Being at Yandara was a gift in so many ways. I learned so much about listening to my own body, and understanding what it means to do so. It was important to me to use my special time at Yandara to truly get a taste of Yoga, or Union. For me, the way to Union was through meditation, and I was given plenty of opportunity to get there. Sitting on the floor almost all day was difficult during those first few days, but once I got used to it, I was able to really feel that silence during meditation. Something happens when you tell your body what it must do, and that there is no way out of it. Over time, your body begins to either accept the discomfort, or it finds a way to be comfortable. We were shown many different methods of meditation, pranayama and asana, and there were a number of things I had not experienced before. Kate and Shane have experienced so many different ways of practicing Yoga, and listening to their background stories was inspiring. They were both very honest with us about the practices, which I greatly appreciated. Kate had said, many times, that because we would only be together for a short time, they were trying to offer us absolutely everything that they had.
Some of those lessons are still sinking in, and some of them are ingrained already.
Yandara is very near to the ocean. It was only a few minutes to walk to it from my tent, and there were some mornings that the waves were crashing so loud it was like a thunderstorm overhead. Except during the full moon. The ocean was completely calm then. There were many mornings towards the end of the training that I awoke at 4:00am, not able to fall asleep again for the waves were calling me. I would walk to the beach in the dark and just feel myself being there. On one night, in particular, the moon overhead was hidden by strange black clouds, and as they shifted the water would change ... from inky darkness to a shimmering black and silver liquid. The moonlight spilling herself onto the great expanse of water. And me, absorbing that feeling, knowing that I would have to go home soon. I like to think that the feeling will be reserved inside of me for all of my life, waiting for me to draw upon it.
You could see the ocean from the main pavilion, where we spent most of our time. Some mornings we could see whales making morning rounds. There were always birds chirping, and huge bees buzzing around. And the cacti are unreal. And all of this is part of Yandara's magic, because you see it and feel it more clearly. My own personal sentiments about nature were amplified by Sarasvati, when we would do walking meditations on the beach. She would remind us to allow nature to draw us into the present ....
The grounds were meticulously cared for, the food, as I have mentioned, was amazing, the bathrooms were clean, and the showers were always hot. I only have one complaint, and that is: I didn't want to ever leave!
If you have questions about anything about yoga teacher training, Yandara, yoga in general please send me an email ~ I would love to correspond with you!
Sat Nam, Nicole