I half-expected myself to back out before the date to depart for my Yoga Teacher Training with School Yoga Institute, but something in me had me buying that plane ticket anyway. I finally decided it was time to go all-in on something that my heart was calling me to do. This journey to Peru to receive my 200 hour yoga teacher certification, among so many other invaluable lessons and experiences soon to be discovered, felt as though a soul wish was coming true.
I navigated my way to beautiful Munay Sonqo – the sanctuary that was to 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 on a little slice of Heaven on Earth.
I can still vividly remember that first evening class, which was actually my first “studio” class. I am a self-taught yogini via different online resources, videos, and books. Because of my inexperience with in-person instruction, I felt a bit intimidated. “Will my alignment be ok? Have I even been doing any of this right?” were just a couple thoughts that raced through my head leading up to class. But as Ashley began to lead us through our flow for the evening, my body instantly knew what to do. Through the different transitions and posture holds, my body felt strong and knowing. “You are here,” Ashley kept repeating, and I truly felt that. That class made me fall in love with the energy that group classes create.
One thing that I wish I would have taken a little more seriously: that altitude. I live in a mountain town at about 3,600 feet, and I guess I did not fully take into consideration what 6,000 more feet could do to my body. By the end of day two, I was really feeling that gain. Nausea began to take over, my head felt dizzy, and my body was feeling very weak. Dinner wasn’t an option that evening. I was so fortunate for the amazing staff at Munay Sonqo that came to my rescue. The wonderful women made me a healing tea, gathered herbs to help ease my symptoms, and even had an oxygen tank brought in for me. By afternoon of the next day, I was feeling a million times more myself. I will certainly take that experience as a valuable lesson learned, and remember to prepare my body before the next time I visit!
As the training progressed, I definitely went on a roller coaster of experiencing emotions. On some days, I would feel on top of the world. I would feel as though all of the information our amazing instructors were providing us was soaking into my brain beautifully. I would feel as though my path to follow in this life was clearly illuminated. And then on other days, I would feel pretty lost. I would feel as though everything attempting to be taught to me was going completely over my head. I would feel confused about my true path in life, and wonder if I had made a mistake.
But throughout those ups and downs through the course of the different cycles of training, one amazing thing that helped me push on: my SYI family. The incredible souls that were called to attend that exact training along with me. I absolutely believe that we were all brought together for a reason, and observing our group, you could definitely feel that. We immediately connected with one another, forming a tight bond that could only be created through deep soul-understanding. We genuinely saw, heard, and respected one another. My SYI family will forever have a special place in my heart.
Through my personal experiences, the teachings provided by my instructors, and the power of connection, I could truly feel the growth happening within. Toward the end of my training, those lost days were occurring much less frequent than the top-of-the-world days. My mind had many more optimistic thoughts flowing through it than it had when I first arrived at Munay Sonqo. A shift had occurred.
On our last full day together, we all gathered in our sacred temple space. We each had our own altar, and the entire space was just filled with everything spiritual that we might want to indulge in. We spent hours celebrating one another’s accomplishments, laughing at the memories we created in just three short weeks together, singing a few of the songs we learned and loved most while at training, and dancing our hearts out. That evening ended with eyes wet and sad at the realization that we would soon be parting, but hearts bursting full of 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 come and gone – it almost feels as though it was all this beautiful dream. But fortunately, it was a real and true experience. I have so many wonderful memories of the month I spent in Peru, and so much valuable knowledge I can now share with the world. I feel so ready to spread my wings and share my gifts with the world, and I largely thank School Yoga Institute for assistance in that. I can’t wait to see how this path unfolds for me.