I get a lot of questions about how to stay healthy with such a globe trotting lifestyle.
I also get a lot of questions of how the heck I manage to eat vegan when I’m traveling to countries that most people assume have NO options.
Before I dive into answering both of these questions with more specific tips- I think it’s important to note (once again) that I’m not a health care professional nor nutritionist.
These are examples of what works for ME.
Which doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll work for YOU.
I’d also like to add that this blog isn’t about pushing veganism on anyone.
Because, once again, although this way of life allows my body to thrive- maybe it doesn’t work for you in that same way.
The point here is really to offer general tips of total well being- some of which include what I eat in order to cater to my plant-based diet in a fulfilling and nutritious way.
Essentially- you can take what works for you from this piece, and leave the rest.
Trial and error through your personal experience, and cultivating a more in-tune relationship with YOUR body is going to be a helluva a lot more valuable than any advice from me (or anyone else for that matter).
Let’s dive in, shall we?
1.Echinacea and Zinc:
Because airplanes can be a breeding ground for illness, I start smashing these two supplements 1 – 2 days prior to my departure.
For me, these have been the most effective in warding off any unwanted colds that tend of happen on long, international flights.
2.Healthy Travel Snacks:
I’m not a fan of plane food.
Even when I order the “special” vegan options- they’re usually pretty dismal.
This means I always come armed with my own goods to ensure I’m sustained with NUTRITIOUS fuel, rather than empty carbs and highly processed options.
Unfortunately, when traveling internationally- you often can’t take fresh fruit and veg with you (every country is different).
So this means I opt for roasted veggies and dried fruit (with no added sugar), instead.
I’m also a hummus fanatic, so I tend to bring a little jar with me for the veggies- which is a great option for protein.
It’s important that the hummus is unopened, and in a marked 100 ml container- because otherwise they might confiscate it (again, every country is different here).
Again, for more sustenance- nuts or nut butter are perfect (note that nut butter should also be sealed and in a marked 100 ml container, as well).
This last trip, I brought some of my homemade Juice Pulp Crackers and Autumn in Oz Cookies.
If you don’t have time to make something like these- then quinoa cakes, or raw vegetable crackers are great munchies.
If you’d rather have more of a full meal- then something like a simple Soul Bowl would be a nourishing option.
Regardless of how long you’re flying, you can’t go wrong with a short 15-minute stretch session prior to boarding.
This is especially helpful if you tend to get pain/soreness in any particular part of the body.
I tend to focus on hips to alleviate any tension in the low back.
This is more applicable for international travel with different time zones.
I’ve found my digestion has been one of the biggest contributors to jet lag, because when the body is used to eating on a certain sort of schedule- then it becomes more awake or more tired accordingly.
I’ve found that it helps me to start eating in accordance with my destination’s time zone while on the flight.
2.Echinacea and Zinc…again:
Yep, keep downing these two magic makers.
Even if you don’t feel so much as a tickle in your throat- they’ll both help to boost your immune system, so you can’t really go wrong.
3.Feel Good Practices and Topical Applications:
I tend to get really dry on planes, so I always pack a small thing of Jojoba or Rosehip oil for my face, as well as some sort of hand cream.
If I have a super long flight, sometimes I even use a cucumber face sheet to rehydrate (which feels freaking amazing).
I’m also a fan of aromatherapy, as I find it incredibly soothing even when I’m tired, irritable, and feel pretty dang gross.
My go-to on flights in lavender oil.
Just a little dab on the wrists, or on the soles of my feet if I’m trying to sleep.
I also find music to be a big contributor to my mood.
I love listening to calming tunes when I’m traveling, because I find it just chills me out a bit more.
And the more relaxed my mind is, the more relaxed my body will become- which is crucial when you’re scrunched up for hours on end.
Which leads me to the last one- and that’s back to stretching.
Whether it’s in my seat, or getting up and hanging in a rag doll forward fold in the back of the plane- just getting my circulation going, and my joints unwound feels like heaven.
These are all just little examples of what makes me feel a little more human (especially on LONG trips), but I’m sure you’ll find your own.
All of these are also awesome because they don’t take up a ton (or any) space as far as packing goes.
Meditation and/or breath work is also a great option here, especially if you battle with anxiety in the air.
1.Full or Half Day Fast:
Alright, I know this might not be for everyone- but this has really changed my jet lag.
Like I said before, I’ve personally found that digestion is a big contributor to my mind and body getting out of whack when constantly changing time zones.
I started doing half day fasts upon arrival, and have recently gone to 24-36 hours, instead.
I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, because fasting can be super challenging.
Especially if you’re going some place that’s known for its cuisine!
But, I’ve found this has really helped to recharge and energize me for the duration of my trip, as I don’t battle with jet lag for as long, or at all.
If water fasting feels like it’s out of the question- then go for a juice or coconut water cleanse.
As long as you’re on liquid only, it gives your digestion a chance to rest and reset.
If you're interested in learning more about my personal fasting journey/practice, click here.
Because travel literally uproots us and transports us somewhere else, this means that Vata (or qualities of the Air Element) are increased.
An excess of Vata can lead to anxiety, insomnia, and general feelings of flightiness.
This means it’s important to ground down wherever you are.
What does any of that mean?
Well, grounding means we’re turning up qualities of the Earth Element.
One of my favorite parts of the Earth Element that I like to focus on is the idea of HOME.
This means, I pack a few things that allow me to feel at home no matter where I am in the world.
As you guys know, I love my SuperFeast tinctures and teas- so these come with me around the world.
Something as simple as maintaining my tea-making ritual in the morning gives me that sense of routine that pulls me back down from the clouds and onto the Earth.
As I mentioned before, I love aromatherapy.
This means I always travel with incense, Palo Santo and White Sage (yeah, I’m THAT chick).
All of these evoke a sense of peace and comfort, and give me the same cozy feeling of my own living room.
Any other practices that I’d typically do at home (for me it’s usually to do with my morning routine) I continue to do when I travel.
A few examples are morning meditation, journaling, and gratitude.
Do what works for you here.
Maybe this means packing a super old, comfy shirt that makes you feel like you’re being hugged.
Maybe it’s a crystal, or a specific essential oil.
Figure out what gives you that feeling of HOME, and bring that with you abroad.
This sort of goes hand-in-hand with getting grounded.
And I think you guys will know what I’m going to say here:
Yoga, meditation, breath work, journaling.
These are my go-to’s, because they’re simply a part of me, and when they fall to the wayside- I can feel the shifts mentally any physically.
These are also great, because you don’t need a whole lot of space.
Even when I’ve stayed in the shittiest, smallest hotels rooms- I still always managed to find enough space to roll out my mat.
Another thing I often do is go for long walks every day.
This is a great way to get acquainted with wherever you are, and also to get some exercise.
Unfortunately this isn’t always possible everywhere I go due to safety, bad pollution, non-pedestrian friendly roads.
I just work with what I got.
You practices might be different, and that’s okay.
Do what feels best for you in order to come back to yourself even if you’re away.
4.Supplements and Tinctures:
Clearly you’ve realized I’m an advocate for Echinacea and Zinc.
I keep downing those for the first few days after arrival just to make extra sure I don’t get anything nasty from the plane.
Everyone’s supplements are going to be different, so I’d just say keep taking whatever you’re taking at home.
I’m not going to share all that I’m taking, because they might not be relevant for YOU and your needs.
If you’re in a country that has unclean water, or is notorious for bad food poisoning- activated charcoal tablets are always my favorite option for funny tummy syndrome.
As mentioned above, SuperFeast offers a great variety of herbs, tonics, and mushroom blends.
Check them out to see if any of their products are suitable for your needs.
Apple Cider Vinegar is also a lifesaver.
I drink it before every meal.
Same with lemon water (hot or room temp).
Both of these support liver function, and alkalinity in the body.
Colloidal silver has also been an awesome addition in supporting my immune system.
I’ve also fallen in love with YourSuperFoods, as they have quite a large variety of superfood blends that come in TRAVEL SACHETS!
This is wonderful, because they don’t take up hardly any space, and there’s no risk of the powders getting everywhere in your bag.
These are great additions to any drink if you need an extra boost of nutrition.
At this point, you’ve burned through your healthy plane food/snacks- and you’re ready to eat locally.
As someone who’s vegan, and often travels to places where people have never even heard this word- I actually find this challenge more fun than I do frustrating.
Let’s just jump to the worst-case scenario:
Everything is super meaty or fried.
I can just about guarantee you that there will be produce stands wherever you are.
Even in the most remote, desolate places- I’ve managed to get my hands on fresh produce coming straight from the farm.
Obviously, some areas are more plentiful that others- so you just gotta work with what you got.
Go for fruits and vegetables that are LOCAL to the region you’re in, rather than imported.
This is great, because it also means you might be trying something brand new, too.
Fruits with peels are easy as far as contamination goes, but if you’re eating something raw without a peel- make sure to clean with filtered water before consuming.
Vegetables can actually be super dangerous to eat raw (depending where you are), so either thoroughly clean with filtered water, or cook them.
If you don’t have cookware or a stove- no worries.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve bought my own produce, and then brought it back to my guesthouse and asked them to cook it for me (usually only places where vegetarian options are scarce to none).
This works out for everyone- because they still get paid, rather than me eating out- and I get to have something that serves my body’s needs.
Another great resource here for my fellow plant eaters is the Happy Cow app, which lists restaurants and eateries with veg options and reviews from customers.
Here’s the thing- you might be going some place that you don’t have to HUNT for your meals, which is always a bit of a relief.
If that’s the case, the best advice I can offer is sticking closely to whole foods.
It’s always fun to try local cuisine- which isn’t always the healthiest thing.
I say everything in moderation is key.
For me personally, I’m strictly vegan- so I don’t actually make exceptions for local food that has meat or dairy.
However, this is also because I haven’t had meat or dairy in SO LONG that it actually makes me sick.
And who wants to be sick on the road?!
The most I can do is my best, but at the end of the day- when other people are preparing you food, you can never be 100% certain what goes into it.
This is especially true when you’re also dealing with a language barrier.
Like when I go to India and ask for no ghee in my curries and dhal, do I really think they don’t put it in every time?
Not at all.
Did I do my best?
Yeah, I did.
If you’re someone who isn’t as fussed about staying within a certain boundary- then eat what feels right to you.
Maybe that means trying something fried, or an especially yummy sugary desert.
Just know that if you usually eat clean, and then you binge hard on holiday- then it might make you feel shitty.
Take it all in stride, rather than going balls to the wall.
Let yourself enjoy your travel in every sense (including the yummy food), but also honor your body at the same time.
If feel you’ve overdone it at any point, a great way to reset is a half or full day of fasting (water, coconut water, or juice).
I feel this deserves a separate category, because I’m a major snacker.
My brother says I rarely eat a whole meal, because I’m constantly grazing- which is pretty accurate.
This is even more accurate after my 10-day fast in Thailand, as my stomach shrunk so much that there’s just not space for full meals.
And I hate wasting food- so lately I tend to have one full meal, and small snacks in between.
My advice here is similar to that of above:
Stick to whole foods as closely as possible.
Sure, it’s often easy to find a produce stand and stock up on your favorite fruits.
But what about if you want something else?
I’ve been especially surprised how challenging it can be to find yummy snacks without sugar, palm/corn oil, or preservatives.
I’ve been a lot more anal about checking labels since dealing with this Candida crisis, and I’ve been shocked at the way in which even seemingly whole foods still have a bunch of bull shit in them.
If there’s a label, read it.
If not, ask the shop keeper.
Some of my favorites that I’ve been able to find just about everywhere are:
Nuts, nut butter, rice cakes/quinoa cakes, dried beans/peas, dried fruit.
Again, most of these manage to sneak in nonsense (especially sugar), so check before you buy.
I’ve found the best bet is usually going to a small roadside shop, rather than a big super market (well, at least in some countries).
The larger shops tend to have more processed food.
However, depending where you are- the larger shops might also have a health food section, so it’s worth a look nonetheless.
Just a quick example of this would be on my most recent trip to Thailand.
I went to one of the largest stores on the island, and I walked out empty handed because even the packaged nuts had sugar and palm oil.
I stopped at a shack on the side of the road to get more dragon fruit, and noticed some of her other goods.
She had fresh peanuts from her farm for about 5 cents a pack.
And, look, eating a bit of sugar or palm oil isn’t going to kill you.
You don’t want to get to the point that you’re stressed about not knowing exactly what you’re about to consume, because stress is a heck of a lot more detrimental than one not-so-healthy snack.
Just do your best.
Trust your body’s ability.
And ALLOW the food you put in to be the fuel and nourishment you need.
I hope these tips and tricks contribute to the value of your next trip.
Happy travels, my fellow nomads! XO
I feel incredibly vulnerable when I’m teaching yoga, as I’m offering my interpretation of an extremely sacred (not to mention ancient) practice.
It’s intimidating as hell.
And, as someone who’s had an ongoing struggle with simply being vulnerable at all- teaching did NOT come easily to me.
A limiting belief I’ve carried with me throughout most aspects of my life of “I’m not good enough,” coupled with the fear of putting myself out there- held me back from offering regular classes for nearly a YEAR after my first YTT.
I would actually black out with fear when I’d get up in front of a class.
I’d go as far as to say I might have even HATED it when I first started.
However, given all the knowledge the practice itself offers us- I decided to strip down my fear, sit with it & understand it a little more.
I realized the root of it was simple:
I’m afraid people won’t like my class.
Once I faced that truth, I realized something pretty dang obvious.
That WILL happen!
There will be plenty of people who will walk into my class once, and then never again.
Not because there’s anything wrong with ME as a person or as a teacher, but simply because it didn’t resonate with them.
It’s the same way that we don’t connect with EVERY person we come in contact throughout life, right?
I had to learn that although I can’t control people’s reactions to what I’m sharing- what I CAN control is the extent to which I show up as an instructor.
For me this means putting genuine energy & thought into creating SAFE & loving sequences.
It means creating, and then holding, a space where people can learn without judgment or fear.
It means leaving my own shit outside, and letting the time be just for the students.
The reality is that even when I show up in these ways, there will be still be people who don’t like it, or don’t return.
And that’s okay.
Because I know i did my best in that moment.
That’s not to say their feedback isn’t valuable, because it certainly is and I always welcome it.
But the reality is that you just can’t please everyone.
All of these feelings have been unearthed again when I accepted the offer to teach on Alo Moves.
This was an opportunity that I actually spent time manifesting into reality for about six months prior to receiving the email from them- so, I’m not saying I wasn’t thrilled.
Because I was.
I was beyond excited.
But I was also beyond afraid.
Being on a platform with so many INCREDIBLE teachers started to excavate that same “I’m not good enough,” mentality, which- in turn- let my fear of not being liked get really loud once again.
When I thought about how my classes were going to be just be out there, on the internet for anyone and everyone to experience, watch…to judge.
This fucking terrified me.
However, given that I’d already gone through this same process as a new teacher, I was able to handle it with the tools I accumulated all those years before.
Rather than letting my fear hold me back from saying YES and showing the hell up- I let it challenge me to step outside of my comfort zone with as much confidence as I could channel.
That’s not to say I wasn’t still scared the first day I stepped onto set.
Because I was.
I was shaking and sweating.
A jumble of nerves.
So, I closed my eyes, took a few deep breaths and reminded myself that I’m capable.
I reminded myself that I poured MONTHS of planning, energy, preparation and LOVE into each class.
I reminded myself that although I’ll undoubtedly make mistakes, I am showing up as my best self in this moment now.
And that’s the most I can do.
I reminded myself that being afraid is okay.
In fact, these nerves are a GOOD thing- whether you’re a brand new teacher, or whether you’re a season vet in the industry.
Because it means you CARE.
Since releasing the classes, I’ve had to remind myself of all this all over again.
Most importantly, I’ve had to remind myself of the notion that I can’t please everyone.
For example, there’s been feedback from one person saying it was the best class they’ve ever taken, and they loved the cues and pace.
Then there's someone who said they thought it was too slow, and confusing
Another who said it was too fast, as they prefer to hold each pose longer.
One person who wrote that they prefer a teacher not to talk so much, while another said they wish I said more.
You get the point.
Again, all of this feedback is absolutely VALUABLE.
I appreciate honesty- always.
The key is taking what works, and leaving the rest.
Imagine if I tried to take it ALL on?
Not only would I be stretched in a million different directions- but I’d have also lost my own authentic voice in the meantime.
And then what?
Well, my classes would likely resonate with even LESS people.
But, more importantly, they wouldn’t even resonate with me- likely leaving me feel unfulfilled, unconfident, and confused.
I remember when I first started teaching- I was still going to studio classes regularly.
This was in California, where there are a TON of killer teachers.
Plus, I have an advanced practice- so I would attend advanced classes with seasoned instructors.
I remember how it seemed to effortless for them- sequencing, cuing, adjusting, demonstrating, including a consistent theme, the music- ALL of it just felt seamless.
And, although the class felt amazing, I’d usually walk away thinking:
How the hell do they do that?!
I’m over here just trying to make sure I remember the whole sequence correctly.
I found it really overwhelming.
Clearly returning to that limiting belief:
“I’m not good enough to do this.”
As I mentioned before, I had to untangle a lot of bull shit mentally in order to step into my personal power and find my voice as a teacher.
I needed to work on flipping my perspective.
Understanding that, sure, that class might’ve seemed perfect- but, guess what?
That teacher also started from the beginning, too!
The difference between them and me wasn’t that they were “better.”
It was the fact that they had TIME and EXPERIENCE under their belts.
And the fact that they believed in themselves.
I’m writing this piece, because I get a lot of new teachers asking me how to begin.
How to conquer their fears.
How to find their voice.
Based on my experience, the advice I want to give to you is this:
Develop a dedicated self-practice (if you haven’t already).
I believe this is crucial, because it helps reveal what YOU want to teach.
Rather than regurgitating other people’s cues and sequences, you’ll experience what YOU’RE excited to share.
FEEL into even the most familiar postures.
This has helped me with my cuing, immensely.
Because, once again, instead of just memorizing and repeating what you’re “supposed” to say- you’re explaining it from YOUR experience.
Get curious about even the most familiar postures.
This goes with the idea of feeling into them.
Shift your weight slightly differently than you might in the most traditional variation, close your eyes, wiggle a little, etc.
Notice what comes up.
Notice what resonates.
Practice on friends, family, and other teachers FIRST.
Practicing your classes on people you trust, and people who trust you creates a safe space for you to learn how to refine your craft BEFORE offering paid classes.
This is purely my opinion, but I just don’t believe most 200 YTT are ready to teach as soon as they graduate.
Especially because most programs are SO condensed now.
I forced my friends and family to take my classes a million and one times (I still do!), so that I could ask them how it felt in their bodies, ask for their feedback, and most importantly- make sure what I create feels safe and accessible.
As someone who’s naturally quite flexible- it’s important for me to get that feedback from people who have different body types.
Sure, it’s okay to have a challenging class- but I also want it to feel ACCESSIBLE with appropriate modifications and adjustments.
Say YES, even when it scares the shit out of you.
Same as most things, the only way you get better is by PRACTICING.
So, even if you don’t feel “ready,” say yes.
It will be SUPER uncomfortable at first (maybe even for weeks or months), but the more you say YES, the easier it will become.
Way easier said than done, right?
Yeah, well this will get easier the more you say YES, and the more confident you get in YOUR practice.
Sometimes it means exuding confidence on the outside, but freaking the fuck out on the inside.
And that’s okay.
At this stage, you will have prepared and practiced your sequence.
And you will be showing up with the intention of offering something heartfelt.
Believe in that.
Believe in your ability.
Share how YOU want to share.
Again, feedback is important- but it’s important to remain true to yourself as you take what works, and leave the rest.
For instance, if someone tells you after class that they didn’t feel warm enough to enter Warrior III that early on in the sequence- that’s something worth considering, right?
Especially because it touches on the SAFETY aspect of the class.
However, if someone tells you they wish you’d talk about more spirituality topics, because your classes feel too physical- then you need to ask yourself if that feels true to what you want to share.
Perhaps you don’t have anything spiritual to offer at the moment.
That doesn’t make you a “bad” teacher.
It just means, maybe your style isn’t compatible for this particular person.
Rather than forcing yourself to speed up your spirituality process in order to be something you’re just NOT yet- let it come organically.
And, remember, maybe this won’t ever be something you’re comfortable sharing when you teach.
Continual study: Stay in the student seat.
The same way our yoga practice is limitless, so is our teaching practice.
We’re never done learning.
And, if you think you have it all figured out- then that’s probably when you need a refresher course the most.
I personally save a chunk of cash every year for a training, immersion, or some sort of continual education.
This doesn’t mean you need to do a destination course or retreat, or something super fancy every year.
Maybe it means you invest in an online module.
Or invest in a 3-day immersion in your hometown.
Yes, self-study is crucial.
But I also think fully sitting in the student seat regularly is very important in order to keep growing.
Remember that we're always evolving.
That being said, your teaching likely will, too.
What you want to offer when you first start out might be COMPLETELY different to what you want to offer in five years.
If you're anything like me, you might have trouble surrendering to this natural ebb and flow- and that's okay.
Just try to become aware of it.
If your practice shifts, embrace it.
Know that it's shifting in that direction for a reason.
In turn, the students who are attracted to you/your style might also change.
Again, that's okay.
As long as you're teaching from that aligned, authentic place- you'll draw in those who resonate.
Whoa- that’s a lot!
But guess what, if I can do it- you sure as hell can.
And that's the point to all of this:
There's no difference between you or I.
One of us is not "better" than the other.
Realize that our different experiences and offerings just mean that, as a whole, we have the chance to reach even MORE people simply by being, and showing up exactly as we are.
There’s a reason you’re on this path of teaching.
So take the time to figure out that reason, figure out what fires you up- and SHARE that with the world.
You’ve got this.
I think we can all agree that the Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) industry is oversaturated.
In fact, I think we can all agree that calling it oversaturated would actually be an understatement.
It can certainly be daunting and downright overwhelming when it comes to picking a YTT- especially after you’ve heard the horror stories, right?
As most of you know (or at least those who follow me on social media), I’ve been in India for the last month completing a 300 hour training with Trimurti Yoga.
And, based on my posts- I think it’s pretty obvious that I’ve been really happy with my experience.
Since I’ve been here, I’ve had a TON of inquiries about the school itself.
Well, to be honest, even before I was here- I would get regular messages from both friends and strangers, alike, asking about YTT recommendations.
Your questions have been the inspiration for this post.
Plus, like I said before, I know how overwhelming the process can be when it comes to picking just one school.
Because, let’s be real, YTT is expensive.
So, why would you want to part with such a large chunk of change if you’re not going to get the experience you really want?
I get that.
Which is why I hope all this blog will alleviate even just a bit of that stress.
Before I get started, I think it’s important to note my background in the industry as far as the previous trainings I’ve done, the style I’m interested in, and my general teaching philosophy- so that you’ll understand why I’m reviewing my experience with Trimurti Yoga in such an enthusiastic way.
My Yoga Background and Past Trainings:
I was first introduced to yoga around the age of 12, as my mom was a yoga teacher at the time.
I went to her classes irregularly throughout my adolescence, but it never really resonated with my completely- it was more of a physical outlet and something fun to do with my mom over anything else.
I continued to practice pretty regularly once I left for university.
But, again, I had a purely physical focus in that it was something to keep me flexible and open despite running and playing other sports.
It wasn’t until I was 24 that yoga began to resonate on a deeper level than just the physicality of the practice.
I’m not going to go into my revelation of breath here, because that story deserves an entire separate post.
Needless to say, I signed up for my 200 hour YTT shortly after my 26th birthday.
I had just come back to the States after living abroad for two years in Kenya and Indonesia, and was having a really difficult time settling back into Western society.
My disconnection and discomfort grew to the point that I fell into a pretty deep depression.
So, I did what a lot of people do- and I signed up for YTT at my local studio (CorePower, Encinitas).
If you live in the States, then it’s more than likely you already know about CorePower.
However, if you don’t- then allow me to fill you in.
CorePower is a corporate yoga studio chain around the US.
The philopshy and sequences are Baptiste inspired Vinyasa, as well as Bikram inspired hot classes, and I think there are even a few Yin classes sprinkled in there nowadays, as well.
My training was the 200 hour Vinyasa intensive, which means I didn’t focus on any of the other styles they offered (they had separate trainings for each one).
If you’ve practiced with me, you’ll probably find this all quite surprising- as I don’t teach at ALL like someone who works in a corporate chain studio.
But here’s the thing, this training helped me realize exactly that.
Although there are many elements that I didn’t agree with throughout the course- I also give full credit to this place for helping me become a clear, articulate teacher by only using my words.
I also really value the fact that I did the training at home over the course of several months.
We would meet three times per week for lectures, teaching practicum, and test- but otherwise, our hours for asana practice were up to us to fulfill in our own time (it worked out to about 5-6 classes per week, which was pretty typical for me anyways).
I felt that I was able to really soak in the information in a more complete way, rather than it all being crammed into four weeks and 12 hour days.
I also felt that we had a TON of teaching experience throughout the training- even starting from the very beginning.
The real emphasis of CorePower 200 hr is to teach people how to teach by using their words, instead of using their bodies to demo the whole time.
There was also a huge emphasis on alignment and anatomy, so I left feeling really confident in this area, as well.
That being said, there WASN’T a huge emphasis in the roots of the practice.
Sure, we had philosophy lectures, we learned the 8 limbs, and a bit about chakras- but, let’s just say, it was definitely a Western approach to an Eastern practice.
I started teaching right away (not at this studio, because the teaching method didn’t resonate with me), and I found my authentic voice as a teacher simply through experience and exploration in my self-practice.
Again, I could (and I probably will) write an entire post about this concept of finding your voice as a teacher- as these nerves and apprehension of a new teacher are also something I commonly get asked about.
Moving on- three years after my 200 hour, I decided that I wanted to learn more about the origin of the practice- so, what better way to do so than to venture to India and learn from the source?
I had never been to India, so I had never practiced “real” “traditional” yoga before, but I did it anyways.
I did tons of research, picked a school, and started my 300 hour training at Om Shanti Om last April in Rishikesh (one of the country’s yoga capitals).
During my time there, I also had quite a few messages flooding in asking about my experience and whether or not I’d recommend here.
Here’s the thing- there’s a reason I’ve never written about the school publicly before.
I don’t want to sit here and bag on it, because I don’t think that’s fair.
What I’ll say is, I did get what I needed out of it in that it was a completely 180 difference from my 200 hour- which was a really interesting contrast to notice.
However, I will say that the biggest disappointment about this school (as well as many others in Rishikesh, especially) was that it was much more focused on making money, rather than the quality of the training.
For instance, there 300 hour course was combined with the 200 hour- only you just do an extra 100 hours at the end.
This means you’re reviewing a ton of information you already know, and you’re learning with students who have never taught and are completely new to a lot of these concepts.
Also, they allowed students who signed up for 100 hours to simply jump in and join at any point of the existing trainings.
This means that new people can just show up on random days, and they also get to pick and choose the classes they want to learn- which generally gives it a completely different dynamic to a typical training where you have a group of people learning and growing together over a certain period of time.
That being said, although I was learning a lot of familiar information- considering it was coming from such a different teaching perspective, it was definitely interesting to digest.
Also, it was a Hatha Yoga school, which is clearly a much different style than Baptiste inspired Vinyasa in an American yoga studio chain, right?
I mean, our Anatomy classes at Om Shanti Om didn’t mention one muscle or bone in the body like we did at CorePower- instead we talked about the internal lunar cycles of humans in relation to the external lunar cycle, and how that effects us energetically.
So, like I said- I felt that I got what I needed out of it.
That just doesn’t mean that I would recommend it to others, especially when 200 hour students were telling me that they felt they were leaving knowing just as much about teaching as they did before they came.
I felt so bad for them when they told me this that I used to give them private lessons (not physical lessons, but teaching methodology lessons) during our breaks, and in the evenings after class.
However, I’ve also met people who have trained there and loved it.
And, if you look it up, I’m sure you’ll see plenty of great reviews, as well.
So, I guess just take this information as nothing more than simply my opinion.
This pretty much brings us to the present.
I’ve been teaching for nearly four years, and I just finished my second 300 hour course in India- although this time in Dharamsala instead of Rishikesh.
I mention the locations, because (for me) this is also an important factor in where I choose to train.
Again, this is my opinion- but I found Rishikesh to be a bit of a circus.
I called it Yogi Disneyland.
There is LITERALLY a studio or school on every corner, and it’s PACKED with yogis from around the world.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s definitely a special energy to place like this.
However, I just found it a little hectic at times, and definitely not as peaceful as I’d imagined the Himalayas to be.
The plus side is that it is incredibly beautiful.
It was great to swim in the Ganga every evening after class.
And there are tons of talented artisans, teachers, and beautiful shops.
Dharamsala, on the other hand, is much more rustic and serene.
There are areas in the main towns which can be loud and crowded, but if you’re staying around Dharamkot or Bagsu, it’s the perfect balance of a variety in cafes and shops, but still quiet enough to be enjoyable.
Don’t worry, I’ll dedicate a section to the location later on.
Lastly, I just want to note my teaching style and philosophy, as I believe this is important in understanding why Trimurti resonated to deeply with me.
People often ask, “What kind of yoga do you teach?”
A question to which I often answer, “I just teach yoga.”
I find it really difficult to label my classes (like how you might see on a studio schedule), because they don’t fit into one certain box.
First of all, you should know that my classes are usually two hours long- unless I’m teaching in a place that only allows 90 minutes.
I find it really difficult to offer a COMPLETE session in anything less than an hour and half (and even that timeframe is a struggle for me).
This is usually because I like to open with a 10-15 meditation, and close with a long savasana, as well.
Most people see my practice on social media and assume I’m Ashtangi or into Power Vinyasa, because I’m flexible and strong.
They couldn’t be more wrong.
I move, and teach SLOWLY on the mat.
I want people to take time to actually FEEL the postures, rather than rushing through them and missing those micro-moments of release (another reason why my classes are long).
There is undoubtedly a Vinyasa element to my sequences in that they flow from one section to another, and I have a huge emphasis in transitions.
However, I typically start with two long-holding yin postures (hence the extended mediation in the beginning).
And I tend to close with a long cool down as well (not really yin in this case, as I don’t want people to overstretch considering they’ve just done a complete practice).
When I’m teaching full time, I don’t usually theme my classes- because, for me, the exploration of yoga is a theme in and of itself.
I encourage introspection through slow, mindful movements- and closing the eyes throughout.
I’m also a huge advocate for intentions/mantras/affirmations, as I believe the breath binds the mind to this internal focal point.
My biggest aim is to simply create a safe space for my students to explore themselves.
I don’t feel a need to cram that experience into a box labeled one particular thing other than just YOGA.
Because, for me, this is my yoga- which is why I want to share it with others.
How is this relevant to my most recent training?
You’re about to find out.
Trimurti Yoga and Their Philosophy (through my eyes):
One of my good friends and fellow yoga teachers in Siargao recommended Trimurti to me last year when I told her that Michael (my boyfriend) wanted to do his 200 hour in India.
She did her 200 hour with them several years back, and wanted to go back for their 300 hour at some point.
I hopped on their website to check it out for myself, and I was super interested by their 200 hour option for multi-style.
This means that instead of focusing on just one lineage, they learn Hatha, Ashtanga and Vinyasa over the course of the month.
Then, I got super distracted when I started looking at their 300 hour course option with Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and the Five Elements.
I’d done a 100 hour course with an Ayurveda doctor in Tamil Nadu last year, and had Ayurveda theory lectures in each of my prior trainings- but I still felt like I was only scratching the surface.
I loved the fact that the course offered a variety of styles (Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, and Yin), but the overall focus was on the healing and philosophies of Ayurveda, TCM and the Five Elements above anything else.
Michael and I already knew we wanted to go to Dharamsala at some point, simply because we’d heard amazing things about the place- and we didn’t have a chance to make it up to the Himalayas during our India trip last year.
When I checked out the dates each course, I was immediately drawn to the May option because it fell over my 30th birthday, and I thought what better way to ring in a new decade than with my man in the mountains doing and learning about what I love?
We signed up five months in advance, which qualified us for the early bird discount (I don’t remember the exact pricing, but you can check out their website to find out exact numbers).
Although I don’t remember the total I paid given the conversion rate and all that, I do know that it was a super reasonable price- and I feel that I received the full value of my payment through the teachings and classes.
I’ll get into logistics of booking later as far as recommendation for the various packages, but for now, I’d like to focus on Trimurti’s focus, philosophy and approach to our classes.
Trimurti (in my opinion) serves as a bridge- connecting the Western approach to an ancient Eastern practice and philosophy.
Considering the diversity in my past training, and the fact that I value elements of both Western and Eastern practices of yoga- this was perfect for me.
Just to give you an example about what I mean as far as the physical practice goes- there was one morning where we had a very traditional Hatha sequence taught by Vamsi (an Indian teacher).
And then the same evening, Vamsi co-taught a partner/acro yoga class with another teacher (from Spain).
(I note where the teachers are from simply to show the diversity in the team as far as their backgrounds and styles.)
To give you an example beyond the mat- we’d learn about ancient practices of Ayurveda and TCM according to old texts, but then we’d learn how to apply this knowledge to modern day needs.
For instance, meridian points that are useful for standard physical ailments for those sitting at a desk all day.
Or yoga sequences that are useful for those suffering from anxiety and depression (two epidemics which seem to always be on the rise in our society).
I can’t tell you how much I truly appreciate this approach to teaching, in that it’s incredibly useful for me.
I love the idea of making ancient practices RELEVANT to our modern day students.
I love the idea of also serving as a bridge- connecting the East to the West in my own teaching.
The other important thing to know about Trimurti as far as teaching methodology goes is their view on anatomy and alignment- as I know this may or may not resonate with everyone the way that it resonated with me.
Trimurti believes in the functional approach to each posture, rather than strict traditional alignment being the ONLY way that the asana is “right.”
For instance, they drive home the point that everyone’s skeletal system is different- meaning certain shapes are simply inaccessible to certain people depending on compression in the bones.
This will either sound like common sense to you, or be totally foreign- and either way, it’s okay.
Here’s the thing, we definitely touched on this idea in my first training.
However, the focus there was still definitely always on the deepest expression of each pose- striving for something that might be physically impossible for some people.
My second training didn’t acknowledge this concept at all.
Some of you might have heard this about Indian schools in that there’s not a whole lot of mercy that comes with adjustments and alignment.
To give you a better idea of what I’m talking about, let’s just say that five- yes FIVE- people left my training with knee braces at Om Shanti Om.
Teachers would sit on you to push you further, or stand on your inner thighs to press them to the ground- as they were really focused on that traditional expression of each pose without really understand the physical restraints we’ve created with our Western lifestyles.
Trimurti could not have been more different in that their emphasis was the function of the pose.
What are you supposed to be feeling, and where?
If you have to take a certain modification or variation to get there- then that’s cool, do your thing.
Your body, your yoga.
I think we see this more often when it comes to beginners, understanding their need to use props and all that when they’re starting.
But what about hyper flexible people, or those who are double jointed/hyperextend their joints?
Where do we draw the line?
This is the beautiful thing (in my opinion) about Trimurti’s philosophy- they put that responsibility on the student.
After all, like I just said- your body, your yoga, right?
What I mean is- if you see a student pointing their toes instead of flexing their feet in seated forward fold, you wouldn’t tell them that’s WRONG, therefore it’s not even a yogic version of forward fold (according to Trimurti).
You would tell them the intention of the pose- are you opening the hamstrings, or releasing the low back, are you strengthening or stretching, or a little of both?
Tell them what you want them to FEEL, and let them figure out the best way to arrive in that sensation.
I’m telling you all of this because as yoga teachers, or aspiring yoga teachers- I know this might be controversial for you.
I think this is especially true for practitioners and/or teachers of certain lineages.
And here’s the thing- that’s completely fine.
I’m not here to change your mind, and I know that Trimurti isn’t here to change anyone’s views either.
This is simply THEIR approach, which is certainly an interesting and not-so-common way to lead a training.
If it completely rubs you the wrong way, this might be a good indication that the training isn’t the best fit for you.
However, you could also think of it as a challenge in the sense that it will certainly broaden your mind, and has the opportunity to solidify your beliefs one way or another.
Lastly, I’d like to note Trimurti’s belief in diversity.
I think this is already pretty clearly illustrated with the bridge metaphor, as well as their vast teaching team, and variety of styles.
But, I think it’s another important concept to drive home in considering to sign up with them depending on your preference for practicing.
Again, if you’re a dedicated Ashtangi- I would say this training might not be the best choice for you, given that all of the asana classes are quite different from one another.
This doesn’t just go for Ashtanga, but any style- if you’re really only about one certain practice, that’s great.
However, you might feel disappointed with this training then- because it’s so broad, and offers a little bit of each, rather than a lot of just one.
That being said, although I could also see how this training would be challenging to some because of this- I could also see how it might be super beneficial.
How do we know for sure what we like and don’t like until we actually try new things?
Maybe you’d leave knowing you don’t want to dive deeper into one of the styles offered- but maybe you’d leave with a new inspiration.
Trimurti Yoga Logistics with Booking:
If you’ve checked out their website already (linked throughout), you’ll see that there are a variety of packages and prices with each training.
I just wanted to let you know what Michael and I decided here, and our experience with our choices.
I chose the option that did NOT include food nor room, only the training fee.
Michael chose the complete package, which DOES include food and room.
First of all, we knew we were going to share a room- so there was no point for us both to book a room if we would only use one.
And, based on my training in Rishikesh- I knew that I’d be ordering off of the menu even if I had food included, so what was the point of paying double?
Also, we wanted to try to have some meals together- so I could always run down and have lunch or dinner with him and just pay out of pocket, no problem.
I’m super happy with my choice, because I like getting to choose what I eat.
There are tons of great cafes in this area, so it was nice to try new places and not feel like I had to eat the same thing every day for a month.
Don’t get me wrong, this choice is absolutely a luxury, and something that’s also relative to the location.
If you’re looking at a certain school, I’d highly recommend to do some research about the area it’s in before deciding on a package- because it’s possible that it won’t have a lot around to choose from anyways, and it’s better to just have it all within the school.
It’s important to note that sometimes it’s difficult to eat just anywhere in India, especially if you have a delicate stomach.
Even if there are street vendors close by, you should consider your chances of getting sick based on sanitation.
You wouldn’t want to miss days of your training, just because you wanted to save a few bucks on food.
It’s not worth it.
However, it’s also important to note that this same food issue can even happen at the cleanest and most consistent places.
It’s so common here, which is all the more reason to be a bit more conscious at least during your training, so you get through it feeling as good as possible.
Because Dharamsala is more touristy- there are a lot of great cafes that are catered to vegans and vegetarians which are relatively “safe,” so I had no problem.
Although when I asked Michael if he was happy with his package that included food- he said he was.
This is mostly because his school was a bit more isolated than mine.
Not hugely, but it’s about a 10 minute walk to Bagsu (a place with good cafes).
And, 200 hour students only have one hour breaks for meals- whereas we had one hour for breakfast, and two hours for lunch.
You might think that’s plenty of time to eat- but you need to remember, this is India.
If you got your food in less than 30 minutes, that would be a damn miracle.
If he had two hours for lunch, he might have reconsidered- but trying to rush a meal into one hour is actually pretty tough here, so having it all provided there at the school was convenient and less stressful.
Plus, he said the food was really good- and he was pretty happy with the portion size, as well.
As for the room- we were super happy with our room.
Keep in mind, you don’t spend a lot of time there given that you’re at school about 12 hours a day- but it’s still nice to have a decent place to lay your head at night.
I think our worked out to be about $12/night.
I know, I know- that doesn’t sound like a lot, and it’s not.
But, you should know that there are also places to stay here that are half the price (or less) that are the same quality.
So, if you’re a confident traveler and happy rocking up to a place and then searching for the cheapest room on foot- then you could absolutely do that here for a lot less than what you would pay in the included package price.
If you go that route, I’d recommend you arrive at least a few days early, though- because sometimes it’s tough to find a place that has availability in one room for a whole month given that this is high season in the mountains.
If you’re happy with it being taken care of for you, then I’d just go with the included rate.
Know that any additional cost to the training (food and room) are paid directly to the restaurant and the guesthouse- meaning Trimurti does not profit from this at all, and you would pay the same price to those same places should you book them independently.
I think it really just depends on your how comfortable you are traveling, and whether or not you’re already familiar with the area, or not.
Please keep in mind- this is my experience from Dharamsala only, so I cannot vouch for the quality of the rooms and food with any of the other trainings.
Day to Day in Trimurti Yoga YTT Training:
A few people asked me for an example of my day to day with the school, which I’m not going to go into too much detail about considering their sample schedule is on their website if you want to look it up.
But I will offer a little sample of both mine, and Michael’s typical day- as well as the overview of each of our courses.
I’ll start with myself:
Our mornings technically started at 6 am, but this first hour of the day was dedicated to our self practice.
This means that the shala would be open already if you wanted to go there as early as 6 am, but if you prefer to practice in your own room- you can do that do.
They made it clear that self-practice doesn’t have to be physical- it can be meditation, journaling, or it could even just mean sleeping in a little extra.
It’s basically an hour to help us maintain a sense of balance throughout the month so that we can operate as our best selves.
We all meet in the shala by 7 am for the morning asana practice, which is two hours.
Because we were studying the Five Elements in both Ayurveda and TCM- our morning practice would be relative to whichever element we were studying at the time.
Regardless- morning classes were often strong and energizing.
9 am, we had one hour for breakfast, which we usually just got across the street at Trek and Dine because it’s close, and relatively fast- which is important for only a one hour slot.
We met back in the shala at 10 am where we would have some sort of theory lecture for either an hour, or an hour and 20 mins (depending on the subject).
We’d have a short 10-15 minute break, and then another theory lecture for roughly an hour or so, until lunch.
Essentially, 10 am – 1 pm is carved out for theory, which was often divided into two different classes with a break in between.
I think there were a few times we had the same subject for the entire 3 hours, but we still always got a break about half way through.
1 pm – 3pm was lunch, where we were also expected to study and work on homework considering we had such a long break.
We met back at 3 pm – 5:30 pm for another theory class (or two), again with a break about half way through.
And then, 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm we had an evening practice, which was usually Yin.
If it wasn’t strict traditional Yin, then it was Yinish- and certainly mellow/restorative nonetheless.
Our classes were Monday through Saturday, and then Sunday was our day off to do whatever we wanted.
Michael’s schedule was almost the exact same, except they were required to be in the shala at 6:30 am for 30 minutes of mantra chanting before their asana practice at 7 am.
And, like I already mentioned, they had only one hour for lunch- so they had an extra hour of theory, and less time for self-study.
As far as the big picture timetable- Michael’s course covered Hatha during the first week, Ashtanga during the second week, and Vinyasa during the third week.
The fourth week was dedicated to the student teaching practicums where they were allowed to choose which style they wanted to teach for their certification.
During this final week they also covered an intro to Yin, Prenatal, and Yoga Nidra.
Our course was a bit different because we had a different focus.
If you’re familiar with the Five Elements in Ayurveda in and TCM, then you’ll know that they’re actually not exactly the same- making 7 Elements in total.
Our first week covered the intro to the course and Earth.
The first part of the second week covered Water, and the second half Fire.
The third week covered Air, Space, Wood and Metal- as they have a lot of overlapping qualities.
The fourth week was Yoga Therapy, where we taught our teaching practicum of a yoga therapy class designed for a super specific group of people (ie people with mental or physical disorders, or people from a certain location, or generally anyone with a specific need).
During our time, we had every kind of asana practice- Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Yin, Restorative, Acro/Partner.
We also covered a few meditation techniques like Yoga Nidra, candle and eye gazing, etc.
Our practices incorporated acupressure points from TCM, as well as physical postures from Ayurveda depending on the element we were focused on that day.
And then we also learned a bit of Thai Massage, dove into Dance Therapy, and a few other healing practices other than yoga.
Now that I’m done, I can say with confidence that the schedule and overall layout of the classes built one another in a really easy and complimentary way.
When I asked Michael about his feedback- he said that although he’s enjoyed the training, he also found it pretty overwhelming at times.
To be honest, this doesn’t surprise me- given that when you’re starting 200 hours, it’s pretty likely that all of this information is brand new to you.
This means you’ll probably have more to retain in a pretty short amount of time.
When you’re doing 300 hours, you already have this foundational knowledge, and probably even a basic understanding of other topics through your own self-study and teaching experience, as well.
Sure, it was still a lot of information in a short amount of time- but I personally found it totally manageable.
I’m really happy, and super grateful for my teaching and my training journey thus far- as it seems every experience has served its purpose at the appropriate time.
I wouldn’t change my choice in trainings, even the ones that didn’t fully resonate with me- because each of them still brought powerful aspects to my current teaching.
I’m glad that my first course was local to where I was living at the time, and I had several months to digest an overwhelming amount of information.
However, I know that not everyone has access to quality trainings in their hometown.
Also, I know a lot of people who say they’re happy they went away for a month intensive course rather than staying home, because they felt they wouldn’t have been as immersed in the training if they were still living their regular day-to-day life in between.
Plus, a lot of people use trainings as a reason to travel to a new place- and even get a holiday out of it before or afterwards (don’t expect the training itself to be a holiday- you literally have NO time to yourself).
I completely understand both sides of the coin, so I think it really just comes down to YOU.
What are you looking for?
What’s important for you?
What do you need?
And then also the logistical question of simply what’s available, and what’s your budget?
These are all things I highly recommend knowing before choosing anything.
Location (Dharamsala, India):
I’m going to keep this part brief, as this isn’t a travel blog, nor the focus of this piece.
However, as I mentioned before- location is also a part of the equation if you’re choosing any intensive training abroad.
Dharamsala is known to many as the home to the Dalai Lama- which creates a beautiful energy to the place, as a whole.
It takes about 12 hours by bus from Dehli, or just over an hour by flight (also from Dehli).
The bus is not a sleeper, but it does have big reclining seats, which are WAY more comfortable than you’d find on a long flight.
Plus, traveling by road is obviously much cheaper- but that really depends on your budget, I suppose.
We took the bus, so I can’t speak much regarding the flight.
But I do know that the airport is about an hour away from where the schools are- so that’s also something to consider with your timing.
The 200 hour and the 300 hour shalas are about a 15 minute walk from one another.
Keep in mind, we’re in the mountains- so although the distance isn’t far from one to another- it’s important to note that you’re either going up or downhill for entire walk back and forth.
Because Michael booked the complete package including a room, our guesthouse was at the bottom of the mountain closer to his school.
This meant I had to walk up the mountain every morning to get to class- which I was fine with.
This was also something that the owner told me beforehand, so that we could decide who would do the walking.
I was happy to have nice little warm up before class, but I know this could also really bother someone who isn’t as into walking.
The 300 hour shala is in upper Dharamkot, and the 200 hour shala is in Lower Dharamkot.
The closest major towns are Mecleod and Bagsu.
Mecleod is quite busy (a little hectic for my liking), although it’s nothing in comparison to the rest of the country.
It’s about a 15-20 minute walk from Upper Dharamkot, and you’re going downhill the entire way.
This means that it’s an uphill journey on the way back, which is pretty steep.
If you absolutely don’t want to deal with all of this breathlessness and booty building, then you can always take a tuk tuk or a taxi.
Bagsu is very nearby Lower Dharamkot (in fact, some people don’t even Lower Dharamkot as a place at all, and just group it together with Bagsu).
It takes about 7 – 10 mins to walk here from Lower, and about 15 – 20 mins to walk here from Upper.
I much prefer going into Bagsu when I need something from the shop, rather than going into Mecleod.
There are a quite a few cute shops in the here, and some great cafes as well.
Because my training was in Upper Dharamkot- I was able to explore quite a bit in this area as well.
There are also some really nice cafes here (I say here, because that’s where I’m writing right now!), but not the same quality selection in shops.
This entire region- from Mecleod to Bagsu- is known for a backpacker hub for yogis and other spiritual seekers.
There are quite a few yoga schools here, although not the overwhelming amount that you’ll find in Rishikesh.
It’s not the best place for those standard Indian good which you’ll find in other parts of the country (like jewelry and textiles), but it is a great place to get lost in the great outdoors.
There are tons of beautiful walks just outside your doorstep.
I haven’t had a chance to do the more touristy things just yet as I only finished school a few days ago, and Michael is finishing today.
We plan on doing an overnight camping mission on Triund mountain (overlooking the snowcapped Himalayas), and checking out some of the bigger temples.
We went to one of the waterfalls already, but still want to see the one in Bagsu.
Keep in mind, it is summer here now (late May), so the water isn’t exactly pumping- but the weather is perfect.
The mornings and evenings are cool, and the days are pleasantly warm.
We had weird weather when we first arrived, in that it was complete monsoon- and freezing (it was hailing!).
This is not typical for this time of year (thanks global warming), but if you come at this time, I’d definitely pack warmer clothes regardless.
Because it’s high season here (as the rest of the country is sweltering hot, so everyone flees up to the mountains), it can get super busy on the weekends, especially.
That being said, it’s best to do the hikes on weekdays (if you can) to avoid crowds.
Which leads me to the point that it would be great to arrive a few days early, and leave a few days later than the training if you want to have a chance to also experience the place beyond the four walls of the shala.
All in all, I love this area- as it offers a sense of peace, which most of the country can’t really claim.
I am feeling homesick for the ocean, but the mountains and 50 shades of green certainly offer a soothing sort of energy whenever I’m feeling low.
Being here as also made me feel pretty grateful for those after class swims in the Ganga during my training in Rishikesh- which is something I definitely took for granted at the time.
I know I’m a water baby, and am sensitive to my surroundings and weather- perhaps even more so than others.
So, as much as I’ve loved it here, I don’t see myself rushing to get back here anytime soon- mostly for the fact that I just really crave having some sort of body of water nearby if I’m going to be in one place for an extended period of time.
I know that if people are drawn to the Himalayas for their YTT, then they’re usually torn between Dharamsala and Rishikesh.
I’d definitely recommend trying to at least GO to each place, even if you only train in one.
They’re so different from one another, and each offer a vibrant energy that shouldn’t be missed.
Constructive Criticism about Trimurti Yoga:
Look, I don’t have a whole lot to say here- but also, let’s be real- nothing is perfect.
I know I’ve said this a million times already, but keep in mind these points are all my opinion- which means something that might seem like a downfall for me, might actually be a highlight for you.
I really don’t have a whole lot I’d change about my training.
There were, of course, a few teachers who I resonated with more than others- but I wouldn’t say that as a strength nor a weakness, as that’s just personal preference.
Overall, I was super impressed with the teaching team- and I definitely learned something from each of them.
I think the thing I appreciated most about the training was that a lot of our lectures were more like discussions.
We were a group of 21 people, most of whom are already experienced teachers (we had a few people who had only recently finished their 200 hour), which meant we all had something to offer.
I loved how the teachers opened up the space for us to talk openly about our opinions, approaches, and experiences based on our own studies and teaching.
That being said, I don’t think it’d be the most beneficial environment for someone who has not done a 200 hour training yet to learn in.
I say this because there was one girl there who hadn’t done her 200 hour yet, and she told us how lost and confused she felt.
I don’t blame her!
I couldn’t imagine being in her shoes.
I think that could simply be fixed by asking a student beforehand about their past training- as it does already state on the website that you must have already done a 200 hour course.
I suppose this puts the responsibility on the shoulder’s of the student, and I really don’t know if the girl was asked and lied, or what.
So, that’s just a small thing to note.
I also think that the theory lectures in the last week fell off a bit.
What I mean is, it felt like some classes were put in there to fill time slots, rather than functionality- and they didn’t feel as fulfilling as others where we were really learning new things.
It was kind of nice to have a bit of a break with these filler classes, as our brains were pretty damn tired.
I think it just started to bug me when we were then getting out late, and missing breaks- yet we were having filler classes, instead.
Those are really the only main points I’d change in mind- which, like I said- are not that major anyways.
I want to tell you a bit of Michael’s feedback, and then also my brief glimpse of his course from my eyes, as well.
First of all- he really liked the concept of multi-style, because he not only learned a lot, but he also honed in on exactly what his interests in teaching are.
Like I mentioned before, he did feel that it was a bit overwhelming at times- but I don’t think that’s a fault of the school, but rather the timing of the course (something that would likely happen with any 200 hour intensive).
He (and his classmates) had a big problem with the philosophy teacher.
The man is a gem of a human.
He's an older Indian male who is the epitome of a TRUE yogi- qualities that I think are relevant to that bridge metaphor in East meets West.
I completely understand how including someone like him in a course would be beneficial, in that students can see the more ancient (and dedicated) ways of the practice.
However, although he’s a great person- he’s really just not a great teacher.
He doesn’t let you write any notes during his classes, and he sort of just talks in circles for hours on end (I know because we also had two lectures with him).
We only had two hours total with him, which I already found difficult enough.
However, we had the foundational knowledge to understand his circular talking a bit- whereas in 200 hour, they were often completely lost as to what the hell he was even talking about (as I would be too if I were in their position).
When I asked Michael on Week 3 if he knew what the Yamas and Niyamas were, he said yes- although not because of the teacher, but because it was in the book.
I find that to be a real shame as a new teachers first exposure to philosophy.
And I know it put a pretty bad taste in their mouths about the subject.
Like I said, I can see how someone of his stature would be valuable to the students to an extend.
However, for him to be the sole teacher of philosophy seems to be a bit of waste- especially when there’s another Indian teacher on the team who can teach these same concepts in a much more relatable way.
As for my observations about Michael’s course- I only had a small glimpse, and that was during his teaching practicum.
I was already finished with my course, so I went to his class to support him.
First of all, I think it’s important for a new teacher to be required to teach a full-length 1 hour class as their final.
I think this would give themselves, and their teachers a better indication for their ability to structure and hold space for an entire class.
Because they had 31 students (which I also think is WAY TOO MANY people for a YTT), their final classes were 2 hour sessions, split between groups of 5 people- meaning they taught about 30 minutes each.
Actually, I shouldn’t say this is because they have 31 students- because this might be what the do regardless of the number of students.
I don’t agree with this method because it’s completely different to teach a 30 minute section of a class, versus putting together an entire sequence from beginning to end.
For instance, think about how different it would be if you only taught savasana for your final, versus teaching the peak posture.
I think to see a student’s true capability, and to be able to accurately critique/help them as they prepare to transition from student to teacher- you have to see if they can actually teach an ENTIRE class.
The other thing that I found extremely problematic was their feedback, which I stayed to listen to after the class.
They’re brand new teachers, of course they’re going to have a LOT of things to work on- so, please don’t think I’m ripping on them.
I’m always super proud of anyone who puts themselves out there, and offers a piece of their heart through teaching.
It takes major guts- so I do appreciate that.
However, I also think it’s imperative to point out areas that could use work, rather than only showering them in praise- because that’s not realistic.
Plus, this means they’ll walk away from the training thinking they don’t have ANYTHING to work on because they never got any constructive feedback- and that’s how they’ll continue to teach real students in real life.
I mean- c’mon- wouldn’t you rather hear these critiques from your peers and your teachers that you’ve been learning from for the last month, rather than getting a bad review from an angry student.
Or worse- getting sued, or accused of something horrible (because that’s the sad reality we live in nowadays).
I think it’s important to prepare teachers for the reality they’re stepping into- and that means pointing out the good, the bad, and the ugly.
I found this super surprising when I sat in on their feedback, because ours was completely different.
First of all, the owner of the school leads 300 hour- and only teaches one theory class for 200 hour.
So, I’m not sure if something has been lost in translation somewhere along the way there.
Because when she would give us feedback, she would even say how she was always the one looking for at LEAST one thing to improve- even when people’s classes seemed damn near perfect, and none of us could think of anything to change- she’d still find something.
Not in a nitpicky, nor malicious way- but in a way that wanted us to always strive for MORE.
And in a way that showed us we could always grow and improve.
I personally find this endless possibility for growth to be so much more inspiring, rather than the false safety of hand-holding.
But again, that’s just me.
I know not everyone appreciates direct communication the same way that I do, and they might need a bit more nurturing- which is fine.
I just don’t agree.
I don’t agree, because I believe it hinders the future teacher’s growth, and because it can also be problematic- or even dangerous- for their future students.
Lastly- there’s one thing that both Michael and I were a bit disappointed in with both of our trainings.
This is something that is more universal, than it is specific to this school- but I think it’s something worth pointing out either way.
We didn’t like the idea that if you pay for the course, then you’re just about guaranteed a certificate regardless of your performance.
We didn’t notice much of a divide in my group, as all of us were very eager to be there, and eager to earn.
There was one couple who separated themselves from the group, who was late to just about every single class, and who just blatantly missed entire sections- which was a bit disheartening considering the community and support with the rest of our group, but at the end of the day, it was their choice.
Michael’s group had a bit larger divide (probably because they had more people), with people who were on time and went to everything- versus people who (to put it plainly) slacked.
Like I said, it’s their choice- and the experience is what they make it.
However, it doesn’t seem right that those same people will receive qualification in the end when they did half the amount of work.
I want to clarify something here- I’m also grateful for this flexibility in that I missed several days when I was sick and hospitalized.
I assumed this meant I couldn’t get the certificate because of the hours I missed, which I was actually fine with considering I didn’t go for the piece of paper- I went for the experience.
When I voiced this to our head teacher, she told me that I could make it up with other homework- and we could work together to come up with something fair on both ends- which I definitely appreciated, because I felt supported.
So, who knows- maybe she had the same conversation with the couple in my group who also missed a lot (although by choice, not by illness- I may add).
I really have no way of knowing, and I’m not interested enough to pry about it.
I do know that Michael was much more bothered by this in his group, and I can see why it would be not only frustrating, but also scary to think that those people can teach classes to real people now.
But, as I mentioned- this happens with just about every school.
Overall Feedback for Trimurti Yoga:
As a whole, I can say with confidence that Trimurti seems to value quality over making money, and cranking out ill-equipped teachers.
I do honestly believe that each member of their team (the ones who I met anyways) enjoys their position, and puts their entire self into what they share- which I really appreciate.
I also appreciate the size of the team, in that none of them are burnt out, and offering half of themselves as a result.
In fact, the owner told us that most of them ask for MORE hours each day/week- which is not something you hear with most jobs.
Despite the large groups, I felt adequately supported with an appropriately sized teaching staff.
And Michael felt the same way.
None of this negates my constructive feedback, as I still stand by these critiques regardless of the many highlights.
However, I would absolutely recommend Trimurti for anyone doing their 200 hour or 300 hour training.
I can’t speak for the quality of their shorter courses, as I haven’t done any of them (yet)- but I can imagine they’d be equally satisfying.
As I’ve said countless times throughout this post, I think it’s important to recognize what YOU want in a training first and foremost before listening to my recommendation.
I wrote this using as much detail as possible so that you would know WHY I liked it.
Based on the WHY, you can decide if those qualities resonate with you or not.
I can say that overall, the good UNDOUBEDTLY outweighed the bad (to put it in the most black and white terms as possible) in my experience.
But the reality is that life isn’t black and white.
There are plenty of gray areas.
And, it’s usually within those gray areas where the WHY’s and the HOW’s and the ROOT of these seemingly simple answers really live.
At the end of the day, only YOU know what works best for YOU.
Maybe you’re still in the process of figuring that out, and maybe you’ll only figure that out once you experience something you really DON’T like.
The most I can say is to try to accept each of these experiences as teachers.
Even the tough ones have a chance to shed light on what we DO want in contrast to what we DON’T want.
The only way we’ll ever really learn is through our own personal experience, as other’s people’s second-hand opinions and recommendations can only get us so far, right?
The best advice I can give you right now is to simply take the leap.
If you’re drawn to YTT, and you feel that it’s the right time for you to dive in- then I can tell you with confidence that it IS.
Do your research, but try not to get lost in the endless stream of reviews, and blogs, and outside opinions in the process- because these overwhelming factors just might stand in your way of taking the leap at all.
Remember, regardless of your experience- it WILL be teacher if you let it.
So what are you waiting for?