Yoga in Goa
Last month I headed north from Mulki, Karnataka to the beaches of Arambol, Goa. In the very northernmost reaches of Goa, bordering Maharastra, I settled in for my yoga teacher training course.
At first, I thought I would be spending a mostly relaxing month in Goa doing yoga and lounging on the beach. It was nothing like that. Getting your yoga teacher certificate, albeit just 200 hours, is no joke! Most mornings I would wake up around 5:30AM, get ready, and head out to the beach for some pranayama and meditation. Other days I was able to sleep until our first yoga class at 8:30AM, those days we would do pranayama and meditation in the evenings. Due to mosquitos, we all voted for pranayama and meditation on the beach in the mornings; it made it easier to concentrate. After morning yoga, which was an open class to the public, we'd eat some lunch an then dive into yoga philosophy. Some anatomy and physiology would round out the experience before we did a super in-depth class on adjustments. Sadly, many of these adjustments would be useless in the United States. Even though they are insanely fantastic because they not only get people working towards proper postures, but they help the student to stretch. In the U.S. you can't touch anyone without being sued, I'm sure, so I just won't. After the adjustments, we had our afternoon yoga class. The afternoon class alternated between Hatha and Ashtanga. I'd never done Ashtanga before, but I thoroughly enjoyed it, and plan to keep it up!
There are tons of yoga classes and trainings in Arambol, if you expand that to say yoga training in Goa the choices are endless. How in the world did I pick one? And how did I get such a good fit for me? Some say that everything happens for a reason, and this may be the case here. I was sitting in Pune thinking about what I was going to do next, when I realized my shoulder hurt after the WPA Championships in Cabo. After doing a few yoga classes in Pune, my shoulder would feel better, but the pain would always come back. I searched the web for yoga trainings in Goa, and after perusing a few, decided that I might as well do 200 hours towards teaching. I only had a short window before Corey's parents came for a Christmas visit, so I had to get moving. Each day, I was checking websites and sending emails asking to join classes that had just started, and I wasn't having much luck. One day, a few pages into the search, I came across Mahi Power Yoga, with a class starting at the absolute perfect time. I sent out the request, he gave me a call back, and without hesitation I hopped a plane to Mangalore. Wait a minute... why a plane to Mangalore if I had yoga in Goa?? To grab my SUP board, of course (you can read the story of the bus ride here).
Yoga with Mahi was great. I didn't have any expectations, it being India and all. Within 5 minutes of sitting with him and talking about the class, he was able to see my shoulder problem (without me ever even hinting at a problem) and the next day I started learning some specific poses for me to work toward fixing it. Each day I was walking a little straighter, and feeling a little stronger. By the end of it all, I felt better physically than I ever have. I said that after I left the ashram too! Now that I'm a non-alcoholic, vegetarian yogi, I FEEL GREAT. Before the yoga class I could do 2-3 pull ups. Just from balancing my body in yoga I can easily do 8, without me doing any additional strength training while there, I shocked myself.
After talking to a few other students in town, and some other people that had already gone through various ttc's, I realized I had an excellent experience. The adjustments portion of my class was one of a kind, and getting some personal attention into what I was trying to fix was a huge plus. Not to mention we did some SUP specific yoga!