Having experienced the four-day teacher training, I decided to offer a four-weekend kundalini yoga teacher training. It was amazing, impossible, powerful, blessed, challenging, magical, and successful. We would be meeting four weekends over the next five months.
When living in Frankfurt, I rented other people’s apartments while they were away for 1-3 months. Even without a mobile phone, it worked just fine. Each new place was a new discovery of the city. I then found a studio apartment on the top floor of a six-story building, near the Zoo. In New York City they call them, walk-ups, meaning there was no elevator. Even this high up, there were trees outside my windows. Having trees outside my window is a requirement for every place I have ever lived. After moving there, I discovered a photo studio about half a block away that was run by a kundalini yoga woman. She both worked and slept there.
She offered her space for our teacher training and wanted to cook for us in exchange for joining the training. Her large photo studio was ideal for our course. A group of twenty students ten from the Netherlands and ten from Germany were a committed, strong, and friendly group. The room became the universe for the training. This one space was used for the yoga lessons, sadhana, eating, cooking, and sleeping. There was one shower and one toilet that all the students shared. It worked with this wonderful group of students. Living across the street, gave me my own place to shower and sleep.
In this trainings, I taught all the lessons and kriyas. The students’ kindness and patience were a big help with the cooking and cleaning. On the third weekend of the training, I had a bad cold making it hard to breathe and to keep up. One of the students made warm lemon water with honey. I was able to survive, do my job, and recover in a few days because of this simple remedy.
Many of the teachers from this training became influencers in the towns where they lived, teaching many classes, and workshops. They inspired their students to attend future teacher training programs. Due to the special nature of this group, I was inspired to include new experiences in the training. Many are still part of our training programs. The most exciting addition was a graduation banquet with a tasty vegetarian meal, a gift exchange, and the handing out of certificates of completion.
Living in the area I began exploring the local restaurants for us to have our graduation meal together. I really wanted a place we could just walk to from the yoga/photo studio location. For two months, every restaurant I visited was clearly not the one. With less than a month until our last weekend, I was a bit concerned, but trusted, it would work out. About a week before our final training weekend, I discovered a new restaurant that was being built and was planning to open in a few days. I went to talk with them and got a warm welcome. They offered a vegetarian meal at a good price and a separate seating area for privacy. Interestingly, the name of the restaurant was Tao, which means a road or path. It aligned perfectly with our commitment as teachers.
At the end of the meal, we had the gift exchange. It was lots of fun, exciting and surprising. Four of the students brought buddhas to give. I received one that has traveled with me since then. The final part of the party was the giving of the certificates for the completion of the level 1 teacher training.
What makes it possible to find a great place to live? What good fortune let us discover a yoga studio for our training across the street? How can so many students peacefully share one room and toilet? How did a restaurant open just days before for our final meal together?
The answer to these questions is about passion, determination, trust, clarity, and the strength in believing in the beauty of our work. Are you committed to serving others by sharing the teachings of kundalini yoga? Do you know you teach by example? Are you able to receive what is needed?
Each training I was blessed to be part of, were remarkable, amazing, successful, and beautiful experiences. Yes, there was an endless number of challenges, each being an opportunity to learn, to grow, and to remember to be grateful.
Photo is the actual Buddha I received as a gift. The map shows the closeness of all we needed.