hanging in there at yoga teacher training


5:30-7:30am: Wake up and study.

8:00-8:30am: Drive to the studio.

9:00-9:00pm: Teacher clinics/Hot yoga classes/Lectures

9:00:15-9:45pm: Drive home

10:00-11:00pm: Cook/Shower/Pack for the next day

11:00-12:00am: #yogastory blog

Annnndddd Repeat. Day… After.. Day.

day 4

When I write it all out like that it sounds quite daunting. And to anyone who may be reading this, it could very well terrify the hello out of them. But you know what? (And I say this now during week one) It’s not so bad.

Perhaps it’s because I’ve spent the last year of my life conditioning my body to adjust to ever-changing time zones, running on less than four hours of sleep, and pushing myself past the point of insomnia; staying awake more than 27 hours, running solely on venti soy lattes from the nearest Starbucks. Or perhaps the long days don’t faze me because I am finally doing something I love to do. I wake up eager to absorb all that my trainers are willing to give me; be it corrections on my posture or their knowledge and experience with alignment, yoga sutras, chakras and dialogue.

I think it’s probably a combination of the two. But I am also inclined to believe that it has a lot to do with how I prepare myself for each day. As someone who is trying to live a healthy vegan lifestyle (and I say “trying” because it is a work in progress, and “healthy” because I don’t eat processed crap) it is super important for me to prepare meals to sustain me throughout the day. Not only does it ensure I get enough nutrients to push through a 90-min sweat sesh, it also stops me from turning into Godzilla when I get a little too much Hanger. And by “hanger” I don’t mean what you’ve got holding up your clothes in the closet. I mean “Angry due to Hunger”. It’s a phrase I hear all the young kids using. Thought I’d throw it in there. Not quite sure how it sounds coming from an almost 30-year-old but I’m gonna roll with it.

Today was another day full of new things to learn, feel and experience. My practice seems to be drastically different day-to-day as I start to realign my posture and bring some integrity back into my poses. I feel so fortunate to be learning from teachers with the knowledge that Maria and Toddy bring to the table. Their passion resonates in everything they say and do.

Besides spending loads of time memorizing, forgetting, memorizing and then forgetting again, I can’t draw on anything too specific about today. We did a posture clinic outside. Not only did it make me aware of how much work I need to do in my thighs, it also reminded me how damn hot this country is. It’s pushing mid-October and the weather has only slightly dropped. Although today we were fortunate to have a light breeze to contend with, most days the humidity hits you like a tonne of bricks.

For anyone who has never been to the UAE, the heat can only be described as suffocating. Most people associate the desert with a dry heat. Sadly, most people have never been to a country that is surrounded by the Arabian Gulf. Summer’s in this place get real. I’m talking 50-plus degrees, all day, every day. Even now, at 11:30pm it’s still a balmy 32 degrees and that’s not taking into account the humidity. If this training had been a month sooner, just stepping out onto your doorstep would be enough to saturate your body in sweat. There’s nothing sexier than a sweat stash in the morning. (That’s actually kind of funny— I may just throw that line into my dialogue somewhere).

Speaking of dialogue! My goodness does it ever suck to memorize. There’s no getting around it. It sucksssssss. No sooner have a memorized one thing and I have to go onto the next. It’s a really scary thing to have to memorize things again. I haven’t been in college for six years and trying to make new information stick in my head isn’t easy. I suppose my stubbornness and my big fat ego start in my big fat head. So now I’m just working on that whole “accepting” thing; surrendering to what is. It’s a daily, weekly, lifely process really. I’ve also just made “lifely” a new word. At this rate, I may just memorize the dialogue and then move onto re-writing the English dictionary to include my badass new words.

Chivonne Monaghan


Chivonne's yoga story began five years ago when she discovered the hot yoga Primary Series. She knew instantly she wanted to become a teacher so she could share her passion with others; giving back what had been given to her: inspiration, strength, discipline, compassion and love. After a few years of living in various countries, Chivonne found myself travelling the world as an occupation with a middle-eastern airline. And when the opportunity to become a teacher become available to her in the UAE she quit her job on the spot and enrolled in the course. She feels so truly blessed to be starting her journey into teaching and I is so excited by the endless possibilities that await her.