VIKASA GRADUATE STORIES
Every year at Vikasa we certify around 200 yoga teachers, either in our Foundation 200hr Yoga Teacher Training, or in our 300hr Advanced Yoga teacher Training. Our graduates continue to inspire us as they bundle up all the wisdom, lessons and practices they gained through their time at Vikasa, and take yoga out into the world in their own unique way. Our graduates are running yoga studios, offering retreats and workshops, teaching at global events and festivals, providing private yoga classes or have their own digital yoga studio platforms.
Each month we are excited to feature one of our graduates in a ‘where are they now’ series so that you too can witness their ongoing transformation and get an idea of where a Vikasa Yoga Training can take you.
This month we introduce you to Estefa Pastor. Estefa joined us in May 2019 for her 300hr Yoga Teacher Training. Scroll down to read more about Estefas journey and how yoga continues to be shape her daily life.
Meet Estefa Pastor
When did you do your Vikasa Yoga teacher Training?
It was 4 year ago, in May 2019, what a beautiful experience that was!
What was one of the highlights that you still recall from your time at Vikasa?
One of the most unforgettable highlights from my time at Vikasa was the overwhelming beauty that enveloped me in every way. It wasn’t just the breathtaking natural surroundings that left an indelible mark, but also the sensory experiences I encountered.
The beauty of the tropical nature that surrounded the retreat center was awe-inspiring. The vibrant colors of the flowers, the tranquil sound of the ocean waves, and the warm, tropical breeze created a paradise that I still dream about.
Can we talk about the food too? Every meal at Vikasa was a culinary delight, filled with fresh, wholesome, and locally sourced ingredients. It wasn’t just nourishing for the body but a treat for the taste buds, reminding me of the importance of mindful and healthy eating.
Yet, the human beauty at Vikasa was the most profound highlight for me. I had the privilege of meeting kindhearted people from all walks of life, both among the teachers and fellow students. The sense of community and support was heartwarming. It was at Vikasa that I truly felt at home, safe, and free to be myself.
Vikasa isn’t just a place; it’s an experience that touched me on a deep, soulful level.
Tell us a little about your work now as a yoga teacher and how that has evolved since your YTT.
Since completing my 300-hour yoga teacher training, my journey as a yoga teacher has been a rewarding one. The added confidence from this training prompted me to embark on a teaching career in Dubai. I also expanded my skill set by studying Sound Healing and Yin yoga.
A few months ago, I took a significant step by leaving my corporate job to fully dedicate myself to teaching yoga. You can now find me teaching in three different studios across Dubai, where I offer a diverse range of classes. I currently teach 12 classes weekly, including Vinyasa, Power Yoga, Yin Yoga, and Deep Stretch sessions.
In addition to regular classes, I also conduct Sound Healing sessions with Cacao ceremonies a couple of times each month. These sessions provide a unique and holistic experience for my students.
I’ve also hosted yoga retreats in Croatia, Sri Lanka, Dubai, and I’m excited to announce an upcoming retreat in Vikasa. Retreats are a way to connect with my students on a deeper level and explore the practice of yoga in beautiful and serene locations.
Have you returned to Vikasa since your YTT? If so, what was it for?
Yes, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to return to Vikasa since completing my YTT. My most recent visit was in June, when I joined the EVOLVE retreat organized by Niki and Michael. That was a truly transformative experience, a perfect blend of connection with fellow yogis and moments of disconnection from the outside world. It was a time of personal growth and introspection, and it reaffirmed how deeply I missed the unique atmosphere of Vikasa.
I’m excited to share that I’ll be returning to Vikasa at the end of November, but this time, it’s to host my very own retreat. I’ll be bringing a small group of dedicated yogis from Dubai to experience the magic of Vikasa. It’s a place that has touched my heart, and I can’t wait to introduce others to this paradise.
After the retreat, I plan to stay a few extra days to bask in the serenity and bliss that Vikasa offers. This time will allow me to recharge, reflect, and continue my personal journey as a yoga teacher and practitioner.
Tell us about the retreat you are offering at Vikasa in November!
Oh I am so excited about this! This promises to be an unforgettable week filled with enriching experiences.
During the retreat, you can look forward to a daily schedule that includes invigorating yoga sessions in the morning and calming practices in the afternoon. But what makes this retreat truly special is that we’ll not only delve into traditional yoga practices but also explore various forms of yoga and meditation. My goal is to create an environment where everyone can step out of their comfort zones and engage in activities they may have never tried before.
Beyond the yoga and meditation, one of the key objectives of this retreat is fostering a sense of community and connection. You’ll have the opportunity to meet and bond with like-minded individuals who share a passion for wellness and self-discovery. As we come together to explore and learn, you may find yourself reconnecting with aspects of yourself that you may have felt disconnected from.
In summary, my Vikasa retreat in November “NOURISH YOUR SOUL” is designed to be a transformative and immersive experience.
What’s one piece of advice you would give yoga teachers who are just starting on their yoga journey?
One valuable piece of advice I’d offer to yoga teachers who are embarking on their journey is to maintain a continuous practice both as a student and as a teacher. The journey of yoga is lifelong, and there’s always room for growth and improvement. By consistently practicing, you enhance your own skills and knowledge and also remain connected to the experiences and challenges your students may face.
I believe it’s essential to keep an open mind. Yoga is a diverse and evolving field, and there are many different styles and approaches. Be willing to explore and learn from a variety of sources, whether it’s different yoga traditions, meditation techniques, or teaching methods. An open mind allows for greater flexibility and adaptability in your teaching.
Last but not least, embrace humility. Teaching yoga is a privilege, but it doesn’t make you infallible. Be open to feedback, continue your education, and never stop being a student yourself. Humility not only helps you grow as a teacher but also fosters deeper connections with your students. It’s a quality that makes you approachable, relatable, and respected.
Inspired to take the next step of your yoga journey?
If you’re ready to take the leap from student to teacher, or deepen your existing yoga practice and teaching skills, join us at Vikasa for a Yoga Teacher Training. We offer our 200hr and 300hr training several times a year. You can also join us for a shorter 100hr Yin Yoga training, or 100hr Refresh Yoga training once per year.
Check our training page here for all upcoming dates and details.
If becoming a successful yoga teacher is a goal or dream of yours- we’re here to support you to ensure that becomes a reality.