It’s around this time of the year that we find a quiet moment and reflect on our journey thus far, then focus on the path we aim to choose in the coming months. It’s almost a customary rite of passage into the new year, but a valuable exercise on any given day.
For me, the main priority this year will be facilitating a comprehensive new programme, the Iyengar Yoga 250 hours Bilingual Lineage Series I. It is designed to offer you a long-term, clear, and effective approach to learning the art and science of yoga and yoga practice.
I have developed this new series to support and develop;
- Yoga practitioners who wish to advance their practice with safe alignment techniques and extend and build their own, individual yoga practice within a holistic system;
- Yoga teachers who would like to refine their teaching skills through advancing their own practice with the precise and subtle Iyengar method;
- Certified Iyengar teachers, current TTC students or graduates wishing to learn higher-level Iyengar concepts and instructions.
I am excited about this new direction! It’s a chance to stretch my knowledge and grow with it. It’s an opportunity to share my love of yoga and strengthen teaching practices.
So bear with me and my ruminations about personal growth and extending my own comfort zone. Let me write down my thoughts about how I can strengthen yoga teaching practices, what makes a great teacher, and what contributes to a powerful classroom experience.
I invite you to come on this journey with me. But, most of all, I welcome the discussion. A great deal of thought has gone into developing this new course. Your feedback will help me with a crucial part of this puzzle that I’ve been putting together, piece by piece.
What makes a great yoga teacher?
It is my firm belief that yoga teaching is a calling! It is the natural desire of a yoga practitioner, who, through the process of learning, matures and feels the natural urge to share this wonderful practice.
I believe love for the practice and sharing it and a holistic approach that includes spiritual elements such as pranayama, mantras and meditation are essential parts of teaching.
You might already know how to become a yoga teacher, but do you know how to become a GREAT one?
Of course, technical expertise is essential to help yoga teachers strengthen their practice. However, these are skills that can be taught and learned.
For me, teaching yoga is about compassion and love, and that includes being compassionate about myself and deepening my own relationship with the practice of yoga. Qualities such as authenticity, presence, empathy, intuition, people skills, and a desire to keep on learning will make the real difference between a good teacher and an exceptional one.
There’s also a certain element of trust in that mix. Trust between a teacher and the student, and trust in oneself.
A lack of trust in our abilities and capabilities can sometimes hold us back. Even experienced, highly skilled people may still get nervous about teaching yoga. I am acutely aware of it, especially now, extending my teaching practice and exploring new territory. It is, however, something that BKS Iyengar put into perspective for me. He said: “If you are not nervous going into teaching, you have a problem!”
What contributes to a powerful classroom experience?
I believe at the heart of this question would be another one: Have I empowered my students, and will the rest of their day be different?
What will be taught to potential and current yoga teachers in this new lineage series and how it is taught will have a ripple effect right into every yoga class that follows on from there.
With that effect in mind, I’ve sought to develop this new course, which includes both only knowledge-based objective study and methods to create quality subjective and experiential learning, aimed to help you foster consistent, ongoing practice.
In over 45 years dedicated to the practice and science of yoga, I have learned that the key to a powerful classroom experience is presence, compassion, and keen observational skill that allows every student to feel seen and supported.
It is the ability to inspire and connect, teach a whole group while taking care of each individual and guide you to find your personalised balance and clarity at the edge of what is possible today; and to support you in developing and systematically building your personal practice.
Iyengar Yoga is a living tradition that, when practised with awareness, can develop every level of our being – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual – enhancing all aspects of our lives.
What is being taught in the new Iyengar Yoga Course?
Whether you are a serious practitioner, a yoga teacher or aspiring to become one, the most important intention of this course is the same for everyone:
“Be a student with committed zeal to be on the path of self-realisation, studying yoga as a way to move forward on this path.”(BKS Iyengar)
The Iyengar Yoga 250 hours Bilingual Lineage Series I is designed to help you progress on this path of Svādhyāya (self-study)). Here’s a quick overview of the areas we will explore and extend our knowledge and practice in:
- Theory of Iyengar Yoga
- Asana study
- Pranayama study
- Philosophy – Darshana
- Iyengar Yoga Practice – Abhyasa & Vairaghya
Please remember that the content is spread over five terms to allow you time to develop and deepen your practice. You will also receive course handouts and a list of required and suggested readings.
You can find the complete course details here or contact me directly.
Watch this space
What is next? The term 1 dates are set! The first 50 hours are happening.
Meet and Greet – Feb 13, 10:00 – 10:30
Course sessions 10 am to 12.30 pm and 2 pm to 4 pm on:
- Feb 19 – 20
- Feb 26 – 27
- April 3 – 4
- April 30 – May 1
- May 28 – 29
Dates of terms 2 – 5 will be announced later.
It’s not far away at all, the start of my new course! I look forward to this new chapter – it has been a while in the making – so it will be great to test my planning and put theory into practice. Was my preparation the right one? Will I be providing a powerful classroom experience? Will I make sure every student feels seen, safe and that they have a voice?
I especially look forward to meeting new people, like-minded yoga practitioners and the opportunity to take this journey of growth with them.
So watch this space – I will keep you posted! For more information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.