Congratulations! You’ve decided to take the plunge and become a yoga teacher. With new yoga teacher trainings popping up each year, all you have to do is sit back and choose the right course for you, right? But hang on a minute. Do you really know what you’re getting yourself into? It’s time to get behind the marketing hype and discover some home truths about becoming a yoga teacher. Here are 5 things you need to know before you sign up.Read More
I’ve been practicing yoga for 25 years and teaching for 15 years. And I’m a long way from being a guru.
I’ve got plenty of diplomas, degrees and postgraduate qualifications as well as many thousands of hours of experience. But the gaps in my knowledge are as wide as the ocean.
And that’s a good thing. For two reasons.
My morning yoga practice used to be quite elaborate. Then I had kids. These days I enjoy 20 minutes gentle stretching followed by 10 minutes meditation - just enough to get me on track for the day. And, of course, even that's subject to the unpredictable schedules of the rest of the family...
Ruby (11yrs) and Eddie (8yrs) join me for a few down dogs (which usually ends up being more of an all-in wrestling session on the yoga mat) before breakfast followed by the school run.
I received an email recently from a woman called Michelle asking if yoga could help her with insomnia. When I called her to explain how yoga can help manage sleep disorders, she replied “That's great! I've got a couple of kilos to lose and then I’ll sign up.”
Happily, I managed to persuade Michelle that fitness levels and body weight have nothing to do with being able to practice yoga and she started enjoying the benefits of yoga straight away. Michelle is not alone in thinking that yoga is only for fit, slim, bendy people – that’s certainly how it often appears in the media. One of the problems with media images of super flexible yogis doing advanced poses is that many people think “I’ll try yoga when I’m thinner/fitter” or even worse, “yoga’s not for me”.
I’ve been privileged to work as a yoga teacher trainerfor more than 12 years. It’s rewarding work that is both challenging and exhilarating and I’ve met some extraordinary people along the way.
However, about 3 years ago I started to notice something different about the students signing up for the trainings. The broad diversity of ages and body types that I had encountered in the early days of my teacher-training career had almost disappeared. The people signing up now were overwhelmingly young, bendy and body-conscious.
To be fair, the vast majority of trainees have always been female. But within that population, there were people of different sizes, ages, backgrounds and experience. In recent years, that profile has changed.Read More