Faq and Testimonials

How to Choose the
Best Yoga Teacher Training for you

 

A Yoga Teacher Training course can be a deeply transformative and profound journey into your innermost self.  We are honored that you are considering joining our yoga school & attending one of our courses and we wish to offer you some helpful guidelines in choosing the right teacher training program for you; be it ours or elsewhere.

Yoga as it is practiced in the west has transformed vastly from its traditional roots here in Asia.  As such confusion can arise in the minds of students who are unaware of the deeper dimensions of yoga and how it is both taught and learned.  What follows are some points to consider and questions from previous students to help you understand if what we offer is appropriate for you on your journey into the heart of Yoga.

Make sure your Yoga Training is Spiritually Focused

Spiritual Awakening is the very essence of yoga.  Yoga offers not only an approach to work with the body and mind but also offers a complete and holistic system of self-transformation that allows for each individual to discover their true Spiritual Self.  As such inner transformation is integral on the path of yoga and any teacher training course that emphasizes yoga as spiritual path will give you the opportunity to discover and deepen your spiritual connection.

 Q: What is your yoga school’s approach to spiritual growth?

A: Our approach is that ultimately you are the embodiment of Spirit in form and to discover this is to let go of all that which is clouding the remembrance of your true nature. This entails purification of the thought patterns, emotions, memories and samsakaras (imprints) through techniques and practices. 

Pure Awareness is the principle mode we advise for letting go into this natural state of yoga.  This is an act of surrendering and letting go of all illusions, attachments, and aversions to what Is.  It is the deepest self-acceptance of one own self and consequently of all that is.  This is pure love, pure bliss, and pure consciousness. 

Choose Yoga Teachers Who Live and Embody the Essence of Yoga

Some students choose a training program based on their personal holiday schedule or their preference for one style of yoga asana practice, without ever understanding who they will be learning from.  While this is now common, central to authentic yoga is finding a teacher that is truly able to embody the balance, wisdom and compassion that is the hallmark of a real yogi or yogini.  Their life experience and spiritual maturity will act as an ongoing source of inspiration and guidance for you as you deepen your own spiritual connection and learn how to teach yoga through the intuitive heart.

 Q: Who are the Blooming Lotus Yoga Teachers?

A: I’m the main teacher of the course (Lily), while Ramananda teaches the philosophy, lifestyle, ayurveda, and meditation sections.

(You can read  the testimonials below to get a better feel about the skills of our teachers or can find out more about them here.)

Research the Content of the Courses

Aim for a well-rounded and holistic approach to yoga.  Yoga trainings that are deeply rooted in the classical yoga tradition while still being highly applicable to the modern age offer you the best all-around training.  Be careful of courses that are only asana based, those that emphasize only health and fitness, or those schools which have trademarked their style of yoga©, franchised or marketed their “brand” of yoga.  Though anatomy training is important, when it becomes dominant and there is too much focus on the physical body it can indicate that the essence of yoga is being overlooked.  The schools that teach you how to market yourself as a yoga teacher, how to start your own yoga school or how to do business are adding to the confusion and wasting your time.  Being a real yoga teacher is neither a job nor a profession.  It is an inner calling from the heart that will open the doors to higher levels of awareness from which you will be able to heal and guide others on their path of awakening.  Schools that support this, will rather, encourage you towards disciplined self-practice, healthy diet, silence, self-reflection, meditation and other practical spiritual techniques.  These tools will enhance both your prana and awareness, so that you may gain the inner strength to meet every moment with peace and equanimity.

 Q: What is the course content of the Blooming Lotus Yoga Teacher Trainings?

A: The main focus of this course is on developing the skills, methods and techniques of Self-Awareness to embody the essence of yoga and transmit it through yoga classes and by simply being in the world.  The course is strategically structured to interweave and integrate the multi-faceted aspects of yoga, tantra and vedanta synergetically so that while we contemplate the theory and philosophy we are applying this knowledge and experiencing its truths.  

While the syllabus is an intricate web of systematically building knowledge and experience, it fundamentally allows for the organic and natural unfoldment of what each student and group needs to come into the clearest remembrance of their inner wisdom and capacity for compassion.  It is a skillful means of preparing each student with the utmost care and attention while understanding each will go through their own process and unfoldment in their own time.  Specifically we share the deep rooted philosophy and techniques of yoga which includes yoga asanas, bandhas, pranayama, breath awareness, kriyas and self-inquiry.  

We also utilize a progressive approach to anatomy that views the body in a holistic way mapping out myofascial lines to sense and integrate the various systems so that it may act harmoniously allowing for the energy body to flow freely.  Connections are also made between the relations of the energy body and how it plays out in the emotional and mental planes.  This allows us to see the root cause of physical , emotional and mental challenges that obstruct the remembrance e of our true nature.  

Particular attention is brought to working with different populations with their different need;, giving safety and alignment a priority to ensure that yoga is taught to the individual. The course also covers the essentials of pre and post natal yoga as well as yin and restorative.  What’s particularly unique about this course is how to use hand mudras within a yoga flow as well as introducing the magical science of yoga nidra.

Find an Intimate Group Setting

One on one attention and care for your individual process will offer you a safe and supportive environment from which you can learn, ask questions and develop a personal connection with your teachers.  The essence of Yoga is actually impossible to learn.  It is in actuality a heart to heart and mind to mind transmission of pure awareness that occurs when both the teacher and student are ready.  Try to attend only small group retreats as it will be easier for you to develop this personal connection.  Though large groups can have a lot of energy, yoga teacher trainings are an intense learning environment where you may benefit more from the intimacy and affection shared in smaller gatherings.  Be mindful of yoga trainings with large faculties of teachers.  This often indicates that the main teachers do not have enough experience with the various facets of yoga and have only studied yoga asana sufficiently enough to teach only this aspect of yoga .  Unless the faculty is well organized and has much experience complementing each other’s teachings you may get a disconnected and fragmented body of teachings that are hard to integrate.

 Q: How many students and teachers are there in your yoga teacher training course?

 A: We purposefully limit the number of students for each course to 20 students. The course has actually become so popular in recent years that we are now forced to refuse more applications than we accept!  Yet to preserve the timeless bond of love that unites us with our students we prefer to keep things small and humble.

Practice Yoga in Nature

Yoga is best practiced in a natural environment where the earth is clean, the water is abundant, the temperature is mild, the air is pure and the space is clear.  Yoga studios, small rooms, rented halls in cities are probably not the best choice.  A retreat center or ashram in nature, away from the faced paced lifestyle of modern cities, is ideal.  If at all possible find a community of other yoga practitioners and spiritually minded people.  There you will find community support, a slow paced lifestyle and the conditions necessary to deepen your own practice with little effort.

 Q: Where are the Blooming Lotus Yoga Courses?

A: We are blessed to be here in Koh Phangan, Thailand.  A true sanctuary of pristine nature…we are surrounded by crystal blue waters, lush jungle foliage, the sounds of mystical birds chirping to wake us up and immersed in an international community of spiritual seekers.

Pre-requisites and Screening

Many yoga schools and teachers are teaching with the aim of learning a livelihood to support themselves and their families going what they love – yoga.   While this is totally reasonable sometimes in order to fill their courses there is a lack of discernment as to who is really ready to become a yoga teacher.  Many yoga schools have zero pre-requisites and will accept anyone, no matter what age, how much background or experience they may have.  Many unqualified yoga teachers graduate from yoga teacher courses each year, only because they paid their tuition; thus, diluting the noble tradition of yoga.  Though these students benefit deeply from their training they may not be really qualified to teach based on their own experience of yoga.  If a school screens their students you can presume that they are not in it for financial reasons & are wanting to attract the highest quality students.  As such you will likely be in a training course with many other mature and competent fellow students.

 Q: What are the Blooming lotus Yoga School pre-requisites?

A: We require 2 years of dedicated yoga practice, with a preference given to students with some meditation experience.  We prefer student 24 years or older but exceptions can be made when young students demonstrates a high level of awareness when filling out their application forms. All students also need to be fluent in the English language.

Practice Teaching

To apply what you have learned while in the yoga teacher training it is important that the course you choose has ample time for practice teaching.  Practicums, or practice teaching time, provide students the confidence they need to teach classes skillfully and compassionately.  Many students remark on feeling inadequately prepared to teach, if they have attended a program with little practice teaching time.   The learning curve, which can be full of learning from mistakes, can be easily surmounted in a supportive and nurturing environment in the presence of your fellow students and teachers.  They will gently guide you to teach yoga from the heart even when the mind gets in the way.

 Q: How much time do students spend practice teaching?

A: By day 12 of the teacher training the practicums starts and continues until the end of the course. 

 

Testimonials

Halley - USA

Halley

I know, now, why Lily named this studio Blooming Lotus, as I have both witnessed and experienced the beauty that blossoms in this training.  I came here to become a yoga teacher and I have been given the greatest gift instead; my Self….I have learned more about who I am, love, suffering, change, letting go, and the essence of life than I could ever have discovered through a book or therapy.

Lily has done more than teach yoga; she embodies the essence of yoga, the truth of being present.  This training has reconditioned so many negative behaviors/thoughts, so many conditions I didn’t know I held on to & helped me open my eyes and my heart to truly love and accept myself.  This training has prepared me to be a better person and ground myself in the humble truth that the Universe allowed me to have the gift of this experience.

Words cannot describe my gratitude to Lily & Ramananda – they are the perfect team of love, of grace, of humble beauty.  Their presence has been an absolute blessing in my life – a gift I will continue to cherish every day and hope I can share what they have given me.  My words do no justice to what my heart feels for this training.  I came to learn, to heal people & on the way – I healed myself.

I truly, honestly loved every lesson we learned.  Everything was so cohesive, so fluid, and so interesting.  The content was concise & straight forward but invited contemplation and a deeper understanding through discussion and self-exploration.  The pace matched emotions and energy levels in an effortless way only such skilled teachers could predict & anticipate.

Lily teaches from pure love and passion.  It is delivered in every meditation, every asana class, every lecture.  She encourages questions, both training related and personal, and is so warm and nurturing in an environment that invites you to feel safe, loved and able to really embody and experience what you learn.  Her presence is pure joy with the sense of security that she will support you in whatever you may need.

Ramananda’s teachings are a highlight of the day.  Even late in the afternoon when energy is low his passion is contagious and his knowledge is so expansive you can’t help but want to soak up everything he shares.  His experiences speak for themselves, but his patience, his pure joy and radiant demeanor make him the perfect complement to Lily.  He really could have his own training on all the knowledge he divulges.  He opens new insight, new paths for exploration & heightens your curiosity of the many natural wonders in life…to see the beauty he sees, that we have ignorantly overlooked.

I stayed at Bamboo Huts and the accommodations were the perfect complement to our training.  The room is simple, removing any distractions.  I am grateful for all the cold showers I took and didn’t miss air conditioning at all.  I slept peacefully (most nights) though spent swaying in my hammock gazing at the stars through the palm trees.  You are surrounded by beauty all day.  The magical sounds of the tropical birds, the ocean-view that never fails to stop me in my tracks down to breakfast.  Beach breaks pad your day with the most caring and compassionate staff you could ever dream of spending a month with.  The food is incredible and I have been called a “picky-eater” once or a dozen times in my life.  The array of choices actually encouraged my full vegetarian transition, and I haven’t looked back once.

I truly cannot wait to come back, and I haven’t even left.  I didn’t leave the “area” once in the month, as I was beyond fulfilled with all the surrounding amenities.  I feel completely catered to and so well taken for, like a spoiled house-guest among an international family that I know will be in my heart forever.

I could not have chosen a better location, or a better group of people to fall in love with; myself included.  Lily & Ramananda have put all the pieces together with carful love and kindness, and anyone should feel honored to be chosen to be a part of this.  My life is changed in every way for the best, and this experience is absolutely invaluable at any stage, on any path of life.

Halley July2013

Michelle - Canada

Michelle

“Out of all the Yoga Teacher Training Courses offered around the world, choosing to attend The Blooming Lotus was without a doubt, the best decision I could have made.  Right from the very beginning, it was clear that we were going to get much more than a Teaching Certificate.  It was a complete life changing experience.  I learned so much about life, yoga, relationships, health, and most importantly, about myself.  I learned that being a Yoga Instructor is so much more than showing up to a class and teach a set of poses.  It is a complete way of life.  It’s about passing on this sacred tradition that has been so obscured in much of the Western world.  It’s about providing a safe space for people to let go, journey inside them selves, and reconnect to their true essence.  That is exactly what Lily and Ramananda gave us.

They also provided us with an exceptionally thorough and broad range of study topics.  From a holistic view of anatomy, to the fascinating world of Ayurveda, to the mystical history and philosophy of Yoga and it’s branches, I feel like I have a well-rounded base of knowledge from which to teach others, and from which to seek further resources for myself.  One of the most invaluable elements of the course was the time devoted to practicums- opportunities for us to teach short meditation and asana classes.  With the extensive amount of practice and the intuitive feedback from Francie, our teaching assistant, I feel fully confident in my ability to teach a balanced, peaceful, and safe yoga class.

In addition to the breadth of knowledge and skills I have gained, I also have a renewed sense of wonder and love for nature.  It would be hard not to after living for a month on this beautiful island.  Koh Phangan may be known for it’s wild parties, but at the location of the Blooming Lotus, it feels first and foremost like peaceful, relaxing get away, and the accommodation and restaurant at Bamboo Huts definitely upheld that feeling.  I was so impressed with the incredibly friendly and helpful staff, the quality of food, and the simple yet homey rooms.

With all of these elements that make up a Teacher Training course, the decision of which one to attend can be difficult.  In my opinion, the most important thing to look for is a teacher or group of teachers that you resonate with, because the teachers set the tone for the entire course.  It is through their background, philosophy on life, level of spirituality, and years of study that you will learn about yoga.  Thus, my number one reason for recommending this course is because of Lily and Ramananda.  I believe the mark of a great teacher has to do with their reasons for teaching.  Lily and Ramananda are always teaching from a place of pure love and compassion in order to share their wisdom and spread the gift of Yoga with the utmost integrity and respect to tradition.  With the combinations of Lily’s many years as an advanced Yoga practitioner, her contagious lively spirit, and her eagerness to help others, with Ramananda’s remarkable dedication to spirituality and his invaluable wisdom, this Teacher Training Course is simply exceptional.  Lily and Ramananda completely embody the essence of Yoga, and provide a course to share their essence.  I am so grateful to have had this experience, and will always keep the Blooming Lotus in a special place in my heart. “

Michelle July2013

Daniella - Canada

Daniella

“When I first applied to the Blooming Lotus Teacher Training I did not expect to have a journey that was full of love, laughter, tears and breakthroughs.  This past month has been full of new-found friendships, discoveries, and non-judgment.  It was the prefect balance of physical, mental and metaphysical challenges and development.

The program was well balanced, focusing on the technicalities of asana practice, the nature of being- through meditation, and the philosophy of Yoga.  I would have to say the most challenging aspect was trusting myself enough to let go and just be, while meditating.  But with the careful guidance and advice from Lily and Ramananda, I was able to find my center and begin exploring meditation further.

Lily is a phenomenal Yogini, and an amazing teacher! She is the true essence of Yoga! With her patient guidance, we were able to grasp the essential link between asana practice and meditation.  She is able to effectively demonstrate the asana poses and their variations.  Relating the poses to their fundamental purpose and explaining the myofascial meridians involved, enabled us to truly understand the pose.  Her focus on safety and technique enabled me to realize the importance of these in my regular practice and while teaching.  Lily also specializes in an amazing techique called Yoga Nidra.  It is the coolest and most relaxing form of Yoga ever!

Aside from her teaching, Lily was there to guide us through any emotional breakthroughs, emotions, or anything else we needed help with.  Always supportive, I felt so safe and trusting when confiding in her or asking for help.

Lily’s perfect compliment and addition to the program was Ramananda.  His fascinating lectures on the philosophy and history of Yoga always had me captivated.  I was always left wanting to know more, and my interest in this aspect has grown significantly.  Ramananda’s quiet demeanor was the perfect personality for discussing such an important topic.  His patience in answering our multitude of questions always surprised me.  My favourite topics were Ayurvedic herbs for health and Jyotisa!  These are two topics I will continue to research and learn about on the way home.

For our Teacher Training, we were lucky to be blessed with the presence of Francie.  She was with us every step of the way and always accessible when we needed help.  She was the special addition that filled us with inspiration. Francie’s amazing vocal and guitar skills had us singing late into the evenings.   She also introduced me to the world hooping.  I never knew it could be so much fun- and a workout!

Overall, the program was well rounded and amazing.  I have grown so much, and discovered things about myself that I didn’t know were there.  I thank God every day for how blessed I am to have been a part of this course!

Thailand is beautiful, but Koh Phangan is a little slice of heaven.  Before this course, I didn’t even know it existed, but I will be telling everyone I know about it! I was never bored and the beach is fantastic!

I was lucky to be staying at Bamboo Huts.  The rooms are perfectly suited to the type of journey you take being in the program.  The staff at Bamboo are phenomenal, and will accommodate your every need.  The food is delicious pretty much everywhere.  I loved that with a 10-15 minute walk away you could be at another beach (Haad Thien or Haad Why Nam) or another restaurant.

Lily’s Blooming Lotus Yoga Studio is perfectly situated at the top of a hill behind Bamboo Huts.  It is like floating in the trees while meditating and practicing.  It is a beautiful space located in the center of everything!

I will be forever grateful to Lily and Ramananda for taking me on this beautiful journey. It was the experience of a lifetime, and has changed me forever.  I am a different person going home, and I can’t thank them enough for truly opening my eyes.”

Daniella July2013

Rania - Switzerland

Rania

“The Blooming Lotus Yoga Teacher Training is a transformational experience that is deeply rooted in Indian sacred wisdom.  Both teachers are light beings that transmit their knowledge to us in a beautiful, wise, and sacred way.  I feel blessed to have come across such pure souls and even more blessed to have been initiated by them.  This experience is a gateway to discover your true self in a way that has been passed on from generation to generation from the great sages of India, but that has been customized to reach out to Western minds.

Lily is an amazing Yoga Teacher, she has the gift of teaching and a huge experience in so many different schools of yoga and a background in anatomy.  With all that, her classes are rich, have variety, and are extremely safe.  She transmits her knowledge in a smooth & natural way and thus we learn very intuitively.  With all that, she never stops reminding us that yoga is not the asanas, or being able to put our leg behind our head, but it is a way of conducting our life.

Ramananda is a wise, heartfelt, compassionate person and having him in this training makes the entire experience an awakening journey.  He transmits the essence of yoga and Indian sciences in a very sacred way, helping us notice the inner wisdom that dwells in our hearts.

The location is heavenly, the studio has clear energy always, and we feel great just being there.  It’s like being in a temple in the jungle.

The beach is amazing- one of the best spots in the entire South-East Asia, the accommodations are clean, renovated & extremely well maintained.

If you are blessed to come across this experience, you will leave it transformed being reminded of your true self.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

Rania July2013

Emily - U.S.A.

Emily

In life there is always a before and after. The Blooming Lotus teacher training was so much more than How to Be a Teacher. It gave lessons in life: love, compassion, energy, spirituality, acceptance, and healing, among many other facets of our existence.

I feel so incredibly blessed to have been part of such an amazing experience. I remember the feeling of walking up to the studio for the first session, full of eager anticipation for what was to come: a moment for which I had been waiting for so long.

Our teachers, Lily and Ramananda, are two of the most loving, open, peaceful, and compassionate people I have ever met. I felt throughout the course that they were there to completely support us in whichever way we needed, however big or small, and often just by presence. They are completely accepting and showed us nothing but love. Their passion and depth of knowledge is such an inspiration. Lily and Ramananda delivered information that had the possibility to feel heavy in a light and enjoyable manner.

The atmosphere created in the gorgeous studio was the perfect setting. The studio is set in beautiful surroundings that complemented the teachings perfectly. The swaying palm trees, the rustling of the breeze, and the glimpse of ocean blue allowed for visions of peace and tranquility.

The course flowed perfectly, and just as emotions started to come up for the students, Lily was there in the morning, guiding us through each and every turn. She allowed us the opportunity to ask questions related to yoga, emotions, and everyday life anonymously. She then answered these questions in depth each afternoon. The openness and love that came from these teachings were one of a kind. Ramananda also offered time for questions during or after his lectures. This shows me the importance of learning from dependable, compassionate teachers, because something about hearing things from Lily and Ramananda made them resonate and ring true in myself, more than if I had read them in a book.

Naturally, I wanted to do the training to improve my teaching and practice. But what I learned has inspired not only my yoga practice, but my everyday life. The little extra things that I learned throughout the course are what resonate most with me now. It is now my time off of the mat that seems to seep effortlessly into my practice and the classes that I teach.

Though I have been taught meditation before on different occasions, it is something that has always slipped in and out of my life. During this month I truly soaked up the importance and essence of this process, and have made it a regular part of my daily practice. I feel so much more clarity, and better able to deal with life’s little curves. Again, this shows me the significance of receiving these teachings from such exceptional teachers as Lily and Ramananda.

Lily’s careful attention to anatomy and safety was also an important part of the training, and her vast knowledge through experience was beneficial as she has worked out the safest, “best” ways to do things. Lily has a good, well thought-out reason for the things she does, and is always able to explain precisely why a pose should or should not be a certain way. She also taught us when to let go in terms of alignment, and taught us which positions were difficult for most people. Even with her immense depth of understanding, she stresses that in each pose it is more important to have a quiet mind than a perfect body. Lily also gave sequencing tips so we are better able to plan a balanced class, which was awesome.

The small class size was really nice as everyone had the chance to connect. To go through such a powerful experience within the intimacy of a small group setting was really special. As we each dealt with various emotions coming to the surface, we were able to care for each other and provide support. A sense of openness pervaded all.

I loved the structure of the practicum as they were taught one-on-one, which allowed for more teaching time, and provided an intimate setting. I enjoyed the experience of teaching to just one person, and it offered insight into how to teach a private class as well. The feedback we received each day was helpful and always brought to my attention things that could be improved. Teaching the drop-in class was another fantastic experience because it meant that everyone (who chose to) walked away from the course having already taught a real class, and quite a large one at that, which is a huge accomplishment.

Naturally, time marched forward, the course ended, and everyone moved, though somewhat reluctantly, in their separate directions. But we left more open, confident, accepting, loving, and lighter of step than when we had arrived. Personally there is not a day that goes by without some trace, some element, some beauty, of the magic that unfolded during that month. I try to keep that energy and lightness within me as much as possible, and keep the flame that was lit forever burning.

Emily July2013

Ananda - Canada

Ananda

My promise to write you both has given me the strength to stay on my path, my dream of inspiring, motivating, nourishing others to feel connected within themselves by giving them the tools to do exactly what you both provided during our month together.

When I was actually there I thought I peeled away layers, now 7 months later I have peeled away everything and it feels like I left myself with the seed which was sprouted during our time together. I have forgiven, blessed & learned to let go of so much pain, guilt, anger, sadness which was holding me back. I am now feeling grounded, aware and much more love for myself.

You both are incredible, knowledgeable  loving, compassionate teachers which have truly inspired me to break free of those judgments I have of myself, take your words of wisdom and relive your words of guidance and care through my daily lifestyle with ease & grace. I am extremely grateful to have shared our time together and look forward to when we cross paths again as your knowledge is with me always, I really do anticipate another 300 hours or simply doing a wonderful mediation retreat with you, as my favorite moments were doing yoga nidra and our meditations …  as you both created a safe, loving, nurturing environment, which allowed us to just be present & become more at peace within ourselves to hear our own words of wisdom come through.

Love to you both forever.  You gave me more then I imagined to create such an incredible foundation in life, which has allowed me to stay strong and listen within & pursue what I feel is right,

Namaste

Ananda July2013

Tara

Tara
Her testimonial goes here.
Tara July2013