Sandra, you have been on your path of personal transformation for the past 25 years and have been teaching courses about it for the past 15.

What is it about this subject that still excites you to keep offering courses like your teacher training (TT) after 15 generations of students graduating from this program?

I am still so passionate about personal transformation and using it as a tool to raise the human consciousness. As I continue on my own path, the content of the courses I teach and the way I present them evolves as well, which keeps it interesting .

But above all - my inspiration comes from my students. In these courses there is a lot of trust and mutual sharing, and each individual brings in their own challenges and personal situations. To witness each of them winning their personal obstacles is always amazing to see.

Let’s take the TT-group that finished last year. It was an amazingly sparkling group and almost all enrolled for continuing education after their TT200 graduation. They also asked for an advanced program tailored to them so they could stay together as a group and keep the strong bond they had established between themselves, and with their teachers - Tom and me.

Of course, their understanding of yoga grew immensly during the course, but what touched me the most is:

  • How they inspire people every day by the way they shine in their lives
  • How their growth is noticed by their friends, family members and colleagues at work
  • How they are happier, and have more clarity on HOW they want to live their lives
  • How they use their raised awareness and their inner drive to push amazing projects forward about e.g. plastic reduction, conscious animal agriculture, or they organize events that spread tools to live with more awareness.

When I see the results like those, I really feel deeply grateful for the ripple effect we all create whenever we support somebody on their personal path. And so since 2006 also GaiaYoga Teacher Training has shifted from a mere 'yoga instructor education' to a program that facilitates deep personal transformation, and a rise of awareness.

Who usually decides to enroll in a program like this?

Usually the people who decide to follow our TT program have done some previous work on themselves - may that be regular yoga practice, a meditation course, or some kind of bodywork.

These practices usually trigger a feeling of being deeply aligned and connected. In these (brief) moments people get a glimpse of their unreveiled potential that they have within, and a sense that they are perfect just the way they are. And they want more of it!

But it’s also completely the opposite of what most people experience in their day-to-day life. So it’s very confusing.

Where is this confusion coming from? Can you explain what happens exactly?

Once the person have felt the wholeness that yoga provides by bringing her/him in that perfect present moment, then arises the realization that something in her or his life might be off.

Very often people feel stuck in their lives, have moments of low self-esteem, or are lacking the clarity of their goals and personal qualities.

Most people, especially women, have that devastating feeling of not being enough, not doing enough. 
When we are aligned, we remember that everything is already within us.

We all have a natural urge to grow, to feel connected, to be aware of our own resources. We want to express our uniqueness through work, lifestyle, and in our private life. And it’s always a big realization to acknowledge for yourself that you are not as happy as you thought you were within the current circumstances.

Sometimes it’s a middle-age-crisis: the moment when we draw the line between achieved things and the things still on our bucket list.

Sometimes, after some major life event like a loss of job or a break up, we are in that void were we just lost the story of who we thought we were, and have the urge to find ourselves again. These situations make us even more open to the search for new meaning and a deeper connection to who we truly are.

But to actually change and transform is really hard, as it involves taking back our power and taking full responsibility for ourself.

And our ego will immediately come up with a million reasons to draw us back to the status quo – we just feel too lazy, we lack the courage to change, we are filled with doubt, or we just don’t want to take on the responsibility, thinking that instead someone else has a magic wand (or a course, a book or else) that can instantly change our life, without us having to do much about it.

So what to do?

On my own path of actively working on myself for the past 25 years, and as a teacher trainer, my understanding is that there are a few factors that can support the personal growth and self-transformation. You need:

  • An experienced guide / teacher that you trust and are willing to learn from
  • A well structured platform of support / a program with proven results
  • A trusted support group of like-minded people that you can share this path with

I was extremely lucky to have had an extraordinary Guide, a School that made such a firm base of the knowledge and broad perception of myself and the world around me, as well as a loving support from my fellow group of yoga warriors throughout all those years of my studies.

Especially for your first experience like this, you ideally choose a program that has a continuous education over a year or so, so once you start, the teacher and the group are fully supporting you through challenging moments. And - very important - you have the time to allow your mind and body to embrace the changes and metabolize the new insights.

Let’s take our signature program, GaiaYoga TT: it’s a training that certifies you to teach yoga, but most of the students that enroll in it actually go through an exciting process of a deep personal transformation. And they transform as much as they allow the transformation to occur.

In fact, a big part of the students that sign up for TT don’t sign up to get the teaching certificate, but just want to work on their practices and gain new insights. But it’s also for people that feel excited and curious about yoga, and now would love to use this spark to:

  • Gain a greater knowledge about all the aspects of yoga, but also greater 
awareness and trust in and of their own abilities

  • Gain more confidence in presenting themselves and speaking in front of others, and bigger trust that what they are saying and sharing with others is something 
of value

  • Establish and develop their personal sadhana – their daily spiritual practice – be that asana practice, pranayama, meditation, or all of the above

  • Own and be more aware of their personal qualities such as kindness and empathy

  • Increase the ability to connect to other people, to listen and to hold space, as well as the confidence in ones own physical abilities.

That really sounds like your TT course offers much more than just teaching to lead students through a set of asanas. What do the students who complete the TT notice about themselves, according to your experience?

From feedback and testimonials we know that graduates share these four things after completing this year of 'yoga Immersion':

  • Being more happy and present in day-to-day life 

  • Having more clear ideas about their future goals and life 

  • Loving themselves and their bodies more 

  • Being more responsible and aware of their choices – on a personal level, but also globally, taking in consideration the whole humankind and our Planet.

Not everyone who feels amazing after yoga will want to enroll in a course that engages you for a whole year (even though you are only meeting one weekend a month). What questions are holding people back from starting such a transformational process, as is GaiaYoga Teacher Training?

Of course, not everyone is in that place in their lives where there is time or resources to commit to such a process.

The most common thought is 'I am not ready yet'. But if we always had waited until feeling 'fully ready', we probably wouldn’t have started many beautiful things in our life!

Having said this, if you are still reading this, and resonate with what I've said until now, but still wonder whether you should consider enrolling in a transformational program such as GaiaTT, maybe this will help:

  • If you are thinking: “My yoga practice is not advanced enough for a program like this”
    Instead ask yourself: “Am I curious to work and understand my practice better?”

  • If you are thinking: “Do I want to invest a whole year in a program like this? ”
    Instead ask yourself: “What are your priorities, and where do you want to be in 10 years?”

  • If you are thinking: “Do I feel ready? ”
    Instead ask yourself: “Is there a wish to grow?” and “Can I just take one small next step?”

  • If you are thinking: “Am I too old to start a program like this?”
    Instead ask yourself: “Do I want to get new inspiration to use my life experience to share something that I am really passionate about?”

  • If you are thinking: “I am too introvert or too shy to teach yoga?”
    Instead ask yourself: “Is there something that I am so passionate about I feel I want to share it with others, and support human kind?” and “Do I want to get support in refining my skills, talents and qualities to share yoga with others?”

Oftentimes if we take the self-judgement out of our objections, and instead focus on our potential, we can better see if a particular course fits our needs.

So who would be an ideal student for working with you in your TT program?

The people that I love to work with, and are inspiring students / teachers-to-be:

  • have a thirst for knowledge, and that sparkle that makes them to want to know more about yoga, life and themselves
  • are searching for a solid and integral yoga knowledge, as a platform for growing as human beings as well as yoga teachers 

  • want to transform their passion into a (profitable) fulfilling activity 

  • are wondering how can they improve their personal qualities, and 
express them in a way that also benefits others 

  • are dedicated yoga practitioners who want to live in a more 
centered, aligned and impactful way


Thank you for reading! For more info about the GaiaYoga 200 hour TT Program click here or write us at info@gaia-yoga.com

The new Course starts October 2020! 


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