Yoga Teacher Training

Should I take yoga Teacher Training? Your most common questions answered here!

The Yoga for Runners Teacher Training has been offered for over 10 years. During this time it has evolved to meet the needs of the changing market place

IMG_2263I have taught yoga teacher training programs for over 10 years – both my own Yoga for Runners Program and yoga studio’s 300 hr training programs and numerous specialty subjects for continued education. I have interviewed hundreds of potential trainees and am always intrigued at the many stories that have brought individuals to yoga. I see people that love yoga and want to continue to delve deeper into other aspects of yoga, I see people that want to share their passion for yoga with others through teaching and I’ve seen many that simply want to deepen their own practice with no intention to teach. Interestingly many of these people go on to become great teachers!

I also help people that are sitting on the fence trying to decide if teacher training is for them. Hopefully the following will help the fence sitters and remind others who started their teacher training journey why they did it, and show them the value in continuing that path to growing their practice, whether it be for themselves, or as teachers in the yoga community. 

(For the purposes of this post, I’ll use the Yoga for Runners Teacher Training program as the example, but many of the answers will apply to those that are considering other programs as well. Double check with the school you’re considering before applying to make sure you’re clear on their policies.)

Are there any questions I missed? Feel free to get in touch and I’ll be happy to answer anything further!

The Yoga for Runners Teacher Training Program is a 45 hour program, eligible for YAS Continued Education credits. Perfect for 200 hr certified teachers wishing to specialize, refresh their asana analysis viewed from an athletic body, brush up on anatomy and understand how to organize classes for athletes that are safe, effective and challenging.

Do I have to be really good at yoga to take Teacher Training? What should I be able to do before considering becoming a teacher? How many years should I have practiced before I consider becoming a yoga teacher?

There is no degree of flexibility or strength required to take the program. The most important requirement I stipulate is to have a passion for yoga and a desire to work with athletic bodies. Some form of yoga practice is needed in order to fuel this interest and passion.

What if I’m not flexible at all?

Perfect for when teaching athletes. First, you will understand the limitations of these body types, and practice safety valves will automatically be present. Plus – your target audience will relate to you immediately. Moreover, yoga is not about flexibility – it is about muscle balance. Believe me, I know many hyper-mobile students that would gladly trade for some ‘tightness’.

Are there limits for age? (too young/too old?)IMG_1411

The youngest participant I have taught was 16 and the oldest was mid-60’s – with many between those ages. There is a market for everyone!!

I’m still learning yoga myself, how will I know when I’m ready to become a teacher?

Many trainees embark on the training for their own interest and say they have no interest in teaching. Once they learn and dip their toes into teaching, many end up loving it! Sure, it takes work and commitment but it can be a truly satisfying experience and once you have entered that door, there is no looking back. BTW – when I took my first training about 19 years ago, I felt the same way. No intention to teach – I just loved yoga and wanted to learn more.

What if I’m injured? Can I still take teacher training?

IMG_0526(2)Absolutely! Many students have attended the training with some type of issue and through the training they have come to understand the source of their problem. It often involves a pattern in their yoga practice that is creating the problem and the training is the catalyst for change and injury recovery. Furthermore, the YfR training is always a small size and each participant gets plenty of individual attention. The first aspect of becoming a yoga teacher is understanding your own body.

I’d like to specialize in one area, do I need to take a different type of teacher training before I can specialize?

Many people started with the YfR training as their interests related specifically to runners – running coaches; physio therapists or for themselves as runners. In the training they learn enough to teach and get started. Many go on to take other 200 or 300 hr trainings. Some are already yoga instructors and want to specialize. There is no right or wrong approach. The key is to start with you are passionate about then keep learning fresh with continued studies. I see many teachers now taking every training coming their way and I always ask, are you passionate about this or that. Amazing how many say no, they are not even interested in teaching the subject but want to take the training. My advice, stick to what you are passionate about and deepen your learning in that area. Specialize rather than learning a little bit about a lot. Thus my first question to those interested in YfR – are you passionate about teaching yoga to athletes?

How should I pick which teacher training school to go to?

Check out the faculty! Ask tough questions – how long ago did you become an instructor; how many years have you been teaching; who is your teacher now? My personal thoughts are that teachers teaching teachers should have at least 10 years of experience. Take classes at the studio and from the faculty and be sure you like their style. Be a discerning consumer – this is an expensive commitment.

What can I expect to learn during YfR Teacher Training?

You will learn about athletic bodies and minds and thus be able appeal to this market. A robust syllabus of asanas (poses) are deconstructed, analyzed, and examined for various body types. A strong emphasis on functional anatomy as it applies to yoga – learning about joints, muscles and connective tissue. Primary movers of each pose are examined as is the relationship between mobility and stability. Injuries are examined in depth – how to avoid first and then how to apply yoga to recover. Practice teaching is also included.

 Are there any extra costs outside of the tuition?

IMG_0560(2)The only extra cost is the anatomy text and I do recommend that participants read my Yoga for Runners book. It is informative and will be a valuable reference. My dvds are included in the tuition.

Can I take teacher training if I’m pregnant?

Yes, as long as yoga is not new to you. If you are running and doing yoga already, no problem.

What happens if I miss a day? Can I make it up?

Ideally you want to participate in every day but if needed, special arrangements can be made.

Where can I teach yoga when I’m done the program? Is it specific to Canada?

Currently yoga is not a regulated discipline. Sadly, anyone could hand their “yoga instructor” shingle with no repercussions. The only screen is consumer savvy and reputation. Thus, if you know your material and resonate with an audience, you can teach. Being a promoter of continued study, your learning will not end. Rather it will be a jump start to other trainings.

What is the style of yoga/lineage for Yoga for Runners Teacher Training?

The style is a mix of my own experience. Vinyasa (moving with breath) is the base but I include a lot of muscle isolation and strengthening work from various disciplines. Personally my yoga practice has been ashtanga based and continued studies with amazing Iyengar teachers. Lately I have moved more into functional strength and movement… it never ends!

Can I do my student teaching hours at any yoga studio?

Your yoga practice can continue at your local studio or at home. As it is adult education, I believe in self motivation to practice and study.

How does Yoga for Runners Teacher Training compare to other Teacher Training programs available?

YfR is the only training program geared exclusively to runners. The class size is small so the learning is deep and intimate. You will be learning from my depth of experience in this field and yoga in general. My passion for it is evident – just call me and we can chat. 

Can I take Module I this year and Module II next year?

The program is designed to be completed at one time. Only this way will one be ready to teach. Having a year in between is not great and momentum is lost. Nonetheless exceptions can be made. I cater to individual needs and try to make it work. Certificate is granted only upon completion of both modules.

How long do I have to complete all my hours required for completing all the homework once the in-class time is done?

Typically about 3 months after the training is complete.

Do I have to be local to Toronto to participate?

IMG_3029 (1)The training is organized over two consecutive 3-day week ends. Many that have taken this program come from afar – Mexico, UK, US, Greece, Newfoundland, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Quebec. This minimizes the amount of time they need to be in Toronto.   During this time however they are able to attend some of my yoga classes while taking in the sights and attractions of Toronto.

Can I take the Yoga for Runners Teacher Training program online?

Not at this time. Maybe in the future. It’s so hard to create the same energy and learning on-line! It’s on my mind though and many have asked for it so stay tuned.


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