My life before teacher training was seemingly great. I had a ‘good’ career after university. working hard with love and support from friends and family.
Despite the perks of travel and meeting interesting people, I was dissatisfied. My life didn’t align with my core beliefs. It lacked a greater sense of purpose. I knew that something needed to change.
I needed to explore these emotions on a deeper level. A good friend had previously trained with Marianne Wells Yoga School in Costa Rica. She spoke highly of her experience – it allowed her to take a deep look at herself. She studied what in her life truly resonated with her, building a vision of herself in the world.
Despite having practiced yoga for a time, I still wasn’t 100% clear exactly why I was attending the training, or if I would teach yoga afterward. But I was excited, intrigued and open to what was to come. By coincidence (or was it?), I met Marianne and her husband Ron arriving at the San Jose, Costa Rica airport at the same time. Introducing themselves with a warm hug, I knew I’d made the right decision. A few days later I met the rest of the students on our bus journey to the Caribbean coast. Everyone was friendly, warm, and welcoming – it felt like I was with friends – and that is exactly what they became. This was the start of the tribe – relationships that were to become stronger and stronger. There were no awkward hellos or silences – just fluid conversation, excitement, joy, passion and a communal sense of intrigue for what was to come.
As we pulled into the resort, I couldn’t believe my eyes. We were surrounded by nature in the rainforest -in all its beautiful and natural glory with the sounds of waves through the trees. Immediately there were smiles and laughter surrounding me – the start of more beautiful friendships. To this day nothing has changed – I love you all.
The first morning practice we experienced the yoga teachings of Marianne Wells… Having practiced yoga before, I was very wrong about this being just another yoga class. Leading from the heart, Marianne taught in her own unique and special way. It resonated deeper in my soul than any other practice. Her philosophy of “teach people not postures” has stuck with me ever since. Understanding that there is so much more to yoga than just the asana or physical practice, providing each individual a unique experience. Most importantly, that it is our responsibility to serve the client, to be sensitive, aware and present to that intention. To serve in the best and most authentic way we can.
That’s when it all changed. My understanding of what I what I wanted become clear, my perspective shifted. I cried with release of emotions in this deeper connection to myself, to everyone around me, and the world. I finally knew my purpose. I want to contribute, encourage, give love and support – to help others see the best in themselves. To hold space for people in seeing how special, unique, and capable they really are.
The most powerful thing I found about the training was that it prepared me well for becoming the best yoga teacher I could be. The whole process allowed for a deeper understanding of myself. It allowed and encouraged me to look at myself – in my raw state. To truly understand what is important to me. To gain a greater understanding of my intention and purpose. To experience, to practice, and then to share what Marianne calls – Really Real YogaTM.
I returned home, quit my job, and searched for studios to teach at. Within a couple of days teaching opportunities found me. Within the first couple weeks I had taught my first 6 classes. Needless to say, I was nervous. Would I be able to offer the same experience that Marianne had offered to me? Then something that Ron said in training rang true : “Do you want to be a copy of Marianne, or a truly authentic you?” I then collected myself and took the leap – serving in the best and only way I know. I haven’t looked back since.
For the first few months, with part-time jobs in cafes, etc. to help pay the bills, no longer did I have that sense of dissatisfaction. I was on my path to guiding yoga classes. I felt connected to what I was doing, and finally felt authentic in my choice of direction and purpose. One year on, and I’m now a “full-time” yoga teacher – regularly teaching classes, hosting workshops locally and internationally, and training to be a life coach. The desire to serve others burns brightly in my heart. I am excited with thoughts of future opportunities, and the communities I will meet.
It all began that December in Costa Rica – a life changing experience facilitated by Marianne, Ron and their team.
I will return one day to Marianne Wells Yoga School in Costa Rica to serve others, as I was served. To give back the gifts I was so generously provided. I will be forever grateful for how it challenged and changed me for the better.
I hope one day we will meet and share our practice of yoga. Send me a message via email or Instagram, I’d love to hear from you, and I’d be happy to answer any questions you have for me.
Nothing but love.
Namaste – Dan.