How to Become a Yoga Teacher – Self-Study

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How to Become a Yoga Teacher – Self-Study

yoga teachers training center on the waterBy Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Where does one begin the journey of Yoga teacher training? Does Yoga instructor training start in a course, an intensive, or through years of practice with a Swami? The calling to teach any subject; stems from learning enough about the subject, to be able to guide others who wish to know more.

The first requirement of advanced training, in Yoga, is to be willing to know one’s true self. This internal study makes Yoga unique, in comparison to some subjects, which require us to study how a particular subject is related to external matters. Yogic self-study requires hours of research, practice, and modification.

To see one’s true self may be difficult because the ego is a great deceiver. The ego’s primary objective is more often related to self-protection than deceit. The Yogic practice of withdrawing the senses, and focusing on the inner self (Pratyahara), is a method for finding the truth. At the same time, Pratyahara helps the Yoga practitioner expel emotional damage.

There are many good, quality books for the study of Yoga; but the “Yoga Sutras,” by Maharishi Patanjali, and the “Hatha Yoga Pradipika,” by Swami Swatmarama, are excellent foundational references. There are many interpretations from Sanskrit to English, so it may take some cross-referencing to reach a state of clarity in reading the above-mentioned classics, however, the time is well worth it.

There are many forms of Yoga; some are not well known outside of India. Although Hatha Yoga has reached worldwide fame, it is necessary for teachers to understand the differences and similarities in the main Indian Yoga systems. After investing time in study and practice, we realize that Yoga training is a complete holistic system, which allows us to understand ourselves on the mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual planes of existence.

When direct sensory perception (Pratyaksha) becomes a difficult method for finding the truth, meditation, mantra, and objective listening, may also be useful tools. Objectively listening, or reading the opinions of others, requires patience, as there are many different points of view. When we absorb opposing opinions, and rationally consider them, we may likely come to a third point of view, which is some form of a mutual agreement.

Mutual agreements and compromises are not for the selfish. Arbitration and resolution are the result of higher forms of thinking. Reconciliation is very difficult, if we cannot put the ego aside, see ourselves, and think logically.

© Copyright 2010 – Paul Jerard / Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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