2020 June 21st – July 18th
We’ve been cycling for more than a year and this world unexpected situation changed our plans. There were always some reasons to change our path and find alternative ways but this time there was no other way in this global pandemic. We had to stop for some weeks before being able to cycle again, but travelling was different. After spending time thinking about the future, it was time to move on to the next step. Xavier was ready to leave Thailand and fly back home, searching for a job. New CV in English and French, new picture, he was ready to apply anywhere as a mechanical engineer. Xavier stayed a week to discover the island, go scuba diving and spend some nice time with our friends met on Koh Lanta. Our paths are separating for some time before we’ll find each other back in Europe.
From now on, I (Angélique) will write at the first person singular. I took the decision in November 2019 to do a yoga teacher training in Bali in July 2020. Both Malaysian and Indonesian borders remaining closed, I cancelled the first school and took another training on the island of Koh Phangan in Thailand.
The whole trip has been a self discovery journey and I was planning to have this training as a last part of the trip.
First, I met the students, whom I became really closed with. We were a small group, only 13 students and all of us chosed to stay in Thailand during the pandemic.
Steff and Phil are the first two I met. They live in Bangkok where she is a maths teacher while he “keeps the couch warm.” Now they should be considering opening their own yoga studio! Gi, a Korean-German freelance translator
Then we met the teachers. Everyone with its own point of view and speciality.
Wide range of learnings
I came to yoga through asanas like probably most of the westerners. I went to plenty of drop-in classes with plenty of different styles.
My highlights: Philosophy, meditation, anatomy, teaching, mantras, breathing
I didn’t know what yoga means and that’s something that attracted me to take to training. We followed Alex’ classes on philosophy. Bhagavad Gita “follow your own dharma, don’t try to follow someone’s”
We started every day with 30 (or more) minutes of guided meditation in different styles. I must admit, that I had a hard time to let my thoughts go and don’t follow them.
When doing the massage class in Chiang Mai, I realised that I had very few knowledge of anatomy and I was very curious to learn more about my own body. Christiaan’s approach was not starting from a anatomy planche but connecting everything. “The map isn’t the territory” is what he quoted in the first class and of course, after so much cycling, I could only relate to that. You can map the world or the body, but the reality is different. It was the first time I learnt about fascias. Yoga isn’t based on western science and this can be crossed together.
My main fear was on “art of teaching.” I don’t feel at ease while public speaking – when I don’t master a subject (and honestly I never will master any) or when doing it for the first time – and teaching yoga involves much more than just teaching. Instructing, demonstrating, correcting and adjusting are the four main aspects and it’s quite a challenge to start with that. We started teaching from the 4th day on-one-one and taugh a one hour class to all the students on the last week. I was so nervous teaching in front of our teacher and all my co-students, but I did it!
Singing mantras was something new for me and honestly I didn’t like it at the beginning. It reminded me of being in the church. The main difference was: Akari and Surya are wonderful singers! This helped me to understand how my breath was important while singing. I went to Akari’s kirtan once the course finished and enjoyed singing with. I’m still not fluent in Sanskrit and I need some practise to pronounce and understand! 😉
Last but not least, breathing is something I learnt to understand and trained. After a year of cycling, my breath was much better and I could feel it when cycling uphill or fast flat but still could need some improvement. We were taught many pranayamas exercices or breath restrain.