A Word from Santosha Yoga Accredited Teacher Trainees…

Graduates from Nusa Lembongan share their stories

“I get to wake up everyday and do something that I love!”

Miri Hussain, Portugal

“A lifetime experience that I would not want to miss!”

– What did you enjoy about your time of the training?
Finding out more about myself, my personality and yoga. I loved learning more about the deeper meaning of yoga and integrating more of this in my daily life and in my teachings.

– What was the best thing about being in Nusa Lembongan?
Nusa Lembongan is the perfect place to do the YTT. I always called the island my ‘yoga bubble’ as it is far away from the hectic main island Bali and the many tourists, the locals are super chilled and friendly and you find amazing places to eat healthy, do yoga and go for a surf. Not to mention the amazingly stunning beaches and the crystal clear water.

– What will you take away from your time on the Santosha YTT?
I loved getting to know amazing people and learning the different aspects of yoga.

– What would you say to someone thinking of joining us on this course?
Be prepared for the most intense 4 weeks of your life that will change you for sure! It is a lifetime experience that I would not want to miss for my life!

Annick Eichinge, Germany

“I feel truly blessed to have been apart of the course.”

– What did you enjoy about your time of the training?
The Santosha 200 hr YTT was a truly transformative time for me. It was lovely to be around such an amazing group of students and also surrounded by the most inspiring kind teachers, I feel truly blessed to have been apart of the course.

– What was the best thing about being in Nusa Lembongan?
Nusa has this crazy chilled vibe, its like being in a community, the locals and people on the island are always happy and helpful and every corner you turn is another slice of paradise.

– What will you take away from your time on the Santosha YTT?
I have taken all my learnings with me, for both being a yoga teacher and also for myself.

– What would you say to someone thinking of joining us on this course?
Go and do it will be one of the best decisions you will ever make.

Georgia Bakker, Australia

“Life-changing education”

“I feel incredibly blessed to have come across Sunny and Santosha in 2012, and to have had the amazing opportunity to attend the YTT course in Canggu, Bali. The course provided a life-changing education that is difficult to put into words, leading to a calmer and more centred attitude to life. Even four months on, I draw on the lessons learned each day-with the knowledge of asana being just the tip of the iceberg. 

The amazing people are what makes this course a truly beautiful experience. Each participant is embraced as an individual, rather than another number, as can be the case in other programs. 

I thoroughly recommend the YTT 200 course as a valuable investment in oneself, whether or not you plan to teach yoga. As cliched as it may sound, it is an opportunity to discover who you truly are.”

Kate Miller, Australia

“One of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had”

It’s been several months now since I completed my YTT with Sunny, and it was one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had.

I’d lived a boy’s own early life, at various times raced karts then cars, briefly flown aeroplanes, run and worked cattle in the bush, stalked game, camped rough and partied hard, an unconscious but ‘fun’ life, all the while chasing selfish needs, desires and experiences.

My time sitting a Santosha YTT easily surpassed it all.

Sunny and her fantastic teachers have huge, open hearts, teaching a thorough syllabus in a compassionate environment. Such a loving and open space was held by our teachers, it made it easy for us as students to open, stay open and be present, soaking it all in as well as having lots of fun, laughs and the most amazing time!

I’ve come away with a more thorough understanding of, and confidence to teach asana safely and appropriately, my rudimentary knowledge of anatomy and yoga philosophy have been greatly improved, I’ve learnt about other aspects of yoga I wasn’t really aware of and I’ve discovered an extended family I just hadn’t met yet.

I’ve acquired new tools for teaching that aren’t limited to the mat, as well as learning much, much more about myself and how we relate to each other.

At various times I was challenged, humbled and stimulated, confronted, conflicted and all the while embraced everything. Things bubbled out of nowhere, feelings and emotions I didn’t realise I contained or could still access emerged. My body coursed with chemicals I didn’t even know it could produce, all the while enjoying the support of my wonderful classmates and beautiful teachers.

Shaucha, Santosha, Tapas, Swadyaha, Ishwara-pranidhana. For me these are the greatest of gifts, difficult, beautiful, incredible changes that started during our YTT and continue to evolve, their positive influence reverberating and touching all those around me.

This is the real gift of yoga.

Arrive with an open heart and a child’s mind. Be willingly led wherever the four weeks take you and the rewards can be sublime.

Thank you Sunny and all my wonderful teachers and beautiful classmates, your incredible openness, teachings and support have had a far greater influence than any of you realise.

With much love and gratitude.”

Rick Freeburn, Australia

“I have left Bali a richer and more mindful person”

“It’s been just over a month since I returned from my journey to Bali to become a Yoga Teacher. My journey turned into so much more than that.

There is something special about taking yourself away from your regular world and dropping onto a tropical island to take your YTT – I highly recommend it!  There is truly nothing like it, and it allows you to completely surrender to the teaching when you open your heart to it.

From the moment I stepped foot in the Shala I knew that I was in exactly the place I was to be in that moment.  Being surrounded by people that are on journeys themselves causes you to become close with them very quickly.  I was so honoured to share this journey with them, and so happy that I chose to do it at Santosha.  This was the best place to be, for so many reasons.

The training received comes from the heart, and each instructor comes with a heart full of love for yoga, and love for the individuals they are teaching.  We were led back to the original intent of yoga – that it is for everyone – for healing and for growth.  Santosha leads the training with the guiding principles of Yamas and Niyamas and guides the students to live with these at the forefront of our practice and our lives.

I have left Bali a richer and more mindful person.  A person with a different outlook on life.  A life that is challenging me to remain present in each moment and to take this outlook and the confidence I now have as a Yoga Teacher to share this gift that was given to me with others.
I am so grateful and thankful for the training and experience that I had at Santosha, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is searching for a Yoga Teacher Training School.  I can’t wait to return for Level 2!”

Michelle Boyd, Canada

“I have three words for you: GO. DO. IT.”

“At first, yoga seemed so out of my reach. For people living with persistent pain like myself, getting out of bed is tough. Becoming a yoga instructor seemed laughable. In my head, I was so intimidated. But my heart told me otherwise.

Coming to Santosha has changed my life. If you live with chronic pain, I have three words for you: GO. DO. IT. I walked away with the same heart and a completely different body. Thanks to Sunny, Peter and the rest of Santosha teaching team, I am free from the pain I have been experiencing for years.

You will never be forced to do anything that you feel uncomfortable with. You won’t be told “push through it” or any of that nonsense. I walked away from the YTT not only at peace with my body, but LOVING my body. Don’t be scared, don’t underestimate yourself. Just come prepared for a transformation.”

Mallory Gross, USA

“Extremely grateful “

“I’m extremely grateful for everything you have taught me, as a person among the athletic, hectic lifestyle community. I have learned to listen to my body, end bad habits and approach life with a BIG compassionate heart. Thank you.”

Anne-Marie, Canada

“I experienced the true essence of what yoga is”

“Undoubtably the most enlightening and profound yoga experiences that I have ever had. This programme gave me the opportunity to learn from a range of incredibly insightful teachers and philosophers whose beauty and knowledge was shared in abundance. The teachers on this programme have the ability to have you live and feel yoga from moment to moment. Inside of that process you can’t help but look inward to see who you want to be as a teacher of yoga and how that impacts other people.

The breadth and depth of this programme offers far more than I could have ever expected. Not only did it expose me to the deeper philosophy of yoga and have me question who I was as a practitioner of yoga thus far, but it immersed me in its essence, the essence of yoga. And that’s what this course is.  I found I experienced the true essence of what yoga is and as a result my seeing, my feeling, my spirit has changed. It’s in my ‘being’ and for that I will always be grateful.”

Dionne Braham, UK

“Sunny and the Santosha team have been wonderful in their ongoing support”

“Last November I made a life changing decision to sign up for the Santosha Yoga Online Teacher Training Course. Having practiced yoga for more than ten years I had the urge to share my passion with others. Being a school teacher, I know how many young people suffer from stress and anxiety due to modern life’s pressures. I hoped that by completing a yoga teacher course I could introduce yoga to the school as part of a well-being program so all could benefit as I have.

I could not wait to get started and once I received the books and modules I began to work on the assignments. I tackled the variety of assignments from blogs, to essays, to writing scripts to making anatomical drawings with much enthusiasm, as I knew I was closer to my goal of becoming a yoga teacher. The course was very thorough, covering many key aspects including the history of yoga, Chakras and Ayurveda.

I enjoyed the challenge of the assignments, some more daunting than others, particularly writing the script for a full lesson. I managed my time working on yoga assignments during weekends and accelerating through modules during school holidays. With tenacity and determination I completed it all.

Sunny and the Santosha team have been wonderful in their ongoing support. I feel blessed for having completed the course and to be part of the Santosha family now. I am thrilled that the school where I teach is committed to introducing yoga as a regular co-curricular activity for students and staff. The journey will continue…”

Natalie Siritzky, Online Student

“No greater gift”

“Santosha has made me realize the exceptional, strong, intelligent woman that I am. I could have asked for no greater gift. I will carry this month with me through good times, hard times, and unencumbered joy. Thank you.”

Sarah Helt, USA

“I am now a qualified yoga teacher with the confidence to teach from a depth of knowledge”

“Six months ago, I made the decision that I needed to make Yoga a bigger part of my life.

I wanted to immerse myself in the practice and learn on an intellectual level the benefits Yoga provides as well as feel them myself. I wanted a spiritual journey (I had some healing to do, but had no idea how or where to begin). I wanted to be inspired to make a change in my life and learn how to inspire others. After a series of events that left me somewhat broken, I realized the time was now. I searched the net and found so many places and groups who offered a full month of yoga, retreats and Teacher Trainings, however something kept pulling me back to Santosha. I now know why…

Santosha provided me with my own unique experience and with endless love and support to really let go – let go of any ideas of who I am and just ‘be’. My eyes were opened to many aspects of Yoga I had never encountered in my practice, and my heart was filled with light and laughter. I was inspired by all the teachers and people around me and I learned how to heal, and watched as others did the same. Santosha has given me many gifts: teachings from afar, tools to cope with both the unknown and the known and last but not least friendships that will last. And of course I am now a qualified yoga teacher with the confidence to teach from a depth of knowledge and to quietly – in my own way – inspire those who want to learn.”

Jessica Bendall, Australia

“You gave me energy when I needed it most”

“Thank you so much for the great journey that you enabled us to take. I learned a lot not only about yoga, but also about myself. I was pleased to meet so many different yogis and learn from their experiences. I wish for you that the Santosha YTT will continue to grow and that you are able to further spread the message of the Yamas and Niyamas. You gave me energy when I needed it most and let me develop at my own speed.”

Martina, Russia

“The teachers were amazing”

“I felt really supported from the first moment of the course. I contacted Sunny many times during the application and had so many questions… and Sunny was always there to help me. It was a challenging course but the supportive learning environment was so great. The teachers were amazing and there for us, giving us love every moment, teaching us what yoga really means. They are dedicated to the students and helped us all to understand the subject, to feel with our body, and mind….

After the YTT, I felt confident about teaching and humbled by it at the same time. Doing this course has inspired me to further my yoga studies. The teachers inspired me to learn more and to enhance my own practice and my teaching skills.

I feel very grateful for having been able to live this experience and I highly recommend it for anyone, you will not regret it.”

Munsta Busquets, Spain

“Radiating love and warmth”

“Keep shining like the sun, radiating love and warmth. Rock ‘n roll and keep surfing.”

Jonathan Jack, Australia

“Deep healing and surrender”

“Such gratitude for offering us this experience of growth and expansion. Deep healing and surrender for us all. The creation of this Santosha training is such a beautiful manifestation of all our dreams. Thank you for that. May we all go out in this vision of love spreading the light through yoga.”

Natalia, Italy

“I feel like a new door has opened in front of me”

I’d like to express my gratitude for all the support from the teachers and students of my Santosha training, who are like my family now. I was worried about who I would be roomed with and having such intense yoga lessons. Everyone’s smile really helped me through. Sunny, thank you so much for your beautiful smile. I love how you use easy English and some Japanese and use your body language so expressively. Thanks to such an open-hearted teacher. You gave me so much energy. I feel like a new door has opened in front of me as I spent my time here. I will keep learning and bring as much light to open that new door.”

Yumi Oda, Japan

“I thank you deeply from my heart”

Actions of this world are a result of 3 factors: Nature, Human Will Power, and Chance. I arrived at Santosha-Thailand by all three and I thank you deeply from my heart for all the wonderful actions that are now possible.”

Juliette, UK

“I feel blessed to have experienced it”

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart for such a magical experience. The thought, preparation, and love that you all put in is so appreciated. You have nurtured and guided us on our own individual journeys and that is priceless. You have created a wonderful things with Santosha and I feel blessed to have experienced it.

Caroline, Vanautu

Ready to begin your own transformational journey?

Find out more about our Santosha Level 1 RYT-200 Yoga Teacher Training here.

Find out more about our Santosha Level 2 RYT-500 Yoga Teacher Training here.

Not sure which course to choose? Read more here!


Listed below are a few Santosha graduates that have made themselves available to inquiries about their Santosha training experience. We invite you to contact our referees if you would like an experiential perspective of a Santosha course, but please respect their time. Please contact us directly about the specifics of any Santosha course offering via admin [at] yogasurfingretreats.com.

Kristin Borchordt, New Zealand

Lily Stokely, USA

Jenni Strickland, Australia

Graduates’ Updates:

Please see our Santosha Yoga Teacher Directory to see where our past student’s dreams and hard work have taken them!

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