• Claudia Steinhauser

How to choose a yoga teacher training?

.... and what to look out for!

When you are looking for Yoga Teacher Training Courses in the UK there are so many courses to choose from. A yoga teacher course can be life-changing and really immerse you into the philosophy, art and science of yoga. Before you sign up to a yoga teacher training, I would recommend you the following:

1.    Get to know the teacher(s) on the course. Meet the teacher for a one-to-one and discuss any issues you may have. Come to a class.  I have met all the trainees beforehand and over a cuppa we discussed life and got to know each other as a person rather than only in the classroom. If I would have met some of my teacher trainers beforehand, maybe I would have not signed up!

2.    How many years’ experience has got the teacher on the course? Sometimes other additional experience is valid too, such as, does the teacher strike you as a mature person with life experience? How distant or warm does the teacher feel to you. In my teacher training's I felt there was a lack of mentoring and even thus I appreciate the freedom I was taught, I would have liked some more support in the beginning and even later on. Don't fall for the foolishness of "unrivalled teachers" are teaching in our teacher training, which on top is the "best intensive teacher training". We employ the best and then when you scratch the surface, almost all of them have graduated in the last few years. There is nothing wrong with employing recent graduates, but please don't make it look like they are the best and maybe a bit of modesty does not harm? Marketing does not have to be like that!

3.    Ask yourself if you are ready to give this commitment. To attend an intensive course can be quite demanding, especially if you have to work full-time or have family to attend to. Is there other aspects in the teacher training that might be useful, e.g. marketing skills? I have been working in marketing, and I am constantly committed to be updated with the newest trends to help you to avoid all those empty classes I had to endure. I was sold by yoga studios their practice rooms without any help. On top one yoga studio made me pay to be listed on their website, but asked me in return to list them for free! The studio manager came to my class and did not pay. Gyms make you advertise classes to attract people, but you will never receive a penny more for that effort. One Yoga Studio wanted me to go around the studio and distribute leaflets for them to business units. Seriously?

4.    Does the yoga teacher training take close to you and / or are you required to travel somewhere else? In our teacher training, we actually also offer a week in Italy.

5.    What is the admission policy of the teacher training? What kind of students does this teacher or those teachers, studio owner(s) attract? What is the whole integrity of the place you are going to give your trust and money to? Is it a business (nothing wrong with ethical businesses, but yoga is so much more. There are too many, I call them, vegan versions of "Pepsi" and "Starbucks" out there. Are students who go to the classes kind? Do you get ice cold looks in the changing room? I mean, it does not mean that everybody is a hugging hippie, but a little bit kindness in this world cannot harm.

On a more personal note, I recommend against studios, who only employ their own teacher trainers or make huge promises to you in regard to earnings and employment and pay their teachers a breadline wage. You will learn how to discern and direct your energy into the right direction with the right teacher training. The teachers will care for you and not only take your money and off you go into the wild west.

Yoga is freedom! You would not go to a hairdresser for one year before you apply to be a hairdresser in that saloon? or do all your shopping at that store, before you are allowed to work as a shop assistant? So why should this be different with applying for a yoga teacher job? Believe me, I was told to come to the studio and take out classes before I can teach.

To teach yoga can be tough and should be seen more like a life changing experience and you can teach part-time or full-time afterwards. It is certainly the most fulfilling activity that I have done in my life and to see the transformation of people after a class speaks for itself. This does not mean that you cannot earn a full-time wage after a while, but it is so much giving of your self and certainly nowadays there are lots of teachers out there. Make sure the teacher training you chose helps you to be an authentic teacher from the start. Will they support you afterwards? We offer a 6 months mentoring afterwards.

I also got really disappointed with studios / places who don’t reply or ask you to come to give a trial class and then in the last minute change it or forgot it or just don’t bother contacting you (believe me it happened to me a couple of times, once in Barcelona and once in Brighton at such a prestigious place - is it?). The top of absurdity is that when you remind them of the commitment they just say sorry or not and sign love and light, so make sure the person you give your trust to walks the walk and not only talks the talk. Of course, we all can forget things, but not if we play with other people's time and availability.

Yoga is integrity and ethical behaviours throughout and it is important to offer your services to only those who will appreciate if you put your heart into it. If not, it becomes just another commodity. I personally cannot care less about how well somebody performs difficult postures, but more how respectful and honest this person is.

Sundara Yoga Teacheer Training offers authentic teacher training in Brighton and Hove, Get in touch for ore information or come to a taster sesssion Sunday 29 September.


#beginnersyoga #yogapractice #yogateacher #yogaethics

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