It is official, I just graduated from my second 200-hr Multi-style Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) course under SSV Yoga Ashram last March 31, 2021. The course specialized in authentic hatha and ashtanga vinyasa Himalayan traditions.
Last 2020, I finished what supposedly a 4-month YTT turned to eight (8) months because of the COVID-19 pandemic. I finished my 200-hr Vinyasa YTT course under Pranalaya Yoga & Wellness and it was quite a ride physically, mentally and emotionally (read here and here).
Last November 2020, I was surfing Instagram aimlessly when I saw an online ad from SSV Yoga Ashram and saw that the teachers are from India and will teach hatha and ashtanga vinyasa yoga. It took me another month to take a chance and bought the course as my Christmas gift. I have to admit it was an impulsive buy and then I thought, it was time that I deepen my knowledge and take a yoga course that students usually avoid and see what’s the fuss.
Online YTT Course
As the pandemic worsened, Yoga Alliance (YA) has updated rules on yoga teacher training courses and my dream of heading to the Himalayan mountains or simply setting foot in India is completely shelved.
This course ran daily with 3 hours of asana practice (1.5 hours of Ashtanga Vinyasa and 1.5 hours of Hatha Yoga) and 1 hour of breathing and meditation (30 minute Pranayama and 30 minute Guided Meditation), a total of 4 hours daily for the next 25 days and a grand total of 100 hours.
Where do you get the next 100 hours? This is where lectures come in about Yoga Philosophy, Yoga Anatomy and Business in Yoga.
Classmates and Teachers From Around The World
What I actually wanted was to experience having classmates from other countries. This is the closest thing and when I did the live classes, it was a breath of fresh air to see faces from Europe or Latin America. The only difficult thing was the time difference; though doing Ashtanga Vinyasa in the morning then Hatha in the evening and the meditation helped me sleep well at night.
Do not tell my teachers but I placed them here to honor them. They will probably have me taken this down later but if you’re reading this, this is to honor you and the wisdom you shared in yoga.
Online We Go
It’s hard really especially the yoga teacher training is unlike any online courses that you can just read, follow and submit the requirements; not for me anyway. Yoga has played a huge part of my spirituality after last year’s first YTT and for every CEU course I take. It is an entirely a different journey so I have a separate reflection notebook for this, other than blogging or podcasting about it.
Ever since the pandemic, I have dedicated a space to teach online and to record my requirements. I added the ring light even it gave in at the middle of my last year’s YTT haha! But you see, not everyone has the capability of setting this up and having space so I am thankful that our internet connections, as well as the phone apps I downloaded were really functional to help out in my recorded classes.
The Irony Of It
When I finally submitted my last videos for my finals, it was a relief as well as ironic. Our family was infected by COVID-19 and while I got tested negative twice, the rest of my family were positive. It was a struggle in all aspects, mentally and physically as I am trying to be physically strong during our asana practice and the fear of getting sick. As of this writing, we are about to finish our second week of quarantine and we intend to extend another week before they take another test.
One thing I learned in practicing ashtanga vinyasa and hatha is the experience of shedding of the mud literally and figuratively. The discipline of ashtanga vinyasa and hatha starts physically and goes beyond to the emotions, spirit and mind. I admit I am still a long way in this journey and I do not mind to take my time. I am just grateful and I am excited to share what I learned to the world.