Loading...

Follow International Yoga Teacher Training Retreats .. on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid

Photographs of beautiful women dressed in white yoga clothes, immaculately made-up and airbrushed, sitting in meditation postures, are used nowadays to advertise anything from soya milk to exclusive wellness spas. They are almost cliché, in the same way that women in bikinis are used to advertise expensive cars.

Meditation has become a marketable phenomenon. But do we really know what it is?

What Meditation Isn’t…

A common misperception is that meditation is simply a tool to help us to de-stress, relax deeply and soothe the nervous system.  It is often portrayed in this way, especially in the new age world.

Whilst these are positive and valuable side effects of a consistent meditation practice, they are far removed from the traditional or deeper aspirations of the serious practitioner.

The Real Goal of Meditation Practice

Traditionally the goal of meditation practice is to awaken from the dream of a separate sense of self. Through meditation, you to begin to see life and yourself with profound clarity and freedom.

Working with the “Monkey Mind”

When we sit on our cushion, we suddenly find ourselves alone with our own mind. We are often surprised at how agitated and relentless the thought stream appears to be. In Buddhism this is often referred to as the “monkey mind.” And we all have one! By sitting and witnessing the endless fluctuations of the mind, we slowly start to understand its nature.

The practice is to simply be aware of everything that arises in our consciousness and to choose to stay present and not to get entangled in any of our thoughts or feelings. We endeavour to gently let go of any thought or feeling or experience that arises.

Learning to be Present

We notice that it is habitual to be lost in thought and feelings. We are often either rehashing past events or projecting our fears and desires on the future. It takes steady effort and focus to remain very aware of the simple, direct and unadulterated experience of the present moment.

Discovering Who We Are

As we become more skilled at staying present, we learn to observe thoughts and feelings arise without getting caught up in them. This allows us to sink into a profound awareness of ourselves as Cosmic Consciousness, which is who we are beyond the body, beyond the mind and beyond the individuated sense of self.  So a very good reason to meditate is to glimpse your real nature and to recognise your true self beyond ego.

We may have mistakenly believed that we are the thought-stream, but when we find ourselves witnessing our thoughts, we suddenly realize that we are not the thought forms but the one who is able to be aware of the mind. That can be literally mind-blowing, in a good way.

Changing Our Perspective

We start to see that everything that passes through our awareness is just a wave of energy or a movement in consciousness. It ceases to matter whether the content of thought is “positive” or “negative”. On a profound level the content of our own minds ceases to really matter. What becomes more important is our ability to stay present and aware, instead of becoming fascinated by the content of our mind.

Consistently doing this practice will start to affect our everyday experience. It will give us the ability to become more objective, rather than always relating to the world through the lens of what I think and what I feel.

Naturally, we will start to experience a little more space between our thoughts and are actions. We won’t just react in a knee-jerk way when our buttons get pushed, instead we will take a deep breath and decide calmly on the best response. We will become less agitated and experience greater equanimity.

This doesn’t mean we will never get upset, or experience ups and downs, but that we will be better equipped to deal with the ruffles and riles of daily life and will have a greater perspective on what it means to have a human mind.

Mastering the Mind

Ultimately we will gain more and more mastery over the roller coaster of thoughts and feelings that is the nature of mind. In doing so, we become a master over our own mind, rather than being enslaved by it. As we start to gain space in the mind and learn to loosen the fascination with the content of our own minds, we also will begin to experience greater depth, joy and peace in our meditation. This is when we rest in the ground of being, before thought.  The great masters have called this Satchitananda: Truth, Consciousness and Bliss.

Meditation Techniques and Methods

There are many different techniques for practising meditation. For instance, in Zen and Vipassana the focus is on the breath, whereas when practising Japa a mantra is used. Any technique is good, as long as it works for you. There may be many different roads that lead to the centre of town, but as long as you reach the destination, it doesn’t matter how you got there. The same route doesn’t always appeal to everyone. That is why it is good to find a technique that resonates with you and then to stick with it.

Just Keep Practising

As Patanjali said, what will make a difference in the end, is a steady and consistent practice over a long period of time.

Vidya Jacqueline Heisel, SYT is the Director of Frog Lotus Yoga International Yoga Teacher Training Programs and of Suryalila Retreat Centre in Andalucia, Spain.

This article was first published in Om Yoga Magazine.

Inspired to learn more? Vidya leads Yoga Teacher Training courses, in which meditation is valued daily practice. Click here to find out more.

The post What is meditation and why do we practise it? appeared first on International Yoga Teacher Training Retreats – Frog Lotus Yoga.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Finding your inner voice

Let’s face it, “there is nothing new under the sun”, so we are unlikely to be completely unique and different in our yoga teaching style, and nor do we need to be. What we do need to be is authentically ourselves and not try to live up to perceived ideals of what a yoga teacher should be. But how exactly do you do that?

My first recommendation for newer teachers is to develop a yoga teaching style inspired by what you like about your favourite teachers. Really pay attention to what it is you like about them and try to imitate that. In the end everything we teach will likely be a winning combination of all of our best teachers. Pick up clear and precise cuing from other good teachers.

Another way of finding your own words is simply to instruct yourself out loud, whilst doing self- practice. Try to say simply and directly what you are doing physically and then try to refine your language even more. Sometimes this takes a little contemplation.

Pay a lot of attention when doing self-practice. Notice what small adjustments in your own body make a difference, especially when you are getting into a more challenging pose. Turn these small movements or tips into cues. Your own practice can go a long way towards informing your teaching style.

Metaphors and similes can be useful, but only when they make sense to you and you feel comfortable using them. For example a couple of phrases I like to use are, “allowing your head to hang heavy, like a ripe fruit” or “turning all of your attention inwards, just like a tortoise drawing back into it’s shell”.

Having a sense of humour whilst teaching goes a long way to getting the students to relax and enjoy the class. This doesn’t involve telling jokes or being too laid back but just occasionally saying something that puts a smile on your students’ faces. Let it come really naturally -it will happen when you are relaxed and at ease whilst teaching.

Smiling occasionally also can light up the class, so don’t be afraid to make eye contact with a student and to smile.

Try to avoid slipping into the “yoga teacher voice” trap. Sometimes yoga teachers adopt sing-songy or hypnotic voices, which sound artificial and do not allow their personalities to shine through. Use your normal voice, but speak a little slower and a little louder.

Above all relax, be yourself, and express your own enthusiasm for the practice. If you are fully present and enjoying the experience, there’s far more chance your students will too.

Vidya Jacqueline Heisel
Director of  Frog Lotus Yoga International, Yoga Teacher Trainings and Suryalila Retreat Centre.

For information about Yoga Teacher Training courses led by Vidya, see here.

www.froglotusyogainternational.com
www.suryalila.com

The post How To Develop Your Own Yoga Teaching Style appeared first on International Yoga Teacher Training Retreats – Frog Lotus Yoga.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

1. Who is the main Teacher and are they fully qualified?

 How long has he/she they been teaching? They should be seasoned professionals.

 2. How much of the programme is actually being taught by the main teacher?

Some programmes do not have the main teacher teaching a substantial part of the course. I once attended an intensive programme that was mostly led by someone who graduated from the program one year before. The main teacher advertised only put in guest appearances a few times a week, which diminished the course’s value.

 3. How long has the programme existed? How many students have already been trained?

The longer a programme has been around and the more students who have graduated the better. You can then assume that many of the kinks have been ironed out.

4. Who is teaching the anatomy section and what experience do they have?

Often times the anatomy section can be poor, boring or not really relevant to yoga. Make sure the person teaching the anatomy section is a yoga teacher so that they can teach you to apply your anatomy learning in the context of a yoga class.

5. How many teachers are on staff?

A ratio of one teacher for every 10 students is  good.  Make sure the main teacher will be available to give personal attention and to guide you through the experience.

6. Will you be ready to teach by the end of the programme?

Some programmes require additional projects on completion of the training, which may be valid and helpful. Check whether anything else will be required before you can start teaching.

7. Will you have taught one or more full classes to your classmates by the end of the training? Make sure that you will have this experience, as this will give you the faith in yourself to go out and start teaching.

8. Does the teacher offer any mentorship after the training?

If you need help or advice is there someone you can talk to after the programme?

9. Is it possible to speak to graduates of the program?

Sometimes it is helpful to be able to contact a few graduates of the program to ask them directly about their experience.

10. What style of Yoga is being taught?

Make sure you are familiar and comfortable with the style of yoga that is on offer in the training. Be wary if the course is offering multiple styles of yoga as it could be confusing for a beginner teacher.

11. How long is the program? If it is the basic 200 hours and it is an intensive it should not be taught in less than three weeks. Do the mathematics!

Five additional things you should ask about the venue and training…

  • Is accommodation and food included in the program? Some trainings expect you to organise your own food and accommodation. This can be a stressful addition to a busy time.
  • What kind of accommodation is provided? Some YTTs offer basic tents or crowded dorms. Make sure the accommodation will be comfortable. You need to be able to sleep!
  • Is the food organic? Organic is better Also it’s very important to check that there options for allergies, vegans or special diets.
  • How do you get to the venue from the airport? Are you being met or do you have to make your own way to the place in a foreign country?
  • Is there any rest and recreation time in the schedule? While most intensives are intense, it is important to have some down time scheduled to process your learning or allow some time to explore the area. 200 hours crammed into 2 weeks will not allow for any time off!

With all these in mind, we believe our well-established yoga teacher trainings are exceptionally high quality and will give you the answers you seek to the questions above. Why not check out our training pages for more information.

The post Ten Things You Should Know Before Signing up for a Yoga Teacher Training appeared first on International Yoga Teacher Training Retreats – Frog Lotus Yoga.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
International Yoga Teacher Training Retr.. by Frog Lotus Yoga International - 8M ago

The main reason most people continue to come to class is because they like their teacher. The quality of the class and how they feel afterwards will also influence their decision to come back. Yoga teachers should be gracious and attentive socially and having a warm social connection with students is of prime importance. This doesn’t mean going out to dinner with your students or befriending people you don’t necessarily have a lot in common with. It does mean taking the time to learn your students’ names (having a sign –in sheet helps a lot with this). It also means finding out about their injuries and needs in class and responding to this, consistently. It may be small things like who likes to use an eye-pillow in Savasana and who doesn’t, remembering who needs help to come up into handstand and going over to help them or being very attentive if one of your students is pregnant and always giving them alternatives.

Greet everyone by name and ask how he or she is doing. Try to say goodbye to everyone after class. Of course, if your class is really big, you may not manage this, but aim to be available to greet people before and after class and to answer any questions your students might have. Never be moody or tell your students about your own problems. As a yoga teacher, we need to demonstrate equanimity at all times. If you are unable to do this, for any reason, seek a substitute teacher.

Put some energy into creating a pleasant atmosphere in the studio or room. Use incense and candles. Play some suitable music. The lighting in the room is important. If the room has overhead fluorescent lighting, invest in a couple of inexpensive lamps. Make sure the room is clean and that the temperature is right. If you provide mats and blankets, make sure they get washed regularly. If the environment you teach in is warm, clean, inviting and beautiful, students will be drawn to come back.

Before class begins, try to introduce yourself to all the newcomers, ask their names, find out how much yoga experience they have, ask about their injuries, and above all make them feel welcome and comfortable. Also give them a brief orientation – let them know where the changing rooms and toilets are and anything else they may need to know. After class find out how they liked class and answer any of their concerns. Students often feel awkward and stupid in their first yoga classes and need reassurance that this is completely normal and that it will change after a few classes.

Before beginning class make sure newcomers are positioned correctly. For example, if you do a traditional lay out for Ashtanga, or Vinyasa Flow, which is two rows of students facing each other, make sure you do not have newcomers on the ends of the row. Always position newcomers in the middle, and next to someone who has a strong practice. You do not want them trying to copy someone who is inexperienced or is modifying for their own physical limitations. You also want to position newcomers where you can see them clearly and can help them. However, do not be completely on top of them, correcting their every pose, as this will probably make them uncomfortable. It also means you will not be giving enough attention to everyone else. Make sure they are not doing anything to injure themselves, but then it may be good to let them begin to find their own way for the first few classes. Usually it takes someone a few classes to begin to get the hang of things. So do not over assist anyone.

Set your mat up facing the class; do not teach sideways in relationship to the class as you will lose your connection to them. You need to project towards them, not out to the side. However, when you want them to see a pose from the side, it is fine to turn to demo. Do not get stuck to the mat, feel free to move around and demo beside someone or in the middle of the room.

Never stand, sit or kneel on your mat when teaching. Either do the pose with the students, to demonstrate, or walk around and give assists. Be as dynamic and energetic as you can. Also do not teach with your hands on your hips or arms folded in front of you. Both these postures are a little aggressive. Nor should you just stand and teach in front of the class. If you are teaching standing, then walk around. Be attentive.

Find a good balance between modeling the poses and walking around assisting and cheerleading. It is good to do both. Sometimes going up to someone and doing the pose beside them, so they can copy you, is helpful.

Always do abdominal sets with the students. This is better energetically.

In a beginning level class it is appropriate to model much of the class so the students can follow you and you can give a lot of verbal assists. In an Intermediate and Advanced Class you can often teach more verbally and move around assisting more.

Make sure you give full and clear instructions and offered modifications or levels for each pose. The more intelligent options you can give, the better your teaching will be.  If you need to refer to your notes or just think about what you want to do next, put the students in down-dog or child’s pose. This will give you time to regroup. Do not refer to your notes or hesitate when they are in Tadasana and waiting for a cue.

Try to be upbeat and energetic with your language, so that your teaching is infused with positive Shakti energy! Avoid speaking in a fake singsong voice that can become hypnotic. Be yourself!

A little humour can go a long way. Of course don’t overdo this either.

It’s good to be poetic and to bring in some concepts of the yogic teachings if you can do that artfully and not superficially.

If you make a mistake, recover graciously. Do not comment on your own performance. Never express doubt or insecurity, even if you are feeling it.

Do not talk all the time. Silence allows space for the student to turn inwards and feel what is going on in his or her own body. Too many instructions can be overwhelming. At the same time, you do not want awkward silences.

Savasana is always a good time to help people access a deeper level of consciousness and to let go of ego through your verbal guidance.  Always leave a little silent space after guiding the students into a deeper space and then read an inspiring quote.

Vidya Jacqueline Heisel
Director of Suryalila Retreat Centre and Frog Lotus Yoga International,
Yoga Teacher Trainings.This article was first published in The Om Yoga magazine.www.froglotusyogainternational.com
www.suryalila.com

The post Tips for Yoga Teachers appeared first on International Yoga Teacher Training Retreats – Frog Lotus Yoga.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

In many ways a good yoga workshop is very similar to a thematic yoga class, but will generally last for 2 ½ to 3 hours. Here are ten pointers though that should keep your students coming back for more:

  1. Ensure your workshop has a clear theme, and state this in the name of the workshop.  Consider that the goal of the workshop is to educate the students in some way on the chosen topic.
  2. Provide a relevant hand-out to accompany your workshop so your students have something to take home.
  3. Enlist an assistant to help give hands on adjustments during the workshop if possible.
  4. Begin with a short introduction to your topic, which could be followed by chanting and/or pranayama.
  5. As in a thematic class, the workshop will probably be working towards a few peak poses, so let the warm–up part of the class reflect the peak poses you are working towards and warm up the body intelligently in preparation for those poses or sequences.
  6. As you progress through the workshop, weave in the theme and return to it often.
  7. A good inclusion for a workshop is to offer a section close to the middle where you introduce partner work. This will add an interesting and interactive element to the workshop.
  8. Take more time to explore and educate in detail than you would in a regular class.
  9. Verbally wrap up the workshop before going into savasana, recapping what you have covered in the workshop.
  10. During Savasana, tie in the theme in your guided relaxation script and include a quote or reading that is relevant to your theme.

Vidya Jacqueline Heisel
Director of Suryalila Retreat Centre and Frog Lotus Yoga International,
Yoga Teacher Trainings.

This article was first published in The Om Yoga magazine.

www.froglotusyogainternational.com
www.suryalila.com

The post Ten Elements of a Good Yoga Workshop appeared first on International Yoga Teacher Training Retreats – Frog Lotus Yoga.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

  • Offer to assist classes of teachers that you know, so you can practice your hands on adjustments without the added challenge of also teaching. This will help you to get comfortable touching people. Do this until you feel completely confident with it.
  • Practice, practice, practice. Organize at least 2 free classes per week for friends and family. If there is one thing you really need to do as a new teacher it is to get as much practice as you can, as soon as possible.
  • Offer to teach a community class at your local studio for donation only and accept donations for a charity of your choice. This way, you will feel fine if the class is not perfect and it gives you more opportunity to practice.
  •  Every week choose three poses to study in depth. Research everything you can about those three poses and write some good cues to integrate your new knowledge into your classes. As your knowledge increases and your cuing gets more intelligent, your confidence will grow.
  • Write down some good guided pranayamas, meditations and savasanas. As your students will practice these things with their eyes closed, you will be able to read through your script, which you have thoughtfully written. This way, it can be really good, and you won’t stumble over your own words.
  • Plan your class well ahead of time and make a clear list of the postures you are going to teach. Place this list beside your mat (it is fine to use notes) but just make sure you refer to it when the students are in Down Dog and Child’s Pose, not Tadasana.
  • Before teaching, do some calming pranayama yourself, such as three part deep abdominal breathing or Nadi Shodhana, Alternate nostril breathing. This will calm your nerves.
  • Visualize yourself teaching with confidence and authority. Imagine yourself teaching a really excellent class and try to see as much detail as possible. As you visualise this get in touch with how it feels emotionally to be a successful and confident teacher. Do this before every class you teach.
  • Be very friendly and kind towards your students, checking in with them before class to find out about their injuries and goals. Be willing to spend a few extra minutes at the end of class to go over anything a student might have questions about. Connecting with your students will allow you to feel more relaxed, knowing you are among friends.
  • Always take time to prepare for your class well. Also take a shower, dress in clean, flattering clothes and tie your hair back. Look the part!

Vidya Jacqueline Heisel
Director of Suryalila Retreat Centre and Frog Lotus Yoga International,
Yoga Teacher Trainings.

This article was first published in The Om Yoga magazine.

www.froglotusyogainternational.com
www.suryalila.com

The post Getting Class Confident: How to Boost Your Confidence as a Newly-Qualified Teacher appeared first on International Yoga Teacher Training Retreats – Frog Lotus Yoga.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

The Yamas (ethical restraints) and Niyamas (observances) offer us a way to live more ethically and more consciously.

Ahimsa, non-harming is certainly the first Yama because it sets a strong ethical foundation of non-harming for all of the steps that follow.

Practicing Ahimsa is more easily paid lip service to, than actually done. When analysed carefully, it’s disturbing to realize how much our everyday, socially acceptable way of speaking to each other contains seeds of aggression.

Hopefully most sincere yoga practitioners do not wilfully engage in grosser forms of violence, such as causing physical harm to another, or verbally abusing anyone. However, most of us have days when we get out of bed on the wrong side, or are moody, snappy or just plain grumpy. Additionally, for most of us, when someone speaks to us antagonistically, our knee-jerk response is to be aggressive or defensive right back. If we had the wherewithal not to respond in kind, it could potentially have a disarming effect on our aggressor, and the aggressive energy could be diffused, but too often we fail in the stress of the moment.

A few years ago, I found myself in a situation where I was in a strong conflict with a colleague. I was under a lot of emotional stress and the conflict was having a big impact on me psychologically.

I discovered, that even though I usually try to avoid getting into arguments, or raising my voice, when all of my buttons were pushed, I really didn’t have the tools to respond skilfully in a way that was helpful, or resolved the situation.

At this point in time I started looking for outside help and began by reading many books about non-violent and conscious conversation. There are numerous great books on this subject and studying them opened up a whole world to me, which I had previously only been dimly aware of.

One of the original books on this topic is by Marshall Rosenberg and is called Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life.

Marshall Rosenberg passed away last year at the age of 81. He was an American psychologist, who developed a communication process that “helps people to exchange the information necessary to resolve conflicts and differences peacefully”. He became the founder and Director of Educational Services for the Center for Nonviolent Communication.

Rosenberg taught NVC in many different countries. He was notably active in war-torn areas and economically disadvantaged countries, offering Nonviolent Communication training to promote reconciliation and peaceful resolution of differences.

After reading many books on skillful communication, I returned to NVC, finding it the most simple to understand and put into practice.

I learned how much of our way of speaking is intrinsically aggressive and have began to learn and appreciate a different way of communicating, which enabled me to navigate more skillfully in the conflict I was having at the time and eventually come to an agreeable resolution.

Convinced that it would be a good to become fluent in this new way of communicating, I went to London to take a weekend workshop in NVC and have since instigated a workshop with a teacher of NVC to be held at my workplace for my employees. We very much enjoyed and benefitted from learning this skill together. Since my business is a Yoga Retreat Centre, it felt very appropriate to introduce NVC as our means of communicating with each other in the working environment.

The four steps or components to practicing NVC are:

Observations: Make a verbal observation about the situation with no evaluation. This may be at first listening closely to what someone is saying, and then repeating it back to them in your own words, with no judgment or evaluation, so they know you have been listening to them. Or if it’s you who is feeling charged, you need to make a factual observation without judgment. Observable facts provide a common ground for communication.

For example:
“It’s 3:00 am and I can hear music coming from your flat,” states an observed fact, while “It’s the middle of the night, and you are making one hell of a noise” is an evaluation.

Feelings: State the feeling that the observation is triggering in you. Or, guess what the other person is feeling, and ask.

Naming the emotion, without moral judgment, enables you to connect with each other with mutual respect and cooperation. It’s important to aim to accurately identify the feeling that either you, or the other person, are experiencing.

When practicing NVC you need to be very specific about naming actual feelings and not confuse feelings with thoughts.

For example:
“I feel disturbed and irritated”.

Needs: Behind every feeling there is almost always an unfulfilled need, so try to uncover what you or the other person needs.
State the need, without morally judging it.

For example: “ because I need to get some sleep, as I am working tomorrow.”

Requests: Make a concrete request for action to meet the need just identified.

For example:
“Would you be willing to turn the music down?”

It takes a lot of diligence to implement NVC, but it is well worth the effort. Since learning it, I constantly notice where I falter in my ability to consistently express myself with this new skill-set, then I pull myself up by my boot laces and try again. I think that this practice deserves a lifetime’s commitment and it offers us a very useful tool to aid in the practical daily practice of the non-harming of others.

Vidya Heisel is the Director of Frog Lotus Yoga International and Suryalila Retreat Centre.

Vidya is inspired to share this very practical way of practicing Ahimsa in the Yoga World. This December, she will be offering a weeklong retreat on Yoga and The Practice of Ahimsa through NVC, with one of her NVC mentors Ceri Buckmaster, at her home, Suryalila Retreat Centre in southern Spain. www.suryalila.com

Article published in Om Yoga Magazine

The post The practice of Ahimsa through Non-Violent Communication appeared first on International Yoga Teacher Training Retreats – Frog Lotus Yoga.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

  • In many ways a good yoga workshop is very similar to a thematic yoga class. 
  • Generally a workshop is 2 ½ to 3 hours long.
  • The workshop should have a clear theme, which should be stated in the name of the workshop.
  • Often the goal of a workshop is to educate the students in some way on the chosen topic.
  • It is useful to have an assistant to help give hands on adjustments during the workshop.
  • If it is relevant there might be a hand-out to accompany your workshop so your students have something to take home.
  • A good workshop will start with a short introduction to your topic.
  • This could be followed by Chanting and/or Pranayama.
  • As in a thematic class, the workshop will probably be working towards a few peak poses, so the warm–up part of the class will reflect the peak poses you are working towards and will warm up the body intelligently in preparation for those poses or sequences.
  • As you progress through the workshop make sure you weave in the theme and return to it often.
  • A good inclusion for a workshop is to have a section somewhere close to the middle where you offer some partner work. This will add an interesting and interactive element to the workshop.
  • Take some time to explore and educate in more detail than you would in a regular class.
  • Take some time to verbally wrap up the workshop before going into savasana….recapping what you have covered in the workshop.
  • During Savasana try to tie in the theme in your guided relaxation script.
  • Have a quote that is relevant to your theme.

Vidya Jacqueline Heisel
Director of Suryalila Retreat Centre and Frog Lotus Yoga International,
Yoga Teacher Trainings.

This article was first published in The Om Yoga magazine.

www.froglotusyogainternational.com
www.suryalila.com

The post Elements of a Good Yoga Workshop appeared first on International Yoga Teacher Training Retreats – Frog Lotus Yoga.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

1. Who is the main Teacher and are they fully qualified?

 How long has he/she they been teaching? They should be seasoned professionals.

 2. How much of the program is actually being taught by the Main teacher?

Some programs do not have the main teacher teaching a substantial part of the program. (I once attended an intensive program that was mostly led by someone who graduated from the program one year before. The main teacher advertised only put in guest appearances a few times a week).

 3. How long has the program existed? How many students have already been   trained? The longer a program has been around and the more students who have graduated the better. You can then assume that many of the kinks have been ironed out.

4. Who is teaching the anatomy section and what experience do they have? Often times the anatomy section can be poor and/or boring or not really relevant to Yoga. Make sure the person teaching the anatomy section is a Yoga teacher.

5. How many teachers are on staff? A ratio of one teacher for every 10 students is   good.  Make sure the main teacher will be available to give personal attention and to guide you through the experience.

6. Will you be ready to teach by the end of the program? Some programs require additional projects on completion of the training, which may be valid and helpful. Inform yourself if anything else will be required before you can start teaching.

7. Will you have taught one or more full classes to your classmates by the end of the training? Make sure that you will have this experience, as this will give you the faith in yourself to go out and start teaching.

8. Does the teacher offer any mentorship after the training? If you need help or advice is there someone you can talk to after the program?

9. Is it possible to speak to graduates of the program? Sometimes it is helpful to be able to contact a few graduates of the program to ask them about their experience.

10. What style of Yoga is being taught? Make sure you are familiar and comfortable with the style of Yoga, which is being offered in the training. Be wary if the course is offering multiple styles of Yoga. That could be confusing for a beginning level teacher.

11. How long is the program? If it is the basic 200 hours and it is an intensive it should not be taught in less than three weeks. Do the mathematics!

Five additional things you should ask about the Retreat Center and Training?

  • Is accommodation and food included in the program? Some trainings expect you to organize your own food and accommodation. This can be stressful.
  • What kind of accommodation is being provided? Some YTT’s offer tents or crowded dorms. Make sure the accommodation will be comfortable. You need to be able to sleep!
  • Is the food organic? Organic is better ☺ Are there options for allergies and vegans?
  • How do you get to the retreat Center from the airport? Are you being met or do you have to make your own way to the place in a foreign country?
  • Is there any Rest and Recreation time in the schedule? While most intensives are intense…it is important to have some down time scheduled or time to explore the area. 200 hours crammed into 2 weeks, will not allow for any down time!

The post Ten Things You Should Know Before Signing up for a Yoga Teachers Training appeared first on International Yoga Teacher Training Retreats – Frog Lotus Yoga.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
International Yoga Teacher Training Retr.. by Frog Lotus Yoga International - 1y ago

The main reason most people continue to come to class is because they like their teacher. The quality of the class and how they feel afterwards will also influence their decision to come back.Yoga teachers should be gracious and attentive socially. However, having a warm social connection with the yoga teacher is of prime importance. This doesn’t mean going out to dinner with your students or befriending people you don’t necessarily have a lot in common with. It does mean taking the time to learn your students’ names (having a sign –in sheet helps a lot with this). It also means finding out about their injuries and needs in class and responding to this, consistently. It may be small things like who likes to use an eye-pillow in Savasana and who doesn’t, remembering who needs help to come up into handstand and going over to help them or being very attentive if one of your student’s is pregnant and always giving them alternatives.

Greet everyone by name and ask how he or she is doing. Try to say goodbye to everyone after class. Of course, if your class is really big, you may not manage to do this-but aim at being available to greet people before and after class and to answer any questions your students might have. Never be moody or tell your students about your own problems. As a yoga teacher, we need to demonstrate equanimity at all times. If you are unable to do this, for any reason, seek a substitute teacher.

Put some energy into creating a pleasant atmosphere in the studio or room you are teaching in. Use incense and candles. Play some suitable music. The lighting in the room is important. If the room has overhead fluorescent lighting, invest in a couple of inexpensive lamps. Make sure the room is clean and that the temperature is right. If you provide mats and blankets, make sure they get washed regularly. If the environment you teach in is warm, clean, inviting and beautiful, students will be drawn to come back.

Before class begins, try to introduce yourself to all the newcomers, ask their names, find out how much yoga experience they have, ask about their injuries, and above all make them feel welcome and comfortable. Also give them a brief orientation-let them know where the changing rooms and toilets are and anything else they may need to know. After class find out how they liked class and answer any of their concerns. Students often feel awkward and stupid in their first yoga classes and need reassurance that this is completely normal and that it will change after a few classes.

Before beginning class make sure newcomers are positioned correctly. For example, if you do a traditional lay out for Ashtanga, or Vinyasa Flow, which is two rows of students facing each other, make sure you do not have newcomers on the ends of the row. Always position newcomers in the middle, and next to someone who has a good practice. You do not want them trying to copy someone who is inept or is modifying for their own physical limitations. You also want to position newcomers where you can see them clearly and can help them. However, do not be completely on top of them, correcting their every pose, as this will probably make them uncomfortable and could be overwhelming and also means you will not be giving enough attention to everyone else. Make sure they are not doing anything to injure themselves, but then it may be good to let them begin to find their own way for the first few classes. Usually it takes someone a few classes to begin to get the hang of things. So do not over assist anyone.

Set your mat up facing the class; do not teach sideways in relationship to the class as you will lose your connection to them. You need to project towards them, not out to the side. However, when you want them to see a pose from the side, it is fine to turn to demo. Do not get stuck to the mat, feel free to move around and demo beside someone or in the middle of the room.

Never stand, sit or kneel on your mat when teaching. Either do the pose with the students, to demonstrate, or walk around and give assists. Be as dynamic and energetic as you can. Also do not teach with your hands on your hips or arms folded in front of you. Both these postures are a little aggressive. Nor should you just stand and teach in front of the class. If you are teaching standing, then walk around. Be attentive.

Find a good balance between modeling the poses and walking around assisting and cheer leading. It is good to do both.

Always do abdominal sets with the students. This is better energetically.

In a beginning level class it is appropriate to model much of the class so the students can follow you and you can give a lot of verbal assists. In an Intermediate and Advanced Class you can often teach more verbally and move around assisting more.

Make sure you give full and clear instructions and offered modifications or levels for each pose. The more intelligent options you can give, the better your teaching will be.

If you need to refer to your notes or just think about what you want to do next, put the students in down-dog or child’s pose. This will give you time to regroup. Do not refer to your notes or hesitate when they are in Tadasana and waiting for a cue.

Sometimes going up to someone and doing the pose beside them, so they can copy you, is helpful.

Try to be upbeat and energetic with your language, so that your teaching is infused with positive Shakti energy! Avoid speaking in a fake singsong voice that can become hypnotic. Be yourself!

A little humor can go a long way. Of course don’t overdo this either.

It’s good to be poetic and to bring in some concepts of the yogic teachings if you can do that artfully and not superficially.

If you make a mistake, recover graciously. Do not comment on your own performance. Never express doubt or insecurity, even if you are feeling it.

Do not talk all the time. Sometimes allow space for the student to turn inwards and feel what is going on in his or her own body. Too many instructions can be overwhelming. At the same time, you do not want awkward silences.

Savasana is always a good time to help people access a deeper level of consciousness and to let go of ego through your verbal guidance.  Always leave a little silent space after guiding the students into a deeper space and then read an inspiring quote.

Vidya Jacqueline Heisel
Director of Suryalila Retreat Centre and Frog Lotus Yoga International,
Yoga Teacher Trainings.

This article was first published in The Om Yoga magazine.

www.froglotusyogainternational.com
www.suryalila.com

The post Tips for Yoga Teachers appeared first on International Yoga Teacher Training Retreats – Frog Lotus Yoga.

Read Full Article

Read for later

Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
close
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview