Tag Archives: thailand

Yoga Teacher Training at The Sanctuary

18 days since my last post? whoops! Probably because I’ve been yoga-ing from 6am (waking up at 5:30….which has become 5:40, from 5:15) to dinner at 7pm every day. Yesterday marked the 2 week mark since training began here on Ko Phan-gan so I reckon we’ve done about 120 of our 200 hours…and I know for sure that that is more hours than I spent in lecture for any given semester of my undergraduate, so I’m quite proud of myself.

As it would happen in a Yoga Teacher Training, lots of emotional highs and lows have come, passed, and surely await. For the sake of catching up on lost time I’ll start by giving the hard fact updates.

So we’re at the Sanctuary on Had Tien Beach on Ko Phan gan…yes, full moon island but surprisingly, a short 15 minute long tail boat ride (100-300 baht daytime, 600 for solo/100 pp late night) from full moon beach/ Haad Rin will take you to your own slice of hippy vibing-byron in thailand-cleanse/yoga-friday rave escape from reality.

The Sanctuary is basically a private beach—not technically, but pretty much, plus they are walking distance from had yuan and another very quiet beach further east. We are in the dorm (most of us) which gets cleaned every 2 days, and has clean, toilet papered bathrooms to overshadow the ant infestation. Laundry is 50 baht on the beach and doesnt happen if it rains. The resort has movies every Tuesday on the beach, Open mic every Thursday, and a market on Sundays. The staff and manager are delightful, and the other geusts aren’t pretentious…which is rare for Thai health resorts. Food is good…a bit of a pain to get dietary alternatives some days, but definitely great well rounded flavours–pricey though. Love lip, bamboo, and spice are all on property or a short walk and have all your thai faves for around 100 baht. There is also Horizon Muay Thai on the same veach which I THINK is a cheaper place to stay at.

As far as training goes…tough but great. Its definitely a shift to be back to the classroom and doing 6 hours of lecture a day! I am learning so much about my practice though, I can already feel the shifts in our morning practices! We all have to teach one class in teh 25 days, I did mine on day 10 (the 13th—as I would) and it went pretty well surprisingly! I equate this training to learning a language in the sense that when you go to yoga as a student, its like learning puedo uno cerveza in Mexico…you can say phrases (do postures) and probably even crack a joke (or meditate a bit) but then you really learn the language, the spelling and grammar, the verbs etc….all of the sudden its way harder to speak the phrases you know because you’re considering every detail of conjucation. The first couple weeks are overcoming the hurdle of ignorance is bliss as you begin to speak in sanskrit and consider aspects of asana (yoga postures) that you didn’t even know were factors. It takes a hit at the ego when you re set alignment and can no longer do what you considered to be a basic posture. Luckily therea re 23 of us going through the same learning curve.

Lila Vinyasa Training with Clara & Carolyn is great because there are 2 teachers…so double the experience, half the ratio, and different classes every day. Every yoga inclined person at the sanctuary that has seen our curriculum has been highly impressed with the depth of what we are learning, and even I have noticed us learning concepts much more advanced than some cues I’ve gotten even in workshops.

I would definitely recommend doing teacher training from teachers in the area (gernerally) that you intend to teach in as they will understand your yoga background and the demands of your future student community best. I toyed with doing my training in India, but realize now how beneficial it is to have native English speakers, and teachers who know the Canadian yoga scene. Even as an Albertan with Vancouverite teachers I’m noticing certain differences among my fellow students about what we expect from classes. It is also much easier to connect with the teachers and develop a sort of mentor relationship-it also makes them seem more accessible for the long term learning journey to teaching or just deepening practice.

Our lunch break is almost over and we have some gooooood shit to go through this afternoon, so up the 84 stairs to the dorm for a shower…I hopefully will post more later tonight or soon. Wifi isn’t free in the dorm, so I’ve been a bit lagged with my whole cyber life. Oh, did I mention there’s a talent show tomorrow….is budgetting and living in really gross hostels a skill?

I <3 BKK

Seriously…what a great place!

I don’t actually get how people don’t get it. I’ve been in Khao San…the ‘stingy backpacker refuge’ and had an amazing time, I’ve been around Siam Square, Chinatown, Down the Chao Phraya River, Around the grand palace…to about 20 markets, the Hua lamphong area….and the nicer parts. I have yet to find a place I dislike or am not completely fascinated by.

Khao San–Literally everything you think Bangkok will be, all in one place…with enough tourists to make you feel ‘not weird’ but enough locals to remind you that you’re still in Thailand. There are ping pong shows, 20 baht pad thais, a million smoothie places, singlets/tank tops in every fluorescent color ever with every cheesy graphic and eye rolling pun imaginable. Don’t forget the fact that every building is a bar/restaurant/homestay/massage/exchange/live music venue with a temporary street cart with scorpions on a stick to photograph and its neighbor fresh squeezed OJ. I arrived there at 5am and it could have well been 9pm….the street never sleeps. One street over (parallel) find my favourite place in BKK…the Rambuttri Rd area….way more leafy trees…open air concept restaurants, tons of live music….a little less pushy, a few less fake ID and stolen electronic shops to make you feel a little less like the tourist police will arrest you for walking too slow. Continue across the main road towards the river and find cheaper (no matter what people say), more helpful vendors, tastier and cheaper food, and the used book shops have way better stuff too!….Laundry is also 20B at most of the alley places…sounds sketch, but way better than the bush league rush I got in krabi for 45. Guest houses are nice for 120B a night.

Grand Palace: Head a little further down the river and find the grand palace…do NOT leave Bangkok without visiting!! IT is extraordinary. It also has great old thai medicine shopes if you fancy some cheap as tiger balm, reflexology maps, or just in general voodoo stuff. There are also heaps of English speaking fortune tellers. Beside the palace there is also the royal field where I had my morning runs! I am saying its about an 800m loop….water fountains….clear running and people aren’t creepy. The side of the national defence building has great GREAT night markets…mostly locals though, so be prepared to play sherades to barter/ask questions.

Chinatown: HOLY MAN. Seriously, go down at least one of the ‘Walking Streets’ …they go forever and sell everything you’ve ever dreamed of…and everything the unicorn in your dreams has ever dreamed of. Everytime you see a stereotypical hello kitty decked out Asian at home and wonder where they got their accessories..they are there…in abundance. Part of me though Chinatown would kinda meld into the rest of the city because I’m in Asia…so surely it should all be the same right? no….not at all… that was by far the most culture shocked I’ve been in asia….it was also amazing because the excessive air con from the stores would overflow into the walking street…and I found a stall selling green salads, and mangoes for half price.

Chao Phraya River: Don’t buy the day pass…its only 15 baht to ride no matter how far…you aren’t going to get on/off 10 times unless you are lazy and don’t actually want to see any culture besides taking photos of temples….it is a great ride though, especially at night!

Siam Square/Downtown: When you’re just seeing street vendors its easy to forget about typically ‘Thais’…the ones that are whiter than gingers in canada, have striking fake blue eyes, and have perfectly tailored brand name clothing. There they are….all in one place…I’ve actually stared at a couple for a few minutes trying to sort out their ethnicity….Anyway, it is the metropolitan vibe you expect from a city of 8 million….and you will see way more expats than you expect that have moved to Bangkok for work….nothing like a legit blonde haired white guy rattling off in thai to his colleagues while eating a fried fish head whole off a stick.

Hua Lumphong….the major train station….actually not nearly as skeezy as you’d think…great cafes with free wifi accross the street…I’d find it to be pricy if I hadn’t been to the islands yet, but all things considered…they aren’t that over priced. Sunset over the station is quite beautiful as well.

North of Khao San: theres some major markets, some town hall…and a boxing stadium. the boxing stadium isn’t worth it but the markets included wholesale stores that I thought were pretty interesting….it makes for a good walk at least.

My tips would be to do as much of Bangkok as possible on foot…there aren’t that many ‘monuments’…there are temples galore…and tons of things they think are intersting that arent…but lets face it, they don’t have an opera house equivalent…it is the Culture of Bangkok, which you will get wandering through chinatown, or through markets between temples. Experiencing the ever changing and unique cultures of the city are why it is amazing. And though the traffic is insane…I’ve yet to feel like a place is actually crowded.

Anyway…conquering the thai-Cambodia border in the morning….it is supposed to be terrible, so wish me luck and I’ll report back later!

Willy caves and Fire shows

Also known as Railay Beach. Amazing!

First..I will note…if you are staying a night before taking a long tail to the peninsula stay in Krabi…you can find Great homestays for 150 Baht! its 150 to take the boat to railay…or you could spend 50 on a tuk tuk to go from ao nang and then 100 for the boat…boats from krabi drop you on Railay east where accommodation is more backpacker friendly. Which is relative…Railay is crazy expensive. We are currently in a tent to save cash which is still 300 each a night…the other bungalows my friend and I stayed in were falling apart and squat toilets for 400….

Anyway! Pranang beach is where it’s at. Got heaps of typical thailand photos which are now uploaded to Facebook and Flickr. Also visted a cave with like 100 different sized wooden carved willies…which sounds less perverted than penises….or peni? anyway…it was funny…we took an uncomfortable photo with one and got severely judged by the german man we recruited to take our mug shot.

We have also headed to Last bar literally every night to watch an old man who is phenomenal at acoustic covers and horrific at speaking english followed by an excellent dj set followed by random asians covered in tattoos swinging fire around a murky lagoon that looks straight out of the pirates of the carribean ride at Disneyland.

The beach food straight out of longtail boats that serve as drive throughs for the hundreds of tourists daily is actually the cheapest food…everything here is literally triple the cost of stuff in Krabi….c’est la vie.

Of course…my banking has gone awry and my camera wont turn on….paradise was too good to be true. Anyhow this is just a brief update…more in depth writing to come post my 15 hour bus to bangkok tomorrow eve.