Hari Om fellow Yogis and Yoginis....I write this article because it seems necessary to draw attention to this issue, to potential students, as well as the Body Corporate of Yoga Alliance Uk Professionals. Our motto is aptly, Turn your Passion into your profession...I really like this as it touches on the truth for so many of us when we are looking for a way to bring our passions into our workplace in order to pay the bills. When I look around and see so many educational centres taking in 20, 30 and sometimes even more students, for a 200 hour teacher training course,
I begin to wonder about where the passion has gone. (and the level of education)How is it humanly possible to even teach a 60 minute class and be reviewed on it in these 200 hours ? Let's say there are 20 students, just to be examined would take 20 hours out of the 200 hour course. Then there is the practical experience which each student needs while learning the necessary skills and "language" to communicate clearly to a group class. If each potential teacher has only x 2 sessions to teach a 30 min class, this again equates to yet another 20 hours out of the already limited time to pass along some of the basics of this ancient Science. How is it possible to work with 20 or more students, helping them to find good alignment, develop interoception, proprioception and increased Pranayama skills ? Personally I dont think it is! Remember this is just a tip of the iceberg of this Art and Science as we still need to impart a working knowledge of how us humans move, muscular-skeletally, as well as energetically and on a fascial level. In my opinion it is of utmost importance to study human movement, not just in its healthy range but also being able to understand what the blockages are that are holding your clients back from achieving asana. We are teaching classes in groups with the ages ranging from say 18 to 100 ! How can we do this safely and effectively if we ourselves were not taught to "feel" the physical, energetic, mental and spiritual bodies ? (aka Koshas) We also need a good understanding of the body systems, such as Cardio respiratory system ( we need this to teach pranayama) also the Nervous system without which we cannot understand the movement and potential blockages. All the systems need to be covered in detail in order to integrate the depth to which this Science really does penetrate and affect. Then we also need to have time to pass along the juicy information such as the Philosophy behind this Science, Yoga Nidra, Introduce the sister Science of Ayurveda, Swara Yoga, Meditation, Mantra, Chakras and oh of course ASANA ! This seems to take up a lot of the practice time and maybe too much focus is placed on this in most classes, but it is at least 50% of every Yoga class. How is it possible to manage all this, ensure that the large group of students have grasped all the information, assimilated it and is ready to go out and teach this information to a group of mixed levels of expertise ?
The honest answer would be, in my humble opinion, is that it is not humanly possible. Even if there are a few teachers in on every class with these students, each teacher approaches the 8 branches in her or his own way. The students will get slightly different takes from one another and this can lead to confusion.
It is my suggestion to potential teachers, when looking for a studio to train with, to inquire about the size of the group. Smaller groups equate to much more intimacy (into_my_see) and a better connection with teacher/student and fellow students. I hold space for a maximum of 8 students for the 200 and also the 300 hour courses. I feel this allows me time to TEACH them verbal skills that they can put into practice during the course. This gives them confidence to teach and not just LEAD a class through by doing the class in front for everyone to follow. Clients pay good money to attend classes with us. There is so much free yoga on the internet, you tube etc that they could just as easily follow. The fact that they come to us, means they want guidance, correction and interaction from PROFESSIONALS that really have found their PASSION and not just chasing the money by cramming more and more students onto the floor.
I would really like to hear your thoughts on this as I am certain it will touch a few nerves....
Go with Grace and in Light and Love