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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
From feedback and testimonials we know that graduates share these four things after completing this year of 'yoga Immersion':
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:
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.
The people that I love to work with, and are inspiring students / teachers-to-be: