Teacher Training

The Seven Best Ways you could talk yourself out of a Teacher Training Course !!!

Confused Yoga Student ponders whether to join a yoga teacher training course

The thinking process of “Will I? … Won’t I?” happens to everyone trying to make the decision to embark on a Teacher Training course. 

Running it past the logical left brain will give you your old beliefs and learned logistical patterns.  These are often negative.   Your right brain thinks – “how can I creatively make this happen in my life?”, so also running it past this side where your thoughts are usually positive allows a more balanced viewpoint looking from both sides. 

Engaging the thinking mind and then going beyond the thinking mind to the realms of infinite possibilities can lead you to a life changing decision.

Here are seven negative beliefs that can stop you making that jump! 

1. I am not good enough                                                                      

Internal Dialogue: 

Everybody will be so much better than me and so much more experienced 

Course Director:

A good course should cater for everyone and make you feel reassured at the interview process. Often those with the least experience turn out to be the best and most passionate teachers. 

2. I can’t do difficult postures

Internal Dialogue: 

I’m frightened to be embarrassed or put in a position that my body finds too difficult and maybe hurt myself.

Course Director:

Yoga is for all – all shapes sizes and abilities. This means teachers should be all shapes sizes and abilities too as they inspire and attract others most like themselves.

3. My life is too busy to add anything extra onto it! 

Internal Dialogue: 

I can’t possibly spin any more plates, do homework and read because I am already stressed as it is! 

Course Director:

Isn’t that just the very reason why you should do the course? Everyone is busy! A good course will give you the space and time for yourself that you most crave and re-charge your energy!  Its a win-win for everyone, partner/ kids and you! 

4. People around me won’t approve … 

Internal Dialogue: 

They’ll think I’m turning weird. 

Course Director:

So what!  They’ll also be the first to ask you to teach them! So step out of your comfort zone, feel the fear and achieve your goals!

5. What happens if I miss a weekend or some family event happens and I can’t attend?

Internal Dialogue: 

After the time and financial investment I wont get a qualification.

Course Director:

We always have to deal with this on any course we run but rest assured there are always solutions to you finishing your required hours.  Stuff happens and any good course will always work with you and not against you 

6. I can’t afford it

Internal Dialogue: 

The course is a lot of money for me to spend

Course Director:

You can’t afford not to!  Most good courses offer payment options and there are more funding options appearing all the time. Always ask about scholarships or exchange!

7. It’s not worth the investment

Internal Dialogue: 

Its only a dream – I can never really afford to do it!

Course Director:

How much are you willing to spend to have time developing and working on your personal, physical, mental and emotional health and a feeling of well-being? The change first happens with you, and then change happens in the world around you.

To sum up … Try getting rid of old belief patterns that keep you stuck as doing so is the way forward to a new future. Turn the negative thoughts into positive actions and the world is your oyster, or, the world is your Kurmasana (in Sanskrit)! 

Julie Hanson, Sue Woodd 

Seasonal Yoga Teacher Training 

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How Best to Study to Become a Teacher:

Short Intensive Courses, versus, Longer study Options

As a yoga teacher who has studied a lot abroad, I am often asked about yoga intensives and whether you should study yoga teacher training in one chunk on a beach in Goa, or at home over a longer period of time. They both have their benefits, of which I am sure you are aware of many.

Benefits of Short intensives:

  • shorter training time,
  • intensity of practice,
  • immersion, the time away can offer a very welcome space from the demands of daily life and in that space, a depth of understanding and practice can prevail,
  • sometimes cheaper,
  • heat (!!),

However, there are limitations to shorter trainings too, I hope you will find the benefits of my experience helpful to add to the mix.

The yoga school I attended ran its programs in intensive month-long courses. I did the training in chunks, my first month in Rishikesh was the first Yoga I ever practiced and when I got hooked by the teachings of Swami Vivekananda there. That month changed my life forever.

A few years later, when I worked as an accountant for Ernst and Young, I had the luck to be offered 3 months of leave before entering into the next phase of my journey with them. I jumped at the chance and headed back to Swami. He had moved the school to Thailand, so I studied months 2-4 on the gorgeous beaches there. That was it for my career as an accountant, I changed path almost as soon as I returned home. I then went back and forward to the school in Thailand each year until I had completed the Hatha and Kundalini programs (26 months).

 

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What was interesting about going in and out of the school like that was being able to take the teachings and then try to apply them for a few months before heading back for more intensive training. That was great. Some of the other students there just stayed in the ‘yoga bubble’ surrounded by beaches and other young practitioners also eating brown rice and discussing the latest colonic advice. It was very easy to assume you were making progress there, having amazing meditations with hours of practice each day and never losing your temper, even when your ‘fan spot’ was taken by a new comer to the school.

I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if you removed my friends and popped them back into their family home for a week with their parents and siblings to see just how evolved they really were! I know that I was a total Yoga wally for many years before my regular trips back home to Glasgow brought me well and truly back to earth.

You see, when you remove yourself to practice yoga intensively, a lot of change can happen very quickly, and so it can bring a sort of re-integration period when you come home:

  • Internal conflict at the vast differences in ethos of the two places,
  • lack of community and support upon your return,
  • lack of time to integrate the teachings slowly so that they go deep into your being,
  • gradual melting away of the impact of the training, and if you do not go away again all the learnings may disappear completely,
  • lack of compatibility of the teachings with real life, (as a yoga teacher who has not integrated the teachings with the Western lifestyle you are not able to really understand the demands of the life of a working parent, and so inappropriate advice on practices and depth may be given.)
  • and the most important one – you separate yoga from life.

So, although I highly recommend going away and doing intensive periods of practice, these should be integrated into the life you lead. They should support your growth in all the areas of your life, your work, your family life, your studies, your place in society, as well as your personal evolution.

I would consider that the benefits of longer periods of training at home are:

  • They can fit around your day to day life (e.g. 1 weekend per month means no time off work and not leaving your family and loved ones for extensive periods),
  • You will usually be learning from Yoga teachers who are living and breathing their Yoga in the environment in which you live and so the advice is more relevant,
  • As you start to live the Yoga teachings, you are supported through the changes, which can be challenging, by your colleagues and teachers,
  • You will become a member of a Sanga (spiritual community) which is close to your home and can become your yoga network for the rest of your life,
  • The pauses in study give time for integration and digestion of the information, so far more is retained and embodied,
  • You will have a school you can continue studying with beyond your training close by,
  • You can spread the cost over a longer period of time.

Ultimately the right choice will depend on your needs and preferences and what your intension is for your training. Whatever you choose, good luck on your Yoga path.

Marit Akintewe of Seasonal Yoga