I join 39 other yogis for a teacher training certification course at the beautiful Aqua resort on the coast, just two hours from Granada.
The course incorporates ancient wisdom (such as Yoga Sutra), the art of teaching, Pranayama (conscious breathing), yoga philosophy, spiritual health and healing, and of course asanas (the practise of yoga poses.)
The location and setting of this training course is at the beautiful Aqua resort which is built into the hillside in a very aesthetic way. For Nicaragua, this is pretty luxurious accomodation of individual wooden casitas with their own small private pools and wooden decks looking over the forest and the cove of the beach below.
I start the course with a bang. My first night, on the way up in the dark, to the rooms with my new room mates (one from Florida and one from Portugal), I get stung by something which really hurts. I assume it will go away and I try to ignore it. By the time we get to the rooms, it is worse and my mouth is starting to go numb.
At this point I decide I have to let my new room mates know that I think I have even been stung by a scorpion, a spider or bitten by a snake! They jump into action and one of them googles my symptoms, and the other one goes running for help.
We establish pretty quickly that its a scoprion sting.
This happens to be a fear of mine, as in South Africa (and other countries) scorpions can be pretty lethal. I know from the experiences of friends, that in Nicaragua a scorpion sting hurts but is not life threatening.
I take an antihistamine and the crew of facilitators arrive as my mouth starts feeling alive with the electricity of the toxins and my face goes white. One of them lives in Nicaragua and has had a scorpion sting before, with the same symptoms and was fine about twelve hours later. And that is exactly what happened. Not the start I would have chosen, but it did create a situation of my immediately relying on the kindness of those around me, who as yet were people I had just met.
We are up every day around 5.45 to be at meditation at 6.00. Then two hours of yoga from
7-9. Breakfast and a break of an hour which I use to swim in the sea.
The fact that the course is being offered at a beach location is a big plus. The course is led by Vedantin a Chinese professor at a US university in California, Yogi Siromani, Shamanic/Reiki Mystic and Director of SchoolYoga Institute which certifies the courses. Vedantin grew up near the border of Tibet and has a magical beauty to him. Seven other facilitators and yoga teachers added to the crop. And Dennis Hill whom we skyped with as a group (using a large screen) daily. for yoga philosophy. He was trained by Buddhist, Siddha and Sufi masters in India and the US.
Days are full and intense starting early with the rising sun joining us for meditation on the yoga deck overlooking the ocean, or on the beach. Getting up at 5.45 is not something I would normally do by choice (being more of a late night person), but once I am up, I am up and after a day or two I am in the groove of the routine.
The yogic philosophy which underlies this teacher training course is extremely compatible with my natural inclinations. The yogic principles resonate with me. I learn a lot, Ohhm a lot, and meet a bunch of interesting, good people.
For our day off, I walk with a few other yogi(nis) to a nearby beach, Playa Amarillo – it’s a deserted beach, beautiful and wild – good for surfers and fishermen. Add some fresh fish tacos from Playa Gigante and you get a really great day off!
Due to the fact that I joined the group late I still need to make up some hours in order to get certification to be a teacher. Luckily I can do that right here, across the road at PURE with Warren who will be teaching two others in about a week.