I can’t believe I’m already at the end of week 3 of my yoga teacher training in Koh Samui and what the hell! It’s December (Where did the time go??)!! I’m learning everything there is to know about yoga and it’s effing beautiful. Sadly, my little brother passed away this past week which has been a challenge but I’m being as positive as I can and doing well.
Conrad James Robert Schneider (Rad Man, Little Bro, My Other Half) passed away the night before Thanksgiving. Gone too young, just about 2 weeks shy of his 21st birthday. Conrad touched the lives of many and his smile could light up the whole damn room. I hold onto the most beautiful of memories. You’re gone but I feel and see you all around me.
It’s tough not being there with my family during this difficult time but they are very understanding and know I am there in spirit. I am beyond proud of my sisters for stepping up, being bosses, and just being so damn beautiful and strong. I am truly beyond grateful for all the love and support as well as all the donations to help my family have this funeral for Conrad.
The first couple of days I found it really hard to pay attention during meditations and what not. I began feeling as though a piece of me was missing. I’d see his face almost every time I closed my eyes and a lot of the time it made me cry. He was such a funny dude and everyone knew it. Seeing photos of him broke my heart but I reminded myself that he is no longer suffering and is looking down on all of us. He is the light in my life and I’ve been dedicating all my practices to him. I’m constantly reminded here at Vikasa that happiness is choice and its what I believe. The news of my brother is heart breaking but I know he is at peace and watching over us.
You can choose to be happy or you can choose to be sad. Conrad would not want us to be sad. In loving memory and in celebration of my not so little (he was never so little, he was 6’5″ or around 195) brothers life, Conrad James Robert Schneider Until we meet again my sweet, sweet brother.
Week 2 finished so quick with the 20 hours of fun hands on Anatomy stuff. Practices continue to get harder but we all keep getting stronger. Saturday we had another fantastic self practice. We finished up week 2 with a practical presentation with groups of 7-10 people which actually weren’t too bad. We were given two poses and together had to present different information on each pose. My crew presented shoulder stand and headstand and I was actually the model to demonstrate shoulder stand. It was such a good experience to demonstrate the pose because the Anatomy teachers adjustments are really helpful. At the end of all the Anatomy hours we concluded that we were all broken and have been doing yoga wrong for all these years.
On Sunday, about 20 of us went on a boat trip around the islands where we snorkeled, had a buffet lunch in a small village, and followed up the trip with some kayaking before heading back to Koh Samui. It was really awesome and helped me get my mind off things. It was also very nice to be do something other then yoga but of course we talked about it! I look forward to this Sunday and plan on keeping it super chill. I’m thinking beach side with a coconut and definitely a massage. Possibly scoring some dope yoga pics!? Oh, and cant forget the CAKE!
In week 3 its gotten pretty REAL! This week has been all about the sequencing and teaching and kick ass practices. We’ve also started philosophy with Yoga Amitram who is an absolute delight. I love his humor and he makes it fun to learn. We taught our first class this morning and I partnered up with Pala. It was so inspiring to be able to see our own sequences in action and be able to get feedback on how to improve. In the beginning of the course I wasn’t sure about teaching and now I’m just so inspired and in love with creating my own sequences that I am looking forward to being able to teach!
Yesterday we went over what we have learned in the past few weeks regarding breathing techniques, cues, and pose variations as well as what to expect while we teach our 1 on 1 classes. In week 4, we will teaching sequences to groups of 6 so thats super exciting. Yesterday we also did this funny carousel yoga pose thing where every student went to the front of the class and made up 3 minutes of posing and taught it to everyone (the 32 other students). It was super challenging because we had to think on our feet for the next pose and trying for it to make sense in the sequence.
This week I have created a few tapas (challenges) for myself:
1. Showing up 100% to the mat and listening to the body and being open to this life experience. Kosta and Jason like to say bring the beginner mind which is beautiful. You’ll learn a lot (this has been my course intention).
2. I’ve been eating a shit ton of pancakes since I’ve got here with an obscene amount of cacao syrup so I’m swapping the reg. Pancakes for omelets which is obviously not a bad trade or anything
3. Oh! I’ve also given coffee a break during my course which I didn’t mind. Drinking water and tea makes the skin glow!!
4. Alongside the shit ton of pancakes I’ve also been having a shit ton of cake and energy balls thanks to Sergei. Sergei is the cutie pastry chef here at Vikasa. Anyways, so I’ve decided to have cake on the weekends so I’m just counting down the days.
Today was beautiful and again so inspiring. In the last couple days I’ve been filled with so much happiness and love from being able to properly chat with my sister Corynn (she’s so awesome and its amazing to see what a fantastic women she has become). Dont get me wrong, some days its easy to want to give up but I have to remember why I’m here and that I love yoga. Earlier today, I was also able to squeeze in a little chat-ski with Betty, the dynamics teacher. It was nice talk and just get some stuff off my chest.
Ps. I’ve got this brunch thing down to a science. I arrive and eat at 930am and chill and relax and make the same meal and save it till 12:30pm and eat it before I head to dynamics, its perfect. Philosophy was as great as usual though I find I am very tired from not sleeping my 8 hours last night but life goes on. This evenings yoga practice was inspiring and wonderful. I was a bit nervous as I thought I was feeling weak and tired but after we got into it I realized how strong I’ve become and we finished up the practice with some super cool arm balances which I had no idea I could do!
Im looking forward to tomorrow mornings self practice. We are also learning some cool theory stuff with Jason and ending the day with a class with Ashtanga Master Man Craig then on Sunday we get to relax and its onto week 4!!
The boyfriend arrives on Thursday, so I am excited about that as well as having him here for my graduation. We will chill in Koh Samui for one more night near Big Buddha Pier while I get some ink and we will head back to Bangkok via ferry/bus the next day. We will then hang in Bangkok for 2 days and finally start our adventure home landing in LA where we will be picked up by Trevs fam and drive to Arizona! We are toooo stoked to be back in the States after 10 months of traveling. Just being able to chill with the fam and begin to figure stuff out, ugh I cant wait!
Until next time,
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