Yoga Testimonial – Mike. Our Costa Rica Yoga Teacher Training Alumni
If there were one phrase to recap my experience this past January, it would be “Life Changing”.
I know that might sound cliché, but haven officially re-entered the real world, I realize now that’s exactly what it was.
So where do I begin…
School Yoga Institute made it easy for me to choose them as my 200hr Yoga Teacher Training School. I was doing my research on quite a few different schools but SYI stood out from the start with their very prompt, kind and informative email replies whenever I had a question (and I had a lot). It was my first time traveling outside of North America and I was going to be all by myself and they made me feel very safe and confident during the process.
A cool coincidence was that I was visiting my Mom in California when I officially signed up to go and after I did, they informed me of one of the readings that was required for the course. It was The Four Agreements, which just happened to be the one and only book that my mom had and she always kept it by her nightstand. I had listened to the audiobook a few years ago and was happy for it to have come back in my life so that I could relearn the teachings and regain the wisdom.
My first flight was a little bit delayed but it eventually left to Vancouver early in the morning. I hustled to catch my next flight to Toronto where I watched two complimentary movies courtesy of my airline. I arrived in Toronto and had to hustle even more to catch my next flight to San Jose, Costa Rica. It felt like I ran from one side of the airport to the other. I finally reached my gate and they were announcing my name on the intercom as the final boarding announcement. Safe to say I was relieved to settle in my isle seat for the next five hours.
I arrived in San Jose with all of my luggage and spent the night at one of the nearby hotels. I woke up early the next morning and caught my next plane to Puerto Jimenez at the domestic side of the airport, which almost threw me for a loop trying to find it. I must have been tired because the thought of there being a separate domestic side to the airport didn’t even occur to me until I eventually had to ask someone. The plane was tiny and we quickly realized that the 8 out of 9 people on it were going to the same place. These were the first friends I made on my journey and most were the last ones that I said goodbye to before travelling back home.
We waited at the tiny airport terminal in Puerto Jimenez for a couple hours for our shuttle to take us to the resort. This gave us ample time to introduce ourselves and get to know everybody. One of teachers ‘Inka’ arrived with the shuttle to greet us all with a warm smile and hug. It was about a 30-minute drive to the resort ‘Ojo Del Mar’ and we were greeted by very friendly staff once we arrived there. Our luggage was taken care of and our rooms were all thoughtfully set up.
Once there, we were introduced to our other teacher and facilitator ‘Concetta’ who greeted everyone with such a big smile and heart felt welcome. The rest of the students arrived by their own means over the next few hours. And for the next three weeks, there we were, in the midst of the Costa Rican jungle, surrounded by like-minded loving souls going on this unforgettable journey together.
I went in to this experience with zero expectations and I’m glad I did. There were so many amazing moments that happened during those three weeks, it’s hard to put it into words. Overall, my favorite part about the trip was getting to know and spend time with my fellow students and teachers. In a matter of days or you could probably say hours, we came together as a family and everyone’s love was unconditional. Everyone was accepted and embraced for who they were. There were lots of laughs and a few tears throughout the journey, by the end it was hard to say goodbye.
The morning meditation and yoga was a beautiful way to wake up to and I will be implementing a similar routine going forward. I loved the yoga anatomy and sutra classes and found everything very interesting. There were times when I was exhausted but I still just wanted to learn more and have more discussions with everyone. All the ceremonies were carefully thought out and it was fun learning about the four winds and the shamanic aspect of the program. Also, the food was amazing and I am definitely taking some creative vegetarian and vegan recipes back home with me.
During the three weeks, I kept getting feelings of nostalgia about being a little kid again; the feeling of complete freedom and bliss to be exact. During one of the meditations, I tapped into memories that I have never remembered before of when I was probably 3 or 4 years old. I was in my grandpa’s old red brick house and was sitting in different cross-legged positions and putting my legs around my head. I was having the time of my life. I then had a self-realization that I loved doing yoga at a very young age but had no idea it was yoga at the time and I had completely forgotten and disregarded my flexibility. About 16 years later I was introduced to yoga and fell in love with it. Fast forward five years and I have been doing yoga pretty much everyday since. Coming back to that meditation and the nostalgia, it was definitely one of the highlights of my trip and it made me feel like yoga is what I am meant to be doing.
The teachers, Inka and Concetta, were both amazing in their own ways and worked extremely well together. I feel very grateful and blessed to have been able to learn from them and will forever cherish their teachings. I will definitely consider SYI for continuing education courses and my 300 hour teacher training.
Insta: @mikeweisgerber and @cbdyogaandfitness