My Yoga Teacher Training in Bali: Final Week and a Grateful Sendoff

Join me in sharing with you the lessons I learned during my bittersweet last week in Bali with Daphne, Anton, and their team. This is the finale of my yoga training diary series and the beginning of my exciting journey as a teacher.

The Final Week: A Holistic Start

I call it holistic because the last week begins with a Philosophy Class (Bhagavad-Gita Discussion), a Teaching Lab Session, as well as Pranayama, meditation, and other spiritual practices. We cover the mental, physical, and spiritual aspects of being both a student and a teacher.

We guided our small group through 16 poses in the teaching lab. Anton shows us how to do vinyasa and transitions and how to start and end a lesson. He taught us how to introduce ourselves, affirm our security, etc. We all practiced the class introduction and closing together. He said that there is no right or wrong way to do it; the most important thing is to go with your authentic style.

We do Pranayama, incorporating Kumbaka (cessation in the breath) and meditation while watching the sun set behind the palm trees. Realization: This smooth and nice practice should be a part of my daily routine!

Backbends, the Business of Yoga and Backbends

Oh, yes! Daphne’s hip-opening and back-bending class is just what I need. It was a wonderful class. Very creative, and everything is built up after every “round.” Exhausting… strengthening!

Anton then introduced us to his long-awaited Business Lecture. We are all curious to learn how we can build our classes and make our teaching career sustainable. The lecturer forced us to confront some very difficult yet important questions: What is your real motivation, your drive, and what drives you? What motivates you to get on the mat? What is your USP? What are you interested in focusing on or specializing in?

This is the last but not least important lesson: Make your routine. Have a mantra/meditation/yoga diary and start your collection of sequences because nothing beats learning from personal experience.

Exam Preparation

You can see that everyone is starting to get nervous about the written test, which will be held before the practical exam. This morning, I studied for the practical exam. I timed the asanas and thought about the cues to use, what to mirror or demo, and the correct sequence of postures.

After the second part of the Business Lecture, I was able to teach my first one-hour class at the Teaching Lab. I thoroughly enjoyed it. All of us had to prepare an hour-long class. This was excellent practice for the practical examination.

The notes aren’t allowed during the exams, so I polished my 30-minute sequence by self-practicing in the morning (I did it twice). Daphne was a great speaker, but we’re all concentrating on the written exam.

Finally, it was time for the exam. Anton explained the “rules,” and I felt instantly like I was back at school, nervous and skipping the sheets. After I finished all the questions and took a deep breath, I felt immediately relieved.

Day 23: The bittersweet last day of training!

The Shala is breathtakingly beautiful with its green rice fields, palm trees, and stunning Anton!

After breakfast, I do my little sequence again to mentally and physically prepare myself for the practical exam. The two groups are divided, each teaching four to five people. Anton and Daphne sometimes joined on the mat together to feel how the classes felt.

I’m a bit nervous because I’m the first one to teach. I focus on every class and am so proud of the progress my co-trainees have made. We spontaneously decided to combine for a big style, and our only male trainee guided us through a beautiful, deep, and final practice. (Including Daphne, Anton, and others).

We all ran out of the Shala and into the pool. This washed away our nervousness, stress, and fatigue and made us feel incredibly happy and proud. Even though we do not know if we will pass, we already know SO MUCH!

We met at the Shala after lunch to give our teachers a feedback session. The teachers have prepared bags of flower petals for us to use to create our group flower mandalas on the floor. We were given our certificates at the end of the course and celebrated with healthy vegan snacks and smoothies.

As I say goodbye to the people who have helped me through, given me constructive criticism, and walked this journey with me, I’m sad.

It is hard to express how grateful I am for my wonderful teachers. You guided us on an exciting and wonderful journey. We got to know ourselves more; we met our limits, we grew further, you patiently answered our questions, and you supported us when we doubted our abilities, all while maintaining a professional attitude.

I am forever grateful to ROY for the opportunity to attend their Teacher Training. I look forward to my first “real class” and to incorporating this experience into my everyday life.

Q&A with Routes of Yoga and Parting Wisdom

I wanted to talk to Daphne and Anton before I left to thank them for the amazing experience and ask them some questions that would help me on my journey – and hopefully yours, too!

What qualities do you consider important to be a successful yoga teacher?

Anton: Ability to simplify complex concepts and techniques into short, simple instructions. Flexibility and attention to the individual’s needs instead of imposing a single approach on everyone.

Daphne: Good heart, clear mind, and the ability to provide stable support. We are not always up to the challenge, but the key is our ability to practice honesty more often. It is important to be able to see our shadows with compassion and love. Walking our path allows us to gain the experience and empathy needed to help others.

What is your favorite thing about the concept of universal Yoga?

Daphne In Sanskrit, the root word of ‘Yoga is yuj, which means to join or unite. It requires us to dissolve the barriers that separate us from our true nature and prevent us from being able to relate with each other on an equal basis. Imagine the immense potential and consequences of this. This is how we can appreciate the true potential of the term Yoga.

Yoga can transform narrow-mindedness into an expansive perspective. No separation is allowed here. There’s no you against me. Just unconditional love.

What is your yoga practice like?

Anton: The answer varies. I follow the flow of how my body and brain feel on any given morning. It can be a dynamic practice with many vinyasas, inversions, and asanas or a calm and slow approach.

Daphne: My practice is influenced by the uniqueness of each place. The orientation of a room and its relationship to sunlight can affect sleeping patterns. A routine and consistency are what ground me, regardless of my location. It starts with observation.

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