Saturday, September 5, 2015

Day 1 of Yoga Teacher Training: Here We Go!

So after an amazing 9 days in Athens, Santorini, and Ios with my best friend and fellow Kenton girl Leah Obach, it was time to get down to more work and less play... yoga teacher training in Lagonissi, Greece, at the Transformational Hatha Yoga Centre. Ever since I mustered up my courage and paid a 500 euro deposit last June, and I have been nervously excited about this new opportunity. But now that the day was finally here, I was definitely more nervous than excited. After saying goodbye to Leah, I killed time at the airport for nearly 4 hours--eating my last burger in anticipation of an entirely vegetarian diet for the next three weeks! Leonardo picked picked me up at the airport--he's Italian and does all the cooking at the yoga centre. Leonardo is Michelle's husband, and Michelle is the director of Yoga Alliance Europe and our main teacher. Yoga Alliance International is a global certification body for yoga teachers and courses.

Another woman also joined us at the airport for the 45 minute drive to Lagonissi, Greece. J is a fashion designer with her own line of eel skin hand bags and wallets and she's from Yorkshire, England. Her husband is Dutch-Italian and speaks five languages!

After some beautiful coastline views and a long drive uphill (oh oh, do I really have to walk this?), we arrived at the yoga centre. It's a three storey building perched on the side of a hill. The lowest floor is the yoga studio, and the second and third floors are the Om Guesthouse where students stay. I was given a room with three beds on the second floor, and I quickly chose the bed off on its own and separated by a curtain.
My little area with my Deuter backpack waiting to be unpacked.

Fresh fruit, tea, and water is always available.
The living room and gathering area of the house
The next person I met was D. He is involved in fashion and a judo instructor from Paris, France, I dusted off my high school French skills and was able to have a somewhat successful conversation with him. Leonardo served lunch to J, D, and I, but after two McDonald's cheeseburgers in the airport, I really wasn't hungry. Then lunch was done, I unpacked my things, got some laundry going (in a confusing European washer), and for the first time in months, I actually had nothing to do. As panic was setting in, I considered the options. I could blog. I could visit the library of yoga books on the third floor and start reading one. Before I had to make a decision, Leonardo returned with three more students.

L is a former heavy equipment operator at Port Hedland, Western Australia, but hails from Tasmania. I quickly recognized a kindred spirit in her! Aussie A is a former geographical information systems person who is now studying crystals and crystal sound therapy. Belgian A is in sales and marketing, but became interested in yoga after years of insomnia and a bad skiing accident. Yoga was the key to her recovery.

Next thing I knew, we were putting on our bikinis and heading to the local beach. Two buckets of Mythos later, L and Belgian A and I were well on our way to becoming good friends. L and I instantly hit it off and I can tell that we're going to have a lot of fun together!

After a long walk back from the beach, Leonardo served our vegetarian supper--spinach casserole with an egg topping, a large salad, and homemade whole wheat bread. I found some butter in the fridge and really carb-loaded on that bread as all the vegetarian food did not seem to make me feel full!

After another visit with the girls, it was time for bed. The main area of my floor is air conditioned but not the bedrooms, and it was a warm night for sleeping. But I was exhausted and slept a solid nine hours with no problems! We are required to eat breakfast two hours before our first yoga session of the day, so we all need to eat before 8 am on Sunday. I had a delicious breakfast of Greek yogurt, honey, banana, and homemade granola. Now it's time to head to the studio, meet our instructor Michelle, and see how this yoga teacher training goes!
View from the sitting area in my apartment

Rooftop terrace--perfect for sunset views
Another day, another amazing sunset!

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