Yoga traces its roots far back to ancient India where it was taught and practiced in Gurukulas or schools where a Guru or Teacher imparted knowledge both theoretical and practical to students or shishyas. The ultimate aim of Yoga being enlightenment, it was found necessary to find a Guru who could transmit the energy needed to kick start one’s journey towards expanded awareness. As civilization progressed and Yoga spread all over the world, it has become all the more important to seek a teacher who can shed light on the way forward using the tools provided by Hatha Yoga
Lookout for the right teacher
Yoga is the kind of knowledge that can be absorbed more as wisdom than merely instructions. As one begins to practice Hatha Yoga, we understand the multidimensional layers involved in the learning. Hence, the skills of a teacher in imparting true knowledge that makes learners think for themselves is extremely important when it comes to Yoga.
A thorough understanding of Yoga Philosophy, Anatomy, Physiology, Psychology and Methodology has to be the firm foundation from which a good teacher emerges. Taking a decision to practice Yoga opens a new vista of untapped potential within each one of us. To shed light and create awareness about our own mind, body and spirit should be the goal of a Yoga trainer. It is therefore of tremendous importance to find a good teacher who can show you the practical way to access in-depth grasp of Yoga.
Who can teach hatha yoga ?
Only a certified trainer who has undergone a minimum of 200 hours of Teacher’s Training Course is authorised to teach Hatha Yoga. Ensure that you obtain your training from a Registered Yoga School that is recognized by Yoga Alliance.
In addition, it takes focus, dedication and passion to mark oneself as an outstanding Yoga Teacher.
Keep learning to be an excellent teacher
- Undergo a well-reputed Teacher’s Training Course which offers a well-balanced combination of practical and theory aspects of Yoga. A Yoga Teacher has to be thorough with the topics offered in TTCs through various yoga academies affiliated to Yoga Alliance, an international regulatory body. The certification is only the beginning to build one’s repertoire of teaching skills
- Read texts and other related material which will add on to one’s proficiency. A master is one who acquires skills and information through education and experience.
- Regular personal practice of Yoga to garner more insights into postures and the holistic benefits they offer is a must for a Yoga Teacher. Finding a Master Trainer who has had wide experience of many years and is well-established in the field can be a great tool to improve a teacher’s personal practice.
Requisities for a great teacher
Learning how to teach is an on-going process. A teacher should be an eternal student, seeking to gain information and insights in as many ways as one can.
Being compassionate and understanding goes a long way in putting learners at ease and assisting them kindly to gain mastery over intricacies of asanas and pranayama. Clarity in instructions is vital since Yoga practice requires mindfulness and focus.
An interesting teacher is one who is versatile in sequencing different classes based on divergent themes. Hatha Yoga asanas lend themselves to be assembled in various permutations and combinations along with modifications to suit all kind of aspirants who wish to learn Yoga. The ideal way to accumulate these skills is to gain experience through regular teaching and assessing progress thus gained.
Excellence in yoga teaching
Every teacher needs to excel in order to bring the best of Yoga to students. Diligence in the following factors would help enormously:
Instructing: Enabling learners to become familiar with names and ways of moving into physical postures and breathing techniques through apt and crisp instructions makes for a great yoga experience.The tone and voice of a teacher should be well-modulated to lend the necessary energy or calmness as required,
Demonstrating: The human brain registers what it sees far more quicker than what it hears. Thus showing how a posture is done makes it easy for students to grasp and put into action.
Assisting: A teacher should possess skills to assist practitioners when they assume various yoga positions.The right assistance from a trainer can release unnoticed tension and help students open up to the experience.
Correcting: Yoga postures can be complex and confusing to someone trying to gain proficiency in them. It falls on the teacher to correct wherever it is required to eliminate such roadblocks.
Understanding of students’ needs: Yoga is a holistic science that takes into consideration the uniqueness of every human physiology. Hence, a Yoga teacher should be focused enough to cater to the different needs of different students.
Encouraging: Frustration and disappointment can deter people from continuing their yoga practice if they do not receive the right form of encouragement from the one who is mentoring them.
Yoga teaching in India and the occident
India is where Yoga is rooted deep and long and spread its branches all over the world. Highly revered Gurus or teachers have firmly established India as the seat of Yoga thus paving the way to more than a thousand Yoga Training Centres and Ashrams that offer Yoga Courses. Different schools of Yoga have been established offering training in many new offshoots of Hatha Yoga such as Ashtanga and Iyengar Yoga among many others. There is no dearth of learning Yoga for self practice or for teaching in India especially in Rishikesh, Mysore, Kerala, Goa and to certain extent in Bangalore, Mumbai, Gujarat and ChennaI.
Yoga made its presence felt in the western world as well thanks to pioneers who studied it in India and took it abroad. Notable among these teachers were Theos Bernard, Indira Devi – disciple of Sri Krishnamacharya, Richard Hittleman follower of Ramana Maharshi, Walt and Magana Baptiste whose children Barron and Sherri continue their heritage. Numerous organisations now offer Yoga Teacher Training in the U.S. and other European countries.
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