Tag Archive for: best
As you consider a yoga teacher training and what kind of teacher you aspire to become, I invite you to consider what makes an excellent yoga teacher? Instructors come with varying degrees of knowledge and direct experience. Some simply make stuff up (think goat or bar yoga) while others are steeped in tradition and personal revelation.
Many teacher trainers are relatively new to the practices while others have studied their whole lives. As obvious as it may sound, the depth and history of a lead instructor has a big impact on the final outcome of your training.
The way I see it, teacher trainers ought to be a dedicated student for at least a decade before they offer a YTT. What’s more I suggest that they have at least 5 years of teaching under their belt.
As a rule of thumb, a teacher should to have 10 times the knowledge as those whom they teach. This may seem like a lot and I think it is a reasonable standard/expectation, particularly if you want to accelerate and deepen growth. In many ways, this is the point of a yoga teacher training. Teachers with that level of training and experience exist though they are less common.
Consider, where did the teacher study and under whom?
If you read trainers bios they may reference a long list of everyone they studied with. It’s questionable how much time they may have spent with any of these teachers. Maybe it was just a one time workshop? Good enough, put them on the list too.
I think that depth is more important than breadth. Tradition is sometimes shunned as archaic or impractical, which may be partially true. And we should consider that with heritage often comes depth and wisdom.
It is better to dig one deep well than many shallow ones that never strike water. As a loose guideline, I suggest that students and teachers have no more than two primary influences and study with those influences for a decade or longer.
Consider what your standards are and what makes an excellent yoga teacher before you embark on a particular training.
Back in the day, there we’re very few yoga teacher trainings to choose from. That has changed drastically over the past 10 years, and now, with the advent of the Corona Virus, you can find many, many trainings online. So, how do you select the best yoga teacher training?
Best is a very relative term. From a yoga philosophy perspective, “best” is entirely subjective. There is not definitive standard by which we can say one object or concept is superior to another.
Most people would agree that a Tesla
is “better” than an AMC Pacer, however….
Yes, most people would agree that a Tesla is “better” than an AMC Pacer, however it is not 100% agreed upan and the distinction between the two is in the mind of the beholder. (Personally, I have an affinity for the Pacer, a classic in its own right!) This is distinct from a Universal Truth such as “everything changes”.
Philosophy aside, some yoga trainings will resonate with you more than others, and your subjective like or dislike of a program has merit. Afterall, YTT is a significant investment and – potentially – has much to offer you in the way of personal and spiritual enrichment. Not to mention a career life path.
Back to the initial question, how do you select the best yoga teacher training for you?
The first step is to identify what you want in a program. Some programs just focus on the postures and are ignorant of the traditional roots of yoga or actively reject those teachings in favor of their brand message. No Om Yoga is a clear example of this.
Other trainings, will embrace the rich heritage of yoga and present it as a holistic system. Denver Yoga Underground falls into the latter category.
Start with self inquiry. Ask what you ultimately want at the completion of the program? I recommend you explore this and other questions with a free-write journal exercise. Move the pen for 5 to 10 minutes.
Some questions to get you started:
- In a perfect scenario, how would things be different at the end of the training?
- Reflect upon teachers who inspired you. What was it about their demior or the content the presented, that was most enriching. Be as specific as possible.
- Are you more interested in personal growth or actually teaching?
Over the next few months I will continue to post thoughtful questions and reflections to help guide you on your path to select the best yoga teacher training.
This is the 4th part of an ongoing series that explores the different kinds of language a teacher uses to shape their classes. In this segment, we look at invitational language when teaching yoga.
Invitational language is a subset of subjective language. Subjective language asks the student to self reflect (or observe themselves) from a neutral perspective. “Be aware of how you are breathing” as a simple example. Invitational Language invites students to become aware of their particular needs and gives them free will to act upon them.
Both subjective and invitational instructions ask students to reflect on their experience and sense of self. This awareness teaches people to be less reactive and more empowered.
This awareness teaches people to be less reactive and more empowered.
Invitational Language is often used in “trauma sensitive” yoga classes. It has been proven to be effective for people for whom agency over their lives was forcefully taken; such as a car accident, combat, or growing up in an abusive household.
In many ways, “Invitational Language” is the antithesis of Directive Language, which emphasizes specific alignment cues and implies a “right way” to do the pose. Invitational Language, freely presents possible variations and encourages students to make choices for themselves.
There are many different ways to best communicate with students, depending upon one’s ability as a teacher and the needs of the students. And there is an optimal place to use invitational language when teaching yoga. Gradually, a yoga student becomes a seasoned teacher, and learn when to use the appropriate style of language to best meet the needs of students. (You can find out more about our yoga teacher training here).
Examples of Invitational Language:
- “If you feel like it……”
- “When you are ready.”
- “If you want to…”
- “I invite you to try and _________”
- “As an alternative, you can bend your knees”
- “You don’t have to do any of these postures, you have free will”
- Give people the option to participate or not
The Denver Yoga Underground began in 2003 at the request of dedicated students who wanted to study yoga as a holistic system. Over the years, a diversity of people, seeking education outside of a studio, found a welcome refuge in DYU.
Today we specialize in grassroots Pay What You Can workshops, accessible retreats and our signature yoga teacher training, for the outlier yogi.
Derik Eselius ~ 720.934.6934
Sixth Ave. UCC 3250 E. 6th Ave