travel · Uncategorized

What a Teaching Vacation is Really Like

When I went to Costa Rica to complete my 200 hour YTT (Yoga Teacher Training), I knew immediately that I wanted to combine my love of yoga with my passion for travel.    With a full-time job and responsibilities at home, I wasn’t in a position to do a long term work exchange or a paid position somewhere exotic. I had heard of “teaching vacations” but didn’t quite know how they worked.  I was introduced to Fitness Pro Travel by my teacher, Marianne Wells (Marianne Wells Yoga Teacher Training)

Upon returning home from Costa Rica, I knew I needed to build my local resume before my international one.  I began teaching out of my home and local parks, eventually landing a weekly class at a local studio and growing from there.  After almost two years of classes, hosting workshops and building my skills as a teacher, I felt I was ready to take on an international destination.

I signed up with Fitness Pro Travel (I paid for an upgraded membership which allows me to book up to 13 months in advance) and as they say the rest is history.  After looking at resorts all over Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean we decided on Club Med Cancun (March 2018) and Dreams Costa Rica (December 2018).  The resorts we choose are family resorts and as their guest instructor for the week, I can bring one adult companion and two kids (the specifics are different for each resort). We pay a fee upfront and for our flights and receive our room and the all-inclusive package at no cost.

I was a little nervous as we boarded the plane to Cancun.  Arriving at night with my husband and two of our kids in tow. Would someone be waiting at the airport for us?  Would the resort be expecting me. The answer was a resounding yes! We were met at the airport and received a private transfer to Club Med (no stopping at all the other hotels along the way).  Upon our arrival at the resort, the Manager of Sports met me for my orientation, we were checked in and received our rooms and we settled in for the night without a care in the world.

I taught two classes daily (8 am and 6 pm) and the rest of the time I was free to enjoy everything Club Med has to offer (and boy does it offer a lot). I was very grateful to have  over 500 hours of teaching behind me.  Unlike my studio classes where I teach a specific style (Yin is Yin, Power is Power) I had to read the room and teach to the energy of the class, not what was on the schedule (the schedule just says “Yoga”). I had to adapt to the students (most of whom didn’t speak English-Club Med I found out is very French!). This meant I could show up with my class plan and realize it wasn’t what my students needed or wanted.  I was trained to teach the student not the pose and this came in so handy (thank you Marianne).

My experience teaching in an international setting (you can’t beat an open venue with an  ocean view) helped me grow as a teacher.  As a Type A by nature, I tend to do a lot of class planning.  Teaching in Mexico taught me to literally go with the flow-of the students, the setting, the weather.

If you have ever thought about doing a teaching vacation, go for it.  We have chosen to live, love and yogi our way to as many places as we can.  A teaching vacation is a great way to see a new country and teach in an international destination without a long-term commitment.

Our motto is #getbusyliving and we can’t wait for the next adventure to begin.