by Becca Sprigg, Zuna Yoga 500 hour yoga teacher training graduate

I am sitting in my room at home in Louisville, KY, looking out the window, realizing the magnitude of what I just experienced over the past two months. Coming home from Cambodia after my 500 hour training has been difficult, but rewarding.

I started this journey in December, when I registered for just the 200 hour yoga teacher training, not really knowing what I signed up for. All I knew was that I was looking for something to connect to, that I wanted something more than just going through life unaware. I loved to travel and yoga was the one thing I had in my life at the time that made me stable, a safety raft in my chaotic life. I arrived on the first day of training and right away I knew I had made the right decision. On the third day, after my most powerful meditation yet, I asked Everett if I could stay for the 300 hour yoga teacher training that immediately followed as well. My soul was longing for me to continue down this path and I knew it was my time to listen. I was tired of being unconscious and living a life that did not follow my purpose. Everett gave me the okay, but did warn me that it would be difficult. I knew what he meant. I was going to finally have to deal with my demons. During those first few weeks of the 200 hour course, I learned how to connect to my body with my breath, to use my breath to release tension, to become lighter and more stable. Understanding that breath is life, you can tell a lot about who you are and your state of mind by the way you breath. I learned how to take a full yogic breath and to corporate it in my yoga practice. It changed yoga for me, I felt strong and masterful. I can hear Everett's voice still repeating, "you are what you practice" and "listen to your breath, breath leads the body." 

I learned a lot about myself during my 200 hour training. Coming into it, I was unbalanced and unfocused. However, I knew I had great potential to grow. My heart ached for me to listen and I just learning how to be still enough for a moment to connect back to it. After finishing the 200 hour course, I knew I had more to learn and experience, and I was ready for the doors to continue to open. 

After a week off that included a trip to Angkor Wat, I was ready to start another month of training as the 300 hour training kicked off. A new group of people and another chance for me to grow, to become more aware. Looking back at my journal, I wrote on January 9, 2016: "Arrived for another beautiful yoga training at the Vine Retreat. Open to stillness, listening, and growing into the manifestation that I already know is blossoming in me. Here is to another day and to seeing the world in the present moment."

That's all I wrote, and it fit perfectly into what I experienced during my trainings. The 300 hours were the building blocks for deepening my practice of meditation and pranayama, to know how to use my asana practice for more powerful meditations. During asana and meditation, I learned the use of prana to find space. I started to hear, see and understand more. My mind was settling, I felt calmer. When I became still, I could feel the energy all around me. It still brings tears just thinking about it. I would look at someone and see the beauty of who they were. Void of judgement and comparison, just being the observer. I was learning to become the observer of my life too, the habits that I have formed and my state of mind. I learned that you can create new patterns by new intention, by action. Finding an focus point, so that the mind can open to awareness. I started to feel lighter, my heart was opening up. My breath felt less disturbed. For the first time in my life, I felt more joy and happiness. I felt connected. Everyone around me inspired me, the relationships I was forming from my trainings were becoming my greatest teachers. The relationships we form and the moments we share with people are so important to life. I knew that the more conscious and aware I became, the more I can share with people around me, sharing the stillness of the moment.

Closer to the end of the 300 hour training, I started to understand my purpose. In order to live a purposeful life, I needed to become focused and grounded. My goal is to become the creator of my life and to know at the end of the day I am living an authentic life. So I am taking each day one at a time, working towards my path of growing the seeds I planted. To cultivate the power of intention, and become a masterful creator. After my training, it was difficult to say goodbye. I had just spent the most powerful two months of my life with some of the most amazing people I have ever met. My growth and experience is something that will forever stay with me. I am beyond grateful for the relationships I have formed, moments I have shared and knowledge I have gained. I will forever hold these within my soul.

I realize I have the choice to take this new knowledge and plant it in my life. Everett, our teacher, discussed the power of intention throughout the training. He told us to plant the seeds of what we want in order to cultivate this in our lives. For my intentions to grow, I realize I must become balanced and focused, so my intentions can manifest. To take in the knowledge I have learned and apply it to my life. To continue on my path of becoming a conscious being.

200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training, 300 Hour Yoga Teacher Training, Yoga Teacher Training Intensive