I almost expected that I would back out before the date to leave for my Yoga Teacher Training with the School Yoga Institute, but something in me made me buy that plane ticket anyway. I finally decided it was time to do my best for something that my heart was calling me to do. This trip to Peru to receive my 200 hour yoga teacher certification, among so many other invaluable lessons and experiences soon to be discovered, will feel as if a soul’s wish was coming true.
I sailed to beautiful Munay Sonqo, the sanctuary that would be my home for the next three weeks, and immediately felt peace. The sheer beauty of this garden oasis almost brought me to my knees. For almost a month, I lived in a little piece of heaven on Earth.
I can still vividly remember that first night class, which was actually my first “study” class. I am a self taught yogini through different online resources, videos and books. Due to my inexperience with in-person instruction, I felt a bit intimidated. “Will my line-up be okay? Have I been doing any of this right? “It was just a couple of thoughts that ran through my head before class. But when Ashley started guiding us through our flow of the night, my body instantly knew what to do. Through the different transitions and postures, my body it feels strong and aware. “Here,” Ashley would repeat, and I really felt it. That class made me fall in love with the energy that group classes create.
One thing I wish I had taken a little more seriously: that altitude. I live in a mountain town at about 3,600 feet, and I guess I didn’t fully take into account what 6,000 more feet might do to my body. By the end of the second day, she was really feeling that gain. Nausea began to take over, my head felt dizzy and my body felt very weak. Dinner was not an option that night. I was very fortunate for the amazing Munay Sonqo staff who came to my rescue. The wonderful women made me a healing tea, collected herbs to help ease my symptoms, and even brought me an oxygen tank. In the afternoon of the next day, I felt a million times more myself. I will certainly take that experience as a valuable lesson learned, and I will remember to prepare my body before the next visit!
As the training progressed, I definitely got on a roller coaster of experiencing emotions. Some days, I felt on top of the world. It would feel like all the information our amazing instructors were giving us was wonderfully soaking my brain. It would feel as if my path forward in this life was clearly illuminated. And then other days, I felt pretty lost. It felt like everything she was trying to teach me was going through my head. I would be confused about my true path in life and wonder if I had made a mistake.
But throughout those ups and downs throughout the different training cycles, one amazing thing that kept me going: my SYI family. The incredible souls that were called to attend that exact training along with me. I absolutely believe that we all come together for a reason, and by looking at our group, you can definitely feel that. We immediately connect with each other, forming a close bond that could only be created through a deep understanding of the soul. We really saw, heard, and respected each other. My SYI family will always have a special place in my heart.
Through my personal experiences, the teachings provided by my instructors, and the power of connection, I could really feel the growth that was happening within me. Towards the end of my training, those missing days happened much less frequently than the days on top of the world. My mind had many more optimistic thoughts flowing through it than when I first arrived at Munay Sonqo. There had been a change.
On our last full day together, we all gathered in our sacred space in the temple. Each of us had our own altar, and the entire space was filled with everything spiritual that we could want to enjoy. We spent hours celebrating each other’s accomplishments, laughing at the memories we made in just three weeks together, singing some of the songs we learned and loved the most as we trained and danced our hearts out. That night ended with wet and sad eyes as we realized that we would soon part, but hearts overflowing with love for having met in the first place.
It is still crazy to me that my time at Munay Sonqo for my 200 hour yoga teacher training has already passed, it almost feels like it is all a beautiful dream. But fortunately it was an exp.