Do you have to be 'Good' at Yoga to become a Teacher?

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When considering whether to train to become a Yoga teacher or not, many people ask me, ‘do you think I’m good enough at Yoga?’ There is an immediate and very understandable fear as to the level of physical ability that is necessary to teach. It is understandable and with any fear, doubt or questioning, I feel it is important to dig a little deeper, to look at the issue from different angles, to zoom out, re-question and then formulate a plan of action based on what it is you want to do.

Look at the issue from different angles
When worried or fearful about your own physical ability and whether it is ‘good’ enough to teach Yoga, it is worth noting that the beauty of Yoga as a practice is the many facets and angles to which one can experience and enjoy classes. Physical poses and movements are just one aspect. You may feel more drawn to the meditative benefits, the time to reflect, the breathing practices, the therapeutic elements or restorative practices, and these are all or some of the angles in which you choose to specialise or teach that do not focus on physical prowess as paramount. 

Also, if you do enjoy the physical postures and movements and would love to teach them it is important to have an understanding of the principles of anatomy, the principles of how the postures can be developed and safely experienced but it is not important that you can do every single posture and movement for someone else to be able to learn and experience it for themselves. Consider the students angle and perspective, do they come to class to watch a teacher perform or to have their own learning experience?

Zoom out
Whenever we experience fear or doubt, we can get stuck in one way of seeing things. The fears and doubts can overtime begin to feel like facts and reality. If you are thinking ‘I may not be physically adept enough to teach’ it can begin to feel like the truth. So zooming out, look at other realms where there are teachers or coaches and not just Yoga. Go to different kinds of classes and as a student ask yourself, is it important that a teacher or coach can perform well or that they can teach/coach well? What is the difference between performance and teaching?

Re-Question-What is it that I want to do?
Ask yourself when considering embarking on a teacher training-what is it that you love? What excites you? What do you feel you would love about teaching? What do you want to teach the most? What kind of atmosphere would you like to create? How do you want to connect to people?

Plan of Action
Once you begin to focus on your love, your excitement, your joy, it takes the emphasis away from fear and doubt. If you love and really believe in something, you will feel good and you will ultimately BE GOOD at it.

In the world right now, with all of us different, unique, extraordinary and ordinary individuals, as much as we need people who can show us what they can do, we also need people who are deeply connected to themselves, who have cultivated understanding and compassion for themselves and can show us how to do the same. We need those who can help us find our way, who can inspire and motivate us. The physical poses, the strength, the mobility and flexibility can be developed over time and that is your personal experience, as a teacher it is a matter of developing skills and practices to encourage others in their experience.

If you feel drawn to training as a teacher and would like to learn more about our training, check out the ‘The Art of Teaching’ information on this website.

Naomi xx

 

Graduate Blog Post-Jessica Oatway

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A Day in the Life of a Yoga Teacher

Lets take Monday morning, as it is the day that I notice the biggest change since becoming a yoga teacher and have a full yoga only day.

Morning
My alarm usually goes off at 6.30am and I go to my own yoga practice class at Yoga Dublin. In the winter, I drag myself out of bed but in the summer I’m usually awake before that and can bounce out of bed. Summer is much more attuned to a yoga teachers needs!

Becoming a yoga teacher definitely means getting up early, as I have early morning classes at 7am, 3 times a week and a 9am class on a Saturday morning. If I’m not teaching then I try to get to a yoga class at least 2 times a week or I will do my own practice at home.

I then get some breakfast at Urban Health in Ranelagh or head home and have some tea and toast or if I’m really hungry a boiled egg and avocado on toast. After breakfast, I open up emails or do some social media work…which always takes longer then I expect! I might get to Sandymount and go for a quick walk as well… the advantages of creating your own timetable is that you have more time to do the things you want to do…most of the time.

Afternoon
On a Monday afternoon, I teach a lunchtime corporate class. These are really rewarding as you can see a difference in the students from when they walk into the class to when they walk out - Standing straighter, feeling a bit lighter with smiles on their faces.

I try to get some lunch either at home, something quick like an omelette or if I’m in town I’ll go to Tang on Dawson street. I’m also a big fan of Cinnamon and Mima in Ranelagh. A lot of my time is spent around Ranelagh just because Urban Space (above Urban Health Cafe) is my base and I could be meeting Dee the owner to discuss new projects or ideas. Since becoming more involved in yoga, my attitude to food has definitely changed. I’m more conscious about what I eat and that I try to eat 100% organic. I’m not a vegetarian but I only eat full organic meat from a trusted source. However I've noticed I’m craving vegetables a lot more then a burger. 

After lunch I usually have a few hours off until my evening classes. This involves prepping for the week’s classes, more social media, website work or unfortunately the usual drab housework.

At 5 I go to my 5.30pm class, then head straight to my 7.30pm class at Urban Health. I get home about 9pm. Grab some dinner and then I'm off to bed. I’m quite chilled after my teaching so I don't have the need to watch TV to try and relax. Which was often the case when I worked in London or when I work in my part-time job on Thursdays and Saturdays in Dublin. 

For me every day is different, which is the one thing I love. In my previous full time job I hated being tied to a desk and sitting down all day. I love travelling around to different places, meeting different people in different circumstances and having a bit more of my own free time. 

But it’s not all roses! I am less well off financially, which can be scary. I am still at the beginning of building my classes which can sometimes be hard. Some days you will have 10 students and then the next week for the same class it could be 3. Its hard not to take it personally, but you try to shake it off and just be the best, most authentic teacher that you can be. I know that I am working hard, still learning and getting my name out there. 

I would say the main thing I have noticed since training to become a yoga teacher are that my stress levels have reduced and I’m more content. I still have worries but they come with less pressure and less fear. I’m the boss and I push myself for myself. I now go to bed on a Sunday evening or wake up Monday morning without the feeling of dread. Yes, I don’t particularly love my part-time job but it supports my income, it’s not every day and it means I can teach yoga. 

Additionally, I have met so many amazing people on this journey. Starting with my fellow yoga teacher trainers who are such supportive and kind people. We have a Watsapp group that is still going strong today. I have just returned from a training in Sri Lanka with three brilliant international teachers and fellow students whom I would now call friends. I am about to go to a workshop in Ireland with amazing people who I didn't know last year. I have a retreat booked in a couple of weeks with people whom I have introduced to yoga through my classes, which is the most rewarding out of all. 

For me, while the journey is tough, the rewards are greater. I am constantly learning and meeting amazing people, and not a day goes by that I am not thankful to have chosen this change of career. Its hard to imagine going back into an office now.

Jessica

Journey to the Training- Angela and Gerlinde

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In 2009, I went on my first holidays on my own. Because I’ve never travelled alone, I booked a surf and yoga retreat. I’d never practiced yoga or surf before, so it must have been destiny, because I fell in love with both and when I came back to Dublin, I signed up to yoga classes straight away. I started with 1 class a week, soon it was 2 or 3… It became part of my life and almost 8 years later I practice yoga every day and I’m about to train as a yoga teacher! 

When I was little I did gymnastic, dance, theatre. My body seems built for that and I found dancing a natural way of expressing myself. Then in my teens I started feeling very disconnected from everything. I lived in my head and became very critical of myself and my body. Gradually I stopped playing music, dancing, I found it difficult to relate to others…So I put all my focus on studying, going to college, getting a degree and starting a career. 
It wasn’t until my mid-twenties that I went back to a dance studio with a dodgy back from years of bad posture and being unkind to my body! I wasn’t going to become a professional dancer, but it felt great to be back in my body, moving, breathing. 

Yoga felt the same, a way of connecting with my body and getting out of my head. A way of being present, open. I’ve struggled with depression for most of my life. Yoga has taught me to be happy where I am at, without judgement, without comparing myself with others. To follow my heart and my path, and enjoy every moment on and off the mat.

Yoga is such an important element of my personal health approach, both physical and mental, that I want to learn to use it as a tool to help others. 

So I recently graduated in naturopathy and acupuncture, and after a few months travelling, I quit my corporate-office job and I now work in a small health store and can’t wait to do the yoga teacher training.

Training with Sybille and Naomi was an easy decision to make. I have been going to Sybille and Naomi’s classes in Yoga Dublin for a couple of years, so training with them was an easy decision to make. I find their positivity contagious, their encouragement, and there is always something to take with me for the day in their classes: how certain poses help, how to use yoga to achieve your goals, to find clarity, to let go… 

For a while my friends have been asking me why I didn't become a yoga teacher. I guess I had to be ready to take that step! 
It is a bit daunting, but I’m really excited about the training and the opportunities that it will bring.

Angela 


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How it all began…

For a long time I wanted to have a more creative career and finally a few years ago I decided to follow that dream by becoming a graphic designer. That meant back to college for a few years while still working full time. Even though I loved being back studying, I realised very quickly switching off and relaxing was absolutely impossible and I needed something to keep a somewhat healthy work and study balance.

As it happens a friend of mine just came back from her yoga teacher training in India and introduced me to my first yoga experience. The practice with her released a lot of emotions and my body and mind just let go and I felt re-energised and much lighter afterwards. I was fascinated by the effect some simple movements and mediation had on me and I wanted more of that magic stuff. 

So I started going to yoga classes weekly to feed myself with goodness. My newly found routine supported my body and mind to relax, recharge and unwind. 

… a few years later...

I changed career and just landed a new job in the environment I really wanted to work in. I believe to get where I am now yoga played a big part. My regular practice helped me to learn more about myself, what I want and need, rather than focusing on what I thought I have to do. 

Yoga keeps my curiosity alive and tickles my heart. I want to learn more about it and that’s why I have decided to do the Yoga Teacher Training this summer at Yoga Dublin with Sibylle and Naomi. 

I picked that course because I go regularly to Sibylle’s classes and immensely enjoy the love, energy and care she brings to each of them. Also, I like the idea of staying local and being able to relax in the evenings in the comfort of my own home (and my cat on my lap ).

My expectations

I’m super curious about what will happen when I devote a full month to yoga. How will it feel focusing every day on breathing, meditating and physical activity? How much can I learn about all other aspects of yoga? What will I learn about myself? How deep can I dig?

Yes, of course there is some fear and anxiety lingering in the background as it’s a big step from going to regular classes to do a full 200 hours intense teacher training (even writing those words freak me out a bit ) but that still doesn’t stop me! 

For now I just want to trust myself and follow my curiosity rather than let fear and self-doubt overshadow the joy I get from yoga.

Yoga tickles my heart and the teacher training will help me to spread a few of those tickles around me. I can’t wait to get started this August.

See you on the mat
Gerlinde
 

Graduate Blog Post – Orla Thornton

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After a busy summer preparing for and completing my Yoga Teacher training, I am currently teaching in the Presentation College in Carlow as a Physical Education and Irish teacher. I finished my ‘Art of Teaching’ Yoga Teacher training in Yoga Dublin this August under the guidance of Sibylle Dallmann and Naomi Sturdy and I began teaching yoga soon afterwards – all of the knowledge and teaching practices were certainly fresh in my mind!

At the moment I teach a yoga class at the stunning ‘Carlow Mandala Yoga Studio’ on Friday night with thanks to Aggie Wachowska. This class is quite popular with my students as it is an ideal method to wind down towards the end of the week and enter the weekend feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

Thus far, I absolutely adore teaching yoga. It is both fulfilling and rewarding to witness students progress from week to week. After a relatively short time being involved with the practice, they are really learning to move with their own bodies ability and are learning to switch off from any external worries or issues during class time. I find it has a calming effect on me as I deliver the class. During those last few moments observing my students drift into Savasana, it becomes a silent meditation for me, too. 
Teaching can be an intense profession, thus I find that my practice really helps me to relax after a long day at work. I deliver a class to staff members every Wednesday after school which provides a space for them to unwind too. There are members of staff who attend regularly and find that it helps them to relax and rejuvenate before going home or settling into their evening, whilst also finishing their day with some precise and gentle movement.

Through the practice and teaching of yoga, I believe I am much more aware of the students in front of me in school and the difficulties they may be experiencing. I also try to incorporate some yoga postures into the warm up routine for some of my PE classes which the students enjoy. I have taught Bakasana (Crow Pose) to some year groups, which brought with it a fun element of challenge to the class. My transition year group are currently completing a yoga course as part of their PE curriculum and have learned to take some timeout for themselves during this part of their day. In the New Year, sixth year students will be given the option to complete yoga for a number of weeks in their PE class.
I make a conscious effort to encourage my students, particularly those in sixth year, to ensure that they are exercising regularly and taking time out for themselves. It can often be a very stressful year in their lives as they undertake the Leaving Certificate Examination and are faced with some difficult decisions regarding college or employment choices after school.
In addition to this, I hope to run some lunchtime yoga classes for students in the coming months. I hope that this shall encourage students to become more in tune with their own wellbeing as we enter a New Year.

Having immersed myself in an intensive yoga teacher training, I feel it has truly helped with my ability to deal with a hectic day or a tough situation. I try to deal with issues or difficulties in the moment now rather than allowing myself to worry or become overly stressed about things that are beyond my control. Since completing my training, I continue my daily practice and I feel this has become an integral part of my daily routine to keep me grounded and balanced for whatever my day may bring.

I hope to keep building on my knowledge of yoga teaching by maintaining my own daily practice and continuing to attend regular yoga classes, student workshops and professional development workshops. Yoga has become a cornerstone of my lifestyle in so many ways – it keeps me centred, focused and keeps my body flexible and mobile. I hope that through my teaching and love for the practice, that I can continue share the magic of yoga with others.

 

Teachers with Heart

No matter what your reasons are for being interested in completing a Yoga teacher training, no matter what direction you will take your new skills and insights, there is no denying the positive impact the experience can have for you.

Wherever you choose to go, the places you work, the people you meet, you will show up with a new way of seeing yourself and others. Seeing through the eyes of a teacher changes your perspective on learning, on the needs of others, on communicating, on kindness, compassion and sharing.

You can gain a sense of true heart for yourself and others and the world needs more leaders, more teachers, more individuals with heart. Families, communities, work places need people who understand themselves and others, who can empower themselves and others to do what is right.

We all need people who can tell us, who can explain to us, who can show us how to do things, to allow and enable us to understand, to equip us with new skills to make the right choices towards a healthy and happy life.

Education and learning is a key to connecting and compassion. For any problems we have faced, are facing, we need teachers, we need those who will inspire, lead and help us believe.

We need those who create space for discovery, creativity and invention.

We need those who will allow for potential to be explored, for setbacks to be navigated and for modifying and adapting.

We need those who are connected to themselves, who are grounded, who feel their emotions, who are aware of their needs and their boundaries, who have explored and learned, so they can show us how it is done.

Naomi The Art of Teaching

We all may have ‘bad’ teacher experiences or stories, things we feel that may have been harmful or destructive, but for every positive step we have taken in life, for every growth, every move forwards, there has been someone somewhere who was a ‘good’ teacher, a good example and has shown the way.

If you take a step towards a Yoga teacher training, you get an opportunity to tune in and take time to ask yourself how you want to teach, how you want to show up, how you want to give to yourself and others.

A Yoga Teacher Training is more than gaining knowledge, theories or facts to share with others, it is an opportunity to recognise the value of connection, of becoming your true self and shining a light for others.

It is a step on your path to being in the world with all your heart and soul.

Naomi**

The Art of Teaching

The Art of Teaching 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training

What our Teacher Training can give you

Naomi Sturdy and Sibylle Dallmann have created a training that they feel gives you a real opportunity to dive deep into Yoga and yourself. Here are some of the aspects of the training they feel you can experience, learn and benefit from.......

Challenge:
In our Intensive style teacher training you will be practicing physically everyday, getting a chance to dive deep into your practice, progress and challenge past your perceived limitations. The opportunity for consistent practice for one month may be a new experience for you and it can be exhilarating to see where you can take your body and mind. A challenge like showing up everyday can help you see what you are really capable of and expand your vision.

Accomplishment:
With any challenge like mentioned above, once you have shown yourself that you can do it, there is a great sense of accomplishment. When you have the courage to commit and see where that takes you, there is a sense of great accomplishment in seeing yourself through your bad days, your ‘don’t want to get out of bed’ days and your good days! This type of practice can really allow us to see the impermanence of everything and allow you to ride the waves and to keep moving forwards.

Self Study:
On our training you will have time to reflect, to tune inwards, to question and to explore your own responses, your own attitudes, perceptions, your way of learning, of understanding and how you see yourself and the world. This chance to connect to yourself gives you a great opportunity to study what works for you, what doesn’t work so well, what you can embrace and what you can let go of. Self study is your chance to empower yourself and become aware of how you can choose and direct the ways in which you want to be.

Community and Connection:
As well as individual learning and study, Yoga and this training is all about community and connection. Finding others you can share your journey with, who get you, who feel like you, who enjoy the same things as you is truly special. Through the training you will support each other, hold space for each other and develop true respect and compassion for everyone on their path.

Fresh Perspective:
Spending this month of your life diving into the physical practices of Yoga, the theories and philosophy behind Yoga practices, deep relaxation, breath practices and Meditation give you a whole new way to see yourself, your body, your mind and your soul. Combining this experience with the skills of how to teach these practices gives you a fresh perspective on the human experience, how we can all experience and deserve to experience health, peace and happiness.

Expression:
Through learning the skills of teaching, leading groups, taking the teachers seat, you have a great opportunity to express yourself and share your unique expression with

the world. This training gives you a great platform for gaining confidence in yourself and what you have to offer others, you will learn how to communicate clearly and confidently and find a sense of grounding, relaxation and ease.

Vision:
We aspire for you to take this foundational training as a platform from which you launch yourself forwards on your path of love. That whatever you learn, whatever you experience, you can expand and broaden your vision for what is possible for you, for what you can achieve and for your infinite potential.

We are excited to meet you.

Yoga Teacher Training Dublin
‘Naomi and Sibylle had HEAPS of knowledge between them! There was very rarely a question that was asked that either of them didn’t have the answer for and if / when it did happen they made sure to go find out for us.’