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Vikasa Yoga Diary

Teacher Training Student Diary

Letizia Cinque


Vikasa Teacher Training Apr/May 2017
Sunday 16th April 2017

Arrival day

After more than 24 hours and some delays I finally arrived in Koh Samui, where a staff from Vikasa picked me up at the airport. As I got to Vikasa I was offered a delicious welcome drink. I had already been to Vikasa before and as soon as I got here, I had the feeling that I had never left, it felt like home right away.
As I was having my welcome drink I got to meet Mikey, who has been in touch with us already over the past months, answering every doubt and question we had before the course. Later on I went to my beautiful bungalow that was situated right at Vikasa’s secret beach.
After having unpacked and rested for a bit, I went to have dinner and already got to meet some of my fellow course mates, which all seemed really nice.

GroupOn Sunday on my way to breakfast I meet another girl from the course and we decided to go to the beach together after having breakfast. Another guy that was also on our teacher training course also joined us. We had a great time and we got along very well. After dinner we meet everyone from the course and the teachers introduced themselves and they gave us a small introduction.

Afterwards I went to my room and I felt pretty nervous about the course. I was suddenly worried and thinking, what if I’m not going to be able to do it. All these emotions kind of overwhelmed me, because I didn’t know what to expect. So I tried to sleep but unfortunately I was jet-lagged that I wasn’t able to sleep until very late.

Monday 17th April 2017 

Day 1

At 7 am we all met at the big yoga shala for our first practice. I was very nervous, because I didn’t know what to expect and how the practice was going to be. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be fit enough or that I couldn’t keep up with the rest.

The practice was pretty intense, but very great and I felt good afterwards. So there was no need to worry about anything. After the practice we went to the Vikasa Life Cafe to have brunch. Breakfast is a great place, getting to know the other people from the course, we all sat around the big tables and talked to each other and the great thing was that we bonded right away.

Group Shot

In the afternoon we had an introduction class, where we formed a big circle and everyone introduced themselves. As we were a pretty big group, it was difficult to remember everyone’s name. It took us all sometime to memorize the names, but once you got to know each other better the name was no more problem. It was very nice and interesting to meet everyone, there were people from all over the world and from all ages. The majorities were women, we only had two men in our group, apart from the teachers.

After the introduction class we had another practice of two hours, which I really enjoyed. Then we went to have dinner all together and got to know each other better.

Wednesday 19th April 2017

Day 3

Today I woke up very sore from practice. Also today’s practice was intense, but it made me feel very balanced and good afterwards.

In the group dynamics class we had to partner up and answer three very personal questions. At first it was a bit difficult to open up to a person you have only known for several days. But once you really open up to the other person and the other person opens up to you, you get to know the person on a much deeper level. It’s nice to know that you can feel safe and the other person won’t judge you. You get to see the realness and rawness of the person in front of you and you get to see who the person truly is, far away from superficial beliefs.

It also feels very good to talk about your deepest secrets or fears with another person and to finally let them out. Especially in today’s world we usually have only very superficial conversations. For example when you meet someone, one of the first things people usually ask is, what do you do for a living. That way you don’t really get to know the person on a deeper level. This experience was very emotional for me, but I felt very good afterwards.

Later we had a theory class in which we talked about the meanings of yoga. The class was amazing but at the same time overwhelming. The topics we discussed make you think on a much deeper level and make you realize that there is more to life than that what we are able to perceive with our eyes and mind. Some of the topics even triggered emotions like fear or anxiety inside of me, because they were beyond my “normal“ understanding.  But at the same time it made me feel safe and I learned that I don’t need to be afraid.  After this class I just felt an immense feeling of gratitude.

Afterwards we finished the day with a relaxing yin class. I was very focused and very connected with myself. I even got emotional in some poses but I allowed myself to feel the emotions.

This day has been very intense and emotional. I decided to eat alone, because there were so many things I needed to process and I just wanted to sit in stillness and write about what I had experienced today.

Breakfast

Friday 21st April 2017

Day 5

This Friday I woke up feeling very tired, even though I slept enough, I didn’t feel very fit. That has also been reflected on my practice this morning. It was a though practice and I didn’t feel fit, I felt weak. That frustrated me a bit because I wanted to do better, but my body just didn’t respond. During practice we also had to hold bridge pose for a very long time and I got very emotional in this heart opening posture.

At lunch, thankfully my mood got better because I was having a lot of fun with my friends, they managed to make me feel better.

In the group dynamics class we had to partner up with a person we had confidence and then we gazed into each other’s eyes. I enjoyed it a lot, when you gaze into someone’s eyes you can really see all their emotions. There were different emotions, like happiness, sadness, joy love… coming up. At the beginning it was a bit awkward because you’re staring at someone’s eyes. So at first I couldn’t help it but laugh but then after a bit I could really feel it. After the exercise we discussed it with the group. It was interesting to see how different people’s reactions about it were. Some people couldn’t feel anything and other did get emotional.

Group Class

In the last class everyone had to teach two asanas to another person. It was a good practice and I felt like I did a good job teaching. However in the end, the teacher asked, who wanted to teach one asana in front of the whole class. I didn’t feel ready to teach in front of everyone. Some of the students taught in front of everyone and I could feel my confidence drop because everyone was doing such a good job, so I felt a bit intimidated. I felt a bit sad afterwards, because I didn’t believe enough in myself.

Since it was Friday we decided to go out to a night market. It was a good idea, it cheered me up a little bit.

Sunday 23rd April 2017

Day 7

Today was our first day off. I woke up very early, but since we didn’t have practice at 7 am, I decided to sleep a little bit longer. Once I woke up I practiced pranayama and meditated for a while.

Then I met my friends for breakfast. My friends and I decided to go to the beach to relax and enjoy our day off. But unfortunately the taxi dropped us off at the wrong beach so we walked for quite a long time in the sun trying to find the beach we were looking for. But we never found it, so we just decided to sit down in the next best beach, because we were starting to get a bit annoyed for walking in the heat. The beach we finally stayed at was very beautiful. It had white sand and the water was so clear. After hanging out there for a while, some of my friends decided to go to another beach, but my best friend and I decided to go back to Vikasa and treat us with some good food. Once there I ordered the signature burrito, which was so delicious. The food here is so comforting and it made me feel so good, I forgot about the events that happened earlier this day. This day has taught me many things, firstly not to have any expectations and secondly to just let things flow. Because many times we imagine things in our head and then get disappointed if they don’t turn out the way we have planned. So it helps to not have any expectations in the first place.

Signature Burrito

At the end of the day I felt very grateful and happy for being here.

Monday 24th May 2017 

Day 8

Today when I woke up, I felt a bit frustrated because I felt pretty tired. It frustrates me because I feel like I should feel full of energy and not tired. I guess it was because the day before we spend so much time in the sun. However, I felt very good during the morning practice even though it was an intense practice. What I loved about this practice was the final relaxation, while lying in shavasana one of the teachers played singing bowls. It was very beautiful, it allowed me to go even deeper into my relaxation.

Today in the group dynamics class we danced. I loved that class, the teacher put different music and we could just move freely around the whole yoga shala. It was such a nice feeling. For the first time in a very, very long time I felt truly free and happy. I moved the way my body wanted me to move, without caring what other people might think about me. It is the most beautiful feeling to feel completely free doing what feels good for you. As I was dancing, I felt very beautiful and complete. I would have loved to keep on dancing forever to keep that exact same feeling of wholeness. After having danced for quite a long time, we lied down in shavasana and told ourselves ‘I am enough’. I truly felt enough in that moment, it was so beautiful.

Afterwards we had a theory class with Kosta and he shared his experiences and stories with us. It was very interesting listening to his stories and I could learn so much from him. Most importantly it made me feel very good because you realize that there is more to this life than what we can perceive. This gives you hope and makes you lose fear, because you know you can trust in the universe. I learned that there is no reason to be afraid of, I felt at peace.

In the last two hours of practice we had to partner up with someone and then we had to explain different breathing techniques to that person. It was a lot of fun and I could feel how I got a bit more confident.

Limitations

At dinner I’m always having so much fun with my friends from the course. It’s amazing the people I have met here. We felt like a family from the very beginning and it feels like we have all known each other forever.  I feel so blessed to have met these people.

Tuesday 25th April 2017

Day 9

I woke up much fitter than the other days, so I was very happy I felt like my body was starting to get used to the daily practice. But once the morning practice started I realized fast that it was going to be a tough day. During the class I got a very bad back pain, so I had to take it easier. I got a bit frustrated because I felt fit, but the back pain made me take it slowly.

Since my back was hurting a lot, I wanted to book a massage because I realized, it was exactly what I needed. But when I went to book it, it turned out that there was no free spot. I cannot explain why, but after that I started to cry, I felt like there were so many accumulated emotions in me that I just couldn’t help it but cry. Thank god a friend of mine was right there with me and she talked to me and helped me. I however didn’t try to hold back the tears I just allowed myself to feel the way I felt in that moment and it was good, because after a bit I felt better. I could see that I have already learned quite a lot, we were taught to let our emotions come out and to not hold them back. That way, you give them the chance to go away.

At the beginning of the course, Alicia gave everyone of us the opportunity to meet up with her and have a chat. So today was the day I was having the conversation with her. It was the perfect day for me to talk to her, because of all the emotions that have come up so far. It has helped me a lot, also because after the conversation she gave me a session of Reiki. It was a very nice experience.

Happiness is a Choice

After that chat and Reiki session I came to the realization that I need to listen to myself and that I need to take care of myself before taking care of others. It’s very important, to not lose yourself in the process of making someone happy.
It is very difficult to unlearn all the bad habits we have taught ourselves or were taught to believe. But once you realize that you’re the master of your own mind and happiness you start to get to know yourself, your true inner self and you find out what you really want and what is good for you.

In the dynamics class we meditated about what we really want in our lives. After the meditation we drew those dreams on a paper. Seeing your dreams on actual paper, makes them seems so much more achievable, it’s a great feeling.

After that class we had a Marketing class with Kosta. He shared his story with us how he got there where he is now. It has been so inspirational. It taught us, when you really want something in life and put all our heart, love, passion and effort into it you can achieve it. Just always believe in yourself.

At the end of the day I felt so much better, it’s actually great to see that when you allow your feelings and emotions to come up, you feel them for that moment but then they’re gone and you can actually move on and feel much better afterwards.

 

Saturday 29th April 2017

Day 13

Today I woke up very sore from the practices of this past week. All my body was aching, but emotionally and mentally I felt very happy and content. In the morning we started practice with a meditation, I was a bit distracted at the beginning and couldn’t connect so good. But then after a bit, I was finally able to connect with my inner self. I got a very nice experience during meditation, I felt like my whole body was shaking.

Today was the last day of anatomy classes. It was very interesting, because we learned so much about our body and you could see the benefits of the practice. It has also been intense this week, because it has been a lot of information and many things were very new to me. So to finish the anatomy class, we had a final group presentation in which we had to present two asanas in a very detailed way.

Anatomy

In the evening practice we had a self practice. I don’t know if it was the fact that it was Saturday and we were all very tired, but I perceived a very agitated energy during that self practice. I couldn’t focus very well on the self practice. That’s why I also didn’t feel very balanced after the practice. I noticed though that I wasn’t the only one who had felt the same after the practice. But at dinner we were having a very good time and motivated one another.

Monday 1st May 2017 

Day 15

I woke up to the most beautiful sunrise this morning. I love how much better I am feeling in the mornings.

Sunrise

In today’s dynamics class we had to answer three questions about what we have been brought up to want. We had to discuss these answers with a partner. Answering these questions made me realize that I can call myself very lucky, I feel like that most times of my life I did what I felt like doing and not what other people expected me to do. However I also realized that there was a period in my life where I didn’t really do what I wanted or what was good for me and I noticed that I was losing myself during that time. But I was guided back to my own path, maybe not in the easiest way but I was guided back to myself and have found myself again. That just made me stronger and made me realize that I always have to be true to myself.

I really enjoy the dynamics classes, because you get to know yourself as well as all the others on a much deeper level.

The evening practice was very intense and I could feel that I was quite weak. But I still felt very good after practice.

Thursday 4th May 2017 

Day 18

I woke up very well rested today. I am very happy because yesterday I didn’t feel so well, I was very easily irritated. It might had something to do with the fact that it was the middle of week three. Kosta told us at the beginning that the third day in the third week might be one of the most difficult ones, because practice is getting more and more difficult so you have the feeling that you’re not making any progress but you actually are.

So I’m happy that today I’m feeling very well rested and I’m so happy that every day I’m learning something new and I’m so grateful for every new experience. I notice that I’m feeling much more connected with my inner self. I can feel that I’m getting more sensitive about how I feel and therefore I know what is good for me and not.

Since tomorrow we have our first 1 on 1 practicum I started working on my own sequence. Before starting the sequence I felt a bit nervous, because I thought it’s going to be difficult but then as soon as I started doing it, I realized that it was so much fun.  I really enjoyed creating my own sequence.

In today’s dynamics class we moved up to anahata chakra. We had to partner up with a friend and then we had to give each other compliments. That was a very powerful experience. It feels so nice to tell the other person what you love about them and then once the other person gives you compliments it’s just so overwhelming. It’s so nice to see how other people actually see you. Because we are always so self critical and then just to hear what they love about you is an incredible feeling. After this exercise you could actually feel the beautiful energy of love all around.
We should all do this more often and tell people the things we love about them.

In today’s afternoon practice we had to do something very interesting. Every person had to go to the front and had three minutes to teach the class an asana. When I heard what we had to do, I got so nervous that I honestly felt like crying. But at the same time I was very happy, because that way I had to go to the front and teach to the whole class and like that I was able to overcome my fear. Because before when we could offer ourselves to teach an asana in front of everyone I always had like an internal fight, my heart told me to go, but my mind was holding me back because I was afraid.

So this was the perfect chance to finally get over my fear of teaching in front of such a big group. The second person who had to go to the front was me. I had to teach one round of Surya Namaskar. I felt very nervous but I did it and after that I felt so proud. It showed me once more that everything I’m afraid of is only in my mind and that I had to believe in myself. After that class we all felt so very proud of ourselves and happy.

Friends

Friday 5th May 2017

Day 19

Today I had to teach my first 1 on 1 practice. I was very lucky that the person I had to teach the class was actually my best friend. That fact took a lot of pressure of me. While I was teaching I forgot everything around me and I just enjoyed it a lot, it was so much fun. I felt very proud of myself because I also got a nice feedback from my friend. My friend also did a very good job, it’s so nice to see how far we’ve come I am so proud of us.

Today, a girl from the group organized a salsa class after brunch. Of course I had to go as well, because I love dancing. We were having so much fun and danced freely for about an hour. I felt so happy after that class.

In the dynamics class we had to partner up and tell the other person “I love you”. It felt really good to say it and to hear the other person say it to you. When someone truly tells you I love you, it is such a beautiful feeling. It was nice that I partnered up with a good friend, so we could really feel the love. I’m feeling very loved right now.

Today I’m feeling very happy and so grateful. In moments of true happiness and gratitude what I love most is to just sit down and write about how I feel. The problem is that unfortunately it is impossible to put the real feeling into words, they can only be felt. It is so great to feel so good and at peace with yourself.

In today’s evening practice I suddenly had a really bad headache, I tried to keep up with the practice, but my pain was just too bad. Obviously my ego was telling me, keep going you can do it but I couldn’t I had to listen to my body so I just lied down. It’s not easy to calm your ego but in the end it’s what we have to do, we have to listen to our body, it is wiser than our ego. At dinner I drank a coconut and the headache was gone, coconuts are real magic.

Coconuts

It has been a very intense third week. I feel really tired but very happy and content at the same time. But I can’t believe how fast the time is passing, there is only one more week to go.

Tuesday 9th May 2017

Day 23

In this last week we started with our final practicums. We were put into groups of 4 to 5 people and everyone had to teach a one hour class to the group. Today was my turn to teach my group a class. I was surprisingly calm and not nervous, I just trusted in myself. While I was teaching I felt very good, I was having a lot of fun. Of course there were things I could have done better.
After the class, I got some really good feedback from my own group. I felt so happy and proud of myself.
Then Jason and Kosta went to every group and gave their feedback. I was a bit nervous to hear what they had to tell me about my teaching. They gave me really good feedback, they said that they could see that I was really enjoying it and what I taught came from my heart. They gave us some really constructive feedback, so we would know what we should still work on and what we did well. I am so proud of myself that I did it and I really enjoy teaching. It makes me forget about everything around me and makes me be present. I can’t wait to go back to teach and share everything I have learned.

Practicum

In the group dynamics class we had to write ourselves a letter about how we were feeling and what we had learned in the past four weeks. After we finished writing the letter we had to put it into an envelope and write our address. Alicia told us that she would send this letter to us, so we would receive it once we are back home. It’s amazing to see how much I have learned in these past 3.5 weeks. Knowing that the end of this course is getting closer and closer I start to feel a bit worried. On one hand I feel worried about not being able to adapt to the “normal” world, or that I’m not able to keep on doing all the things I have learned and fall back into a routine or negative behaviors. On the other hand, I feel confident that our mind and heart has been opened so much that it is almost impossible to lose all we have learned. The good thing is that I know that we can all count on each other and we can all support each other, since we’re going through the same and have lived all of this together.

In today’s Philosophy class we did a mantra meditation, which was great. I’m really enjoying philosophy classes a lot. There are so many things I have learned from this class. Also the teacher is great, he has so much knowledge and is a very wise person. I could listen to him for hours, because there are so many things to learn.

At the end of the day I felt very happy and grateful.

Thursday 11th May 2017

Day 25

This morning we were supposed to have a meditation class by the rocks, but unfortunately it rained so the meditation was in the yoga shala.

It’s the second last day of our training, there are so many emotions coming up, thinking about the fact that it’s nearly over. I wish it would last forever, I’d love to just keep on living here with all the beautiful people I have met throughout this course.

In our dynamics class we first wrote a letter to ourselves about how we feel and what we have learned. Then we compared this letter with the letter we wrote ourselves the very first day of this training. It is amazing to see how much I have changed and grown. After that we formed a big circle holding each other’s hands. Then everyone had to go to the middle and say the things we want to leave behind and the things we want to bring back home from what we have learned and experienced.

Then we made another exercise where everyone had to tell something nice to each person. This was the most amazing exercise. It is so intense to hear what people have to tell you and you can feel the love from everyone. It made me realize how connected we all got over these past four weeks. It’s amazing the love we could feel at that moment it was a very emotional moment for each and every one of us.

Circle

Only by writing about this I get goose bumps and I can feel the love all over my body. It has been such a privilege to be here and being able to meet so many beautiful souls. I’m so deeply grateful and I will definitely take all this love and beautiful energy back home. Whenever I feel bad I can go back to that feeling and I’m sure it makes me feel great right away.

The evening practice was so great, it was a very advanced and intense class, but it was so much fun. I could really see the progress I have made, I am so proud of myself. At the end of the practice we meditated and sang the mantra OM for 10 minutes, it was so beautiful, the room was filled with such a beautiful energy. I’m feeling so happy!!

Saturday 13th May 2017

Day 27 Last Day and Graduation Day

There was an optional Yin class in the morning with Alicia. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to sleep at night, so I wasn’t sure whether to go to the class or not. In the end decided to go, because I felt like going. We were only four students so it was a very intimate class. It was very beautiful and nice to share that last practice with these people. The energy during the class was amazing.

After the class we had some hours to ourselves, before we met for our graduation. We were supposed to wear something white. We met at 3 pm at the reception and then some buses took us to the harbor where our graduation boat was waiting for us. It was a very beautiful boat. We all got on board and there was music and food. Then Kosta held a little speech and the ceremony started. They called us one by one to give us our certificate. What a great feeling being called and feeling the support of everyone and finally receiving the certificate. We’re officially yoga teachers.:)

Boat

We were having so much fun on the boat, we were dancing and taking pictures and just enjoying the beautiful view. It felt like a dream being there with all the people that have spent the last four weeks together. After sailing for a while they stopped the boat so we could jump into the water from the boat. That was so exciting to jump from the upper deck down to the water. I’m actually very afraid of heights but I didn’t even hesitate I went up to the upper deck and jumped right down into the water.

When the sun was about to set, we slowly sailed back to the harbor. That day was the most beautiful sunset and the atmosphere and the energy on the boat were just magical. You could tell that every single person was so truly happy and content.

Letizia on the BoatThat ceremony on the boat was the perfect ending to a perfect training and month. Words can’t even come close to the way I’m feeling right now after this most beautiful day and after these four unforgettable weeks. Some things can’t be put into words, they just need to be felt. The closest I can describe it though is as if there were millions of butterflies flying around my stomach.

Very happy we all went back to Vikasa and had our last dinner together. After dinner the time has come to say good bye to everyone. Thanks to that most beautiful day on the boat, we all felt so happy and grateful for everything and everyone we met. So it didn’t feel like a sad thing, no because we had lived so many beautiful moments together that all we felt was gratitude. Most importantly we knew that it wasn’t a good bye but a see you later.

Sunday 14th May 2017

Departure Day

Today I woke up with mixed feelings, I was feeling sad because the day has come, to leave this magical place but at the same time I feel so happy and grateful. My best friend and I met at the secret beach to enjoy our last breakfast of this course together. Then it was time to say good bye and leave to the airport.

As I’m driving to the airport I reflect over these past weeks I can honestly say that I leave this place as a completely different person from when I first got here. It’s amazing how much you can learn and gain in just four weeks. When I look back to the person I was when I got here and to the person I am today, I can really feel proud of myself. I have not only grown as a person, but also physically and spiritually.

There were so many ups and downs during these four weeks, there were days where I felt so strong and others where I just felt like nothing is working. I am so grateful for any of these days because especially the bad days have taught me so much and thanks to those days I was able to grow and come out even stronger.

On the first day Kosta told us to take a picture of us so we could see the progress of these four weeks. Today when I took the after picture I was so amazed, not only my body has changed but also my skin, my face, my eyes, everything. I can truly say that I was radiating happiness and good energy. It’s so amazing the change and progress we have all made throughout this training. As the days went by, every person was glowing more and more, you could see the pure happiness in our eyes.

I didn’t know that it is possible to connect with people you just meet at such a deep level in such a short time. I can really say I found my second family here at Vikasa. This was such a life bonding experience and I know we will all be connected for the rest of our lives. I’m so thankful for every single person I got to share this experience with, because I have learned something from every one of them. I will carry a piece of everyone forever in my heart. We all always supported each other in the good times but most importantly also in the moments where we were struggling with ourselves. I might have arrived alone but I’m leaving with my new yoga family.

I’m also so thankful for the great teachers we had during this course. I couldn’t have asked for any better teachers. They shared all their knowledge and wisdom with us and always stood by our side when we were struggling. They guided us on this life changing path and helped us finding ourselves and showed us that there is more to this life.

I must say that I’m also thankful to myself for giving me this opportunity to come here and experience all of this. It has been the best decision I’ve ever made in my life. It is so transformational, magical, mind and heart opening. I wouldn’t change this experience for anything in the world. I truly encourage anyone who loves yoga to give you the opportunity to make a teacher training. When you’re thinking about doing it, but have doubts that you might not be able to do it or that you’re not advanced enough, forget about all of that and just go for it. You will thank yourself for giving you that opportunity and will definitely not regret it.

I can’t recommend this training here at Vikasa enough because here you really get the whole package. You have great, professional teacher whose passion it is to share all their knowledge and wisdom. The place itself is magical, not only the location and view is great but also the yoga shalas are beautiful. The best thing is, while you’re staying here you’re looked after very well with very healthy and the most delicious food. I am not exaggerating when I say that this place truly is heaven on earth. It wasn’t the first time that I came to Vikasa and it’s most definitely not the last time I’m visiting.

Kosta & Letizia

Thank you thank you thank you to each and every one for this life changing experience!

Sunday 18th June 2017
One month after leaving Vikasa..

It’s been five weeks now, since I have left Vikasa and four weeks since I have left Thailand.

When the day arrived and we all left Vikasa, I was so grateful and happy for everything I have learned and all the experiences I have lived. However, despite all of this happiness and gratefulness in my heart, there was this small feeling of fear inside of me. The thing I was worried about was, what if I’m not going to be able to adapt to the stressful and fast paced lifestyle we are all living in. After spending one month living very healthy, conscious and in an environment of love and harmony I was afraid of experiencing a major culture shock.  After the training I spend one more week in a small island in Thailand. I’m so happy I decided to do that, instead of leaving straight home. In that week I was really able to process all the experiences and prepare myself emotionally and mentally to the fact of having to leave.

When I finally got home, it felt weird at the beginning. But to be honest, thanks to all the tools we were taught back at Vikasa, I was able to find peace in this very busy city life.

Of course not every day has been easy this far, there have been days where I was struggling. I can call myself very lucky, because I have made really great friends during the training. Since we have left Vikasa we have kept in touch and had helped each other in any situation. We are sharing our experiences back home and support each other on the days we are struggling. I can really see that we all have grown so much during the teacher training, we are all lifting each other up and giving each other advices. It’s so nice to know that I can always count on my little yoga family. It’s really amazing how “strangers” can end up becoming some of the most important people in your life after such a short time. I am forever grateful for everyone I’ve met at Vikasa.

I knew that coming back would mean I would cross path with people who wouldn’t understand what we have been through. I must say, I was very surprised how supportive my friends and colleagues have been, they were all very interested in hearing about my experiences. However, when I wanted to talk about everything that we have been through, I realized that it was impossible to explain all of this to someone that hasn’t been there. There are just too many things that can only be felt and not put into words. Every time someone would ask me how it was, I would get so emotional thinking back to that most amazing month.

Since I have been back, I have gotten up every morning at least half an hour earlier to meditate and do some pranayama. I can really feel the benefits of the daily practice. When there is a day that I don’t do my morning practice, I just feel that there is something missing, I don’t have the same energy. Therefore I try not to skip any single morning meditation and pranayama practice because it just makes me feel much better. I can also feel the progress I’m making in the pranayama exercises. That motivates me even more.

When coming home, I knew that I wanted to start teaching straight away. I had the opportunity to teach my very first yoga class at my local yoga studio. Nine people showed up to that class and I couldn’t have felt more grateful. I was very nervous at first, but once I started I just taught from my heart and with love and all that nervousness faded away. The feedback I received at the end has been very good, which made me feel very proud, happy and grateful. After that, I decided to start teaching classes at a park near home. I have taught three classes so far. I’m very lucky that my friends are supporting me and show up to my classes. In the end of every class I’ve always received great feedback, they said that they loved it and felt so good afterwards. Knowing that is just the greatest gift. When I teach, I completely forget about everything around me and am fully aware of what is going on with my students. Being able to teach and share all the love is just a wonderful feeling. Seeing the faces of your students as they come out of Shavasana is just priceless, it fills my heart with unconditional love. I think there is no greater gift than being able to share all that love and receiving it in return.
A friend of mine has tried yoga for the first time with me and she has been coming to every class ever since and she always tells me that she feels like a new person after the class and so calm and at peace. I was able to open that door for her and guide her on this most wonderful journey. That’s like the greatest compliment.

As you remember, on our last day we had to write ourselves a letter on how we were feeling that exact moment. I have already received that letter, but honestly I wasn’t ready to open it quite yet. It is still lying unopened on my desk. I know that I will feel when the time is right to open it.

After one month being back home, I can only say that I have never felt so good in my entire life. Once you have felt this way you do anything possible to keep on feeling like that. I am still living that healthy lifestyle I was living back at Vikasa. Yoga really is a way of living and goes beyond the physical practice on the mat. Yoga is much more than that, once you have realized that, you don’t ever want to go back on living any other way. I can really say that yoga has changed my life entirely. I have become a much healthier and happier person. I feel so much better and with so much more energy and love for this life. I started seeing happiness and joy in the little things. Since I have been back, many of my friends have told me that I look really happy and that they can see that I had grown a lot during that training. The nice thing is that I don’t only feel better on the inside, but I also radiate the good energy to the outside. I hope to touch as many people as possible with this and that we can all spread love and light to this world.

Namaste

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Letizia-CinqueLetizia Cinque