Review of the 500 hour Teacher Training, June 2014, in Solterreno by Jo Newman, Birmingham, U.K.

I came across Bodhiyoga in 2012, attending a yoga retreat at Ecodharma, and was incredibly inspired by Sudaka and Sadhita's teaching, which was grounded specifically within a mindfulness and buddhist context. In 2013 I gained my 200hour certification from Sun Power Yoga Teacher Training,  a course which gave me a rich and firm grounding in the practice, and since qualifying I have been teaching regularly across Birmingham. After qualifying I was keen to return to Bodhiyoga to deepen my practice, and as I have been a practicing buddhist for the past few years, feeling most affiliated with the Triratna Movement, this felt like an important step for me. I was particularly interested in the combination of material covered on the course; exploring remedial yoga for injuries, meditation teaching and a foundation in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction.
On all counts the course went above and beyond my expectations. As soon as I arrived at the beautiful Solterreno retreat centre and dropped my bags at the wooden cassita which was to be my home for the next 12 days, nestled in the mountains and surrounded by prayer flags swinging in the breeze, I knew this would be the the ideal place to train (and a beautiful place to just be!) The days were long and there was a lot to take in, but we had some space in the afternoons, where we were able to rest in this tranquil setting and let the information assimilate in the brain, while connecting with the natural beauty around us. 
The course had a lovely retreat-like feel to it; we woke early every morning and meditated together, and would have a meditation, puja or ritual most evenings, which honoured the buddhist context in which we were learning. The three strands of the course were structured proficiently and fed into each other really well. The injury study was intense and we were teaching the remedial sequences to each other from the very first day, which was a great way of consolidating the information right from the beginning. It was an interesting and practical way to develop my understanding of anatomy and I am looking forward to be able to work with students in these areas in one-to-one sessions which will mobilise and strengthen and help to prevent injuries from recurring in future. It was fantastic to develop my experience leading meditation, and the mindfulness training with Bodhin felt like the heart to the course; it seemed to underpin everything we learnt. On a personal level, the Mindfulness training in particular has had a really profound effect on me, and since the course I have really noticed a change in my responses to things, as if a warm glow of mindfulness which was gifted to me on the course is now starting to shine out into my daily life, brightening everything it touches.  I have already started incorporating elements of the all the teachings into my classes and I am really excited about exploring the material on a deeper level through my own personal and teaching practice.
I was incredibly lucky with the other yoga teachers who I was training with. We had all come from different schools of yoga which meant that we were able to explore this training from very different perspectives. Continually learning from each other and sharing our own input for each pose we were able to develop a rich and varied understanding of the material. We supported each other throughout the course, which at times we all found to be challenging in its intensity, and I feel very lucky that I was able to meet and get to know such wonderful, inspiring women, who I am sure will be good friends for a long time to come. 
This was the first time this course had been run, and invariably there was a little room for refinement in a few areas (the kind of refinement which only becomes clear when the material is taught, shared and worked from practically) but overall I feel very honoured to have taken part in the first ever Bodhiyoga 500hour, and feel truly grateful to have received the gift of such knowledge at the age of 25, as I feel that these teachings will form lifelong practices and explorations.