Yoga pt.2: One week in Bali – the Power Living retreat

So I had the best of intentions to write about the Bali retreat that was part of our 200hr yoga teacher training with Power Living as soon as I finished, but I had no idea how big a week it would be and how long it would take to digest everything that happened.

I was going to write in detail about what to expect, how the days worked, etc., but now having done it I think it’s such a special experience that it’s better to leave an air of mystery around it (and if you really want there are a few blog posts about it if you Google).

Here’s what I can tell you:

  • The food was great and there was A LOT of it. They described it as ‘sattva’, which means pure and clean in Sanskrit, but for someone who eats quite healthily at home I actually felt like I was ‘letting’ go during the week. We had breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner and it was delicious. A few people from our group also bought meals regularly at the hotel beach bar, so you really can have whatever you want (but you pay extra for it, whereas the buffet food is all included).
  • The rooms were beautiful, although we didn’t spend much time in them. It was nice to come back after a long day to soft sheets, a rainfall shower and a little luxe.
  • Komune resort in Keramas was wonderful. The staff were just superb, so, so helpful, nice and professional. The shala where we spent most of our time was gorgeous. The grounds were beautiful – flowers and lush plants everywhere, beautiful stone paths to the beach and bean bag chairs by the pool.
  • We had the pleasure of having Duncan Peak (the founder of Power Living) and Keenan Crisp (co-founder) leading our retreat so the tone and all the activities involved truly reflected the Power Living philosophy.
  • You will feel up and down pretty much every day, probably more than once, and so quickly between the two that you will confuse yourself. You’ll belly laugh, sob cry, dance like a maniac and feel so deeply connected to the people around you that you’ll surprise yourself.
  • You will come back with a lot to think about and a new perspective on pretty much everything. You won’t ever forget it!

My biggest piece of advice would be to come with a big open mind and heart – let yourself feel every emotion, even if it’s negative and know that it too shall pass. Embrace the process and see what comes up.

Yoga pt.1: How I chose my 200hr yoga teacher training course

So you want to yoga…

I’ve wanted to do my 200hr yoga teacher training for the last three years, but it wasn’t until I quit my job that I felt like I finally had the time (and mental capacity) to go for it 100%. There are so many options for yoga teacher training – in so many countries – that it can be overwhelming choosing which one is right for you. I decided to make a list of what I wanted from the experience and find the program that best fit. Here is what I was looking for:

  • Recognised accreditation
  • A reputable, well-known, popular school/studio, with a post-course community
  • Sydney-based yogi friends
  • Exotic locale
  • A dense, shorter time frame (as opposed to every weekend for a few months)
  • Personal development
  • Positive reviews
  • Value for money $
  • A good vibe!

With these factors in mind I spent a good afternoon going down a rabbit hole of yoga. I hemmed and hawed over the idea of doing my entire training in Bali, but decided it was really important for me to have training that was well-recognised in Australia, as well as a post-course support group if I wanted to do my 500hrs in the future. I also looked at schools in Byron Bay and Hawaii, but the costs of doing the course, paying for accomodation there, plus my rent in Bondi made it too expensive. In Sydney, there were only two studios who’s programs I seriously considered: BodyMindLife and Power Living.

Both had schedules that I could fit my life around, but Power Living stood out because not only was the training in Bondi (and five minutes from my apartment), but there was a one-week immersive retreat in Bali as part of the program*. And – serendipitously – there just happened to be a 200hr yoga teacher training info session at their Bondi Junction studio that next day.

So what I haven’t mentioned yet is that even though I’d been wanting to do a yoga teacher training course for a few years, I didn’t know if I wanted to be a yoga teacher per se. I loved going to yoga, but I would leave amazing classes feeling high, elated and searching for something more…like I’d only touched the tip of the iceberg. I wanted to know more and I wasn’t sure if that was enough to do a teacher training course – would I be the odd one out? The info session at Power Living helped dissipate every worry I had. Sol and Jordan were so chill, inspiring and very firm about how the course was a journey for anyone who loved yoga and that I didn’t have to be a flexible, hand-standing, perfectly lycra-ed being to partake. They also explained how the early bird discount worked in conjunction with the Power Living member’s discount…which meant the course, including the one-week Bali immersive retreat (!), would end up costing me less than any of the other courses I’d looked at. I signed up the next day without any hesitation, ready to yoga.

So how did Power Living stack up to my original list?

  • Recognised accreditation:
    • Yoga Alliance (USA) & Provisional Membership with the Yoga Teachers Association of Australia (YTAA)
  • A reputable, well-known, popular school/studio, with a post-course community:
    • 8 studios in AUS and one in NZ
    • An extensive, wide-ranging selection of advanced modules/retreats that go towards your 500hr credit
    • Power Living Teachers Network: a new program for graduate teachers to promote themselves, connect with each other and get discounts on upcoming workshops and retreats ($$)
  • Sydney-based yogi friends:
    • Most of the students in my group are from Sydney (others are from the Gold Coast, Canberra, Adelaide and even Philadelphia (!))
  • Exotic locale:
    • Hello Bali. One-week immersive retreat at Kommune resort in Keramas. And even though Bondi itself might be considered an exotic locale to some…haha, it doesn’t hurt to be able to go for a swim at break 🙂
  • A dense, shorter time frame (as opposed to every weekend for a few months):
    • They have a few different types of courses to suit different schedules
  • Personal development:
    • Power Living is big on this, which was a huge attraction for me. We’re constantly questioning our assumptions about ourselves and trying to identify our self-imposed limitations. LOVE THIS.
  • Positive reviews:
  • Value for money $:
    • Great early bird and members discounts. These helped me sign up without hesitation, but even without those discounts it’s worth it and then some – an invaluable life experience (and I’m currently only halfway through).
  • A good vibe!:
    • The instructors are amazing, so knowledgable and so conscious of what different highs and lows everyone might be experiencing. They speak to this a lot and it really makes a huge difference.

Link: Power Living 200hr teacher training

* Two months later I just checked out the BodyMindLife site and they’ve added on a one-week Byron retreat to their program, which would be a GREAT value add. Byron Bay is AMAZING.

I’m currently in the middle of the course. I’ll definitely write about my experience at the retreat in Bali, as well as the entire 200hr yoga teacher training course as a whole once I’m done my exams in mid-July. Stay tuned x

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑