I can't barely believe that I just spend three months in one single Yoga Ashram, the Sivananda Ashram in Madurai. Time went so quick, it feels like I just arrived yesterday and now I'm already preparing to leave, just a few more days. I had such an amazing time and so many different experiences. Now I'm just sitting in one of my favorite benches in front of the women permanent dorm writing on my netbook for my blog facing the beautiful landscape and having mix feelings. Happy because I completed the trainings that I had planned for so long, happy because of all the great people that I met, a bit sad because my friends have returned to their places or continue their journeys and because it is also time for me to move on but excited because of whatever is about to come and for the new great people that I will meet soon.
My "Sivananda" experience started at the Sivananda Ashram in Neyyar Dam, near Trivandrum. First I spend a few days as a Yoga Vacationer and later I came back on November 2010 to start the Teacher Training Course which ended mid December 2010. Then January the 4th, 2011 I came to the ashram in Madurai to start the two weeks Sadhana Intensive Course and right after the Sadhana Intensive I stayed for the one month Advance Teacher Training Course. And then, since I liked so much the Ashram in Madurai, I decided to stay one more month as a staff member to do some Karma Yoga (selfless work) and also to have the opportunity to start teaching. That was an excellent idea! I experienced the Sivananda Ashram life as a Yoga Vacationer, as a student for the intensive yoga courses and as a staff member. I enjoy them all.
Staying as a staff has been like a complementary training for me. I started step by step. The first four classes that I joined I only assisted the main teacher but by the fifth class I decided to teach the whole class by myself. By now I have already taught five classes and although I still don't feel completely at ease I feel like I'm improving day by day and luckily so far I have received many positive feedbacks from the students and from the staff. Actually I learned a lot from my "staff colleagues" who encouraged me and share their experiences and many tips with me, I feel very lucky. So finally I can say that I really became a yoga teacher, not just on paper but in practice as well, though of course I still have a loooong way to go, so much to learn still.
Overall I can say that following the different courses at the Sivananda Ashram has definitively being a worhty experience, I don't regret it at all though I did have many doubts before and along the way by now I feel that it was an excellent opportunity. There are still things that I don't like, specially from the Ashram in Neyyar Dam, but I rather focus on the good that on the bad :-)
But now is time to move on. Next stop: Goa. Let's see what Goa can offer me ;-)
If you want to read about other ashrams that I've visited you can go to the Ashrams page.