I enrolled in a 200-hour yoga teacher training in Nicaragua. The responses for my decision varied widely. But, since I’m taking a year off (minus the part-time job), I decided now was the time. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into.
About a month before the class started I received an email stating that I needed to fill out a detailed questionnaire about myself, write a bio, read three books, write reports on each of them, and prepare my very meat-friendly self to eat vegan/vegetarian for a month. What?!? I just wanted to learn yoga. Oh, wait. That is yoga…or at least a part of it.
I’ve been here five days now. We start our two-hour yoga practice at 6:30a in the morning in noble silence, which we keep until after breakfast ends at around 9:30a. Then, we have a morning, afternoon, and evening session in which we learn poses, proper alignment, philosophy, history, anatomy, psychology, and Sanskrit. Those times have lunch, dinner, and pool time/free time in the mix as well, and we all go to bed around 10:00p. Then, we get up and do it all over again. Tomorrow is Saturday. Sunday is our only day off.
The food has been surprisingly delicious. We have a professionally trained chef who specializes in gourmet, vegetarian cooking. She has every meal planned with no recipe repeats for the entire month we are here. Though a few of us experienced some intense hunger at first, the chef has adapted the portions and meals to better fit our caloric needs. (Thanks, Chefanie!) My favorite meals so far have been an eggplant parmesan variation with ground nuts so the texture felt a little like meat and meatless fajitas with homemade corn tortillas. Yum.
The grounds are beautiful. Nica Yoga is a permanent yoga community; so, people walk through the grounds while we’re in the ashram having a class because they live here and use these facilities in their everyday lives. Everything surrounds the pool and ashram. The pool snakes through the grounds about 50 meters with varying widths containing the coolest, most refreshing water for these humid tropics. Bridges cross the pool and other waterways to allow the paths to connect the various buildings and little nooks with hammocks, Adirondack chairs, and tables. The open-air ashram has three entrances with slate steps, a beautiful wooden floor, and a palm thatch roof. It’s an incredible space in which to practice yoga.
Our group of 11 students resides in one big house, representing three different countries: the US, England, and Germany. We were assigned rooms and roommates upon arrival. Yikes! It sounds like it could be good TV, but I don’t think we’re going to have enough drama to fit in the reality TV category. Yoga documentary? Boring.
To liven things up a little and get out of our normal schedule, we’re planning to go into town after our Saturday evening session to dance, and Sunday, we have surf lessons at the ocean. I’m pretty excited for the break. My body needs some respite….or maybe just a good beating from the ocean.