Radiant Life Yoga School, El Coco Loco Resort, El Manzano Uno, Nicaragua, May 2013
At this time two years ago, I would have been getting comfortable in my shared dorm room with my two new roommates in the eco-resort where we had all separately chosen to complete our yoga teacher training course from our three respective home countries. For myself personally, it was a big decision on where to do my training, in which I took largely into consideration things such as: cost, location, service, style of yoga, and class size. There is a lot I could say about my course, most of it very positive, but I’ll keep it short-ish and outline the majors.
Location – EL Coco Loco Resort, El Manzano Uno, northern Nicaragua El Coco Loco is an enchanting little eco resort located in the northern part of Nicaragua. Of course, I loved that the resort is eco with compost toilets and little in terms of the high energy use items like air conditioners/TVs. Accommodation included private bungalow’s and a shared dorm room (where I stayed.) There was a main, open-air dining/meet up area where meals were had and some practical learning was done. The fresh, home made food has to be mentioned as a highlight of my experience. And the staff were friendly, locals whom I was able to practice my Spanish with. The yoga platform where asana practice was done was a large, raised platform covered with a natural roof. The mostly isolated beach is only a minutes walk from the resort.
The Training For me it was important to find a yoga teacher training that focused on alignment and utilized props, as that is the sort of yoga that has always given me a lot of enjoyment and I knew I wanted to share with future students. Radiant Life Yoga School is led by Kimberly Waugh, ERYT 500, an American yoga teacher with well over a decade of experience. (It was important to me to find an instructor who was a native English teacher and related to me culturally as an American.) More about Radiant Life RYS 200 hr training that I experienced in May 2013:
- Lectures During my course I studied yogic philosophy and history and learned a lot of a new information which I have utilized often in my teachings. Two examples of books of study included: TheBhagavad Gita, the Yoga Sutras, and also a well put together training manual that I have come back to time and time again. As quite a studious person, I took very detailed notes and continuously carry my training notebook with me around the world as I lesson plan.
- Teaching/Business Knowledge Kimberly shared her vast knowledge of the industry with us and gave very practical tips and insights. Not all of the tidbits that I learned have been put to use as I have been teaching internationally and not in my home country of the U.S., but I will remember what I learned whenever I do relocate back to the U.S. I’m not sure that other training courses, especially those abroad and by instructors of other countries, would include such detailed and practical learnings.
Prop Use I love using yoga props, and although the rustic setting of the yoga platform didn’t include a plethora of props, there were the basics and I felt that I learned a lot of adjustments and modifications with the props. A word of warning, scorpions loved to nestle in the shadows of the pile of props, so be careful when you collect them for practice!
- Workshop Study Kimberly taught multiple different and unique workshops to take away and be able to teach immediately. While learning
these themed workshops,there was a lot of practical study, working with other trainees to practice putting students into poses and finding adjustments.
- Focus on Seva (Service) This was the big deal breaker for me when choosing this course. I knew that I wanted some karma yoga to be included in my course and this was the right course for that. El Coco Loco Resort established and continues to run a great non-profit organization, Waves of Hope. While completing my training, I was able to get hands on and volunteer to work with local students practicing their English and get in deep and dirty by helping to build the new local high school. Find out more about Waves of Hope here.
The Not So Good
- Anatomy There was an anatomy segment in the training course, but it was not my favorite part. Since anatomy was one of my weakest areas of knowledge going into the course, I was hoping for more of a focus on it.
- Teaching Practicum This did happen, stepping in as the teacher to guide the other trainees in sun salutes and poses, but it didn’t happen as much as I wanted. To counter this, I took it upon myself to practice teaching the intern working at the resort at the time.
All-in-all, I highly recommend my YTTC to others. The setting couldn’t be better, the training itself was superb and left me feeling prepared to begin teaching straight away, and the food was enough to write home about.
Are you considering training for your 200 hr yoga teacher certification? If you are, check out my very first post, which includes great tips for doing just that.