Yoga Teacher Training in Amorgos, Greece
I had been working professionally since the age of 18 and never took time off. Being a dancer is spectacular and in the back of your mind you always know that there is a time limit to your career. Plus, you never know what can happen! I have had friends who suffered an injury one day and that was it. It is truly unfortunate that artists don't get the same standing as other professional athletes..... oftentimes dancers train harder than basketball or football players, but they are not revered the way those athletes are. Not to mention that the pay difference is mortifying. That's off track though...... back to taking time off.
It wasn't a choice I made, rather Covid made the choice for me. I was laid off from my job at Disney and found myself with a lot of time. I had finished my degree and my husband and I were in France and I was restless. Without work or school, I was needing to do something, so I decided to finally take the time to do my yoga teacher training. Yoga has been a great practice for me throughout my career and I wanted to do the training so I could have the possibility to teach and learn more about the ancient practice.
I had completed my 200 hour yoga teacher training online with Uplifted Yoga and loved it (I'll post about that experience soon!), and was looking to do an in person training of sorts. Many had been cancelled or postponed due to the pandemic, but as I was scrolling through facebook one day, the Aegialis School of Yoga popped up as having live, in person teacher trainings! I couldn't believe it. I did some research and sure enough, they created a safe way for us to attend live and in person trainings in Amorgos, Greece. Amorgos is part of the Cyclades, a group of islands including Naxos and Paros. The school offered a 100 hour training and a 200 hour training. Since I had the 200 hour certification, I went for the 100 hour, which takes place during the first ten days of the 200.
Getting to Amorgos can be challenging during certain times of the year, and with Covid, the boat schedule was changed. This meant arranging travel to get to the island took a bit more time, but it was worth it. I mean, look at this view!
A 100 hour training does not give you certification to teach, but it helped to review information, postures, and I learned different things than from my 200 hour course. Our in person training at the Aegialis Hotel and Spa was fantastic. I even met one of my best friends there! Shoutout to Martina :)
How did they make it safe? We had yoga pods to practice in. There were a limited number of pods so we were split into two groups for class each morning and night. The pods were cleaned between each use and we each had mats and accessories that only we used.
Our lectures were not in the pods *thankfully* and we wore masks while we were in the same room before we had our rapid tests. After a week in Amorgos, we were able to take a rapid test for Covid and afterwards, we were able to move around the island and use the gym facility. The hotel was very cautious about Covid and safe about what they were allowing us to do. Following procedures approved by the government and giving us tests allowed us to remain healthy and safe while we were hiding out in a beautiful location on a small island. One of the reasons they were so cautious is because the island is small and there is no hospital....
Our training days began with asana practice in their main studio, the hotel has two other practice spaces, and then we had breakfast, lectures, lunch, lectures, yin practice, and dinner. The food at the restaurant is local and prepared in a buffet style. Our diet consisted of vegetarian dishes and honestly one of the best parts of the hotel is the staff. They are incredibly kind, welcoming, and wonderful people.
After we were all tested, we were able to have meditation practices in the morning as the sun was rising.
Along with asana and meditation practice, we also had anatomy, philosophy, posture workshops, and access to the spa. One of the other perks during this training, you get an hour massage with an award winning masseuse, Christos. Literally like being in heaven.
My group was one of the first training groups for the school and Miriam Indries did a fantastic job of putting it all together. She is an incredible teacher and person. There were a couple areas to improve upon such as selection of food as it was a little repetitive at times and although the idea is nice, having a violin played during savasana is not ideal.....the gentleman is talented, but it's too much and completely takes you out of savasana. To graduate, you have to take a test. For the 100 hours it is only a written test, for the 200 you also have to teach a practicum. After I took my test, they had a little celebration for me! They gave me my certificate and made a cake and frozen drinks (non-alcoholic)! There is also a pool in the spa where they have some silks hanging from a previous aerial workshop...... I had no choice but to climb ;)
All in all, the Aegialis School of Yoga at the Aegialis Hotel and Spa is a definite do if you're interested. It is a beautiful place with kind people who are passionate about what they do and always looking to expand their knowledge. Plus, to get to Amorgos, you are most likely going to have to stop in Athens. Now it is important to do some research when you are looking at yoga retreats and trainings, I've learned the hard way and I have some tips about what to watch out for. However this school and this location with these people is truly an unforgettable experience. I'm looking forward to returning to the island and to Greece. Adventure awaits!
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