September 14, 2008

The best Yoga Teacher’s Training: Experience

“Become a yoga teacher from the comfort of your home ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING” ~ I came across this advertisement the other day while cruising the web, it offers yoga teacher’s training via Internet…


“In the sixth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, which is the most important authority on Yoga philosophy, Sri Krishna explains to Arjuna the meaning of Yoga as deliverance from contact with pain and sorrow. “When his mind, intellect and self (ahamkara) are under control, freed from restless desire, so that they rest in the spirit within a man becomes a Yukta – one in communion with God. A lamp does not flicker in a place where no winds blow; so it is with a yogi, who controls his mind, intellect and self, being absorbed in the spirit within him. When the restlessness of the mind, intellect and self is stilled through the practice of Yoga, the yogi by the grace of the Spirit within himself finds fulfillment. Then he knows the joy eternal which is beyond the pale of the senses which his reason cannot grasp. He abides in this reality and moves not therefrom. He has found the treasure above all others. There is nothing higher than this. He who has achieved it, shal not be moved by the greats sorrow. This is the real meaning of Yoga – a deliverance from contact with pain and sorrow.”

…Wonderful! I though, still I could not understand how that could be. After 8 years of practicing yoga and 5 years teaching it (which is nothing), I know for sure that my understanding about teaching has come from teaching itself. Yes, the theory and the intensive three weeks of practice when you work for a certification are wonderful to have, it will enhance the understanding of the practice, but I would not choose a teacher to practice with just by knowing the teacher is certified. And I won’t even go deeper into saying that certification is an American created institution, the fact that people can get certified in three weeks as yoga teachers is.. well, so american. And for the record, I LOVE AMERICA.

So I clicked on the ad and it took me to the application. Where the questions asked are like:

Subject: ONLINE Teacher Training Application

 How did you hear about this training?

How long have you been practicing?

Where have you practiced yoga?

What types have you practiced?

With whom have you practiced?

How often?

How has yoga changed your life?

Whar are your current long term goals?

What do you currently do?

Tell us about your physical health:

Tell us about your mental health?

What do you think will be the most challenging about training?

Why do you practice yoga?

What are your expectations for this training?

* “Yoga is one of the six orthodox systems of Indian philosophy. It was collated, co-ordinated and systematized by Patanjali in his classical work, the Yoga Sutras, which consists of 185 terse aphorisms. In Indian thought, everything is permeated by the Supreme Universal Spirit (Paramatma of God) of which the individual human spirit (jivatma) is a part. The system of yoga is so called because it teaches the means by which the jivatma can be united to, or be in communion with the Paramatma, and so secure liberations (moksa). One who follows the path of Yoga is a yogi or yogin.

After I read the application, I wondered WHO QUALIFIES it?… The day after I got a called and I found out the training costs more than 2,000 Dllrs. 

I don’t know about you, but when I want the best carrots i go to the farmers market, when I want great clothes I go to Patagonia or recycle, when I want good articles I read Elephant.. I look for natural quality, earth awareness, mindful living…and experience. 

If you are one of those “online teachers” please share with us your perspective, if you are an experienced teacher, please share with us your perspective. Comment, participate and enlighten us.

There is an old believe in India: you learn as much theory as you practice and you practice as much theory as you learn. Never one more than the other.



* Light on Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar

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