In June 2016 Nicole decided to leave her job in Guatemala for a trip to Medellín, Colombia, where she would join a small international Yoga studio as an intern, and learn to teach Yoga in Spanish
"I decided to join the program to improve my Spanish for my work - I really wanted to improve my language skills. As a yoga teacher, my words are very important and I wanted a program that could help me develop my teaching in Spanish. I was also interested in gaining more yoga teaching experience in another part of Latin America."
"It is a very unique program. I don’t know of any other program of its kind that specifically was able to help me work with a few of my challenges as an American yoga teacher in a Spanish speaking country"
What was it like to be part of our community?
"I was impressed by the diversity in the community at Flying Tree Yoga. My fellow classmates came from various parts of the world and had a lot of experience in different aspects of yoga: ayurveda, organic farming, work trade experiences around the world and different lineages of yoga. I was also grateful to have the chance to connect and meet so many interesting yoga students, as well."
"The yoga community is very friendly in Medellin. I was able to sit down and share meals with a few of my yoga students to really get to know them. I also look forward to seeing a few of the people from the Flying Tree community here in Guatemala."
How did you like the city of Medellín?
"I fell in love with Medellin. The tall and modern architecture set back with the mountains is lovely. It is considered a very progressive and modern city. I especially liked the artistic and creativity aspects of the city. I spent many afternoons at the Modern Art Museum reading books, sipping coffees and people watching. In Laureles, I met a lot of local artists, designers, and entrepreneurs in clothing boutiques, stationary stores, and the co-ops. This recent resurgence of the creative class in an aesthetically beautiful city brings a lot of energy and inspiration to me as an artist and as a yogi."
"I enjoyed the supportive space and feedback that I was given by my fellow classmates and trainers Sierra and Andrew. When you are first starting out as a yoga teacher, you need a safe container to experiment and development your own style as an educator. The feedback I was given was always from a place of kindness and patience"
What have you been doing since you finished?
"I have continued developing my career as an international yoga and art teacher. I am teaching and assisting powerful flow classes at Pure Yoga to local Guatemalans, and I teach private classes tothe American expat community in Cayala.
Three new things: First, I’ve recently started leading yoga and art classes to children at an inner-city school called Esperanza Juvenil. I have never seen children so eager to learn how to do bakasana “crow pose” before and how focused young people can be with the simple tools of breathing and focus. Children are also very courageous and resilient. So they are not afraid to fall over and get back up and try a new pose over.
Second, I have recently started working with a fair trade, organic market called El Mercadito de Lola in Zona 15. They believe in the ethical treatment and promote conscious living for all living beings. I’ve been given the opportunity to teach yoga and art classes and healthy living workshops at their market. It is nice to be able to work with local Guatemalans who want to provide healthy and organic foods and products at a fair wage for their farmers. In turn, I enjoy teaching mindfulness and conscious movement to their community.
Third, to stay connected with people who are not in Guatemala, I have launched an online Book Club on Julia Cameron’s “The Artist Way.” It’s a 12 week program that I coach online which helps people develop their creativity and incorporate more creative living in their lives."
Did the course help you in any way achieve these things?
Yes, I was thankful for the space and support to really development my Spanish, be creative in the various ways I like to teach yoga and art, and to simply have time to be in a different environment than what I have been used to. When I step away, refine and focus, I gain more insights on who I am as a yoga practitioner and as a yoga teacher. I’m grateful for the special opportunity to learn and develop my skills in Medellin.
If you've enjoyed this article and are interested in joining our community for an internship program, why not check out our course!