What’s best for Teacher Training: Intensive vs Longer Duration; What are the pros and cons?

Teacher Training weekend - Trainee making notes, with book on the side.

Teacher training can be life changing. It’s likely to challenge you in unexpected ways, however you approach it. You’ll need a good measure of commitment, and a way to reinvigorate your motivation if things get tough.

There’s a lot to learn. Some of it will be academic, a bit like school. Do you have particular educational needs, like dyslexia for instance?

A lot of the learning is body-based. There will be new postures, breathing techniques, mantras etc. With this kind of learning, it’s important to feel what it means as well as understanding it intellectually. You’ll need the right instruction and some personal time to absorb these and integrate them into your own practice.

Two teacher trainees sitting legs folded, hands rested on knees.

Yoga teaches unconventional things about the nature of reality and our place in it. Teacher training can be a very spiritual experience – we become aware that actions really do impact others and our natural world. We start to take more responsibility for this because if Yoga teaches us anything, it teaches that right here, right now, is the heart of spirituality. It’s in our normal lives that we will find our Karma Yoga.

I’ve chosen to present the Yogafurie teacher training course as a local, long duration course. I feel that students can get to know us here at the studio first by practicing here before joining the course, so our skills and how we treat people are already known. You also have a good feel for the kind of people you’ll be studying with, and that’s really important. Your sangha – your practice community – will be your source of strength and help in the tough times, and your support network of peers as your teaching career begins. We do offer specific help for individual learning needs, and we build in extra (optional) study time outside of the course hours, so no one gets left behind.

Running the course over a year also helps. We truly embody new techniques thanks to the opportunity to practice them over this extended period. Even if students can “do the pose” already, there are often crucial details missing. We can spot this and work together on it, giving you space and time for the techniques you learn to fully integrate into the fabric of your being.

If I had to give a conclusion then I think it would be this: Intensive study, perhaps in a different location, is most useful for people who already have a very established practice and/or teaching career. When the foundation is in place, then seeing specific teachers for specific things is both appropriate and recommended. For your first real journey into the vast worlds of Yoga, I recommend staying firmly rooted in normal life and taking it slowly, with people you already trust.

Find out more about teacher training by clicking this link. TEACHER TRAINING 

Teacher Trainees stood with hands at heart centre, focus on smiling Trainee.

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