Thursday, November 20, 2014

How to prepare for your Bali Yoga Teacher Training


Have you already signed up for a Zuna Yoga teacher training, or are considering signing up? Here we offer practical tips on how to best prepare for the amazing journey of self and spirit that lies ahead. 

Stay curious

If you’ve set your sights on a yoga teacher training, you’ve probably already been practicing for a while. And you probably already fell in love with yoga, for one reason or another, and are eager to learn more. Remember that yoga is a big word, and means different things to different people. It’s a good idea to shake up your routine and try different classes and styles with different teachers. Read articles and books to learn new perspectives and philosophies. The science of yoga is a vast library, and your teacher training is just a chapter in a book in that library. A broader exposure will prepare you for the new, unexpected (and often mind-blowing) ideas you’ll be presented with at your teacher training.

Get the books

Zuna Yoga students are required to get the assigned reading for their 200 or 300 hour training in advance, as well as write a book report for each work to demonstrate understanding and reflection on a personal level. Only upon submission of these book reports and class assignments - either during the training, immediately afterward or in the months that follow - will you receive your certificate of completion. You can find a lot of other great and inspiring books on yoga on our website to expand your knowledge. See above on staying curious!

Get immunized

We follow the CDC recommendations for immunization. Personally, we err on the side of caution and are vaccinated against Hepatitis A and B, typhoid, Japanese encephalitis, rabies, yellow fever, measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, and the flu. Some of these require multiple boosters over time to be effective. Check with your doctor. Ultimately, you should do what feels right for you. 

Malaria is extremely uncommon in Bali and Lombok, so the need for taking the prophylactic medication for that depends on how deep into the jungle your travels will take you. Dengue fever, on the other hand, does happen on occasion - that goes for most tropical regions of the world. But there is no vaccine or prophylaxis for that. Instead, we all need to be vigilant about not getting bitten by mosquitoes in the first place, by wearing repellent 24/7. This is the most important thing you can do to safeguard your health while visiting the tropics. The mozzies are particularly active at sunrise and sunset. All the beds at our lovingly selected venues have mosquito nets, which is of course a very protective barrier. 



Get your visas

If you plan to travel in Indonesia before or after the training, we recommend applying for your 60 day tourist visa in advance with your local Indonesian consulate. You'll avoid the trip to the immigration office in Mataram or Denpasar for fingerprints and photos that is now required to extend the 30 day visa on arrival, an inconvenience that could disrupt your attendance at the training. If you are an American citizen, the consulate will request a letter of invitation from your host to issue the visa.

Check your passport

Please ensure your passport will be valid for at least 6 months after your arrival date in Indonesia, or your airline will deny you boarding. This really happens! Take a look at your passport now to make sure. If you need to renew or add pages, start that process at least a month in advance to avoid the stress of waiting for the bureaucratic machine to send the passport back to you. 

Research your destination

Rather than spending your time in Bali on your smart phone looking for things to do, start investigating online before you go. There is so much to see and so many amazing things to experience in just an hour or two’s drive from Ubud. Read up on the history and the culture, as well as etiquette and social do’s and don’ts. The Balinese culture is truly fascinating: rich with ceremony, spirituality, creativity and tradition.

Book your flight

if you’re looking at a long flight and a major change of time zones, try to arrive at your destination a few days early. Many students who arrive last minute say they wished they had planned a few extra days of buffer. Sometimes, flights get delayed or even cancelled, and you don’t want to miss the start of the training. Long flights can be dehydrating and taxing. Give yourself time to acclimate to the warm weather and the time change, so you’ll be fresh as a daisy on day one of the training. It’s cheap to stay in Bali, so you won’t save a lot of money by arriving last minute. Take advantage of getting away to this beautiful destination and soak it up for a few extra days.

Shop for supplies

Since you’re coming to a warm climate, you can get away with packing light. Our practice space is open-air, and it gets warm. Bring several changes of your favorite yoga clothes, and remember that laundry service is cheap in Indonesia. You can also pick up some new outfits once you arrive. You might want a long sleeve shirt for layering during the occasional cool evening. For a long intensive training, you’ll enjoy using your own mat, for comfort and hygiene. Jade's Travel Mat is our personal fave, we take it with us everywhere. These are also available for purchase in Bali - but the selection isn’t huge, so if you have a favorite, bring it with you. Stock up on hard to find personal medications. 

Stay in shape

If you’re coming from a regular workout schedule straight to Bali, great. You’ll be physically prepared for the intense practices at the teacher training. If you plan on traveling before the training, it’s easy for your routine to get interrupted. Even if you can’t maintain a daily yoga practice and do a bunch of sun salutations, try to keep those hamstrings long by doing some nice forward folds every day. Sneak in a few push-ups and planks to maintain your core strength. Downward facing dog will stretch the back body, shoulders, hamstrings and calves, as well as giving you the benefits of an inversion. Stay limber and maintain a healthy spine by moving it daily in all three directions (lateral, twisting, forward folding and backbending). Even the smallest hotel room has enough space for light stretching. And very importantly, don't worry about having the best practice in the room or being the skinniest girl in yoga pants. Just maintain your usual active baseline, and you'll be fine.

Stay healthy

Stay as active as you can while doing your best to avoid injury. Now is not the best time to try skydiving or wakeboarding for the first time. If you’re traveling, don’t drink the tap water, and don’t brush your teeth with tap water. Look into packing a LifeStraw, a portable water filter that turns even mucky pond water into safe potable water. Be careful where you eat - avoid uncooked foods unless you know the kitchen is clean. Pack some active charcoal to help detoxify and battle tummy bugs. Consider taking a probiotic supplement. Wash your hands often. Most people find that a major change of time zone, climate, diet and schedule will disrupt their digestive system. Eat lightly and drink plenty of water to help the body adjust. 

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Having all your ducks in a row will decrease any sense of anxiety and increase your focus and determination. All of this preparation, mental and physical, will ease you into the experience of your yoga teacher training. You've got an amazing journey ahead of you. And putting a little effort into planning will free your mind of the mundane, and make space for true transformation that's waiting for you.










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