Part 1: From Corporate to Kula
By: Hana Sykorova
Call it coincidence, call it serendipity, call it fate or manifestation, this is how I ended up in the Kula Collective Yoga Teacher Training Retreat.
2015 has been a year of change for me all around.
Working in the corporate world and having been on a similar career path for the last eight years or so, I felt I was operating at about 35% of my capacity. This was in terms of utilizing all my talents including creativity, my aptitude as an athlete, or my intuition or emotional intelligence. I was getting an itch to leave the corporate world altogether and be my own boss.
I got certified as a nutrition/ health coach a few years ago by the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, but did not get to pursue working with nutrition clients due to the demands of my corporate job. One day I was thinking that what was really lacking in my life was more spirituality. I was thinking to try some meditation centers, but nothing really called my attention. I did start meditating more with some apps and they helped me get through difficult days.
I was working in sales and every year our targets were getting higher and higher. I did not think we were that much better than the competition, or at least clients were not likely to switch to us that easily, to sustain that kind of growth, and that just resulted in more frustrated employees and feeling more an and more like a robot chasing that unachievable target. I was actually having a good year after a really tough year in 2014, thanks to both hard work and a bit of luck and I felt grateful that if I did somehow manage to leave the corporate world, I would be leaving on a positive note.
At the beginning of the new year I met my new boyfriend when on vacation in Mexico, and six months later, we decided to try living together and stop long distance nonsense. He was accustomed to living in different parts of the world different parts of the year. After a lot of analyzing in my head, I finally decided to try this gypsy lifestyle with him, and left my job and life in New York City. I was leaving a lot of security for a lot of insecurity and it was not an easy decision.
We decided I would first work on my foreign languages and perhaps compete as a professional triathlete. I had already tried this pro athlete lifestyle in 2014, while working full time, and did not actually love it. I ended up over trained, under rested and feeling even more like a robot, fulfilling my training plan and chasing my sales quota and having no time for any other hobbies or anyone, eternally single. But now I could do it full time... But is this my calling, I thought from time to time.
One day in April last year, before one of my triathlon races, I took my boyfriend to my friend's yoga class. He saw my advanced practice and how much I seemed to enjoy myself and asked me why did I not want to teach myself. This has always been a dream of mine but I could never find time with my corporate job and triathlon training and just buried it as an impossibility.
I was so happy my boyfriend rekindled what seemed to be a childhood dream with this question. We agreed I would look for a yoga training program after I had officially left the corporate world and enjoyed a summer off, learning French. I was happy to be taking a break and living with my boyfriend and challenging myself with living in France.
Again, I was thinking about incorporating more spirituality into my life and also how to learn more about shamanism. Having attended a few shamanistic ceremonies in New York and Argentina, I wanted to be more connected to this world and also wanted to introduce my boyfriend to it.
When the time came to look for my yoga training program, nothing I Googled seemed right. It was either sold out or just seemed very generic. I really wanted to get it done in the fall.
As I am part of a triathlon team, I also needed to fulfill my sponsor requirement of four triathlon races for the year. I was still missing one, which I needed to get done by November or December.
During these colder months, the races are only in warm places such as the Southern Hemisphere. I searched some major triathlon race calendars and found a race in Ixtapa Mexico. This was perfect as our friends have a condo there where we could stay. I signed up. Now back to the drawing board to find my perfect yoga teacher training. One day, my boyfriend saw an ad from Kula Collective and realized these were his Present Moment friends in Troncones, not too far from Ixtapa. He learned they were offering yoga teacher training just four weeks prior to my race, starting right after my other race in Las Vegas.
The timing could not be more perfect. I immediately went on to research this program - holistic program incorporating a broad range of all yoga traditions, heavy focus on meditation and spirituality, incorporating shamanism. Could this be all that I have been looking for all in one? I was so happy to learn they still had one spot left when we contacted them, the magical number 9.
Stay tuned for the next part of the series to hear about Hana's yoga teacher training experience.
Read Part 2 of Hana's Series here.