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Yoga Teacher Training Assistant in Bali

Back to Bali and off into the Yoga Bubble! This time as a Yoga Teacher Training Assistant!

I came back to Bali in 2019 to assist at a Yoga Teacher Training and to learn even more about yoga. And the best thing: Not only did I get the opportunity to go back to Bali, but I went back to assist at the exact same Yoga Teacher Training where I did my own YTT in 2018!

yoga-teacher-swami-atma-and-me-in-baliOnly this time, a few things have changed. The location, where the teacher trainings are being held, is now a different one, but still in Ubud. And more like actually in Ubud. While my YTT was a little outside of it, this one is much closer to Ubud center and close by cute cafes and shops all around. Plus, more teachers have joined the team of East+West Yoga. The lead teacher of this training is still Deep, who in my option is one of the best yoga teachers in the WORLD!

But in addition, there were three other teachers, one teacher for the anatomy classes and the revision classes (where you get to repeat or practice what you learned in the morning), one new philosophy teacher and one for meditation (I love Swami Atma!). For me this was great, because this way I got to experience and learn from even more teachers! Each teacher has their own way and approach to teaching something, which I think is beautiful and valuable.

A New Perspective – Experiencing the Yoga Teacher Training as an Assistant

It is super interesting to experience the Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) again, but from a different perspective. This time I get to sit to the side of the teacher (instead of in front of him) and get to look at the students. And when the whole class is practicing the poses they just learned, I walk around the room – in addition to Deep and another teacher, of course – to help the students, correcting them and their alignment and answering their questions. So exiting!

yoga-teacher-training-assistant-baliAt first, I was a little nervous and didn’t know if I would be able to answer all their questions and if I would still remember everything I’ve learned in my teacher training. But to my relief, I quickly realized that I could 🙂. So, I guess I really did learn a lot during my YTT in 2018 and did NOT forget!

Natuarally, compared to day 1, 2 and 3 of the training, the poses are become a bit more difficult each day and thus are not always easy for me to correct instantly (hey, I am still kind of a newbie teacher at this point in 2019 after all!), especially when it comes to minimal deviations in some of the students. This is because everyone’s body is different and therefore the pose can look a little different on everyone.

This is one of Deep’s core teachings! There is no such thing as “one fits all” in yoga! So whenever I could, I would ask Deep for advice. I think that’s a good thing, though. Because I’m here as an assistant, not as a teacher. And after all, you never cease to be a student, do you? Especially when it comes to yoga. I can’t possibly know everything that Deep knows after almost 20 years of experience as a teacher. Plus, I’m also here to ask questions myself and learn more. And I think it’s wonderful. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

So, what happens next, once this experience as an assistant at a yoga teacher training is over?

yoga-teacher-training-bali-circleAfter three weeks, I am happy and sad at the same time that the Yoga Teacher Training is now coming to an end. Tomorrow is our last day and there will be a closing ceremony. I have learned many things. And I met new, wonderful people. In addition, I have also learned a lot about myself again and have become more aware of some things, again. I am very grateful for that.

In a few days, I will finally meet with the founder of Yoga East+West, to talk about potential employment opportunities, i.e. a job! I’m super excited! Because that’s why I came back to Bali in the first place. To get a job here. So, I’m staying in Ubud for at least four more days until my meeting with him.

My Future in Yoga: The Job Interview – or Not

Adam and I (and his girlfriend) meet at Sage, a Restaurant in Ubud, for lunch. I am a bit excited, in a positive sense. Once I ordered some food, he starts by telling me that they currently have enough staff for the yoga teacher trainings here in Bali and therefore at this point, they have no need to bring anyone else (like me) on board. Wow, just a few minutes into the meeting, and I already get hit with this.

ubud-baliBut wait, he has plans to expand and to offer his yoga teacher trainings in Costa Rica and even India next year (2020) as well. He wants to start with a handful of yoga trainings in these two countries. And then, if they are as successful as in Bali (and they are always fully booked!), he plans on expanding the offer.

This means that he would need someone from next year (next YEAR! It is August right now!) to take over the whole operational and admin stuff. I.e. someone who communicates with people who are interested in the training, and to answer their questions and just take care of everything operational, basically.

However, he also said that this person would not need to be on site for the job, i.e. neither in Costa Rica nor in India, but could arrange this from Bali or anywhere else. Hmmm, sounds good, but honestly I don’t agree with this point. Especially in the beginning, for at least the first teacher training, you need to have someone on site to guarantee a smooth operation, don’t you? Well, never mind. I would love to do the job from Bali, too. This is fine with me (although I sure wouldn’t mind a trip to Costa Rica or India, either).

Here is when the bubble starts to burst

I’m super interested in what he has to say. However, I wasn’t expecting him to offer me something that wouldn’t start in 6 months from now! What am I going to do until then? I mean, financially? And it was all so vague, too, because he said it would around March. Then, when we briefly talked about the salary, he wasn’t very clear either. He just said that it would “definitely be enough” to be able to live in Bali. Hmmm. At the end of our meeting, we said goodbye and agreed to stay in touch.

I have to say, that after this meeting, I was definitely disillusioned. I had actually expected to come to Bali, assist in their yoga teacher training and then immediately have a job at Yoga East+West! Because, during our previous email communication a few months back, it sounded very much like he definitely had a job for me. But that was not the case, it turned out. After the interview and on the way back to my homestay, I was a bit up in the air. March. It doesn’t start until March. And that’s only if the Teacher Trainings in these two new countries sell at all, i.e. if enough people sign up. Uuummm. What am I going to do now?

My plan B – in case Yoga East+West Yoga doesn’t work out for me

sunset-in-bali-palmtreesIn the unlikely event (ha! that’s really what I thought at the time) that the “job” meeting doesn’t go well, I thought about going to a nice place for about a month to continue working on my blog a.k.a. this website (which was not yet live back then) in peace and quiet and to think about my next steps.

This could be, for example, to first get a freelancing job and work remotely. Because by the end of September, I would have to generate income again, otherwise I’ll be screwed. Another option would be volunteering, again. But, I have become a bit more picky about this, I think. I would only do that again if something really cool comes up.

Seems like the universe has another plan for me: But is has nothing to do with yoga – or does it?

Since I had not yet heard from Adam, I looked around on Yogatrade (the website for international yoga jobs) and only a few days later I found an interesting job, and it was right here in Ubud! It had something to do with marketing and occasional yoga teaching! And it was for a new yoga studio, with attached villas & bungalows, an Indian restaurant, a vegetarian cafe and a spa (all owned by the same woman)! Awesome! And the funny thing was, that I had already been to this spa and the restaurant, because they are located only about 100 meters away from the resort where I assisted in July at the Yoga Teacher Training! That can’t be, can it!? Well, you know, of course I applied immediately.

And here we go again: coincidentally it did not work out as someone or something did not want that meeting to happen. It turned out that the owner of the yoga studio / bungalow resort with cafe and spa, with whom I should have had the meeting, had to go back to Australia. But she would come back in about 10 days and we could meet then she said, that is, if I am still in Ubud by then? Of course I will still be in Ubud by then! I don’t know where else to go anyway! Another funny thing that came to my mind back then was, how my meditation teacher, Swami Atman, whom I meet at the YTT in July, told me after the training that he “felt” I should stay in Ubud, that it would be good for me. Uh-huh. And for what exactly?

Somehow nothing seems to be working out – or does it?

In the end, it turned out that the owner of the restaurant / spa / bungalow / yoga studio had to stay longer in Australia. She hadn’t told me how long and then she suggested a Skype meeting. “Yes, let’s do it!” I thought, please, I really want this job! But the Skype meeting did not happen, either! At some point she just stopped answering my emails. This can’t be happening! Slowly but surely I became pessimistic. Nothing was happening for me here. Nothing was working. What was I supposed to do now?

Update: A few months have passed in the meantime and Adam has still not contacted me. Also, when I emailed him a few weeks after our meeting, there was no answer. Super sad! But in hindsight I know that it was good and everything happens as it is best for us!

The „End“ of the story: So, what about yoga after all?

It was now the beginning of September. And I still didn’t have a job, not even anything in sight! It got to the point where I was actually and seriously thinking about flying back to Germany. I talked a lot on the phone with my friends and even wrote one of my teachers, Swami Atma, to ask for advice. They all advised me to stay in Bali and keep trying. Even though I was feeling a bit down, I didn’t want to “give up”, and I certainly did not want to go back to Germany. So I stayed.

And then, finally, something else came up. A job. In Ubud! Yaaayyyyy! While it had nothing to do with yoga, it allowed me to stay in Bali. So, after some thinking, I accepted, even though the pay was hardly worth it, but at least it was enough to be able to stay and live in Bali, for now. So, I took the job, with the intention of finding something better in two to three months…..

…Only that I did not find anything better after a few months. I kept looking, but again, nothing seemed to be working out… So I stayed. And, as it turned out a few months later, that very job then brought me to my very first paid job as a yoga teacher! Wow. A few months later, I also got the opportunity to teach yoga on one of the Gili Islands for a few weeks. It was a beautiful experience!