Most of us fall deeply in love with yoga and often the next step is taking yoga teacher training. It is a fun and worthy adventure, if not crazy sometimes, or most times actually. But do you know what is even crazier? Signing-up for the course as a couple.
It is a challenge to capture the enormity of yoga teacher training as a couple so we tried to simplify it in the 13 questions below.
Also, we would like to thank our blog friend LeendaDLL for inspiring this post.
1. Why did you sign-up for yoga teacher training?
Markus: Micah had always wanted to do her yoga teacher training, and I decided to go along for the ride.
Micah: I wanted to attend yoga classes whenever I am home and not traveling. But there was no yoga teacher in town so I decided, “Right, I will be the yoga teacher then.”
2. What was the hardest part of your course?
Markus: Getting up at 5am for meditation class. I admitted defeat by the third week.
Micah: External structures trigger claustrophobia in my head. I was choking halfway through the course. Adjusting to the packed schedule was also a challenge. Fortunately, our room is next to the studio. Napping in between classes saved me.
3. What surprised you the most during your studies?
Markus: That my body could do strenuous physical things. I had had surgery on my leg twice some years before and never really got back into sports until the training.
Micah: The approach of our teachers to yoga was refreshing. It was grounded; none of the airy-fairy bullshit I commonly see with these “spiritual people”, especially in Bali.
At our school, the teachers focused on philosophy, history, postures, adjustments – very practical stuff. Of course, we talked about chakras, higher consciousness, and had rituals, too, but genuinely, not as a performance or a mask. Nobody spoke with an artificial dreamy and breathy voice. I appreciate that a lot.
4. Did you discover anything new about yourself?
Markus: I rediscovered a lot of my patience and resilience.
Micah: Many things. The most surprising was how uncomfortable I was receiving help. I pulled a rib muscle entering the third week of the course. I could only take shallow breaths and was spasming so bad I was bedridden for three days.
Fortunately, Markus was very kind and took care of me. He would climb five flights of stairs every hour to check on me and bring me comfort and food.
But instead of appreciation, my initial reaction was guilt. Normally, I am the one looking after people. Being on the other end of the stick confused the hell out of me. It was such an ordeal!
This experience was a good lesson on vulnerability, humility, and togetherness. I saw the grace in accepting help from another and was infinitely grateful that Markus was there for me.
5. What did you learn about your partner?
Markus: When Micah really wants something, she will get it. During the teacher training, that thing was Crow Pose.
Micah: Markus is twisty. I was very impressed!
6. How did the yoga teacher training change your relationship?
Markus: It strengthened our devotion to one another.
Micah: It was reassuring to know that no matter how much the tectonic plates of our individual beings shift, we will always work together to find each other and look forward in the same direction.
7. Did you fight during training?
Markus: We struggled, but we struggled together and not against each other.
Micah: In brief, I am irritable when I am ill and exhausted and I was ill and exhausted every day during yoga teacher training.
8. What was the most memorable part for you?
Markus: Watching the sunrise from a mountain temple.
Micah: A big monkey decided to join me for chai, climbed up the table, stared me down, stole the sugar packets on the saucer, and ate it near me while looking at me like a little bitch.
9. How did you spend your spare time?
Markus: We bought tons of sweets from a small organic shop and explored the cafés of Rishikesh, but mainly we tried to recover as much as possible.
Micah: It was a 200-hr course squeezed in a month. Sundays were the only rest days and the school organized excursions that we never joined because we needed space. Instead, we took short walks around town and sat in little shops with nice chai.
There was no time to discover Rishikesh properly, or India at that. We had to fly out immediately after the course to host our wellness retreat in Bali for that year.
10. Do you have any funny or interesting story from your trip?
Markus: We were chatting with a classmate on our balcony, when a monkey came to join us. Then, we were just hanging out together for a bit.
Micah: I overpacked the wrong clothes. We were digital nomads, and before Rishikesh, we came from Coron, Palawan. My island clothes did nothing for me at the foot of the Himalayas, coming into wintertime.
11. How was the food?
Markus: Great! Turned us vegetarian for one.
Micah: We had vegan food the entire time. This is all we found in Rishikesh. I had a shock when I ate eggs after the yoga teacher training course! Also, Indian chai every day was a dream, as well as learning how to make chapati. In fact, this is possibly the best thing that came out of my yoga teacher training.
12. What is your impression of Rishikesh?
Markus: I went to buy medicine for Micah. At the register, I realized I didn’t have any money. The person told me not to worry, to take the medicine and to simply pay another time.
Micah: It was like participating in a David Attenborough documentary – animals big and small everywhere. I must have seen half the variety of monkeys on this planet, which was interesting because the street noise level was on another stratosphere.
13. Will you recommend doing yoga teacher training as a couple?
Markus: As my father said: If you survived this, you will survive anything.
Micah: Yes and no. Yes, if you want to have a unique experience together or test your relationship and are brave enough to risk it all falling apart. Actually, there were two other couples – English and Italians – in our batch and they were lovely.
No, if you want to focus on yourself and explore the depths of your soul and darkest corners of your minds that you often deny exist. It is an excellent opportunity for reflection, healing, and self-improvement.
Yoga teacher training is hard on its own but answering to the needs of another person at the same time puts it at another level of difficulty. Also, you will not bond as much with your classmates since you are focused on your partner while trying to stay sane at the same time.
It all depends on your goals coming into it. Think it through and discuss with your partner. It is not for everyone, but yoga teacher training as a couple is a fun and challenging way to grow as a person and in your relationship. Given the chance, will you give it a go?