoga Retreat. Kosta used to be a dj and promoter back in Toronto so he has informed us all that it will be quite the event since he knows how to throw a good party. After these last four weeks, I think we could all use a good party and fun night together before we all part ways. I have decides to stay an extra night in Koh Samui as I know that I may not be feeling like taking a ferry and bus to my next stop after what sounds like will be a pretty crazy night. I've booked a hotel room in a nice 4.5 star resort with two of my other fellow students so we can have a nice day of pampering and relaxing before I hit the backpacker trail. My next stop will be Khao Sok National Park where I plan to stay for a couple days before heading off to the Ataman Coast where I will island hop until making my way back to Koh Samui to meet up with my friend Bryan. We have decided to stay a couple days in Samui since I have become somewhat familiar with the island and can show him around and then head over to Koh Phangnan for the full moon party and another little island called Koh Tao before he leaves me to go to Cambodia and I make my way up to Northern Thailand. I am really looking forward to his visit and to be off exploring more of Thailand. I'm not really nervous to be off on my own. I am so happy I had my first month here to get settled and used to being away from home and just get used to the whole culture shock. I've learned a bit of Thai and had some practice and bargaining and have seen how easy it is to make friends when miles from home and everyone you meet is in the same position as you are. I am ready to take on Southeast Asia solo style :)
Anyways I have to get ready for some more business and my evening Kosta class. Hoping his class isn't too intense tonight as my body is super exhausted and I could use a good stretching/relaxing yin type class. He did mention having a deep relation savasana class one night this week and I think a few of us are really hoping it will be tonight. By the time I write my next blog post I will finally be a certified Yoga Teacher!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'll be taking requests for private classes starting Saturday so feel free to book in advance for when I get home.