Last month, on the 21st of June, it was the first International Yoga Day. I had arrived to Bangalore only 2 weeks before. During the event, the host asked a question: “Who, among us, has come from the farthest just to enjoy yoga with us today?” He was referring to a teacher who had travelled from Pune. However, I think I would have won. I came all the way from Spain!!
Many people wonder how I ended up here. It all started six years ago, when I joined my first yoga class. I knew nothing about it. I found the centre in which I had enrolled and asked the guy in reception if that was the yoga… gym? The way he looked at me… “Yes, this is the yoga STUDIO”. Note to self: never again call it a gym. I think that teacher never liked me much after this first impression. One year after that, I moved to another city, so I joined a different yoga class. Within less than 2 years attending twice a week, I could see changes in my body and in my mind, so I became more and more interested in the practice. I used to talk to my teachers at the end of the class. One day it struck me: these people are helping me so much… I’d like to do the same for others myself. That’s how the idea of becoming a teacher got in my mind.
In the last four years, I’ve been living in different countries and I have enjoyed yoga classes in all of them. Two years ago, destiny brought me to India. In the mornings, before going to office, I used to attend Hatha yoga classes. I couldn’t believe my luck: practicing yoga in the country where it was born. During this time, the idea of becoming a teacher was sleeping in the backstage.
My contract was then over. What was I going to do with my life? I still had 5 months left in India. And so it woke up. I started looking for a teacher training for 3 months and I found one in Mumbai, a course that would be over just 5 days before my visa would expire. It seemed to be tailored for me.
After that, I went back to Spain, but I felt I still had things to do in India. I started looking for a job as a teacher, but who would hire a “gori” to teach yoga in India? My research took me to Total Yoga. I went through the website and contacted the (according to the email address) director. “We only hire people who have trained with us. If you want, you can come and see what we do and, if you like it, join the teacher training. Then, after some months, we may be able to offer you a job.” So I took the risk. I got my visa, bought my flight ticket and arrived a couple of weeks after than conversation.
The truth is, I didn’t feel ready to teach. Don’t get me wrong, I learnt a lot in the course I did in Mumbai thanks to very good teachers. Amazing teachers whose level I’d like to reach. And for that I need more practice. More theory. More reading. In one word, more experience. This course offers me this opportunity.
Yes, I came all the way from Spain, but not just for the International Yoga Day. Yoga is not about practicing one day. It’s a life experience. That’s what has brought me here. Will it be worth it? That, I will tell you once I finish the course.
– AIDA MATEOS is a Spanish-English translator, an Indophile and a Yogi for life!