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On Friday the 9th of Oktober I arrived in the beautiful village of Dharamkot, North-India. I flew in from Colombo, where my journey had started one month earlier, through Chennai and Delhi to finally arrive in Dharamsala. There a taxi driver would be waiting for me. Dharamkot is a small hillside village overlooking the Kangra Valley. When I arrived I could immediately feel the relaxed and laid-back vibe. The place is full of nice cafe’s and local shops. The kind taxi driver helped me to Parimukti, where i would stay to practice, learn and even teach yoga in the coming month.

I knew about the Parimukti Yoga Teachter Training school through a friend from my home town. Wait… I haven’t even introduced myself! Well hi there, I am Charley Smeets, 26 years old and I am from Nijmegen in The Netherlands. There really is more to know about me than this basic information but during this blog you will get to know about me and my experiences here.

Like I said, a friend from Nijmegen introduced me to Parimukti and especially to Merel, the founder and lead trainer. Moni, who’s testimonial you can read on this website, told me about her experience during the Teacher Training course in India. I became interested through her story and I could not stop to think about doing the training myself. Especially since Moni was so enthusiastic about Merel and her teachings. After some research and contact with Merel I decided to just take this big step and apply for the training. I could not wait to begin and see what this new adventure would bring me.

So when I arrived on Friday, I was thrilled to be here. After I settled in my room, Angelica, one of the teachers, showed me around Dharamkot. She introduced me to a couple of students who were just finishing their one-month training. Doreen told me about the training and it was really nice to hear her speak about it. She told me about the different classes and teachers and how she encountered everything. I could feel her passion and joy. I could not stop to wonder how I would find everything and even a healthy tension came to me. How would I feel in one month? Would I be able to share the same knowledge as Doreen?

On Saturday I attended the leaving ceremony of the old-students (who in fact I can now call teachers). The teachers and old-students shared their feelings and they thanked each other for the past month. Meditation teacher Manjeet, spoke a few words about every students. They were all teachers now and he expressed how all them were unique in their own way of practicing and teaching yoga. It was special to witness the ceremony as a new student. Again I could not stop to wonder… I would be sitting there in one month, what would they say about me? Who would be my fellow students? Excitement rose inside me and I couldn’t wait to start the training.

Now I am only a few hours away from my own introduction ceremony. The start of a new adventure in which I will learn a lot, about yoga but also about myself. I am curious to what I will find on my way and I can only hope to become a real yogini.

In the next weeks you will read more about me and my journey, here in Dharamkot.

“When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.” – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist.

This picture is of me and my fellow students in Dharamkot 🙂

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Sophie Nusselder

My name is Sophie Nusselder. I started practicing and teaching yoga in 2008 and knew I started travelling a path that would change my life. Ever since my childhood I remember having a natural desire for physical movement. Born and raised on the Dutch countryside I loved to bike and hike in nature. The awareness of the breath in yoga made me connect with deeper layers. A fortification of magic in life! To me yoga means aligning. Yoga and meditation are tools to remove that what blocks me and allow space – the space of pure presence. By constantly returning to this space I discover what truth is and what is not. It’s direct communication, which results in pure clarity, free feelings, liberation and creativity. I experience yoga as a feeding of my deepest yearning, it creates challenges to develop myself and it works as a support in my inner pursuits.

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