1. See the world. A yoga teacher training abroad not only brings you to a new destination, it integrates you into a new culture, belief system, and way of living. 4 to 5 weeks in a different country provides ample time to immerse yourself into the environment and experience it from the perspective of a local. Community oriented (SEVA) activities may be incorporated into the training as well, providing the opportunity to create relationships and lend a helping hand. Seeing the world will open your eyes to a different way of life, and refuel your appreciation for the things you have as well as help you realize the things you can live without.
2. Do it right the first time. There is teacher training structure for every lifestyle these days, however; many of these structures facilitate squeezing the training into the chaos of your daily life. Traveling abroad separates you from your outside world and places you fully into the training itself, with no (or limited) distractions. A teacher training is a lot of work, both physically and mentally; you only take away what you put in. A training abroad removes you from the obstacles (relationships, work, dependencies) that distract you from devoting yourself fully and allows you to make the most of the teachings. The residential environment is curated to fit the specific rigors of a training and provides the space (and scenery) to make the experience as pleasant as possible. Handmade meals from the garden, housekeeping and on-call massage therapists can even make a yoga teacher training abroad feel like a vacation.
3. Revamp your routine. We get so caught up in our daily routines that oftentimes we loose sight of how these routines shape our lives. When you step out of your habits and into a new environment with new people, you gain an entirely new perspective on your life back home. Physical and emotional distance allows you to better see the tendencies that help you and those that don’t. It also removes you from distractions and relationships that may be harming you – giving you a better understanding of what is truly important. If you want to change something specific like waking up earlier or limiting your coffee intake, a teacher training abroad is your time to experiment with a new routine that will better serve your life.
4. Reflect on your life experiences. We live in a society that focuses on accomplishment and success. Overextending our time has become normality, limiting our ability to digest and reflect on life experiences.
In her book The Yamas and Niyamas: Exploring Yoga’s Ethical Practice, Deborah Adele writes, “I had taken no time in those three years for even the semblance of reflection or integration; it was just on to the next thing, full speed ahead. Because I had not taken time to pause and allow my experiences to become part of me, I did not get to keep the experiences, they were gone. I had stolen this part of my life from myself.”
A yoga training in a different country removes you from the ‘fast track’. It puts all of your life projects on hold and forces you to digest all that has happened. It facilitates the time, space and distance needed for deep self inquiry and reflection, shifting your focus from output to input. The more you are able to reflect on your life experiences, the better you are at understanding what makes you tick. Knowing yourself and what you want is key to creating the life you want.
5. Change your life. This is a big statement, but it’s true. A yoga training abroad brings awareness to all facets of your life, the good and the bad. You will not walk out the same as you walked in. I remember people telling me this before my first training and I did not believe them. “I am who I am. I already know ‘yoga’. Sure, I may gain more knowledge, but who I am will not be affected”. A week into the training, this was no longer the case. My eyes were opened to an entire new realm of possibilities and outlooks that I had been completely unaware of. A destination training focuses your attention on what really matters and provides you with the skills to make the changes needed in your life to maintain and attain these things. Even the subtlest of changes can have a profound effect on your relationships and how your carry out your daily routines. It takes time and endurance to change, but a yoga teacher training abroad provides a solid foundation for the next step, and the next, and the next…
Check out our upcoming YogaWorks destination teacher trainings, and start your adventure today!
Nicole Lindstrom is a writer and traveler based in New York City. She is the creator and editor of the online travel guide GLDMNE (@gldmne) and producer of the Wanderlust Festival Speakeasy Lecture Series. When not traveling with the festival, Nicole continues to travel around the globe.