I learnt to flybeforeI could ride a bicycle

Journey reflection by Kenosi, Freelance Writer & Editor
Drishti Beats Graduate

Journey of a Drishti Beats graduate.

"I dare you to find another programme that will hold you safely through global epidemics, lockdowns in foreign countries, extreme temperatures and repatriation." / Kenosi, Freelance Writer & Editor

Because the Kalahari Desert, my first home, was so remote that my parents had an aeroplane instead of a car. 

As with many extraordinary stories, mine can be traced back to the sobriety of tedium and the familiar hum of practicality.

Of course, I was too little to see over the high dash of our tiny Cessna two-seater (the folks would load the luggage, the dog and me behind the seats). I also could not handle the stick and reach the rudders at the same time, so when it came to landing, I would stand on the co-pilot seat to steer while my dad did the footwork.

Like every other person born before 2000 (except my mother) my father smoked steadily back in the day, and when we neared our destination, he would place one of his Lion matchboxes on the top of the dash. I could then line up the horizon with the top edge of the matchbox and fly us safely onto the ground. 

It was a neat trick. It was also the other quality that many legendary tales share:

Whenever something singular occurs, you won’t have to look far to find a guide, the person (or people) who refuse to hesitate when faced with remarkable or fantastic circumstances but instead, whips out the exact magic needed at precisely the right moment.

How did an African living in England, doing yoga teacher training in India end up becoming a certified teacher through Drishti Beats in America?

In a word Covid-19.

But as I’m not known for sticking to a minimum word count allow me to elaborate:

I found out that my YTT in Goa was cancelled with 80 hours to go on the same day that I found out I would be indefinitely stuck in lockdown in India. On my way home from the yoga studio, I was met by the Indian police who informed me that I would not be allowed out of the little cottage I was renting at all and would have to rely on local villagers to bring me food. 

There would be no pretend isolation for me. 

I had enough food to last a week on the first day of lockdown, and by the second day, I was inundated with offers of help, so the practicalities of my immediate situation were not a problem.

The problem was that I had no job to go back to at home. 

All my eggs were in the ‘Become a registered Yoga Therapist’ basket.

The night was dark and seeping coldly into my soul…

All was lost.

The dream was over.


At the very last moment:

Like a phoenix in sparkly spandex, Drishti Beats rose from the mires of despair to the sound of fabulously atmospheric music to rescue me! 

(OK. It might have only been an advert in an article I was reading online but far be it from me to miss any opportunity to dramatise the glorious workings of the universe in my life!)

My children often ask me to try and refrain from telling folks I’m African within 2 minutes of meeting them. I feel this information is less oversharing and more public service announcement because people seem to be more comfortable with my eccentricities when they understand my origin. 

Consider one of my singularities: I don’t seem to have the pleasantry chip. This places me in the top percentile for people least likely to discuss the weather and far too truthful to be considered fit for general human consumption. 

As they wrote in the most remote places of the old maps; ‘Here be monsters’ read on at your risk.

Jeremy and Lori Lowell scooped me up immediately, and my first impressions were great. They seemed fun and easy going and this was good because all I wanted from this training was to paint by numbers and get my damn certificate.

You see, I had been doing yoga steadily since I was 16 and as I was nearing almost half a century on earth, I figured I knew pretty much everything I needed to know. I wasn’t joining the course to learn, I was entering the course to tick the box.

Side note: I realise an alliance with Yoga Alliance isn’t the be-all and end-all of all yogic aspirations – but, as I wanted to do Yoga therapy rather than teach Yoga classes I would have a much easier time getting referrals from traditional health organisations in England with accreditation.

12 Sessions they said. 

Fan-fecking-tastic I thought. 

Because at that point, I was under the hilarious impression that I could still make my way back to England in two weeks, and if I did a session a day, I would return home triumphantly.

And then the trouble started.

While Jeremy and Lori remained incredibly supportive and fun, they actually demanded that I did lots of yoga… and expected a good chunk of yoga to be filmed and uploaded for every session.

If that wasn’t problematic enough 

– I have lingering health issues from a long bout with chronic illness and my internet supply like my energy was neither unlimited, high quality or reliable. (It was also the very height of summer in Goa which I feel mean to moan about, so I will simply mention that the act of meditating outside at 6 in the morning had me dripping sweat like a champion.) –

Jeremy and Lori also required me to read a whole bunch of books and write reports on my understanding of them.

THEN I was introduced to Jeremy’s in-depth lectures on anatomy (I had just completed an Anatomy Specialisation through the Michigan University thank Patanjali!)

My box-ticking exercise was swiftly revealing itself to be quite a different animal.

I. Would. Have. To. Work.


I. Would. Not. Be. Finishing. This. In. 12. Days.

In fact. This online training business? They SAY you will be doing 200 hours but if you do a proper job and engage in everything on offer you will struggle to complete the Drishti Beats training in only 200 hours. 

After I wrapped my head around the realities of what I had signed up for and immersed myself in the deliciousness, dedication and utter thoroughness of the Drishti Beats Yoga Teacher Training 200 I had a discussion with Lori about the course. She mentioned that she felt online students achieved a much higher level of training as it is so much easier to hide behind other yogis in in-person sessions and that there was much more time online for each person to perfect each part of the course individually.

From the two-hour-long Zoom meetings every week to the intense passion that radiated from Jeanne, Ariel and Alysia (and all the other Drishti mentors), Drishti Beats delivered me throughout 12 Sessions to an investigation of my own hang-ups and general thought processes and my understanding of every aspect of yoga. Far from exposing all the problems my tricky old body had up its sleeve the very deliberate way that Drishti Beats designs flows to include proper warm-up and alignment my practice became steadily more assured and balanced and strong and stable with every passing week.

The team never did stop pushing my boundaries, and if you have read this far, you probably won’t need much convincing to believe that I am incapable of telling a short story and have always talked (way) too much. During my lifetime, I have been told to slow down and talk less incessantly… and then, one day, Ariel told me to allow my instructions or Dharma space to ‘land’.

I learnt to land before I could read and write…

This was the message I had been waiting for all my life.

Suddenly my need to keep talking dissipated and I continue to notice a subtle difference in my communication on and off the yoga mat now.

Me talking less? – now that is an actual marvel of our times.

I dare you to find another programme that will hold you safely through global epidemics, lockdowns in foreign countries, extreme temperatures and repatriation… all whilst working quiet miracles in your body and soul.

I am so very grateful to call myself a Drishti Beats graduate. 

Atha yoga anushasanam!