A few more pointers from our last blog on how to pick the right Yoga Teacher Training for you! We know, there are a lot of Yoga Teacher Training programs out there, so it’s good to get into the details of what you’ll really learn and how you’ll learn it!
Here’s a few tips on asking the right questions around sequencing and the teaching style you’ll be taught in the course.
We hope you find this guide helpful and we wish you an amazing Yoga Teacher Training experience. Let’s get started!
Will you be learning a set class sequence? Or will you learn how to create your own unique class sequences?
You’ll want to make sure the YTT you pick suits what you are looking for. Do you like the idea of learning a simple set sequence and doing/teaching the same thing? Or, does having creativity and flexibility in your classes appeal to you? Understanding the difference will be an important element in your research. Here’s why:
Many yoga schools teach their students just a few (or maybe even only one) set class sequences. This means that each class is exactly the same…the same poses are taught in the same order every time. If you go to a school like this, it means you’ll only know one or two set sequences, and that’s what you’ll be prepared to teach when they get back home and start teaching.
The other approach is to learn how to create your own intelligent sequences, so that you can vary your classes as much as you desire. This allows for fun and creativity, and it also allows you to safely adapt your classes to the varying experience and fitness level of the people who show up for any of your classes. It also gives you the ability to create themed classes (hip opening, core strengthening, heart opening, etc.…). Once you understand the basics, you can mix and match those to create any class you want.
Teaching On or Off the Mat?
During a yoga training, you will take a TON of asana classes! This is more than just taking classes though…it’s a major part of the way that you learn to become a yoga teacher. Every time your teachers step in front of the room to lead a class, they’re modeling different things for you. During an immersion, you soak those things up without even realizing you’re learning them. Since this time with your teachers is so important, you’ll want to find out if your teachers teach “on the mat”, or “off the mat”.
Teaching ON the mat means that the teacher stands on their mat at the front of the class and demonstrates all or most of the poses while they’re calling them out to you. The drawback to this approach is that if the teacher is doing the poses, they can’t see you, they can’t see your practice, and there’s very little they can do to help you gain a deeper understanding of your practice. Generally, teaching on the mat is considered a beginning, less advanced way of teaching. If you’re thinking about a school where the teachers teach on the mat, you’ll have to decide if you’re okay with that.
When a teacher teaches OFF the mat, all their attention and energy is focused on you and the other students. They’re walking around, seeing your practice, providing hands-on assists and verbal cues, and helping you gain a deeper understanding of your practice. Assuming you’ve picked a school with good teachers, this is a huge benefit to you as a student. And in an immersion training (or for that matter, in any class!), it will make a huge difference in your practice.
Lastly, find out how you’ll be taught to teach. If your Yoga Teacher Training Teachers are teaching “off the mat” this is most likely the approach and style they’ll teach you. This is wonderful because it’s considered a more advanced way to learn, and this is how we teach our students at Awakened Life!
What will be the student to teacher ratio?
Often students will ask group size, assuming the smaller the group is, the more attention they will get. This is not always the case! If you have one teacher and 18 students, that’s an 18:1 ratio, which is pretty high! It will be very difficult for the teacher to spread herself/himself around. So, in this case a smaller group is not really beneficial.
A faculty approach generally allows for lower student to teacher ratios, even if there are more students in the training. For example, if you have a faculty of 3 teachers and a group of 30 students, that’s a 10:1 ratio, which is pretty good. It gets even better if your school has support staff on hand to support the classroom sessions.