Last month I did something life changing. I travelled to Costa Rica solo, to study at a traditional Gurukulam (school) in the jungle, where I earned my 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training Qualification. (YTT200)
It was an incredible experience and I can’t speak highly enough about Pura Veda, the school that facilitated this course. My yoga teacher training was quite unique (if you research yoga teacher training courses, they are not all alike. You do the basics similarly but some courses have other modalities weaved in, like my course). Where I studied also combined Ayurveda along with Hatha, Yin and Ashtanga yoga.
We covered Pranayama breathing techniques; Meditation; Chakras; Kosha theory and yoga philosophy. This was alongside what you would expect a yoga teacher to know: Anatomy and physiology, the postures (Asanas) and how to cue them and the business of yoga. During the 200 hours of study, my group and I took three written exams and three practical exams where we would each teach a yoga class. Then we would get feedback on our technique, class design and cueing from our fellow classmates. It really was very intensive and required a lot of concentration, but it was also a lot of fun to learn together in our beautiful setting in the middle of the jungle.
The school is located in San Juanillo, a small village in Guanacaste Province along the North Pacific coast. Every day we would practice asanas for two hours as the sun rose over our yoga shala before enjoying an Ayurvedic breakfast, then it would be back to the shala for lessons including theory and Asana Lab where we learn each posture, how it benefits the body and how to cue it within a class. I personally loved the immersion of this style of learning. I didn’t just learn yoga, I lived and breathed it. I picked up subtleties through being around others and learning from them. It made for a very holistic and transformative experience.
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” ~ Benjamin Franklin
Not only did we learn the curriculum of yoga knowledge set by the professional body Yoga Alliance, we learned so much more besides. By day five of our course we were already planning out the first class we would teach and gaining confidence in our voice as a yoga teacher. I’m not claiming that my first class was very good! But the point was to teach early, to rip the Band-Aid off and get stuck in so the fear factor was gone. From that tentative start, I was able to build upon my skills and my confidence as a yoga teacher, learning through practice and daily immersion in the role and it worked! Within weeks of coming home from my training I was teaching private classes and corporate yoga for office workers in the city near me. I am a working yoga teacher.
Here is my profile on the Yoga Alliance website:
A joyful movement yoga teacher with a passion for body positivity:
Nadine Hill is a former marketing professional and business owner who has been practicing yoga for more than a decade and fell in love with it from the start. Yoga was fundamental in helping her reconnect with her body after years of neglect as she could never find time in a busy workday to exercise, but after experiencing the obvious physical benefits of movement, an unexpected perk was the focus and calm brought about by the meditative and mindful qualities of a regular yoga practice.
Nadine now teaches corporate lunchtime yoga sessions for local office workers; Hatha classes at a gym and 1:1 private sessions.
She is a body positive advocate, sharing her yoga journey through her Instagram account (@IamNadineHill) using the hashtags #nidranadine #curvyyoga #fatyogi and #yogaisforeverybody.
Having a curvy body with a little extra padding empowers her students to show up exactly as they are, without judgement. Every body is a yoga body, and Nadine’s mission is to encourage all bodies to move without toxic diet culture or body shaming. She firmly believes what’s important is how you feel and not how you look.
I can’t think of a better way to have started 2022 than having an adventure, making some amazing friends, incredible memories and pushing myself beyond what I thought I’d be capable of. Plus I found a new career out of it too.
My yoga website: NadineHill.co.uk