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YTT Diaries – Ozlem

Vikasa Yoga Diary

Teacher Training Student Diary

Ozlem


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

Day 1

Finally i am here Koh Samui, Thailand and in the Vikasa training school after 26 hour of flying… Three stressful flight changes then to top of my journey my luggage was not on the conveyor belt to be collected I am told it was not lost and would be with me later that day or the following day, seriously I thought us girls need our regime and mine was in my luggage to get myself feeling fresh I needed to shower and a change of clothes …Such a day such a start …fortunately a few hours later my luggage arrived in reception and I was informed it was now in my room.

Arriving in The Vikasa takes your breath away such a beautiful place, a place that you see in magazines and brochures and dream to visit all your life, wow!! I am here my dream has begun.

The weather in May is awesome the beautiful blue sky with views that were unbelievable to imagine the clear blue sea calling me to jump in.

Surprisingly my energy is good after such a journey and luggage concerns thankfully that had now arrived …

I went up to The Vikasa café where i met Mikey and we had a little chat…The view from this café is nothing less than amazing … deep in my stomach I already have a great feeling something amazing is about to begin at Vikasa 🙂

I finished my drink then one of the lovely Vikasa staff took me to my room…Our way down to the room was exciting because i really didn’t know where i am going to end up. And I arrived with no expectations but to have a good time and learn to be a yoga teacher …But still I wonder where i will be staying for a month…

We continued down and down and passed beautiful bungalows and salas.

Finally we are right at the beach and the beach bungalows…. Yay they all look so beautiful…The moment i got in my room, I run to the balcony to see the breathtaking view…This already feels so good. I love where I am , I love this place…

Luckily I didn’t have much to unpack so I am down to the beach, on top of the rocks and closed my eyes and did my first meditation…first gratitude on this land…I am sure this will be my favourite spot….just in front of the beach bungalows…my sanctuary that I will watch the sunrise every morning I feel so lucky.

After this I met couple of girls that I had already been connected with before the training started… Now we are heading to Vikasa Life Café to meet new friends and teachers and have a wonderful beginning to this months journey so many lovely people around, everyone is happy and truly lovely…After our little meeting we had a group photo with everyone… people that I had never met before strange as this felt these people I know will be part of my life for the next four weeks or maybe more….

Vikasa Air View

Monday 17th April 2017 

Day 2

Good morning Koh Samui,

I cannot believe I am awake at 6am…This is not the time normally my body is even considering to wake up ….but strangely it feels so good…The sun is just rising and the fishing boats are bobbing about in the sea…I look and then look all around again still not sure if this is real or am I still asleep ..after all it is 6 am !! I took a long shower and returned to balcony again to look at this breathtaking view this is real..…

I didn’t sleep much last night mainly due to the jet lag, and of course the anticipated excitement of the month ahead ….And not having seen the sunshine for a while, I was full of trepidation in this heaven called Vikasa…

I changed quickly after my shower and changed ready for my first class…I love this flip flop lifestyle already… No make up, no heels, not thinking of what or should I wear today:) 

I left the room and walked all the way down to the Sala. I never realized how id missed the sunshine and the warmth of the sea so much in my life… I couldn’t stop looking at them like a child with a new toy, finally I’m there in the Sala, meeting new friends and ready for our first lesson …nervous perhaps even a little unsure but ready to start…

Beginning this beautiful day in this magical Sala with a thoughtful encouraging reminder on the wallboard is priceless…this emphasizes the importance of starting my day with positivity. So I will always remain positive for the rest of my day…

After our morning practice we are so hungry and ready for some good food…We go to the Vikasa Café…To be honest I am not sure if the food will be to my liking ….food is always a big issue for me primarily because I cook all my own knowing what I put into and finally eat …However, upon arrival lovely staff greeted us all at the Vikasa Café and I was so happy to see an amazing buffet with delicious and healthy fresh food…There were many options in the buffet but if you still fancy something different there is a menu full of great optional food too…After our light brunch we are down to the Sala for the second half of the training and of course a mandatory dip into the pool first…Life is very hard at Vikasa 🙂

Food

Sunday 23rd April 2017

Day 7

My first day off,

Made lots of plans for today as this is the only day off after a weeks training and in fact its very welcomed but I feel so tired, I guess this is normal with the long days and early starts,

My whole body is aching from the practice and I’m not sure if I want to do much even though its my day off and I have lots of plans I want to execute …probably I just need to sleep a bit more…so I do…

After a bit more sleep and feeling more positive and rejuvenated I go to The Vikasa cafe and meet a couple of friends for brunch… Already I’m feeling better with these happy people…My diet is changed a lot in a week…and definitely my weight has dropped and my core muscles are feeling stronger and building…It feels great like a warm glow of contentment my training is already showing results mentally and physically

So its time to reward myself with well deserved good food…This time i picked something from the menu, An amazing Mediterranean bowl, super healthy and just soooo yummy…

After eating we are all off to see more of at what the beautiful island of Samui has to offer, …We all decide to go and see the Chaweng beach…After a fun and adventurous journey we arrive, this long sandy never ending beautiful beach served by the warm sea lapping onto the golden sand …such a treat…swimming, jet-sking, lovely food and coconuts…we were there all day and I yes I stupidly burnt myself very badly:) it wasn’t feeling that bad at the beginning but the moment we were back i felt that my skin was stretching it was so red and sore…I went to the health shop just outside the Vikasa and picked up some 100% aloe vera gel and applied this all around my burnt body…After a quick dinner i am ready to go to the room, relax and hope that i will be ok for tomorrow’s practice.

Monday 24th May 2017 

Day 8

Today in my bed I am wide awake with no alarm as normal set to awaken me of course my alarm being my normal daily wake up system….I guess my body clock is now adapting to my early morning regime, but last night I didn’t sleep so well…Slept for only 3 hrs I am surprised I feel ok at the moment with so little sleep…But a quick shower and I’m on my way to the big Sala…This daily training seemed all fun at the start of my teacher training, However, now i understand that it comes with massive intensity as well… don’t get me wrong I am  happy with my physical practice the training and the effects on my body but this intensity comes at a price an emotional price that you cannot control, an overwhelming of emotion that will have you laughing one minute and full of tears another,

I reflect on my journey today I guess this is part of the emotional roller coaster we all embark on as we travel deeper into our training.

The training we do to discovery your true self the well being the fulfilment is simply life changing.

I now question why schools don’t have this in the curriculum for children to discover themselves and find inner strength from this fast paced world we live

…I cannot stop myself thinking how wonderful that would be to learn about yoga at an early age and make it a way of life having full control of breathing which means full control of your life…

I feel so lucky that i had the opportunity to put myself in an environment like this and find out about myself more than I ever thought possible. Today i know that i will be in the field of yoga forever, either as a teacher or healer but no matter what, i now have this burning urge of doing something about my thoughts of introducing yoga to the primary schools and share this unique gift to the children.

With all my mixed daily emotions the highs and the unavoidable lows….These beautifully and carefully scripted  coconuts with such positive messages .Happy coconuts I name them 🙂

These happy coconuts placed in every corner with an inspirational message so carefully placed to catch your eye as you walk pass …

Cococut

Reading these made me realise it is only me who can decide, truly decide if i want to be happy …It’s all my decision…these happy coconuts really are such a wonderful motivational reminder…

So i allow myself to choose wonderful happy and thoughtful messages as i continue my morning practice at the Sala….And witnessing the mood changes in each and every one of us on a daily basis,

…It is just overwhelming to have people around you who understand support and care for you for this I am grateful …

After morning class the second half of the day we had the anatomy lesson these i really love  Our super skeleton John with us for this week, so we can see in depth the human body bone structure

..I try to learn as much as i can because i know all this information i learn will be very important and helpful in my future.

Now after a long day I’m ready for a great dinner at The Vikasa cafe.. guess what? I have already planned what i will be eating…such a menu means healthy eating ..love eating healthy.

Wednesday 26th April 2017

Day 10

Today i woke full of energy but oddly feeling a little hungry.

Fortunately I had time to spare before class, so I decided to run down to the secret place below my chalet, I sat down on this amazing beach all alone the sound of the waves crashing over the sand, watching the sunrise while I meditated…I felt so grateful an overwhelming feeling of how lucky to be able to wake up to this every day,

We had a great morning practice with Jason. At last I feel like i am getting into the asanas easier now with so many days of practice to date … One thing that struck me was the realisation that morning breathing practices really help in getting focused. I never thought that just a simple breathing exercises would benefit me mentally and physically. I know now I must incorporate many of these techniques in my future classes.

We had a great brunch as always…I had some healthy vegetable sushi wow were they good!! I might add I had been craving these since my arrival.

We decided to go to Crystal bay, this secluded gem in Koh Samui is magical it’s such a beautiful beach with breath-taking landscapes and crystal clear water hence the name Crystal Bay, and just five minutes’ drive from Vikasa…

On the beach were the wonderful massage ladies so having a Thai massage was on my agenda…It was the best lunch break ever. After this special treat i was ready for Alicia’s class her class i really enjoy …but my mind kept saying to me I cannot believe i am in this country wonderful hot weather every day, i just so want to live here forever…

Alicia’s class started with another great exercise we had to pair up and get very close to our partner more in an emotional level so we were really connected. We ended up hugging and crying with each other, feeling happy to be able to share a moment like this. I never felt so close and connected with the people that I’ve never even meet before…Every day after her classes i felt so happy lifted, and more hopeful and content.

After this we had a lovely dinner and i had the chance to become really good friends with the girl that i paired with in class…After such an emotional day i was ready to go to my room…bed beckoned me I had a great night sleep.

Alicia Class

Friday 28th April 2017

Day 12

So, here I am nearly at the end of another week and i am really looking forward to Sunday to have some well-deserved rest.

Even as I make my daily trip toward the big Sala for morning practice,  I  will stop in awe at the amazing views that I pass every day,  with my camera always with me, I  find so many new and breath-taking  pictures of this wondrous  place…I have never taken so many photos in my life LOL…

The nature surrounding  Vikasa is like a fairy tale so beautiful and yet Inside Vikasa they have continued this taste and design bringing the outdoors- indoors ..There is beautiful paintings everywhere in-scriptures and Muriel’s placed strategically to keep you focused on why you are here.

Sunrise

   This day we had a very intense practice with Kosta …Kosta’s afternoon class had us learning so much…I was so surprised that with so many different topics we cover at Vikasa in the  short amount of time I’ve been here, noting it is not even half way through the training at this point, I can’t help but have this this warm feeling of proudness about myself  what I have taken on, and understood so far, what will the next two weeks unfold I wonder, so I am keen and excited to learn and achieve more.

After practice with Kosta we followed this by a healthy brunch at the Vikasa Cafe…  Were we decided to go to the Fisherman’s market after  dinner for some therapy shopping and of course to have some fun also.

In the dinner we met people that were not from the training these were corporate guests on a yoga retreat holiday …we all got chatting and they were saying about how amazing it was and how they wished they could stay more in this magical place,…They told us of their first time experiences with yoga and how yoga effected and changed their lives, hearing this made me happier than ever. I just want to introduce yoga to more people so they can benefit from this life changing experience forever.

Then we headed off to the market, it was just 15 minutes away. The Vikasa has such a great location that enables you to get just about everywhere easily.

We arrive at the fisherman’s market… where you are greeted with lots of people and every kind of food on display you can imagine… coconut juice, live music, yoga trousers and souvenir…this place was fun.

We of course bought  some yoga clothes for a very good deal… However, had  i known that i would find so many unusual and beautiful yoga outfits  and inexpensive hand made clothes in Samui  I’m sure I wouldn’t have packed what clearly now was way too much stuff in my case .

That said we had a lovely evening and after a few hours we were back to the Vikasa for a good night’s sleep.

Saturday 28th April 2017 

Day 13

With a week of intense training, it’s the first time I’m actually pleased the week is finishing.. Tomorrow is Sunday i can finally rest and chill out all day…

my muscles and bones are aching to the point where it hurts to walk and even sit, yet strangely through all this discomfort I feel so mentally and physically fit. The saying no pain no gain certainly comes to mind I know to grow my core strength and techniques my body has to endure new things as I develop.

On the way to morning practice with Kosta  I’m slowly climbing the steps towards the sala my aching body hurting from the constant self-pressure and inner belief to do better every day …  you’re not strong enough to practice  my head echoes over and over .. I know I cannot miss practice… However,As we commence and I settle into my work,

i find an inner strength that seems to come naturally with being at the Vikasa my work starts to flow my aching body working as it should, ….in truth it wasn’t that bad in the end.

Practice

I had a great brunch with a friend from training and we talked about possible exciting plans, you may say dreams, we talked about yoga of course and how we are going to use this fantastic training in the future…it was clear both of us were in love with samui,the people, and the wonderful way of life, We wanted to move here this is just paradise, we talked further and even arranged to view a flat together….I couldn’t believe that i was actually going to see some flats to move here. We continued our talks and a business plan was forming on how we can support each other to be more successful…

From this training I’ve made so many great friends some I know will be for life, I have also connected with some great business people too …I felt so supported and happy with my life and future possibilities,…

After our creative chat we went to the next class…seeing as this was the last class of the week naturally I was looking forward to end this amazing week full of happy practice and training under my belt… from here it was off to dinner…followed by a tea ceremony in the restaurant. This takes place every Saturday by the way… beautiful bowls with fire in the middle of the table, traditional tea cup sets it was such a wonderful sight,  We sat with friends and tried all the many different teas and learned how to drink tea in the traditional way.what an experience.. We had so much fun.

I was on my way back to my room,  passing by the white Sala there was yet another class in action  …this place never sleeps, there are always great classes all day and into the evening …I wanted to join but i think i am done for this week…I need to get some rest now and be ready for tomorrow.

Tuesday 9th May 2017 

Day 23

Today it’s my turn to teach my group this is all part of my journey at Vikasa and the teacher training … I never dreamed or considered being a yoga teacher, I guess really all i wanted was to gain  great yoga technique with my practice, so i could  apply this throughout my life forever.

Knowing this day was today i woke up very excited in fact it’s the earliest I have awoken since I’ve been at Vikasa.

My plan,… Is to go to the Sala very early set everything up,  and layout in my head how I planned my class to be for my group, I was the teacher after all, so I wanted it to be as good and interesting as possible.

Today i have to draw on my yoga experience and apply all I have learnt to other people, ensuring they learn from my teaching and have a great practice.

My last two days have been more than awesome, not only am I going to teach , but i would have the opportunity to watch and learn from others teaching their groups …the different energy levels vocal techniques  louder or softer …watching everyone’s  own style…wow suddenly I felt we were not students anymore.

My team is here and we are all ready to go…This was my first ever experience teaching yoga.

I cannot put into words how much I  loved every second …So to improve our technique further at the end of practice i am given feedback not only from the students, but Kosta and Jason also.

It was so constructive and positive and I still can’t believe how much i loved it…I always said that i don’t want to be teaching …but now i so want to teach yoga I feel teaching this wonderful practice is what I was borne to do…. now with my feedback I will work daily to improve my teaching style.

After such an early morning start and my first time teaching had now finished i feel loads more relaxed.

After having a great brunch i decided to run to the Vikasa Spa to have a wonderful relaxing massage .

Well-deserved I think 🙂

I love this Spa, they are so professional and friendly…and always leave me feeling great, I am ready for the rest of the classes. And woopeee it’s my favourite ..Yoga Philosophy.

Studying

I remember the first days that we had the yoga philosophy…A couple of times I broke down and cried.

I became so emotional and also relieved by the things that we discussed…The topics that we learn are just incredible…I was always quite interested in philosophy and loved having deep conversations with people on so many subjects; finally there was a class that i can ask anything that I had in mind. Yoga philosophy is definitely something i love and i will ensure i get some further training in the future.

The class comes to an end and another fantastic practice finished, to top it, after we had a great dinner.

The days seem to go by so fast and it is nearly the end of the training, we all seem to be becoming a little emotional at times…  but i am so truly grateful to have  joined the Vikasa training, having all these experiences and pushing my mind and body to its limit.

Saturday 13th May 2017

Day 27

I wake up to our last day ..where did the month go it feels like a few days have past…I have such mixed emotions  sad it’s ending but also elated I’ve completed a month of  intensive training.

But this final day also means the graduation ceremony where we all receive our certificates for completing our training at Vikasa, I take a moment to reflect on my month and think of the times that i felt I couldn’t finish the training, it seemed like it was lasting forever, the days my body was so tired and aching…   Now i cannot believe that it is finally the last day, I wish we could all be here a bit longer.

For the ceremony it’s traditional to wear white, so It’s a white last today.

I put on my outfit and make my way to the Vikasa Cafe to meet the rest of the group…everyone was in white, it was so beautiful…we had some photos taken and we all boarded the minibus taking us to the yacht for our final day’s ceremony… this boat was so beautiful and was set to take us around the fascinating island of Koh Samui.

We all boarded and sat in readiness to receive our certificates…Our teachers made their final talks and one by one our names were called to be presented our awards…I was next…i hugged them for the last time and felt so grateful to have the privilege to be trained by them and share this unforgettable experience together.

Food was soon served and the music played for those of us who wanted to dance… I wanted to go upstairs to set up my drone for an aerial group picture…Kosta called everyone upstairs just as my drone took off…everything was perfect until that moment…I forgot that i wasn’t a drone expert well not yet anyway.

Truth is  i had only used the drone a couple of times before on land this was a moving boat …the drone took off  with the boat moving at speed  it was difficult to control the drone to the same speed as the vessel…to capture the pictures …so disappointingly it was a failure.

So I thought I had better land the drone back on the boat, as we were moving and the space was small it was becoming impossible so I decided to push auto home button this is an automatic recall device that sends a signal to the drone telling it to land on the same spot it left well of course that spot was a mile back where the gps recognition had remembered it taking off.

The drone went up high and flew miles away heading to the spot in the sea where it originally left the boat I thought I had lost it forever …Even Kosta was trying to bring it back, I was convinced that it was gone…it was so far away we couldn’t even see it and a full battery could only go thirty minutes the handset showed we had only about five minutes battery power left surely it would drop into the sea and be lost for good …

To my delight it came into sight and my drone headed to the boat, Roberto was to try grab a hold of it as it was a little dangerous to land.

After some clever yoga moves he finally had hold of it…Thankfully, Kosta and Roberto were experienced in using drones they saved my beloved drone from a sure drowning 🙂

After all this drone excitement, I was able to have fun , drink and eat wonderful food, sit with friends and share our last moments together  …I felt honoured and thankful to be part of this magical experience ….an experience i will remember forever.

Back at the Vikasa we had our last dinner and said our final goodbyes…i slowly make my way back to my room for my last night’s sleep…  but when I wake  i am ready to rock as a yoga teacher.

Graduation

I felt confident this training was going to give me physical strength but unsure if I would gain much more,  but now i can say that it gave me a lot more …i am without doubt a healthier person, I feel so much happier and at peace with my life body and soul, i have a better vision about my life and what and where I want to go…i feel i am a better person, i care more, love more and share more… Now I want to share this unique gift “yoga” with as many  people as possible so they can benefit from all the amazing benefits that we obtain from this wonderful practice called yoga.

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