Pressure’s on. You’ve been given the script, meticulously spelled it out with newfound-friends, fallen asleep clutching the sacred text, and woken up on some foreign beach with only a little black book to fend off the howling jungle.
For those unlucky souls like me, memorizing text is as easy as coming up with a fitting analogy. I’m bad at both. The past three days have been filled day and night with reading, reciting, and acting out a mantra that will soon encompass your life. Nothing short of a daunting task. But don’t get me wrong, it’s not all that bad. In fact, this may be the most enjoyable task you ever complete. All of the work is done on Costa Rican beaches, jungles and these new exotic “pools.” Also, breaks consist of renting out private yoga studios, practicing on the beach, and delicious meals consisting of decadent local produce. All lead by Mark, Zefea, and friends; some of the best yoga instructors and practitioners in the world.
Then suddenly, moment of truth. What do you do when one of the teachers looks at you and says, “you’re up, show me what you’ve got”? Hint: “recite the text” isn’t the likely answer. Convincing your neighbor that the teacher pointed at her is a viable option, but that only works once.
all eyes on you for your turn
The moment it becomes your turn, all faulty wall clocks slow down and your body graciously triggers a Rune Goldberg machine to help with your imminent demise. Heart quickens, hands dampen, throat chokes up and all thoughts lovingly clear themselves away. When all eyes turn to you and your instruction starts, a goofy smile will be all you have to greet them back. Time and time again. And no tram to swoop you away to safety. But watching the other trainees, you’ll learn they’re feeling the same. It’s their first teaching experience as well. And after everybody fails a few times and you learn the world hasn’t stopped spinning, it gets fun. Like really fun. Everybody starts to interject, help each other, and learn together in an actual teaching experience.
And that’s just the point of all this. They throw you in the fire and show you it isn’t there to burn you. Instead, they show you how to harness the power that surrounds you. The course is filled with philosophical lectures, actual practice, random tid bits to fill your heart’s desire, and teaching experience. I’m four days in and it’s already an adventure I wish I could live through time and time again.
And for those wondering, “Put your feet together, heels and toes touching each other,” is the first line. I got it now.
Ryan took his first hot yoga class in Berlin and just a little over 6 months later he made the plunge to become a qualified yoga teacher. Less than a year later, with valuable teaching experience under his belt, he took TheHotTT 500 hour course to become a 500 hour yoga alliance registered yoga teacher. He's originally from Austin Texas, but moved out to live, work and study with Mark & Zefea in Santa Barbara in 2013. Since joining the evolation collective, he has traveled around the US, Central America and Europe to teach and help at various teacher trainings. To see a few things that he has done, head to YogaDuo.com.