What is the relationship between Yoga training as a Student or as a Teacher?


What is the relationship between training as a Yoga Student and training as a Yoga Teacher?

Firstly –

The Yoga Studies Programme offers a comprehensive range of Personal Workshop and Course Modules for groups of around 4 students, totalling over 600 contact hours. The Modular Programme falls into the two groups, the Yoga Practice Techniques and Practice Theory Modules offer 300 contact hours study and the Associated Yoga and Lifestyle Texts Modules offer a further 300 contact hours study.

The 600 contact hours studying Yoga Practice Techniques and Theory or Associated Yoga and Lifestyle Texts can be undertaken purely as a student, without any obligation or need to simultaneously train as a Yoga teacher.

Each modular series, whether in the field of Study of Yoga Practice Techniques and Theory or Associated Yoga and Lifestyle Texts, is complete in itself and designed for Yoga students from any background or approach interested in exploring Yoga practice and textual study in small groups of around 4 students for personal development now, or if relevant in the future, professional needs.

“Training to learn how to teach Yoga is not the same as training to learn how to practice & study Yoga.”

This is unusual these days, as normally to access such a breadth and depth of Yoga training material a student would need to be a participant within a Yoga Teacher Training Course.

It also increasingly appears these days that around teacher training courses we are even seeing a burgeoning of ‘fast track’ priorities, seemingly to more quickly accumulate prospective trainees, thus further reducing the options and especially time, amidst our many other life commitments, for a deeper learning as a student prior to undertaking training as a prospective Yoga teacher.

As well as studying the Yoga Practice and Associated Yoga Texts Modular Programme individually and progressively within different topic groups there are also options where the primary and intermediate levels of study are collectively combined into a single course, each for a fixed group of around 4 students.

The Yoga Practice Techniques and Practice Theory Study Programme offers 150 contact hours tuition through 30 days of in-depth study over 2 years within a single course for groups of around 4 students in the fields of:

  • Āsana Practice and Theory – 70 hours
  • Mudrā Practice and Theory – 10 hours
  • Prāṇāyāma Practice and Theory – 50 hours
  • Dhyāna Practice and Theory – 10 hours
  • Sound and Chant Practice and Theory – 10 hours

The Associated Yoga and Lifestyle Texts Study Programme offers 100 contact hours tuition through 20 days of in-depth Study over 2 years within a single course for groups of around 4 students in the fields of:

  • Sūtra Psychology – 50 hours
  • Haṭha Energetics – 10 hours
  • Gītā Scripture – 10 hours
  • Upaniṣat Mysticism  – 10 hours
  • Sāṃkhya Philosophy – 10 hours
  • Āyurveda Lifestyle – 10 hours

A further 150 contact hours study would still be available within the Yoga Practice Techniques and Theory Advanced Modules and a further 200 hours contact hours study within the Associated Yoga and Lifestyle Texts Advanced Modules.

However the 150 hours Yoga Practice Techniques and Theory and 100 hours Associated Yoga and Lifestyle Texts options offer a sure footing for any Yoga student looking for a solid foundation in the practice and study of Yoga purely for your own personal needs and practice and study interests.

Whilst free of any responsibilities in the field of teaching during the programmes, the 150 Yoga Practice contact hours and 100 Associated Yoga Texts contact hours are also a prerequisite for those students who might wish to explore the art of teaching Yoga professionally as discussed further below.

Secondly –

though the Yoga Practice and Study Modules would obviously enhance any Yoga Teachers professional skills there is no requirement to teach or to intend to teach Yoga. This is not their primary role. In fact not everybody wants to or actually needs to become a teacher to further their practice and study.

Hence the priorities here are towards personal development and thus teachings and questions are geared towards relating more deeply with our personal practice and study, rather than acquiring knowledge for use when working with others.

These days there is lots of talk on what is involved in training to be a Yoga Teacher,
however little talk on what is involved in training to be a Yoga Student.

Of course I accept, and have personally experienced in a number of situations, that there are those whose priority is on acquiring professional skills or qualifications to teach Yoga. It has even become a career option for school leavers these days, classified alongside Aerobics, Fitness, Personal Trainers, etc.

I also feel that having to simultaneously train as a Yoga teacher alongside moving into exploring Yoga for ourselves can even be detrimental to the development of the students personal relationship with Yoga. There is also the issue of the student often having to proceed into teaching before even completing the learning of the techniques and theory that comprise the different dimensions of practice.

“The more you teach the more you must practice.”
– TKV Desikachar

Added to this can be the burden of the pressure, or desire, around being out there whilst dealing with all the business and promotional aspects involved in drumming up students, amidst also having to engage with all the required specialist Yoga Teaching and Yoga Therapeutic Healthcare training learning. This can create a situation where the students personal developmental and practice priority focus becomes blurred.

Especially these days with the phenomena of there now being many hundreds of Yoga Teacher Training Courses available, thus increasing competition for both aspiring teachers and available students.

Thirdly –

once we have learnt the skills required to be a student then we can consider, should we wish, adding the necessary teaching and therapeutic healthcare skills to offer Yoga intelligently to others.

This is where the student interested in the professional aspects of teaching Yoga can undertake training in a Practitioner Programme specifically geared towards adding the application skills to your existing Yoga knowledge and experience for Yoga Teaching and Therapeutic Healthcare to Individuals within a 121 situation.

In other words the 200 contact hours Professional Training Programme does not add on any further personal Yoga Practice Techniques and Theory or Associated Yoga Texts skills, these twin skill fields have been put in place already. Instead they are purely focussed on the art of applying what you have learnt to the needs of others within a variety of life situations and for a range of health conditions.

Further information for the 200 hour, 18 month Practitioner Programme for Teaching Yoga and Yoga Therapeutic Healthcare to Individuals can be found on the Art of Professional Studies Practitioner Programme Page.

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