Embarking on Your First Teacher Training
By Elonne Stockton
When I started my first teacher training course I had no intention of teaching. I simply wanted to learn more about Yoga and to go deeper into my own practice. You never know what life has in store for you! And whether you are interested in teaching or not, every practitioner can benefit greatly from attending a teacher training course.
Deciding to Participate in a Training
A 200 (+) hour teacher training course is considered the basic criterion necessary to begin teaching. If you are considering participating in your first teacher training, here are some things to consider.
- Do your research. Ideally the style of yoga that the training is using as a method for teaching is something you have been practicing for a while. And hopefully you know through experience that it is the path of practice you wish to continue on. There are countless 200-hour trainings. Find out what the different trainings have to offer, know what style of yoga they employ as a tool for teaching. Discover what you want to learn more about and the training that is appropriate for you. Practice the style of asana for a while before you start the training, becoming well versed in it so you can use your own experiences in practice to make sense of the course material.
- There are numerous things to consider. In addition to understanding what the different trainings have to offer, know where they are located, how many students will be in attendance, how much the trainings will cost, etc.
- Some trainings are in a retreat or an isolated ashram setting, where everything is taken care of for you and where there are no outside distractions. Others take place in an urban environment, where you are expected to take care of your own meals, accommodation, etc. It is a completely different experience to be on a retreat than it is to be in the middle of an urban jungle. And one size does not fit all – some are meant to be a focused 1-2 months away from your normal life, and others are broken into segments in city studios, meant for people who cannot leave work/family/life commitments.
- The size of the group can range from an intimate group of 10-20 to 100+ students.
- And the price and length of course can range from around 2,000 Euro for a month (if you were to take a Sivananda course in Europe this year) to $15,000 US for two months (if you were to have a single accommodation for the 2013 Bikram training in Los Angeles). The cost of the training doesn’t necessarily denote quality. The amount should be fair; it is important that the time of the teachers is valued and compensated for, but it is also important that those running the trainings do not charge more than what is necessary. There are a lot of dubious trainings that are very expensive and there are a lot of wonderful trainings that are relatively inexpensive. For example, every year Richard Freeman runs a month-long teaching intensive (not a basic course, it is meant for experienced practitioners) that, although he could charge anything he wanted for it, he and his wife Mary keep the rates low so that it is accessible to all students. There’s absolutely no greed involved.
- Make sure you have been practicing at least a couple of years. Even 2 years this is still a preliminary stage in practice, but it gives you some experience, some foundation to draw on. To take a teacher training much sooner than that could potentially be a waste of your time, money and resources.
- Don’t expect to make a living teaching yoga. The market is saturated with capable teachers. If you want to teach, do! Get out there and find opportunities to share what you know, being honest with where you are at in practice. Take the training to learn more, to go deeper, to share with others. But understand that you are not likely to find the experience of teaching profitable, especially not in the early stages of teaching.
- Understand that you positively affect people on an individual basis, with everything that you do. And there are many ways to teach beyond the asana classes that are so prevalent as of late. When we live according to our own personal dharma (what we are meant to do) we find that our practice extends into everything that we do.
The Centered Yoga Teacher Trainings at Samahita Retreat – Yoga Thailand
Getting to Know Us: Paul Dallaghan and Centered Yoga have been running teacher trainings for over a decade. We would love to have you join us in idyllic Koh Samui, Thailand, and we encourage you to learn more about us and our programs.
Before you attend our 200-hour teacher training, ideally you have studied with O.P. Tiwariji, Paul Dallaghan, or one of us beforehand. Maybe you come to Samahita Retreat for a retreat or a program, or maybe you meet up with Paul or one of us while we are teaching abroad. It is always good to know that you enjoy the style and approach to teaching before you invest in any training.
Tradition: We teach yoga in its entirety. This includes breathwork-pranayama from the O.P. Tiwariji/Kaivalyadhama tradition as well as asana that is based on the Ashtanga Vinyasa tradition. In addition, we study texts like the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and we practice Vedic and Classical chanting. There is also an anatomy module during which students learn fundamental anatomy and physiology.
Time: The duration of our 200-hour foundation course is one month. We also offer a variety of one- and two-week continuing education courses.
Cost: Very reasonable for the content of the course and for the skill of teaching. Plus, included in the price are accommodation and food. You should not need to spend much extra while here, although you may choose to partake of local opportunities for amusement, dining and shopping.
For more information please visit our Centered Yoga website.
We hope to see you soon!