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Contents of Level 1 Yoga Teacher Training
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Forum Posts: 65
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July 2, 2008 - 5:05 pm
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We have an international mix of teachers who visit this forum, but there is so much diversity. Some of you are graduates of Paul's courses, but many of you are graduates from outside courses. For teachers in different training systems, level 1 meets on a weekend for 20 hours and everyone is certified.

For other schools level 1 is 50, 100, 200, 240, or 320 hours over the course of a month, a year, or two years. So, here is a brand new topic to discuss.

Realizing that every teacher training has a time limit, what parts of your Yoga certification level 1 were most valuable? What part of the yoga certification process could you have done without? Do you have any suggestions for gurus, swamis, master teachers, and E-RYTs who train yoga teachers?

Your opinions will help the many teacher trainers who visit our forum.

Om Shanti,



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July 3, 2008 - 8:44 pm
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Hi Tomako,

This is an interesting subject because so many teacher training courses focus on postures. In a 200 hour training it is commonplace to spend over 100 hours concentrating on required yoga postures. While this ds help in one area, it created a deficit for me when I began teaching. My first yoga instructor certification course was 50 hours. And I learned nothing about breathing, bandhas, chakras, kriyas, philosophy, or how to avoid losing your shirt.

Luckily, I did see Paul's course and took a chance. Well, from Aura's level 1 you learn so much you could have memory overload. It is no joke that the resources could keep you entertained for years. Ask Paul a question and he send you back an article or a resource full of information.

The difference between yoga courses for teachers is like night and day. But it is worth it for anyone to take more than one course. The cost of Paul's course was worth every cent. With his correspondence course you can easily set your own pace. Plus you can get tutoring by e-mail or phone.




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July 3, 2008 - 10:26 pm
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Pranam Grace & Tomako,

This is a wonderful subject for gurus, interns, and teachers. Many of the teachers I know are weak on public relations, marketing, and advertising. This is where a new yoga teacher can lose money fast, but the yoga certification process dsn't usually include these features.

This means, if you attend a course or get an online course that 99% of them will leave you up a creek without a paddle. It is funny how many ashrams will tell you to pay extra for an apprenticeship and they will teach you the business. You will pay extra to lick envelopes and answer the phone. For your efforts, the swami still dsn't know your name, but you should pray to his photo daily.

Also there are alot of fear tactics used by larger yoga associations and ashrams about what you should know or what you should believe. Some of them are all about control and religious conversion. Some of them are all about joining the yoga alliance. Some of them are all about worshiping the swami.

Who wants to be controlled? Most yoga teachers are supposedly free thinkers. Who wants to be told what to think? Look deeper into the program you choose. Will you have an identity left after the training process or will you become a brain washed parrot without a mind of your own?

Watch for the next Jonestown Massacre. Be careful who you follow. Don't jump off a cliff because your guru says so. That is an advantage to the distance learning concept. You can think for yourself and teach from your heart.

Peace and blessings,



Forum Posts: 77
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July 5, 2008 - 10:48 am
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Most level 1 courses cover yoga postures. This is great stuff for teachers who will teach beginners. It's not a matter of a teacher course selling itself short because this is what most new students expect. If safety and alignment are covered that's a big plus too.

The biggest problem: Some yoga teacher training courses are short and one dimensional. If you meet for a weekend, don't expect to learn everything - It's impossible. If you cover pranayama for the weekend don't be disappointed.

If you want a good course to learn how to teach, look for a 200+ hour course.


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July 5, 2008 - 11:24 pm
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There are many choices for yoga certification courses, but it should be known that a teacher is a student forever. We continue to learn yoga to our last breath. In western yoga courses it is common to concentrate on yoga as an exercise. As Paulji has stated many times - "A taste of yoga is better than none at all."

This is not to make light of western ways, but to make everyone aware that long-term yoga practice is a holistic path toward complete health. A student or a teacher dsn't change overnight. The yogic path of study is for life.

There is nothing wrong with a 50 or 100 hour teacher course. There is nothing wrong with a weekend course. But please don't teach students, if all you learned is a taste of yoga. In this way, you won't harm anyone.



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July 7, 2008 - 10:22 pm
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Most courses I know of are well rounded. There are a few yoga teacher training courses that focus on religious dogma and controlling behavior. One such school is in the Toronto area. Teachers should be able to think for themselves. This is what they should do when teaching yoga to their students, but some gurus would prefer zombie yoga teachers who obey their every command. This is all structured toward guru worship and control of the entire lineage.


Forum Posts: 82
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July 8, 2008 - 9:25 am
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Namaskar Fellow Souls,

I can't complain about my training. I felt it covered all the bases and I had materials to refer back to any time I wanted. Besides, any Aura graduate can call or e-Mail Paul for an answer. He always gets back to you.

What did surprise me was talking to other teachers who had 25-75 hours of training and got a certificate. They are like deer in headlights. It's not fair to turn someone loose when you haven't prepared them.

Two other teachers I met will only teach at their Guru's studio. They have no self-confidence to teach for anyone else. Alot of fear was put into them during their 200 hour - $5,400 training about other styles and teaching outside the studio. They could be banished for teaching outside, mixing techniques, or talking to outside teachers.

For their blind loyalty they are awarded $10 off their monthly tuition. By the way - they teach 8 classes per month a piece. The wise and rich Guru is paying them a whopping $1.25 per class for teaching yoga for her. They open and close the studio too.

A yoga teacher training course should produce independent and creative thinkers. If you finish and you are still dependent on your trainer then that program is missing some key ingredients.

Worse still - for $1.25 per class you might as well collect bottles and meditate. You can walk, breathe, meditate and at least you will get plenty of asanas in. You can practice half moon, triangle, revolved versions, and many nore asanas while reaching for returnable bottles.

Sorry - I'm getting carried away, but I hope you see what I mean. Truth is why bother taking money at that rate. Just go out and teach people who can't afford to pay for yoga at all.

Peace, Parell


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July 8, 2008 - 11:03 pm
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Pranam Dear Ones,

Spiritual teaching is not harmful or intended to cause conflicts. Spiritual teaching has been a part of yoga since its beginning. You cannot deny yama and niyama as the first two lims of yoga. Yama and niyama were around before the Middle Eastern religions. Ethical standards and moral codes are important.

The problem is when man takes a narrow view of another man's religion. Intolerance is a sin and a curse of mankind. People weave intolerant religious dogma into a shameful thing.

For anyone who decides to become a yoga teacher, my suggestion is know if the Guru will force religious dogma on you. It is no surprise if you read the writings of a Guru who is intolerant that he should have a controlling personality. It is no surprise if a Guru has writings of kindness, patience, and charity that he shares everything.

This is the key - watch the actions of the Guru. Not all Gurus have the same intention. If a Guru is kind, noble, and loving, he may seem quite boring in comparison to a bragging Guru who owns 10 luxury cars.

It is not a surprise a Guru is consistent with his past actions.

Om Shanti My Friends,



Forum Posts: 44
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July 9, 2008 - 3:59 am
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Namaste Jopis,

There is no denying what you say. The spiritual component is part of Yoga and the training process of teachers. Yoga's ethics transcend our practice and can be found in every religion.

One of the common themes in the complaints of teachers seems to be the attempted religious conversion. Instructors of yoga represent every religion, but you will find a few Swamis who insist on religious conversion of yoga teachers.

This is too much to ask of a student or intern. An intern's religious beliefs should be left intact. There is nothing wrong with learning yamas, niyamas, the Vedas, the Yoga Sutras, etc., but switching religions is not what any of us sign up for. This business is less about spiritual growth and all about controllling others.

This is why some western trainings focus on philosphy of yoga, but don't go into the religious aspect. This is also a reason why yoga certification by correspondence or online programs like Aura's are a good choice.




Forum Posts: 32
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July 11, 2008 - 9:56 pm
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Dear Ones,

I don't mean to seem unspiritual, but yoga instructor trainings can have all the knowledge bases covered and be missing critical business guidance. There is a myth that learning about marketing yourself is a bad thing. I know a few teachers similar to Parell's description and they should never have bothered to be certified.

If you are going to teach for free, you don't have to bother being certified. Look at it this way, some people spend a fortune to be certified. Then they don't know where to go or what to do. Sorry that ten thousand dollar training didn't cover finding a job! Then they teach for such a ridiculously low rate that they might as well teach in their garage for free. If it's just your friends, why bother spending big money on training. Just practice together for girl's night out and get a pizza after meditation.

In comparison anyone can learn about marketing while training to be a yoga instructor with Paul. Surprise! It dsn't cost an arm and a leg to be certified and you are not required to be registered by yoga alliance (another myth). If you are a newbie please do your research, the governments do not care about regulating yoga.

Most of them don't believe in global warming, preserving the environment, or world peace either. Just today Phil Graham said we are experiencing "a mental recession." Okay, we get it - the world's stock market's are hitting the skids, gasoline prices are through the roof, unemployment is on the rise, we are all moon lighting as yoga teachers, and the streets are full of homeless people, But the global recession is in your imagination.

Seriously, learn how to make money by teaching yoga. The world's governments are run by the old boys network and they are not too swift.

May the force be with you.



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December 19, 2008 - 2:14 pm
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This thread is awesome. This sounds like a bare bones discussion on the subtleties of yoga training from different perspectives. I assume many of you are graduates of Paul,s classes?




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December 19, 2008 - 7:44 pm
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Hi Bashmaki,

I can't speak for eveyone on this thread, but alot of teachers on these yoga forums have studied from Aura. I have seen teachers who were taken to the cleaners by other programs. Some of them spend so much they dig a deep financial hole for themselves. In contrast, the Aura level 1 yoga teacher course has a deep program with everything you need to teach students, but the marketing stuff was the kicker. No Aura graduate could ever complain about the business part of the course. In the beginning, I was very skeptical and cynical about all of it. And my early posts were kinda rude. I was totally shocked by the help from Paul and the help from teachers on this forum. These people are so darn supportive that you have to give in to their kindness.




Forum Posts: 48
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January 12, 2011 - 9:22 pm
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With the growing popularity of yoga, getting a yoga instructor certification and becoming a yoga teacher is fast becoming an excellent career choice. Not only can this profession be financially rewarding, with teachers earning upward of $150 per hour, but it can also be deeply satisfying as teaching others yoga can help radically transform their lives for the better. But, unfortunately, today yoga teacher's training programs have become frightfully expensive to enroll in, so how can you go about getting certified these days?

The answer is to find the best online yoga instructor certification program you can, as these programs are generally far less expensive that the in person training programs. But, as with all things online, there are plenty of offering, most of which are junk, with just a few diamonds amongst them. The challenge is how do you choose which online program to select.

A good online yoga teacher's training course should have the following 4 components to be considered worthy of your time and money. After all, if it's just a certificate you want, you can simply print one on you home printer. If the online class you are contemplating does not have the following three aspects, it is not worth doing.

4 Online Yoga Instructor Certification Program Requirements:

1. Online Instructor Program Must Have Multi-Media Components:

An big advantage of in person yoga certification programs is that you have a visual demonstration of the poses and can see the movements of the various exercises and sequences. In addition, the teacher shares with you modifications of the poses, so you can see and learn those as well. So the online class must have videos or DVDs accompanying the training. A simple e-book, with illustrations is not sufficient to learn yoga.

2. Online Teacher's Training Must Teach You How to Make Money and Be Successful:

Yes yoga is very popular these days, but there are also out of work yoga teachers. That's because the market has become competitive and to succeed it is necessary to have an edge. This edge should be in the form of knowledge on how to run a yoga center and in today's internet age, the program should teach you how to advertise yourself via a high traffic website.

Don't underestimate the value of this knowledge. If you really want to be a financially successful a yoga teacher, you need these practical skills along with knowledge of yoga.

3. Online Program Should Teach Pranayama and Meditation:

Yoga is not just physical exercises and movements. Much of the benefits and power of yoga comes from the breathing exercises (pranayama) that is an integral part of the science of yoga, and meditation. So ensure that the online program you select teaches you these sister sciences as well.

4. Online Certification Course Should Offer Full Support:

In doing any serious yoga certification course, questions are sure to come up, and it's important that the yoga instructors are available to you to answer these questions. Without such support training could end up being incomplete and worse, you could end up being confused. A confused yoga teacher can then end up causing all sorts of issues for the students and will be one who lacks confidence and authority.

5. Online Course Creator Should Be a Successful Yogi:

One way to choose a yoga teacher is to look at the teacher and see if you would like to be like them. This criteria also applies to choosing a certification program. If the creator is not successful, it is unlikely he/she knows what is needed in order to be successful. So look at the source from where the program is originating. A source that is shinning bring, is going to be able to share that light of knowledge and wisdom with you.

Online Yoga Certification Program Requirements Summary

It is great that you want to be a yoga teacher. Being a teacher is one of the noblest of paths you can take and choosing the right instructor training program is key in getting you started right. So ensure that the online course you select meets the 5 criteria described above and you will be well on your way to becoming a great and successful yoga teacher.


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June 22, 2011 - 12:09 am
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Many yoga subjects are great for distance learning. The learning experience of online yoga teacher training allowed me to develop and demonstrate higher level skills than I expected through distance learning. In order to ensure a quality learning experience, the Aura yoga community tools improved the expected standards set for distance learning. Designing an effective Yoga teacher distance learning program is an art form.

Aura yoga distance learning permitted me to improve my teaching technique.

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