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If you love yoga and want to establish a serious self-practice, if you’re ready for some major breakthroughs and transformation, if you want to spend a month in a beautiful inspiring environment and become an inspiring yoga teacher, then this course is for you. Through Vikasa’s yoga teacher training, you will discover a pleasant physical challenge to compliment the spiritual awakening that is the Vikasa experience. Situated in close proximity to the sea-front, the path to renewed life begins here!
This yoga teacher training takes place in Vikasa Yoga Retreat. Vikasa is the creation of yoga pioneer Konstantin Miachin, who created this unique place for personal evolution. It’s the ideal place to practice yoga, find like-minded people, eat healthy food or just chill-out in an amazing natural environment.
The Zen bungalows are perfectly named, being eco-friendly, traditional huts built with local, natural materials. They provide an opportunity to leave contemporary hotels behind and feel yourself become totally at-one with Koh Samui’s natural surroundings, with the stunning views from the cliff-top location right outside your door. Zen bungalows offer queen size or single beds with mosquito nets and fans to keep you cool while using minimal energy. They offer a truly authentic experience.
Please note that the Zen bungalows are designed for solo travelers who are looking for a way of staying with minimal environmental impact at a budget rate. For modern comforts such as air conditioning, large beds and private bathrooms, you should consider the beach bungalows or ocean rooms.
The following is the facilities in the Zen bungalows:
Bridging the gap between a hotel room and an authentic Thai experience, Vikasa’s yoga caves are small but very comfortable rooms that offer sweeping views over the sea and rocks below. Relax on your comfy bed facing out over the ocean and take in one of the best panoramas on Koh Samui. Sleep, read or meditate in peace. Modest in terms of size but still to a high standards, the air-conditioned yoga caves offer a quiet, personal place to stay for individual travelers.
The yoga caves do not have bathrooms en-suite. There is a large shared and public restroom and shower facility located just behind the block of yoga caves. The showers have hot water and shampoo provided. A bathrobe is provided in each cave for your comfort.
The following is the facilities in the yoga caves:
The standard beach bungalows bring you close to nature while providing every convenience. The rustic, clean and comfortable surroundings feature a queen-sized bed, and direct beach access. A private balcony allows you to take in one of Samui’s spectacular sunrises. Bungalows come with simple interior bathroom with hot shower, AC, mini fridge, and a safety box.
The superior beach bungalows provide the same features as the standard, but are more specious, better finishing, upgraded king-sized bed (or request two twins) and Vikasa’s most spectacular unobstructed sea views from its balconies. It’s a truly unique waterfront living experience.
The following is the facilities in the yoga caves:
The standard ocean rooms offer every convenience. Rest and recharge in a king-sized bed (or request two twins) and awaken to a sea view that will energize you for the day ahead. Step out onto your private balcony to enjoy the fresh island air, relax and read a book or meditate and feel at one with the natural surroundings. A stay in one of Vikasa’s ocean rooms is restful, relaxing and inspiring. Please note that some ocean rooms have a partial sea view only.
The features of ocean rooms are:
Vikasa means evolution when translated from Sanskrit. The Vikasa method is based on individual evolution and spiritual development. The concept of the “evolution of yoga” is centered on the notion that everything in the world evolves constantly. The primary goal is evolution, and yoga can be seen as a tool to facilitate that.
The Vikasa yoga method is an integral system of yoga based predominantly on classical Hatha yoga, with some influence from Himalayan Vinyasa and higher Taoism practices. A fusion of the three lineages allows for a very effective and complete system resulting in personal evolution. The method is based on universal rules of yoga that ultimately allows the practitioner complete freedom from any particular routine leading to an “intelligent freestyle” of practice. Emphasis is placed on the journey, or evolution of an individual.
Encouraging evolution leads to a natural progression of individuality where uniqueness is celebrated as a natural piece of the oneness you are a part of. This opposes the often found dissolution of identity and ego which can inspire conformity and unnecessary isolation. A careful distinction is drawn between oneness and conformity, oneness being the acceptance of what is, including all that is around you and inside you. Conformity is referenced to include unimportant religious practices and dogmatic systems. The system encourages function within an existing society, rather than against it or apart from it.
This allows for deeper connections with the spiritual and physical beings that surround us on a daily basis. Key principles and rules of yoga are taught, allowing the teachers of Vikasa yoga and dedicated practitioners to become free from any routines by gaining understanding, knowledge and insight into the methodology and the effects of practice. When individuality is inspired and oneness within community is celebrated, the teachings become inclusive of infinite possibilities.
Lectures and discussions on sequence of exercises in Hatha yoga classes occur throughout the course. You are taught the fundamental types of poses and movements which should all have some usage in each class: forward bends, back bends, twists, side-bends, inversions, hip openers, standing poses, and more. The teacher will also explain how certain sequences prepare for specific asana or types of practices so that the effect is most clear and healthy for the practitioners. The elements are demonstrated in a way which is coherent, clear, easy to understand, and also effective for the students in attendance. You will discuss how to move around the room, demonstrate in different positions, facing different direction, and being present to all the students in the class. Appropriate to the students in attendance the teacher can at need have the students watch, demonstrate, explain while making eye contact, and then practice the technique.
Asana is taught to be practiced both highly technical and mindfully intuitive. The principles of alignment are taught as the general grounds from where to start and then personal feedback from your own experience practicing is encourage to continue fine tuning your posture. A great deal of attention is placed on what kinds of sensations you could expect to experience in performing an asana well, not only in the terms of "stability and comfort" but again in musculo-skeletal functionality, dynamics of breath in relationship to each asana, distribution of weight to supporting elements, developing core strength, and observing the behaviors of the mind. Most importantly, you are encouraged to do a healthy exploration of your own body to move towards those qualities of "effortless effort" in breath and posture.
You will be given a full picture index of asana. The classes tend to focus on the "beginner's elements" but with an "advanced" concentration or intention for transformation as a process to observe. While techniques such as bandhas, dristhi, and others by no means are limited to use in asana, the course will cover them as a means to make them more vivid in use and obvious in action so they are more easily refined in pranayama and meditation practices. Bandhas are taught as actions with direct flow of breath and prana, organize musco-skeletal patterns, and create stability through the core of the body that allows exertion to be transferred efficiently into grounding. The Vikasa yoga level 1 asana catalogue consists of 222 asanas, complete with photographs and Sanskrit names.
Every day, the training begins with silence in the practice shala as you prepare yourself for the days practice. Over the course of the training, you will be sequentially introduced to the techniques that will compose the 45-minute pranayama sequence followed by meditation. You will start by getting a foundational lesson on breath and it's relation to yoga practice and life and the qualities of breath that make for a calm and intelligent awareness. Each technique starts at its most accessible degree with explanations on proper progression to more advanced practice such as adding bandha and breath retention.
Flowing movements are taught as the beginning of disciplining the body and the mind and bringing those movements inwards towards an awareness of origin; of movements, spatial and physical relation to the earth, and expression and intelligence of the body / mind system. A variety of different themes are explored in Vinyasa practices such as joint freeing, synchronization with breathing and drishti, increasing range of movement, mechanical functionality, coordination, balance, full body Vinyasa, and accessing and realizing patterns of consciousness.
Chanting is taught as a means for exploring other aspects of the mind / body system and also as a means for connecting with higher ideals / energies / beings and more. Sanskrit mantras are used for the lead chanting practices while it is encouraged for you to also make a chanting practice with a mantra of your choice and for your chosen purposes. At request, George also provides "cleansed" malas for you and gives you a mantra personally. Vikasa’s philosophy teacher will also cover a variety of mantras, their meaning, and correct pronunciation.
Meditation is taught as a means for observing the activity and relation of the mind / body system and also to begin to draw identification inwards by withholding the senses and concentrating on an inner aspect. The "success" in this is taught from many different perspectives both practical such as that you actually sit down to practice, and also scientific and spiritual as in what results from deep meditation. Like all yoga practices, it is offered as a reminder that all practices are supportive and as one practice the foundational elements and incorporates principles of "yogic lifestyle" the more "inner" practices come naturally and effortlessly.
Differences in body structure are highlighted throughout the anatomy teachings that define limits in range of motion or action of certain joints and body parts. Many side by side comparisons are made of students for a very live and memorable experience. As an adeptly experienced physiotherapist, Michelle offers insights into preventing injury and exercises for rehabilitation. This is done intrinsically by teaching the mechanics of the body and simple and complex relationships of anatomy in yoga asana. A theme in this section is joint stability and co-activation of muscle groups which develops the philosophical purpose of practicing asana which is to perceive an underlying unity or balance in the nature of the body / mind system and lead to states of clearer perception as to the nature of being. The theory is followed by practical sessions on the various joints that are most prone to injuries in yoga. To perfect your understanding, the anatomy and physiology session also includes the basic physiology of the respiratory, digestive and cardio vascular systems.
A history of yoga is detailed by understanding the history of the region of the Indus valley and developing India. It is also discussed from a perspective of the origin of the Vedas and yoga as a mystical timeless source that exists for the benefit of all beings to enter the bliss of divine effulgence. Yoga history also carries into classical yoga texts. You will study the history and evolution of yoga philosophy, Patanjali's biography, the goal of yoga, the mind and its functional division, kleshas, and the eight limbs of yoga. Also a pivotal text in understanding yoga philosophy, the Bhagavad Gita is taught with many discussions and questions posed by both our philosophy teacher and the students. The background of Gita, Gita's relevance to modern world, karma, reincarnation, four classical approaches to yoga, the summaries of the 18 chapters of Gita are all discussed. There are many means of practicing yoga and that they exist to be used in each aspect of our life that it is natural to Vikasa that they should be included. You are taught that as a result of using any particular yoga practice, you will often discover yourself eventually utilizing others.
Self-inquiry, mindfulness, shadow work, traveling on an inner journey of self-discovery and self-mastery, learning to be at ease in and with oneself and others, learning to have a voice, be seen, be heard, acceptance, surrender and learning to listen to your own inner voice to discover your truest potential.
This broad topic is explored at many levels such as how to work professionally as a freelancer, in yoga studios, organize retreats, open a studio, and more. It also explores good ethics for yoga teachers in regards to relationships, respecting ideological beliefs or personal space, encourage the best out of people, and keeping non-useful personal issues out of the teaching space.
You will be taught the current best marketing strategies to make a presence. Vikasa will explain marketing through the networking by teaching free or public classes, visiting studios, attending yoga events, print business cards, flyers, posters, and making an internet presence through a website, the use of Facebook, and other relevant social media.
The methodology and practice portion of the yoga teacher training is taught by Vikasa's very own founder, Kosta Miachin.
This teacher training is located in Koh Samui, Thailand. Koh Samui has perfect weather almost all year round and offers a culturally rich environment to further inspire you. Most of Koh Samui is still considered unspoiled and unpolluted. Time on Koh Samui is an opportunity to relax, unwind, explore and focus on yourself. Enjoy the natural energy of palm trees, white sand, purple sunsets, turquoise waters, dense jungle, and exotic waterfalls. Despite being so easily accessible, Samui remains an idyllic island in the sun.
If you ask ten different locals which beach is their favorite, you would get ten different answers. The truth is, Samui has such a diverse selection of beaches you’re bound to find your own favorite. Although completely secluded and private, Vikasa is just minutes away from beautiful beaches such as Chaweng Noi, Coral Cove and Silver Beach, and also just a short drive from the most popular and busy shopping and dining areas of Chaweng, Lamai and Bo Phut.
Chaweng is the largest and most popular of Samui’s beaches. Chaweng offers lots of shopping, dining and nightlife. Despite being sometimes crowded during high season, the beach is actually one of the nicest stretches of white sand on Samui and has some of the calmest waters for swimming and other water sports.
Lamai is another nearby area, situated along the second biggest beach after Chaweng. It also has a shopping street with many shops and restaurants. The main road is closed for a walking street festival every Sunday evening. Lamai is home to the lady Muai Thai boxing ring and a variety of local food stalls.
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As part of the stay at Vikasa Yoga Retreat, you are provided with excellent vegetarian food and with as much organic ingredients as available. As you are in Thailand, a lot of the food is Thai inspired although there will be other items on the menu. If you are not willing to try out a vegetarian diet, there will be one item of fish or seafood with each dinner and chicken provided to your request. Vikasa provides at least one full lecture to educate you on nutrition, diet, and fasting so that you can continue exploring your health, and spirituality through the relationship with food.
Vikasa serves wholesome health-conscious buffet-style meals. Kick start your day with an amazing brunch made out of freshly squeezed juice, tea and coffee, a sunny side up or vegetable omelet, wholegrain toasts, oatmeal / muesli with yoghurt, or chia seeds pudding, super foods, boiled veggies with specialty in-house organic dips, vegetarian sandwiches or pancakes, and of course a variety of fresh-cut tropical fruits are all available.
Dinner includes a hot soup, typical local dishes with tofu, brown rice, two or three vegetarian dishes, fresh salad, dahl, and always one seafood dish.
For dessert you will be served fruits, occasional delectable mango sticky rice or other uniquely Thai savoring. Vikasa’s homemade signature tea is a perfect finish to your meal. Vikasa also serves light snacks during afternoon breaks.
“Central” as the locals call it, is the largest shopping mall, movie theater and restaurant complex on Koh Samui. Large chain stores as well as local designer boutiques can be found here. Central boasts some of the best western food on the island. So, feel free to get your fix of comforts here including sushi, pizza or even Belgian beer.
Koh Samui is loaded with fun activities to keep you entertained during your stay. Take a break from the yoga and health oasis of Vikasa, and venture out into the wild of Koh Samui. You’ll find everything from bungee jumping to jet packs to remote jungle hikes or the infamous lady boy drag queen shows. Don’t miss the two “walking street” street market festivals, every Friday and Sunday in Chaweng and Lamai areas respectively.
Koh Samui is home to many wild animals and insects. Sighting wild animals can be fun and exciting. Always be sure to use caution, respect and common sense if you should encounter wildlife. At Vikasa, we have the utmost respect for our local flora and fauna. Koh Samui has a unique ecosystem full of exotic creatures.
Some of the animals you may see during your stay include:
Vikasa offers spa treatments at Vikasa Spa. They are available at an additional cost. The Vikasa Spa offers a range of comforting services that will leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed. Vikasa Spa specializes in authentic Thai massage, as well as offering Swedish and Indian styles as well. Vikasa Spa uses quality organic and locally manufactured products for the scrubs, facials and skin treatments. The spa is open-air and constructed on a stunning ocean cliff-side. For a unique experience, enjoy one of Vikasa’s special treatments such as manual lymphatic drainage massage or a detoxifying herbal Thai compress treatment. Vikasa’s signature Thai yoga massage emphasizes the assisted stretching that is a smaller part of most Thai massage and enhances your yoga training by increasing flexibility.
Please book your flight to arrive at Samui International Airport (USM). Vikasa Yoga Retreat provides a friendly airport pick-up from the airport. The pick-up is included in the price and available for any flight time.
You can reach the island of Koh Samui via a ferry service from the mainland Thai city of Surat Thani. Be sure to check ferry times as the schedules are sometimes limited.