yoga certificationBy Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Yoga teacher training courses can differ, but so can the mindset of the participants. For some Yoga instructors, the initial training is a “spring board” toward future achievement.  There are graduates who get more out of the same Yoga teacher certification program than others. So, what are the secrets to their success? The following are useful tips for interns seeking a Level 1 Yoga teacher’s diploma, but they will also be of value to existing teachers, who are seeking continuing education credits for re-certification or wish to specialize in a new field.

Set realistic learning goals and deadlines. How much time do you really have? What are your other obligations, which take most of your time? It is difficult to manage a job, family, housework, evening classes at college, and studying to become a Yoga teacher. You need to assess your obligations and determine your free time. Knowing this will help you plan how many pages to read per night, how much time to practice, or how to plan your next assignment.

Never cram your studies. Be honest with yourself and get the most out of your Yoga certification course. If you study at the last second, your long-term memory will store very little of what you learned. Many students who cram cannot remember much of what they learned over the long haul. Permanently remembering facts is much different from learning facts for an exam – especially if last second learning is the method used.

Join teacher associations, instructor networks, and teacher forums. Sometimes an intern will wait until they become a Yoga instructor to join any “clubs.” Do not put this off. You can always upgrade to a teacher’s membership at a later date. Use every learning resource possible, without causing “information overload.”

Do your own homework. This sounds simple and honest enough, but students of all vocations have been known to take “short cuts.” There is nothing wrong with getting help from a teacher, your tutor, a friend, or getting ideas from dependable web sites.

However, if you turn an assignment over to someone else, you have short changed your own foundation of knowledge. The result is that your students will suffer from your lack of knowledge. It is true that we cannot learn 5,000 years of knowledge and scripture, in one lifetime, but we should learn what we can.

Yogic methodology is constantly evolving, and we all need to keep our education up-to-date. Keeping current with safe methods is one of the biggest dividends of continuing education for teachers. Ultimately, students would be the ones to suffer the most, if Yogic methodology was a “dead system.”

Patanjali, and Yogis of the past, recognized Yogic methodology as an infinite system. Teachers of the present will build on the foundations of past knowledge. The study of Yogic practices is a lifetime journey and cannot be learned in a single weekend intensive. The longer you study, the more there is to know.

How to Become a Certified Hatha Yoga Instructor

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