How to choose the yoga teacher training that’s right for you
Teaching can be very gratifying -especially if it is a discipline that works both mind and body. A yoga academy can be ideal to introduce you to the path of instructing others and allow you to reach your maximum potential, but it is important to consider what kind of tutor you want to be.
Similar to mainstream education, there are different topics and specializations in yoga. As it is such a millenary practice, yoga has branched out quite a bit, which means there are more than one variations, and a few areas you can focus on. All options are available, but not necessarily the best for you. Therefore, discover some of the most popular yoga practices here at Sampoorna Yoga Academy.
This is a dynamic style of yoga, in which there is a main focus on the tristhana method. It involves asanas, dristi, and breathing (i.e., postures, gaze, and breathing with sound). The poses are sequential and linked to breathing, and it is quite demanding since its goal is to build a flow of heat and energy.
Another characteristic unique to the Ashtanga Vinyasa style of yoga is the order of practice itself. This style of yoga is divided into six different series; each series comprises a set of asanas to be practiced in a very specific order. Very few people in the world reach advanced levels and practice all six series. Most practitioners start with and continue practicing the first of these, commonly referred to as Ashtanga Primary series.
Students are given a new pose only once the teacher observes that they have mastered the previous pose in that series. Another aspect to consider is that they use hands-on adjustments as guidance.
This practice can be physically intense, which means you will have to be careful to avoid burnout. If you are highly active and prefer a slow and gradual progression while learning the right technique for each and every asana, then Ashtanga may be your ideal choice.
Also known as “flow yoga”, this style is known for guided sessions where each posture seamlessly takes you into the next one, deeply in sync with the breath. Unlike other branches of yoga, it is more variable and creative, in which the pace and intensity is defined by the teacher.
Vinyasa, is derived from the Sanskrit prefix “vi”, which means in a special way, and a suffix, “nyasa”, which means to place. This indicates that we are not moving about in a random manner, but instead following a well-thought and well-designed sequence of asanas. This is reflective of the spiritual philosophy of transience and the temporary nature of life; we enter a posture, stay for a while and then gracefully move on to a new one. The movement of Vinyasa is always initiated by the breath, which is why it is commonly referred to as a “breath-synchronized” practice. If you are somebody who enjoys creativity and freedom of movement in different ways, Vinyasa flow is the perfect style for you. As a teacher, your class will probably have yoga beginners, or other people looking for something featuring less stillness in their practice.
In opposition to Vinyasa, Yin Yoga is characterized as a lot slower paced in nature. Asanas are held for periods that range between 1-5 minutes, depending on the level of the practitioner. Their purpose is to improve flexibility and joint circulation, instead of exercising major muscle groups.
The main areas targeted during Yin Yoga practices are the lower back, hips, and thighs. Another notable difference is the use of props (e.g., blocks, bolsters, and blankets) with the goal of helping the connective tissue relax, while the position is held, and gravity works on the body.
This style arose from martial arts and offers a great way to stretch out after a workout. As a teacher, after an intense practice, you may find it suitable to combine it with other styles (e.g., Ashtanga), which can help both the recovery of you and your students. It can be practiced by itself, too, if you are more interested in slow-paced practices, in which stillness and insights are honored.
Unlike other disciplines, Yoga Nidra is not focused on asanas or the physical aspect of practice. Instead, it is a form of guided meditation, in which the practitioner lies down, while a teacher guides the session to lead the body into a state between wakefulness and sleep. With a deeper focus on introspection, this practice is a kind of meditation that can help the practitioner better understand and experience yogic teachings.
There are plenty of different practices, but no matter which one you pick, all of them will help you grow both personally and as an instructor. Additionally, they will help you tailor a unique experience for your students. Some courses can also be helpful—even if they are not focused on a style itself. Learning pranayama or hands-on adjustments can improve the quality of your lessons.
Here at Sampoorna Yoga, we can help you with all the styles mentioned in this article and much more. Contact us and start your path as an instructor of this ancient practice that will enrich both your life and the lives of your students.