Congratulations to our first Vikasa Yoga Teacher Graduates!
What an amazing month! The course ended spectacularly with deep practices and insightful discussions. Kosta covered the business of yoga; how to market yourself, build networks, set attractive deals and membership packages, and gave advice for free-lancing and managing a studio.
Ram lead a very deep final lecture on all the implications of being a yoga teacher and how to flourish as well as be genuine to your spiritual practice. We also re-kindled the lantern of the most sincere aspects of the nature of Yoga and human evolution to which I added many of my own thoughts. We breached controversial subjects such as the future of Yoga Alliance, national governments interaction and view of the yoga community, and how once you’ve blossomed into a more expanded consciousness, there is no going back. It’s about seeing what is possible and it’s always more than you can know at this moment. Ram concluded with chanting an entire chapter from the Vedas, which has been the duty and honor of his family’s lineage to memorize for a long, long time. He recited more syllables in 10 minutes than anyone I know does in a day. It was beautiful. I had profound experiences listening to Ram. I could see subtle yantras opening in my mind as if I was being pulled through a portal. I also felt old emotional events being dredged up and resolved into peacefulness. Straight up, it was cosmic. Thanks brother Ram.
I was also able to join Tingting’s last sessions which were very opening as well, to one another as humans. With everyone arranged in two lines, holding hands, so close you touched your partner toes, she had us stare deep into each others eyes while instructing us to look sincerely into that person and be completely open ourselves. To allow our entire soul to be visible through our eyes. Yes, there was laughter. Yes, there were shifty eyes. But a few of you…my, did we ever look deeper and deeper until a mirror like sense of vertigo occurred and you couldn’t be sure who was who! I also felt energetic sensations and used vibrant auric visualizations of peace and spiritual power with my “strong” partners who I thought could handle it…
Classic… On Consciousness
The very last day we kept practice bright and light in the morning. 6:00 We started our pranayama session in a big circle on the fine, soft sand at the beach. Once everyone was done I got the group to stand up, hold hands, and then make it’s way into the ocean for aqua yoga! What ensued was a fun yoga poses in the water, laughter, and picking each other out of the ocean to be tossed back in again. We gave the students some free time before meeting back at the studio later.
9:00 Back at the studio we commenced with some partner practice and basic acro yoga led by Tingting and I. We did some very relaxing back to back seated poses with breathing, twists, and forward folds. It felt great to be the acro base for some of our students and give them a little massage love. One student got over her fear and felt liberated while hanging on my feet allowing her spine to relax and elongate towards the ground. Acroyoga is a great practice I’m glad it’s part of what I can offer people.
The last day for the teacher’s we did a photo and video shoot at sunrise on the beach. Jon, the camera man Kosta hired, has done some amazing work for us already. He’s also a very friendly guy and I like hanging out with him. His history is rather inspiring too. He’s currently rehabilitating from an accident and only one month out of his wheel chair. Yoga has helped him immensely and he’s already climbing all over rocks and anything else to get the good angles for his shots. Here are some of my own behind the scenes shots by myself and my brother Michael.
Many of our students kept blogs about their experiences for the course and some will continue to use them for their own yoga careers I believe. Here are a few if you are interested in the Vikasa Yoga Teacher Training program and the student’s experiences.
Nicole fitness instructor
from North Carolina, USA
super star make-up artist
from Reno, Nevada
from Montreal, Quebec
from British Columbia
musician and DJ
I had decided sometime during the course that once everything was finished up it would be a great opportunity to do another fast. It’s been over a year since the last one where I tried the “Master Cleanse” drinking only a lemonade of water, lemons, cayenne pepper, and maple syrup. This was pretty easy with the maple syrup. I felt pretty great the whole time, lots of energy. The lemon alkalize your body and the cayenne pepper has many benefits such as stimulating circulation and anti-inflammatory properties. This time I am doing a 7 day water fast. The tissue detoxification will be deeper. After approximately 24 hours of zero calories to ingest the body changes gears. It will begin purging toxins from the intestinal walls and other tissues. It also puts most of the glands into a state of rest. Most importantly, for yogis, fasting can elicit more subtle understanding of the mind as it becomes rather quiet, which can cultivate spiritual awareness. Finally, it gives one a much greater appreciation for food, healthy, delicious, fresh foooood.
What you eat before fasting is important, especially if you have never fasted or have lots of toxins. You should prepare up to a week in advance, or really all the time, with a mostly raw, and mostly vegetarian diet at the least. You should also consider supplements like spirulina, intenstinal cleansing herbs, and liquid minerals. My last day before starting I ate the following.
7:00 1 Wheat grass shot, then a slice of orange
8:00 20-ish mangosteens
13:00 more Durian than I’ve ever eaten…a lot, so much it made me feel high
13:30 – 16:30 random bananas think I had 4 in total?
20:00 1 salad loaded with celery, garlic, carrot, avocado,coco oil, lime, and apple cider vinegar
20:45 3 more huge sticks of celery
The first night I joined friends and students at a Japanese restaurant. It was amazing how sharp my sense of smell was. I could smell each individual item of food all together at the same time. I didn’t feel the least bit impulsed to eat however about 30 minutes into everyones meal, about 23 hours after my salad the night before..I started to get headache and nausea. I excused myself and went to lay down in another room of the restaurant which had some comfy cushions. The Yoga Vacation director, Vadim, gave me a lift back to my room after they finished dinner. Whenever I lay down I felt fine. I rode in the back of the pickup truck on the bench, clutching the side railing and looking up at the stars. When I got home I promptly fell asleep.
This morning I went for pranayama on the beach, as I do everyday I’ve been here, and had a great practice. Everything felt open and easy. My physical energy is very low however today. I don’t have the nausea of last night but my legs feel achy. My muscles just don’t want to do a thing, which is fine. People are being very nice to me. While on the cushion last night I talked with my girlfriend on the phone. She called this afternoon to check on me during her short break. Thank you Si! Other people have been giving me rides, and I also got a massage today from a co-worker. Thank you Alisa!
I’m practicing a shut down, to assimilate the experience of the last month, to rest my organs, cleanse my skin, go into some deep meditation, and come back with more life and motivation than ever to be a giving person and renowned and wise yoga teacher. Tonight I’ll teach my last class at Vikasa Yoga for the week and then move up into the mountains to basically be a recluse where Kosta will join me for the last three days of my fast. It will be comforting to have someone around.
I’ll be updating again near the end of the fast with how it’s going and to also breakdown how to come out of a fast, which is even more important than how you go in.
Peace and Good Food(or water)!