A typical course weekend
A typical Yoga and Hot Yoga teacher training course weekend comprises seven elements of practice and learning. You can read more about them here.
Half of your course time is spent in practice of one kind or another – and most of this will be movement practice. This means physically practicing and perfecting a broad range of asana – postures you’d see in classes aimed at mixed groups (which is the most usual teaching situation). We’ll also analyse postures in terms of:
- Safely entering, holding and exiting.
- Anatomical breakdown: key muscles, key alignments.
- Possible adjustments and facilitations – how to assess what will be most suitable for different people.
- Modifications and the use of props to support practice.
Most important of all – you will have time to deeply feel and experience Yoga postures from within. There are some key instructions to give for each pose, but the best teaching comes from a deep body awareness – good teachers tell you what they’re feeling physically, not just what shape to make. This is authentic and it really connects with people: as the often-used saying goes: You are your own best teacher. It turns out that you are your own best student as well.
You’ll learn from your Yogafurie course leader, and from guest asana teachers who can bring different perspectives to enrich your learning.
Meditation and breathing
The connection between Yoga or Hot Yoga practice and settled, calm breath and mind is well known. But how do you actually do that – and how can you teach it to others? We look at a range of breath exercises, and a number of techniques to focus and clear our minds.
There’s really too much to list here, what we can say in summary is:
- Much of our work is based on the Hatha Yoga Pradipika (HYP), which is on the course reading list.
- We practice sometimes in silence, and we also learn to use mantras, mudras and gaze focus to enhance concentration.
- Your Yogafurie course leader will take you through your HYP work, and we will be supported by mindfulness and meditation experts, again to offer fresh perspectives and new insights.
We offer you a strong course, and your Yogafurie course leader will work with you individually and as a group to get you up to speed with what you need to know. In addition, there are lots of visiting teachers who will bring all their experience and knowledge to the course for you in specialist subjects related to your study. A lot of effort has been put into finding the right people, and the feedback we get is tremendously positive. The added dimension of this extra resource is really popular with our students. Keep reading to hear more about our wonderful guest speakers.
Sangha – sharing
Teacher training is a journey – a journey you’ll share with at most 13 other people on a Yogafurie course, as numbers are strictly limited to 14 maximum. People grow together, and make friends from their shared experience. As a teacher, you’ll likely still be in touch and helping each other with advice and suggestions long after the course ends – or covering each other’s classes etc.
We encourage you to get involved as much as you want to, and to contribute whatever you feel you can to the group experience. We all come from different walks of life, and have different opinions. Yoga (and Hot Yoga) bring us together, and the group is stronger for all its diversity.
On a practical note, you’ll do group assignments and teach classes in groups. We also have a shared lunch each course day – more on that later! Once or twice you’ll be asked to help with cleaning lunch dishes away, loading and unloading the dishwasher, and keeping the coffee pot topped up (Pukka tea and Extract coffee is free on the course).
We do a lot of practice. There’s also study to be done, because a good teacher has broad and deep background knowledge. You’ll learn about:
Human anatomy and physiology
We discuss some of the latest ideas emerging from the sciences of anatomy and therapy. What is Yoga (or Hot Yoga) really doing to bodies and minds? Knowing this means you can design relevant and powerful sequences for your classes and for your own personal development. More and more studios are using heat – how does this change things, what else do you need to know to guide students safely and well? There’s additional strain on the teacher too – we’ll discuss ways we can care for ourselves as teachers.
Yoga teaches about an energy body of prana woven into our physical body. What does this actually mean? How can we work with it in our own practice and when we design classes? and what are the implications for practice and for designing classes? These energy ideas have shaped much of the practice we do: teachers need to understand them.
Yoga philosophy, lifestyle and ethics
Ok, so we understand that there is a subtle energy body. But how does this relate to the fundamental principles of Yoga? We look at the history of Yoga, and how it’s evolved through the ages. We get a better understanding of what we do today – and why we do it. This is a foundation to base lifestyle choices on.
Practicalities of teaching and holding classes
What does it mean to be self-employed, what are your insurance and data protection obligations, what are the marketing basics you need to know? And for those who are interested, where would you start if you want to open a studio?
We are visited by a number of speakers to support your Yogafurie work: you will have multiple sessions with bodywork and fascia experts, a research scientist and doctor, and a Sanskrit scholar.
You’ll practice teaching most weekends. This starts with teaching for just a few minutes to the rest of the group and sharing feedback for everyone else. Gradually you’ll take on more and more. You’ll teach some public classes to friends and family and report on your experience as part of your ongoing assignments. And at the end of the course, you’ll undertake a teaching assessment.
We believe that you need regular practice to overcome nerves and be comfortable standing in front of groups of people and speaking publicly. This kind of confidence comes with practice. Your sangha – your course group – are all working through exactly the same experience, so there’s a lot to share and learn from each other.
We also look at practicalities, like how to plan classes and how to use language well so that your teaching is succinct and to the point but also being engaging and interesting. We discuss how to manage spaces and groups. You’ll learn to create a positive learning environment, and you’ll develop your own unique delivery style.
Practice makes perfect, and when it comes to lYogafufie’s course in Bristol, you will definitely get plenty of practice.
Eating together brings people together. We each bring in some food to share on each course day, and there’s always a great buzz at lunchtime as we discover the delights in store. You’ll be chatting to your new colleagues like old friends before you know it. By the end of your course, you will probably feel like old friends as you will have shared so many experiences – and so much food!
You don’t have to join in shared lunch of course – it is optional. If you do, then we ask that you only bring in vegetarian food. Please do tell people what’s in your dish, just in case there are food allergies etc to be mindful of.
You’ll receive your own copy of the Yogafurie Teacher Training Manual to keep. We will often base group discussions on sections from the manual.
There are some other books you’ll need to read. Some – like The Hatha Yoga Pradipika and Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras – are old works from Yoga’s history, and are just as relevant to today’s practitioner as when they were written. Some are much more recent, and shed new light on Yoga’s ancient methods. All of them will enrich your knowledge of Yoga and its philosophy and application. We’ll send you details of required: many are available as e-books, which makes them cheaper to buy.
You’ll be taught by a mix of experts from many disciplines related to Yoga, as well as learning a great deal from your Yogafurie course leader. Check out the section on Guest Speakers, on this page.
We can support you. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have dyslexia and want to discuss how we can support you on the course.
You’re expected to attend every scheduled course event and presentation. One of these is offsite, where the whole group visits a Yoga festival for a day. However, we understand that you may have already scheduled a significant life event, such as marriage. And during the course, people can experience dramatic changes in other areas that can affect attendance at the last minute. See the Course Calendar and Schedule page for more information on how we can support you.
Assignments and assessment
Your final assessment comprises a written exam, a teaching assessment, and your course work. Your course work during the course includes your practice diary and some group and individual assignments. You must submit all your coursework on time to pass the course. Your teaching in your assessment class must be safe. Your written exam reflects your knowledge as a teacher. Special arrangements are available for people with dyslexia – ask for details.