This month some of our teacher members are sharing their stories of training to teach Iyengar yoga, and offer some sound advice for those thinking of starting their teaching journey.
This week newly qualified teacher Kate Goodwin shares her experience, and Janice Longstaff talks about her journey towards qualifying in 1992 after a suffering a broken back.
Kate Goodwin, Introductory Level Teacher, qualified in 2016:
I knew when I signed up for the teacher training course it would be one of the hardest things I had ever done but also one of the most rewarding. I have two friends who have qualified as Iyengar Yoga teachers and they wholeheartedly encouraged me to do so also but they made it clear what I was letting myself in for.
The course demanded a minimum of 2 years training, one Saturday every month. On these days we were stretched to our physical and mental limits. However I usually felt fantastic on the Sundays after such a deep yoga practice the previous day, even if my body and mind did ache after such intense work.
Watching my fellow trainees develop over the two years and having the chance to see my own understanding of yoga deepen made it worthwhile doing the course alone, regardless of passing or failing.
The sense of personal achievement when I did pass the course was phenomenal. I gave everything I had to passing the course and in the end all the time, effort and energy paid off.
After the assessment day I had to wait one month to get my result in the post. On the day it came I happened to climb a light house, this was the message greeting me at the top! I was on top of the world!
Having completed the training I now enjoy my personal practice more than ever before. Assessment pressure is a thing of the past. Now it is lesson planning and teaching my own students which is constantly refining my yoga practice and development in the subject.
Yoga teaching fits in perfectly with having a young family. I needed something flexible and I have found it, both figuratively and literally!
I teach two classes a week and am about to start a third. I qualified in November 2016 and started teaching in January 2017. This is when the real training in how to be a yoga teacher begins. Where you encounter real bodies in real classes with 75 minutes to fill and no one to fall back on but yourself.
I am delighted that teaching yoga has turned out to be so rewarding. I do my best after each lesson to pinpoint what I could improve on for next time. Becoming a good teacher will take many years of experience. The best yoga teachers make teaching look effortless – I know it is anything but.
Teaching requires stamina, focus and a calmness. Therefore looking after yourself and maintaining your own practice is critical. I still attend a weekly class and remain in close contact with my teacher trainer who I see monthly for a lesson.
Two of my favourite things about the training course are; one, the fantastic people it brings you into contact with and two; what it teaches you about yourself. I was pushed to my physical limits but at the same time I unearthed an inner strength I was unaware I possessed, which presented itself somewhere at the very edge of my comfort zone.
The world is a fast paced place and yoga offers much calm, peace and happiness to those who get on their mat, whoever they are, wherever they are. Being able to bring a little of what yoga has offer to others is where the heart of my job satisfaction lies.
The future looks exciting, I’m currently in discussions with a friend to see if we have enough students between us to run a yoga holiday in Spain next year. Watch this space…
Kate teaches in East Riding of Yorkshire
Janice Longstaff, Intermediate Junior Level 1 Teacher, qualified in 1992:
My teacher training started way back in 1977! I was 17 and started with Sylvia Prescott at a Higher Education class in London. I had started Iyengar yoga at 16 with a lovely lady, Daphne Pick, a little rotund lady who could do amazing things with her body.
Sylvia was strong and inspirational but then fate stepped in and landed a blow, literally, in a horse-riding accident that broke my back and took months of recovery, learning to walk again, it was devastating. In time Daphne picked me up to aid my recovery immensely.
Then I was hooked. How wonderful that yoga could quicken my recovery, gave me full confidence in its invaluable healing ability to body, mind and spirit.
In time I continued my training in Cornwall, where I have lived since ’89, with Elizabeth Connolly and attained my Introductory Cert in 1992 and then with Judi Sweeting for my Intermediate training, both strong, inspirational Iyengar teachers.
Iyengar Yoga has always been my life-long passion and main career. At times very demanding on ALL levels to get through the assessments, but absolutely worth it, if one has it at an innate Soul level and an awareness of how it can lift the consciousness of Humanity on a massive scale.
Janice teaches in the South West of England. Check out her classes on the South West Iyengar Yoga Institute page here:
Find out more about training to teach here