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One of our recent graduates Ashton Josephs talks about her transformational experience on our yogahaven 200hr teacher training course

My first experience of yoga was in Goa, India. On top of a hill with the sun beaming down on me. This was eight years ago. Since then I’ve taken a few classes here and there but it was four years ago that I began to practice regularly and started to truly realise the benefits of yoga. For me, yoga is more than something physical. It’s therapeutic: the only time I engage with my physical body, my mind and my state of being. With a wonderful teacher, yoga fast became a place of solace and an essential tool in coping with stress and what life has to throw at you.

Working in an office setting for the last ten years, I would often look forward to my regular practice to help open my tight shoulders and calm my mind. What’s more, after recently completing a personal training qualification, which has enabled me to explore my personal fitness further and learn more about anatomy and physiology, amongst a lot of other important aspects of health and wellbeing, I realised I wanted to take my yoga journey to the next level. Surely, if yoga: a ‘hug on a mat’ can feel this good for me, why can’t I help others to feel this sense of enjoyment too?

After finding Yogahaven Teacher Training via a Google search and reading through the FAQs, I bit the bullet and decided to sign-up to the May 2018 course in Greece. I was immediately impressed with how Allie was on hand to answer any questions I had before the course commenced, easing any trepidation I had prior to the course. No yoga teacher factory here, the personal and holistic approach of this teacher training course was apparent from the outset. As the course start date drew closer and I undertook my preparatory reading, I was excited, by the time I arrived in Epidavros, I knew I had made an excellent decision and couldn’t wait to begin.

Morning practice, followed by breakfast with my fellow yogis and yoga philosophy to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the history of yoga, helps to delve deeper into the spiritual side of this ancient practice. There was a lot to take in, but Joe, one of the teachers made learning yoga philosophy including Sanskrit, fun and interactive. An average day would continue with a wonderful communal meal (containing delicious vegan food to keep you nourished and wondering how you could recreate the recipes at home) followed by teaching practice to ensure that you could practically apply the course content from the get-go. Teaching from early on is one of the reasons Yogahaven Teacher Training is so highly recommended, you are actively encouraged to teach with confidence from the very beginning. Each afternoon was different and we would undertake multiple styles of yoga with a variety of teachers, all imparting their yoga journeys with us.

It was incredible to hear from each of the teachers and the workshop-style elements of the course ensured we were challenged, able to step outside of our comfort zones and get to know our fellow yogis. This is where the Yogahaven Teacher Training is so much more than training to become a yoga teacher. The immersive two-week intensive provides a supportive, collaborative environment with a group of strangers who fast become friends. When you sweat together, eat together and laugh a lot together, you learn a lot together and that’s before you start studying yoga philosophy! What’s more, when you receive tuition from experienced teachers such as Allie, Rachel, and Leon, not to mention learning from teachers such as Tess and Joe who themselves undertook Yogahaven Teacher Training, you feel like you’re a part of a yoga teacher training community which not only inspires and supports but makes you feel lucky to be a part of it.

Whether you choose to undertake your teacher training in Greece or Morocco, you’ll be sure to soak up your surroundings when you’re not on the mat. Days off can be spent exploring the local area, listening to the waves by the sea and taking a moment to fully appreciate where you are and why you decided to embark on your teacher training journey. As the two weeks come to a close, you’ll be surprised by how far you have come, not only as a teacher but as a person with an open heart and an open mind.

When I took my first class before my London modules, I was excited to apply what I had learned. I was elated when my students said they felt calm and relaxed. Yoga can be a personal journey of exploration into one’s mind, as well as their body. To be able to help others to begin to embark on their journey makes it all the more possible to realise the magic of yoga. If you’re looking to undertake yoga teacher training, I couldn’t recommend Yoghaven enough. I can’t wait to continue my course under the expert guidance of Allie and her team. This course will provide you with more than a teacher training qualification, it will be an experience you never forget and the start of something wonderful. After all, “Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.” The Bhagavad Gita

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