Monday, August 25, 2014

Student Guest Blog: Preparing for take-off. A Bali Yoga Teacher Training journey begins

by Guest Blogger, Samantha Smith (200 hour Yoga Teacher Trainee)

The past few months have been a very exciting and nerve-wracking time. This trip to Bali for the Zuna Yoga Teacher Training follows some major life changes for me. I quit my job, gave up the lease on my condo, and decided to extend my trip beyond the three weeks of the training to see some more of the world. This is the first major trip I have researched and planned extensively; it's my first solo trip; and it's the furthest from home I will have ever traveled. 

In the past, I have been an indecisive person. However, planning this bold adventure has pushed me to recognize what I want for myself and to take the necessary steps to get me there on my own. Taking decisive action is still something I am not 100% comfortable with, but I am getting a taste for it. It has already been a huge learning experience, and the trip has not even begun!

I decided to sign up for the Zuna Yoga Teacher Training after a long road of physical recovery. At the time, I had recently begun practicing yoga to help with rehabilitation after a third and final surgery to fix a leg/ankle injury. I fell in love with the peace, mindfulness and ease it had already brought to my mind and body in the limited time I had been practicing. I found myself eager to learn more, and felt the only way to truly experience it was to separate myself from my current lifestyle, which left little time for practice, and immerse myself in it completely. I enjoy the physical practices of yoga, and I am also drawn to the history and ideologies that I began reading about before deciding to take on this adventure.

When I signed up, I was nervous that I would not have the experience and knowledge of the other students in the training due to my limited exposure, but decided that if I was going to go across the world to practice, I wanted to throw myself into the experience. As I continued to read about yoga and attend more classes, I gained more confidence in myself and am reassured that it is not a matter of how my experience and physical ability compares to others. It is a personal journey. I joined the training to learn more about yoga and myself, and to grow from where I am today. And I am okay with that.   

As my departure date approaches, I am still feeling very excited and nervous. But now that my bags are packed, my nerves have calmed a bit. I am not much looking forward to the 25 hours it will take to get there, but am quite looking forward to arriving and settling in for a few days before the training begins, and hopefully meeting some of the other trainees. I have heard only good things about Bali and the training, and cannot wait to get started. 

For anyone planning to attend a Bali yoga teacher training, here are a few practical things I have learned while preparing for my trip:
  • Apply for visas as soon as you can. The consulate temporarily misplaced my passport and application, a situation which could have ended badly had I not had the three extra weeks to get it sorted out.
  • Read the books ahead of time. I enjoyed the first one I read at a leisurely pace much more than the one I am currently reading under a time restraint.
  • Buy your books on Kindle or another app to save space and weight in your luggage. I bought the hard copies and then re-purchased them electronically.
  • When booking hotels, I was able to avoid PayPal fees by sending an email transfer. This option is not listed on their websites or in their methods of payment, but available upon request.
  • Pre-booking activities can give added discounts on already reduced online discounts – e.g. 10% off accommodation with purchase of scuba diving package, which is an additional 10% cheaper when booked before arrival.
  • You can fit much more in your bags when rolling a set of clothes together than packing each piece separately
  My tiny bit of lingering indecision has caused me to repack four times now. But I'm ready to go! Stay tuned as my journey on the other side of the world unfolds.


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