How Your Yoga Teachers Training Effects You

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When I was teaching at The Centre, a small studio located above Little Bird Cafe in Kingsland, the then owner interviewed me for an article she was writing for Viva Magazine.

The article, titled Why Yoga Is More Than A Pose, delved into the controversial world of yoga teacher training and their questionable credentials.

The incredible teachers at The Centre had all been teaching far longer than me, and, as I wasn’t in the habit of being interviewed often, I felt nervous about expressing my thoughts around this hotbed of a topic.

But Rebecca put me at ease, and we discussed the effects of the varying standards of teacher training within the industry for quite some time.

The Centre and the original Little Bird Organics have since shut down, (though Little Bird Organics in Ponsonby is still open), but my chat with Rebecca over the power of having an experienced yoga teacher feels as relevant now as it did back then.

We all practice yoga for different reasons. Some seek the physical benefits of yoga; increased flexibility and muscle strength; rehabilitation from sporting or lifestyle injuries. Others are exploring alternative ways to manage stress and cope with life. Some students yearn for something more profound, and approach yoga for the spiritual benefits it can provide.

The level of training, teaching experience and, dare I say, life experience, that a teacher has, enables them to meet the needs of their students. After all, you can only teach what you know.

My original training in Melbourne was ten years ago now. I studied a style of Yoga called Somachi; a dynamic mix of Vinyasa Flow, Tai Chi, and Dance. It drew on both Buddhist and Yogic philosophy, and I am grateful to have had training that exposed me to different sources of movement and wisdom.

My education in diagnosed health conditions and the causes, treatments and prevention of disease began with a Bachelors in Naturopathic and Herbal Medicine. It continues every time I see a new client; much like teaching new students. Self-study, workshops with accredited teachers and avid reading continues to refine my anatomical knowledge. These are the places I teach from; a fusion of anatomical knowledge and a love for creative movement continually inspired by my personal practice.

What your teacher practices on the mat, who they learn from when studying, the quality of the training they receive, and how long they’ve been teaching for will ultimately influence your own yoga practice.

As the full article rightfully explains, its really does pay to check your yoga teachers experience and level of training. A good yoga teacher is always learning; refining and honing their skills. Sometimes from older, more experienced teachers, as I did from the phenomenal teachers at The Centre, other times through relevant ongoing training.

Be curious about who taught your teacher, because alongside their level of experience, that will be guiding what they teach you.