The following is Part One of an interview with my Guru, Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, at Aura Wellness Center in Attleboro, Massachusetts.
Q: Do you feel there are advantages, for Yoga instructor interns, who take online and correspondence courses; and if so, what are they?
A: To begin with, most people who take Yoga teacher certification courses have many other responsibilities. Among them are obligations to family members and job security. It is extremely difficult for anyone to drop his or her responsibilities, in order to further his or her education. This is why so many respected universities, around the world, have evening classes, correspondence courses, and online continuing education.
This desire, to further one’s education, is also why so many learning institutions have extended library hours and online resources. Yoga is a vast subject, but is no different to learn than any other subject. All of these beautiful resources mean nothing, if we do not practice or apply the methods and principles we learn.
The time to study, practice, and apply Yoga to our lives is a personal quest. Training online, or by correspondence, gives interns and experienced Yoga teachers, time to mentally process pieces of information or practice Yogic principles at home. At the same time, interns should attend local Yoga classes to see other teaching methodologies. Past experience, continuing education, outside resources, and one’s creativity are valuable tools to help each of us to become the best possible Yoga teacher.
Q: So, it seems that you are not opposed to teacher interns learning from outside resources and attending classes in their local areas. Do you think this could be confusing?
A: Each Yoga teacher must have an independent mind. There is nothing wrong with setting a foundation of knowledge, but I do not want to train a flock of parrots. Each of us needs foundational information, but all Yoga teachers will progress further when we become innovators. Creativity is a good quality, and we can learn from each other, as well as learn from within.
New methods are tested by studies, research, time, and student safety. Any Yoga technique, that looks as if it will compromise student safety, is subject to public scrutiny – regardless of how popular it may be. By learning from different Yogic schools of thought, Yoga teachers are already making rapid discoveries and improvements.
© Copyright 2010 – Sanjeev Patel / Aura Publications
Sanjeev Patel is a certified Yoga teacher and an exclusive author for Aura Wellness Center.
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