Once somebody told me that love has no age, no limit. It is beautiful whether you get touched by it at 18 or at 50. There is even the saying that age actually does not protect you from love, but love protects you from age. It is so present & alive.
After having recently concluded my teacher training I just made the experience that the same goes for fear and anxiety. It reminds you that you are alive and that you rather want to be on the other side of it (he,he). It is so much present. My heart started beating so fast and strong as if having a body of its own.
At the age of 51, I was deeply convinced that being evaluated, watched, observed throughout a Yoga practice would NOT have such great impact on me as it did– Well, I was WRONG. I have never been so nervous, excited and unprepared for the situation I found myself in ;-):
in 2018 after practicing Vijñāna Yoga for some years my teacher announced the possibility of joining in a 750 hours Teacher Training Course with beginning in January 2019. It would take 3 years to conclude. Even though my financial situation at that time was not the best, I managed to subscribe and went for the adventure.
Silves - My place of study
When you subscribe to a Vijñāna Teacher Training Course you commit to attend (per year):
4 Yoga Retreats & 6 Masterclasses as well as regular attendance in Vijñāna Yoga classes with your teacher.
Along the three years of apprenticeship you are taught all different Yoga groups such as : Standing Poses, Hand Balances, Forward Bends & Twists, Backbends & Inversions.
What makes this course so different?
The teaching & practice is guided by:
the 10 Vayus and
the study of Yoga philosophy such as the Sutras of Patanjali, Bhagavad Gita, Hatha Pradipika, Sri Aurobindo, Upnishads among other.
For every philosophical text that you have been studying you are obliged to write an essay and hand it in for approval.
From the Beginning you are strongly advised to develop your own practice as well as to start teaching from the second year on.
You are introduced to the basics of movement through theoretical and practical classes in Anatomy. This helps you to understand how movement occurs and how you can handle and work better with certain health issues.
Teacher Training & Covid
Before I started off on my Teacher Training Adventure in 2019 I went to a Vijñāna Yoga Retreat in Holland meeting up with other Vijñāna Teachers and students in Steyl. I was introduced to Orit Sen-Gupta, one of the founders of Vijñāna Yoga.
While practicing with her and being among like minded people I was even more touched by this Yoga Practice from the Inside and motivated of wanting to become a teacher.
3 challenging years
The first year (2019) was mainly on Standing Poses. For the very first time I studied „Yoga philosophy“. I remember that most of what was said at that time I did not understand at all. It was like Chinese to me.
In 2020 we were hit by Covid and presential classes had become impossible for a certain time. Like everybody else we went into Zoom Practice, but we all felt it was not the same. But nevertheless (even though not being a fan of online at all) I have to admit that these Online classes gave me the structure I needed. It helped me to focus and concentrate on myself not getting caught by all the despair and fear around me.
3 times a week for 3 hours we practiced together virtually on ZOOM during 2 months. If I look back today, I am so deeply grateful for the possibility my teacher offered us through those classes. It prevented us for getting separated , we remained united even in times of Lockdown. Thank you Teresa Caldas.
Luckily as soon as we were able to get back together we did. Getting back to class had something magical almost healing. As soon as I would enter the studio, the whole pandemic situation seemed to not exist. I remember that there was no room for “COVID. It was just about Yoga: practicing, sharing the same devotion and connecting to oneself. A safe heaven to practice this is how it felt. To me it felt like home, a sacred place to be.
Connecting to the Vijñāna community
Retreats in person like the one I experienced in 2019 in the Netherlands were not possible anymore, so they were held via Zoom. Even though it was not our first choice to practice online, it was of great importance sharing and satisfying the longing of being together gain.I personally felt that the importance of the study of texts became somehow more alive and deep.
Vijnana Yoga Retreat, Steyl-Netherlands
When you share the same path during 3 years and maybe even more in challenging times like the past few years, you become more than just a group which is practicing Yoga together, you become a FAMILY.
Not every one concluded the Course. Some left earlier, others are continuing their journey and go on studying a year longer.
For me each one of them has a special place in my heart. They allowed me to grow in one way or another. I feel blessed and eternally grateful for these moments that will always be remembered.
After Evaluation – and now what?
After the evaluation, I was so overwhelmed, I felt like crying. Instead of happiness and great relief, sadness and fear of abandonment came up. It was as if I had to leave now, saying Good bye for good.
O course nothing of that is true. Actually it is the opposite … My teacher put it quite well when she said after the evaluation:
Have a good weekend, Relax and MONDAY are more.
She meant more of yoga and I understood, there is NO Goodbye for me, it is just starting…