a yoga teacher: How to be A student survival guide

OM Special
How to be
a yoga
A student survival guide
OM SPECIAL - How to be a yoga teacher: a student survival guide
How to be
a yoga teacher
Love yoga and thinking about teacher
training? Here’s our OM student survival
guide to the maze of options out there
3: Student survival guide
6: Be prepared
8: Nasty surprises
10: Bring a friend
12: A question of confidence
14: What I wish I’d known before I started
16: Pop the question
18: Finding the yoga teacher within
21: Teach, not preach
22: Teaching people not poses
24: Teacher training: children v adults
26: The special ones
28: Some place wonderful
31: Easy as 123
32: Who’s who in yoga
survival guide
What every student contemplating yoga teacher
training should know first. By Kathleen Stavert
You may be at that point where you're considering a yoga teacher training. For me, I was
looking to deepen my own practice and share my yoga passion with others. But I also
wanted to find a way to support my acting career in a way that was both financially viable
and fulfilling.
Hopefully, my experience can shed light on the practicalities and offer an honest testimony
of the trials and triumphs of this incredible journey. It’s no easy ride. For a whole six months
I’d been working full time in a yoga studio, and on most weekends I was training. In my spare
time I was writing essays, catching up on required reading, completing homework, and trying
to keep up my own practice. Some aspects of my life were shelved (like Skype dates with
my family in Canada, or watching Mad Men DVDs) but the effort was worth it. It ain't always
smooth sailing, there are some choppy waves out there, but the sunsets are oh so beautiful.
Do your research
Consider who you’d like to train with. First off, go to loads of classes and ask teachers who
inspire you who they take their inspiration from. Besides being a knowledgeable practitioner,
my own teacher was attentive and compassionate, qualities I value in people.
You’ll be spending a considerable amount of time under this person's guidance so make
sure you don't feel intimidated by them. Also, think about how much time you want to spend
training and where. Trainings vary in length, from one month to three years. Can you afford
to go away for a month? Will you be able to incorporate your training into your everyday
life? Your training is definitely an investment, meaning you’ll get something out of it in the
end like a deeper understanding of yourself or an alternative way to earn a living.
Expect trainings to cost between £1,100 and £3,000. Beware those that sell the glitz of
location ahead of the curriculum. It's like going to drama school, I have completed two
theatre degrees. That’s four years of conscientious self-inquiry and self-expression, both
somewhat dramatic and cathartic. Admittedly, I thought I knew it all when it came to
'looking at myself'. Boy was I blown out of the water. Just as an actor must know her/
himself to take on a character, the role of yoga teacher requires us to have a strong
understanding of self in order to speak with clarity, knowledge, truth, and humility.
Check that your training spends some time on self-reflection. You'll not always like what
comes up, but it's the first step to transformation. With a self-inquiry practice you can offer
support to your students and still have healthy boundaries. Believe me, in cultivating this
during your training, you'll be better able to tap into your students’ needs before they even
know it. Regular inner house cleaning during and after your training may not win you an
Oscar, but you will uncover your strength of character.
om special - how to be a yoga teacher
Say yes to every opportunity
I worked in a yoga studio and was lucky to know a lot of teachers
who soon began asking me to cover their classes. I am grateful for
this. I said yes to every cover I could take even if it was at the other
end of the city. If you don’t know many teachers, go to classes and
introduce yourself as a yoga teacher. It's useful to have a card
or a website to direct people to. It needn't be fancy or expensive,
just accessible. More importantly, get other teachers cards and
websites; write to them after meeting them to offer yourself up for
Teachers are always looking for someone to cover their class. I
teach on average 10-11 classes a week and about half of those I
got through covering first. Now I probably cover three or four times
a month. Then, visit studios in your area, offer their staff a taster
and keep following up. In saying yes to everything, you may end up
taking on classes all over the place and the travel will probably be
the most exhausting aspect of your teaching.
I say this from experience: say yes to everything until you need
to say no. Look after yourself first and be mindful of your energy
levels. You’ll be giving a lot of yourself, so you'll need to be well
rested and healthy.
Adopt a girl/boy scout attitude and be prepared
This is your motto. Even the most experienced teachers still spend
quality time every week prepping their classes. My training had a
great module on class planning; make sure yours does too.
Always have a class plan for the week with modifications for
different levels. You may theme your class from your own practice,
om special - how to be a yoga teacher
or something you wish to cultivate in your own life such as balance
or accepting change. Create your sequences around this theme.
See the Om in 'Omigod'!
Like many of life's endeavours, the beauty of it lies in the
challenges and making the all-so-important mistakes.
When you are teaching you will not always give the best
instructions, occasionally you will be tired and you will mistake
your left arm from your right leg. I remember feeling out of my
depth when I covered for a very popular and experienced teacher.
Naturally I began to fumble my words and confuse myself. I had a
huge moment of 'Omigod, what am I doing?' I began to laugh, the
students laughed, the mood was lightened.
You have to remember you are a yoga teacher, teaching a yoga
class, you're not on the UN Security Council enforcing military
decisions. This is not to undermine the power of your position
as a teacher but rather to reinforce it. You can laugh at yourself,
acknowledge your mistakes and keep going. Your students
will appreciate you are human and happy to show your flaws.
Surprisingly, this encourages people to open up as well. Your class
then becomes a ground for transformation and mutual learning.
And now for the beauty of it all
Teaching can sometimes feel isolating: trekking around from one
place to the next, not really having colleagues; you create this
connection with your students for an hour or so and then you're
off to the next class. It can feel lonely at times, but there is no
better way to learn to love yourself and accept your shortcomings,
than to become a yoga teacher. Stepping into this role requires
a great deal of presence and compassion. You are introduced
to so many bodies and minds that you begin to see how deeply
vulnerable humans can be but at the same time how radiant we are.
As you guide your students along the way and observe growth,
something blossoms within you; you have given someone the
power to uncover their own beauty and potential; therein lies the
Kathleen Stavert is an actress and yoga teacher
om special - how to be a yoga teacher
Be prepared
How can students best prepare for your course?
“Get excited. Think through what it is you would like to achieve in the year;
how would you like to change? Start getting excited about the prospect
of all that can be achieved in that time with the support of three very
experienced, and different, teachers.”
Sue Woodd, Seasonal Yoga Teacher Training School (seasonalyoga.co.uk)
“Try as many different styles of yoga as possible. Read the core yoga
texts. Learn to listen to your own intuition. Trust yourself.”
Sally Parkes (sallyparkesyoga.com)
“Practise, practise, practise, at least 50-100 hours on the mat. Feel it, do
it, be humbled by it.”
Monica Linford (fitnessindustryeducation.com)
“We actually have pre-course study that has to be completed before day
one. It consists of a yoga terms worksheet, an anatomy worksheet and
a short essay. Between those three assignments all students collectively
arrive with a certain level of knowledge. We also advise that students
increase their level of practice to preferably daily in the months prior
to the course start, and do as much reading and self study as possible
around the subject of yoga.”
Louise Palmer-Masterton (camyoga.co.uk)
“They must have been practising yoga for at least two years and regularly
attend yoga classes as well as committing to a daily personal practice.
Also there are core texts that need to be read prior to the first module.”
Asha Khagram (krishnayoga.co.uk)
“Simple. Just get on your mat and give yourself some time. Time to close
out the chattering of your mind, let the poses take you somewhere else
for a while, and the rest will come.”
Nina Sebastiane (feelhotyoga.co.uk)
“Getting on their mat and getting to know their practice and themselves.”
Katy Appleton (appleyoga.com)
“They should absolutely realise ahead of time that a teacher training
course is an intense, in-depth experience and not an extended yoga
retreat or spa vacation. We have had students in the past arrive for
the training clearly believing they were embarking on a yoga holiday of
sorts and then struggled with the intensity of the long hours, amount of
physical activity and the plethora of practical hands-on exercises.”
Mercedes Ngoh (yeotown.com)
om special - how to be a yoga teacher
(weekend only training, London, UK starts 2014.
Venue & dates TBC.
Please register your interest early.)
Nasty surprises
Yoga teacher training is no easy ride, and everyone
makes mistakes or struggles at some point. Here are
some of the things that may await you
That ‘back to school’ feeling can be strange for those that have not studied anything
for years. Any good yoga course will include a decent level of study and homework. So
be prepared to knuckle down to work.
2. You’ll be amazed how much of your time yoga teacher training gulps. This is a real
commitment you’re making so be ready for it and its impact on other areas of your life.
3. Expect a few aches and pains in your body after such an intense period of yoga
How To Teach Both Dynamic &
Hatha Yoga
Advanced Anatomy & Physiology
Subtle Anatomy & Āyurveda
First Aid For Yoga Teachers
Guidance On Restorative Yoga,
Yoga For Back Care & Pre / Post-Natal Yoga
4. As well as physically, yoga teacher training could also change other areas of your life;
these will be easier to spot and manage if you’re expecting possible change and are
receptive to it.
5. Similarly, going through an intense period of self-reflection and development you
should expect some ‘issues’ with new emotions rising to the surface. Know that it will
come and know that it will pass.
6. During the course you might feel inadequate at some point, and ‘not good enough’ to
be a yoga teacher. Know that this is perfectly normal; just roll with it.
“What a wonderful teacher
Your inclusive style made it
possible for me to learn whilst
loving every minute”.
(R. Williams, 2012)
“My first weekend
was so enjoyable.
I felt so comfortable.
Without bursting into song
I know that I have made
the right choice in terms of
my teacher training”.
(L. Greenway, 2013)
Teacher Training • Retreats
• Classes • One to One
om special - how to be a yoga teacher
om special - how to be a yoga teacher
Bring a friend
Fancy something different? Try partner yoga
If yoga teaches us anything then it is that we’re not really alone, but inherently connected:
with each other and to the wider world and universe around us.
So if you’re thinking teacher training, think big and pair up with a pal. Unity Partner Yoga
(being-in-unity.com) has something that might be of interest if you don’t want to go it alone.
Founder Sevanti has just finished teaching the first Unity Partner Yoga Teacher Training
(IYN), alongside the general Yoga Teacher Training (IYN), which has now been running for
over 12 years. “The course has been a huge success,” she says, “and I have had wonderful
feedback.” The training course was the first in the UK and takes just under six months to
complete from start to finish.
It is aimed at established yoga teachers, to take their own teaching a step further, and to
really bring people together in the true sense of the word 'union’, says Sevanti.
She says it deepens individual practice and can bring a feeling of connection to a group of
people as well as lots of fun and laughter. “Now is the time as a planet to come together, to
really connect with each other, to support, trust and have love, care and respect for each
other. Unity Partner Yoga really offers this.”
om special - how to be a yoga teacher
om special - how to be a yoga teacher
A question of
When the essential purpose of a yoga teacher
training is to train someone to teach, why is it that so
many graduates do not feel confident to go forth and
do just that? Here are some tips from Dylan Ayaloo
Practice makes perfect
“One of the most important factors”, says Dylan Ayaloo, master facilitator at Hot Power
Yoga, “is not to underestimate the critical importance of practising teaching.” He adds:
“You can’t learn to teach from a text book. Whilst theoretical knowledge is essential, you
have to teach in order to teach. A training programme with significant experiential content
is critical to building confidence.”
Permission to get messy
“As adults we forget what it’s like to learn,” says Ayaloo. “Children think nothing of
making mistakes and accept them as part of the learning process. It’s important a
training programme encourages students to give themselves permission to get messy
with teaching. The environment also needs to be really supportive so the student feels
comfortable to do this.”
A state of mind
Personal belief systems and psychology are huge factors in confidence. Whilst some
people are naturally confident and resilient, others can feel more quickly demoralised
and dwell on errors. Ayaloo states: “A strong transformational aspect grounded in yoga
philosophy is an effective way to identify the root cause of low confidence. By uncovering
this, a breakthrough can occur and a new level of power in teaching, and life, unfolds.”
Great pose does not equal great teacher
With images of beautiful bodies in incredible poses becoming more prevalent, it’s easy
to associate the ability to teach with the ability to pull off a gravity-defying pose, and
confidence can be lost where a student feels their practice isn’t ‘good enough’. That’s not
necessarily the case, says recently-qualified teacher Laura. “I was relatively new to yoga
and aware that my execution of some poses wasn’t amazing. I’ve come to realise that it
doesn’t affect my ability to teach a great class. I can be creative, inspiring and heartfelt
even though my foot is going nowhere near the back of my head.”
Dylan Ayaloo is the founder of Hot Power Yoga London
om special - how to be a yoga teacher
What I wish I’d known
when I started
Learn from the best, and learn from their mistakes
too. Here’s what some of the country’s top yoga
teacher trainers wish they’d known from the start
om special - how to be a yoga teacher
“I wish I had known when I started yoga that there is no right or wrong way
to practice. But there is a right and wrong way for each individual and the
challenge lies in figuring out what this is. I also wish I had known that a
joint can become too flexible.”
Sally Parkes (sallyparkesyoga.com)
“Do your research with regards to who you want to train with; you want
to resonate with your teacher. Do as much yoga as you can with as many
different teachers as you can to already know what you like and don’t like,
and to already have an idea what kind of teacher you want to be. Be okay
with letting go of your ego a little, to not be the strongest trainee and to
not compare yourself with the person next to you. Instill into your practice
that yoga should serve your body, and that your body is not meant to
serve the yoga poses or teacher training. Be very respectful to yourself
and your boundaries, that is yoga too.”
Esther Ekhart (ekhartyoga.com)
“I wish I had known that my qualification would not allow me to work in
gyms and health clubs as I have not been able to get any work there. I
needed REPS L3 as well as YA200hr (Yoga Alliance 200 hours) which is
great for my own classes and if I work in private studios”
Anne-Marie Newland (sun-power-yoga.co.uk)
“I wish I’d known from the start that teaching yoga could be a fulfilling,
ethical career option that would allow me to work around my family,
embrace my life long passion for yoga and pay the bills. I taught classes
for free for years until I realised that this created an imbalance in the
exchange of energy. As a new teacher, I wish I’d known that marketing can
be ethical and that receiving a fair wage for an honest day’s work is okay.”
Cheryl MacDonald (yogabellies.co.uk)
“How much there is to learn in the breadth and depth of yoga and how
long it takes to understand, absorb and embody the teachings.”
Simon Low (theyogaacademy.org)
“How important it is to find your own authentic voice that is a sincere
reflection of your interpretation and understanding of yoga and not to try
to be all things to all people. The fact is not everyone will like you or your
class style. That’s just life. However, if you stay true to your own voice,
more people than not will gravitate towards you and your classes and you
will find your own unique groove.”
Mercedes Ngoh (yeotown.com)
“I wish I’d known that the more I teach the less time I have to practise; I
should have stayed a monk in the ashram. But no, really, my yoga practice
just keeps changing. These days, with an international yoga business and
four kids, there’s less time to do asanas and to meditate, but the practice
is inside, in the way I choose to look and react to this world.”
Gopala Amir Yaffa – Founder and owner of (rainbowkidsyoga.net)
om special - how to be a yoga teacher
Pop the
Here are some other questions you might
want to ask prospective teacher trainers
apart from simply ‘how much is it?
There’s a dizzying array of teacher training options out there. Make sure
you ask the right questions - and get the answers you need - before you
sign up to anything.
What makes your course different from all the others?
Where is your course held, in the UK or abroad?
Is it accredited with the British Wheel of Yoga, Yoga Alliance or a
similar body?
What qualifications will I receive at the end of the course?
How qualified are your tutors?
Do you have specialists in other relevant fields (e.g. osteopathy,
medicine, sports science) on your teaching team?
How big are your classes and what’s the ratio of students to tutors?
What’s the structure of the course (weekends, intensives, 5-day
How long does it last?
How many years has your school been established?
How many students do you have currently training; how many active
graduates do you have?
Is your school worldwide?
If so, in which countries is your course available?
Costs: are there any flexible payment plans; if so, what?
What support do you offer for your yoga teachers once they’ve
finished the course?
Do you offer postgraduate training (e.g. pregnancy yoga)?
By Jane Clapham (druworldwide.com)
om special - how to be a yoga teacher
Finding the yoga
teacher within
Get into the flow to find your own inner teacher
By Mercedes Ngoh
As a dedicated Vinyasa yoga teacher and teacher trainer, creative expression never ceases
to amaze me. Yoga has demonstrated to me a very peaceful and timeless ebb and flow
of life, which may sometimes appear stressful, chaotic and intense. But, as long as you
remember to tune into the breath, life is a lot more like riding the perfect wave than trying to
swim against a strong current. We need only relax, trust and feel the water.
Over the last 10 years, I have grown increasingly more aware of the great magnitude of
present moment awareness. To feel, sense and intuit what my students need at any given
moment and to teach with a receptive, finely tuned heart; being truly in and engaged in the
moment involves very little planning.
And yet, time and again, I come across a style of teaching where the instructor sits in the
front of the class and refers to a piece of paper and rigidly (almost fearfully) sticks to this
plan. Almost certainly, if you are fixated on a piece of paper you wrote an hour ago (or two
weeks ago), you are not engaging with the class in front of you. Somewhere along the way,
you got lost in the planning and forgot about the moment.
Teaching yoga is not about achieving or controlling nor should it be used as a platform to
massage your ego. Teaching yoga is more of a calling. It becomes something within you that
must be shared in order to be truly integrated, truly understood.
On some level, the ability to share what we love, what we know and what we believe in is
in us all. The more we can all tune in to our own inner teacher, regardless of whether you
actually teach yoga, the more we will all be living in union with our higher selves. Thus,
serving one another and expanding our awareness in truth, wisdom and inner peace.
Mercedes Ngoh (mercedesyoga.com)
om special - how to be a yoga teacher
om special - how to be a yoga teacher
Teach, not preach
Seven steps to great yoga teaching
Here are seven yoga teacher training steps from instructor Simon
Low, founder of The Yoga Academy (theyogaacademy.org)
Teach, not preach. Empathise with your students’ perspectives
and experience without imposing yours.
Be a good listener as well as a good communicator.
Understand the importance of modifications and offer them
Understand that yoga is ultimately about the individual and
that the practice serves the person.
Avoid telling students what they should be feeling or
experiencing. Create an environment of potential for students’
own exploration.
Recognise that the most important teacher is the inner
teacher within each student to whom you direct your heartfelt
interpretation of yoga through your own experience.
Be a catalyst for the awakening, empowerment, health and
healing of each individual student.
om special - how to be a yoga teacher
Teaching people,
not poses
As in life generally, don’t forget the important things
in yoga
After 14 years of trial by fire as a yoga instructor, and even more years of self-study, regular
practice and life experience, US-based yogini Jay Fields wrestled with how to fully show up
as a teacher in a way that is confident, real and inspiring.
Have you ever felt like a fraud as a yoga teacher? Tried to live up to the image of the perfect
yogi or yogini? Been scared to stand in front of a studio full of people who expect you to
have perfect poses and say profound things? You’re not alone.
And if those are things that experienced teachers like Fields are still grappling with after all
those years then what hope is there for the new guys? So she decided to write a book about
it. “Despite countless yoga teacher training programmes out there, I’ve found very little
ongoing support for those of us who sought out teaching as a way to have more truth in
how we live both on and off the mat,” says Fields.
The book, ‘Teaching People, Not Poses: 12 Principles for Teaching Yoga With Integrity’ covers
principles such as ‘Be yourself’, ‘Say you don’t know when you don’t know’ and ‘Plan enough
so you can be spontaneous’.
As a book that takes an honest look at the very human realities of fear, insecurity and
vulnerability when it comes to teaching yoga it’s a pretty useful bit of reading for newbies.
You may have enough on your plate when you sign up to your first teacher training (‘Did I
pack enough pants?’ or ‘Am I good enough for this?’) but it’s nice to know even the most
experienced leaders suffer from a bit of nerves now and then.
om special - how to be a yoga teacher
Teacher training:
children v adults
There are big differences between teacher training for adults and for children,
says Siri Arti
Working with children is very different to working with
adults, so it stands to reason that teacher training will
have a different emphasis. The children’s training is shorter
and less detailed, though it often leads the certified
instructor to an adult training programme at a later date.
All yoga teacher training is transformational, however.
Yoga brings awareness and students not only learn how to
teach yoga, but also how to start eliminating old patterns
and making better choices in life.
An added bonus of attending a comprehensive children’s
yoga training is students often take a journey through
their own childhood, clearing the past along the way. This
happens on a subtle level but prepares them beautifully
to stand before children in a clear and capable manner,
without carrying a messy childhood suitcase with them.
Adult’s training (200 to 500 hours)
Emphasis is on working towards a good posture practice,
covering yogic anatomy and philosophy, to enable
instructors to teach an excellent yoga class. The approach
is more earnest and the mood can be pretty intense.
Helpful qualities include the ability to instruct and teach
all aspects of a yoga class with neutrality, integrity and
Paperwork required to teach: Yoga instructor certificate;
Indemnity insurance
Children’s training (20 to 60 hours)
Emphasis is on offering a safe and inspirational
environment to children, where they find health, happiness
and acceptance. Yoga for children is an education for
peace, a holistic approach exploring the educational
aspects of ‘how to be’ with a child. The mood is light and
Helpful qualities include being knowledgeable, enthusiastic
and supportive, as well as fun loving and inspiring. An
extra talent to be able to flow graciously with anything
unexpected is invaluable.
Paperwork required to teach: Yoga instructor certificate;
Indemnity insurance; Disclosure and Barring Service check
(DBS); Child First Aid (optional but recommended)
Siri Arti is the founder of Startchild Yoga (starchilyoga.org)
om special - how to be a yoga teacher
om special - how to be a yoga teacher
The special ones
Special things come to those that teach
at London’s Special Yoga Centre
Teaching yoga to children does not get any more rewarding than
at London’s Special Yoga Centre (specialyoga.org.uk). The centre
offers yoga therapy for children and young people with special
needs on a donation basis, the only place of its kind in the UK.
For those looking to get extra joy from learning to teach yoga then
look no further.
It’s special yoga, for special people, where everyone is special.
Yoga for children teacher trainer and centre founder Jo Manuel
offers authentic and inventive approaches and tools that can be
used and applied pretty much anywhere, whether you’re teaching a
3-year-old or a 15-year-old teenager.
“Even if you are not interested in teaching yoga to children
with special needs, you must do this course as it offers such an
incredible overpowering depth of understanding,” says Manuel.
“To witness a child with special needs doing yoga and entering a
space of inner peace and serenity, reconnecting deeply to their
soul in a way that can only happen on the yoga mat, is a totally
transformative experience.”
om special - how to be a yoga teacher
Are you ready to take
your yoga practice to
the next level?
Some place
If it’s do-able for you, then pack your suitcases and
jet off somewhere sunny for your teacher training
Hari-Om Yoga School (hariomyogaschool.com) has been leading teacher trainings in Italy and
other fabulous foreign spots for many years.
It’s just one of the many options available if you are looking to take the overseas route. And
let’s face it: what sounds better than spending six months or so doing daily yoga in some
place wonderful? Hari-Om is a school with a focus on deepening both the philosophy of yoga
and the physical part, in vinyasa flows, pranayama and meditation techniques.
Its founder and director, Marco Mandrino, is pretty well travelled too, having studied in
Australia, India, US and, of course, Italy.
MahalaYoga Teacher Training
program can help you do just that
while also preparing you to share
your passion for yoga.
Become a yoga teacher with
MahalaYoga, we are a fully
integrated independent teacher
training school based in Clapham,
providing the most Innovative indepth teacher training program in
South west London, that promises
to Inspire and up lift you, Unlocking
your true potential as teacher of
He decided last year to export the Hari-Om spirit beyond Italy, with a 200 hour and 500 hour
YA (Yoga Alliance) certified programme in Costa Rica, covering everything from asanas and
alignments, to yoga history and philosophy.
The courses, which are attracting enthusiastic students from all over the world, are certainly
intensive with four hours of practice a day, plus five hours of lectures, so don’t expect an easy
ride. “But the magic view from the Costa Rican resorts and the peacefulness of the Italian
countryside make the effort easier together with the experience of the Hari-Om teachers and
spirit,” says Mandrino. The next courses (both in Italy) take place this August.
Enrol now for our 200 hour
Teacher Training program due to
run in Clapham in 2014.
Special Early bird
discount of £1999
Email [email protected] or call
07782 220 123 today for full details
on our next successful program
Image: Klavdija Tavcar
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*Flights and accommodation are not included in the prize
Training takes place September 15th, 2013 – October 11th, 2013
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A Yoga Teacher Training Manual will be supplied to each participant.
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For additional information please go to sourceofyoga.com
To enter this competition please go to
This prize is open to everyone (no purchase necessary).
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om special - how to be a yoga teacher
Easy as 123
What the teachers say: Three
words that best describe your
teaching style
“Authentic. Honest. Fun”
Cheryl MacDonald (yogabellies.co.uk)
“Innovative. Inspiring. Accessible”
Mahala Wall (yogaclapham.com)
“Empowering. Inspiring. Fun”
Nina Sebastiane (feelhotyoga.co.uk)
“Kind. Truthful. Inspiring”
Ishwara Kaur (anahata.org.uk)
“Authentic. Discipline. Holistic”
Swami Vishnudevananda (sivananada.org/london)
Brenda Louw (chilloutyoga.co.uk)
“Inspiring. Dynamic. Fullfilling”
Deborak Sladen (purplelotus.co.uk)
“Dedicated. Determined. Fun”
Asha Khagram (krishnayoga.co.uk)
“Thorough. Inclusive. Organised”
Louise Palmer-Masterton (camyoga.co.uk)
“Practical. Informative. Fun”
Christiane Kerr (calmforkids.com)
“Awakening. Progressive. Practical”
Simon Low (theyogaacademy.org)
“Down-to-Earth. Personal. Experiential”
Siri Arti Kaur (starchildyoga.org)
“Professional. Knowledgeable. Creative”
Anne-Marie Newland (sun-power-yoga.co.uk)
om special - how to be a yoga teacher
Who’s who in yoga
Navigate your way through the accreditation maze
British Wheel of Yoga
Recognised by Sport England (a quasi
government body) as the governing
body for yoga in this country. The BWY
also runs a number of teacher training
courses with qualifications recognised
by REPS (see below).
Independent Yoga Network
A network of independent teachers
and schools, it was set up in 2004, in
part, to offer a response to the fitness
industry’s attempt to define acceptable
yoga training, and as an alternative to
the BWY route.
Yoga Alliance UK
Not linked to Yoga Alliance USA
although many acronyms used are
similar. It offers widely accepted
standards, as well as an ongoing
membership scheme to support
teachers with things like insurance and
Register of Exercise Professionals
REPs is an independent public register
that recognises the qualifications of UK
health and exercise instructors. It can
be vital if you’re looking to teach yoga
in a gym.
Yoga Scotland
Recognised by Sport Scotland as the
governing body for yoga in Scotland. It
has a network of around 300 qualified,
registered and insured teachers.
Central YMCA Qualifications
CYQ is a highly regarded body for
fitness qualifications with a yoga
teaching diploma course. A UK
health and fitness awarding body,
qualifications are approved through the
government via Ofqual and the Sector
Skills Council (SkillsActive).
Yoga Alliance USA
Formed in 1999, this is the national
yoga organisation in the USA. If you
ever want to teach Stateside then you’ll
certainly come across this body. Not
linked to Yoga Alliance UK.