YTT has been a dream of mine for 10+ years & I finally did it! I AM A YOGA TEACHER.
My yoga teacher training in Dominical, Costa Rica was filled with song & dance, Kirtan ceremonies, ecstatic dance, womb blessings, hand-holding, waterfall cleansing, gift-giving, fire ceremonies, a cacao offering, Ayurveda, Trataka, gratitude, farmers markets, asana, tantra, beach study, sisterhood, sunsets, blue body masks, essential oils, whale watching, meditation, delicious vegan food, smoothie bowls, tears, so many tears, secrets told, cold showers, and so much more, all the while studying to become a Yoga Teacher alongside many beautiful Goddesses.
I’d love to share every detail of every moment I experienced during my YTT in the Costa Rican jungle because it was INCREDIBLE….. but I’m still processing it all and I’m allowing myself to do that quietly. I do want to encourage anyone interested in YTT to consider studying abroad because the life-changing experience is nothing short of pure beauty.
Here are a few reasons to consider studying abroad for your Yoga Teacher Training:
- BEAUTY – Speaking of beauty, consider the culture, landscape, local wildlife, vegetation, and local people that you will be surrounded by while studying to become a yoga teacher. For me, the jungle and ocean did not exclusively act as candy to my eyes, they inspired me to feel primally pure and connect with Mother Earth. In the jungle, beauty isn’t defined by what you look like or what you are wearing – beauty became a way of being and doing.
- FOOD – The retreat center & eco-lodge I lived at for 3 weeks while training for YTT had a team of Edible Alchemy Chefs who prepared and served 3 clean, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, DELICIOUS meals a day. I was able to take my body through a cleanse of sorts, a gut reset, by giving up sugar, alcohol, dairy, and gluten for the month.
- FUN – Although the study was intense, exhausting, and challenging, I had as much fun studying as I would have vacationing. In the first paragraph of this blog post, I listed out some of the fun we had in Costa Rica: fire ceremonies, singing & dancing, waterfall play, and stripping down at the farmers market to try on all the Tanzwear just before feeding my belly some raw chocolates are memories that will live with me forever.
- CONNECTION – Not only did it feel more comfortable than ever to connect with my own body through breath work, asana, vulnerability, and discomfort in the jungle, this part-time introvert found herself more open to creating genuine connections with people. Within a few hours of arriving at Danyasa, I’d made several new BFF’s from all over the world that will likely be forever friends of mine. Over the course of 21 days or so, I felt more connected to the women I was studying with than I do with my family and friends back home.
- DISCONNECTION – As I connected with myself, with the earth, the biodiversity, the women I was studying with, and my practice, I was able to disconnect from the “real world.” I didn’t watch tv, I didn’t listen to the radio, I didn’t worry about politics or who is screwing who, I spent several days without my phone, and without all the stressors that life typically presents.
- VACATION – Yoga Teacher Training feels a lot like a yoga retreat (aka vacation) but you get this magical certificate at the end that allows you the opportunity to teach yoga to others. At my YTT, we spent 5 days studying and then we’d get a day off, 5 more days studying and then another day off. I notice some YTT’s go 15-20 days straight without any days off but I would highly recommend choosing a training that allows you that time to unwind, kick-back, decompress, and have fun.
- IMMERSIVE – The one thing that turned me off from YTT for so many years is that most local studios require you to attend classes in the evenings after work, then on the weekends in between football games and Saturday night binging. My experience in Costa Rica allowed me to fully devote myself to the study without outside distractions like work and relationships. Had I had down time in-between classes, I don’t believe I would have retained as much of the information and there is no way I’d have created the relationships and memories I did.
- SISTERHOOD – Sisterhood is a bond between women who share common goals. Sisterhood means never having to stand alone. Sisterhood is a safe space to share and heal. To be able to share the thoughts and feelings of our honest, authentic selves was one of the greatest gifts of sisterhood that every single sister benefited from during our YTT.
- GOOD STORIES – Every time I say “That one time I lived in Costa Rica for 3 weeks…’ ears perk up, people immediately want to hear more. I’ve had so much fun reminiscing on my experience as I make attempts to share some of the stories that originated during my training. I’ll never forget doing yoga on the beach while covered in a blue body masque, I’ll never forget being hopped up on cacao while teaching yoga to 20+ people including my instructors, and I’ll never forget my cheesecake date on the very last day of training after waiting 21 days to treat myself with (celebratory) sugar.
- PRICE – Shockingly, taking YTT overseas cost less than $800 more than a local training would have cost me. For $800 more, I had accommodations on-site and did not have to travel back-and-forth on a daily basis to my training site, I got 3 fresh-prepared, organic meals, and a beautiful vacation in the jungle.