A yoga practice can be really personal. What you practice each day can depend on what how you're feeling and what you need in that moment. Different kinds of practice produce different results, and it's up to you to discern if you're getting the right results for you. When you're ready to take your practice into your own hands, and practice anywhere, any time, with or without a teacher, it's time for some study.
How you go about studying yoga is totally up to you. Traditionally in India, students would renounce their worldly possessions, seek out a teacher, and wait on his doorstep until they were accepted as students. Luckily, you have a few more options. Here's a general path to consider, which has resonated with many students.
Yoga Teacher Trainings are available all over the world. While yoga originated in India, and still has a strong traditional presence there, the West has really grown our understanding of yoga by blending it with modern techniques and knowledge. Surprisingly, much of the cutting edge and practical yoga can be found in the US. To get a strong footing in this tradition & burgeoning science, in our experience a good fit between teacher and student is crucial. Additionally, since yoga is such a wide and deep subject area, most students spend several periods of study with a teacher. This makes it advantageous to pick a place that is accessible to your particular circumstances and lifestyle. Here are some of the pros and cons we've experience in our teacher training experiences of traveling and staying close to home.
Local & Near
Pros- More easily accessible, build long-term friendships and community relationships, teachers have a local reputation, business standards are high.
Cons- No exciting travel, teacher selection may be more limited for specialized programs.
Travel & Learn
Pros- Sweet locations, possible low training tuition costs, interesting teachers and fellow travelling students.
Cons- Accessible through lengthy travel or online, culture/language barriers, business standards, costs, sometimes tough to guarantee quality.
Only 50 years ago, it was almost impossible to find yoga training anywhere in the West. With the work of some influential yoga teachers in the 60's, yoga has become a mainstay and widespread practice in the US and Europe. We're living in great times to be in yoga!
If you are considering traveling TO Northwest Arkansas to complete your training, we can't encourage you enough to come and join us! The hills of the Ozarks are a magical place and our studio is a true gem that you won't find elsewhere.. check out more information on our Traveling here page.
Life these days seems to be busy AF. We've got babies, jobs, educations, and lives to look after. Family to spend time with, friendships to maintain, and opportunities to pursue. Not to mention squeezing in time to catch up on Game of Thrones or scroll the F**ebook.
So you wanna yoga, maybe even go deep and do a teacher training. But you're in the situation above, and just can't make time for teacher training... not right now at least. Well, here's what you can do to keep the fire alive.
So if you're too busy for yoga, let's talk. We're experts at making it happen for you.
If you're looking to get trained as a yoga teacher, you might be wondering where you need to be physically, and in terms of your current practice. Here's a quick overview of the bare necessities, and some things you can do to prep for training.
The Bear Necessities
In addition to the basics, the following are great ways to get yourself ready for training.
Most importantly, just get yourself mentally set to immerse yourself in yoga. Simply setting that goal, or intention of making yoga a bigger part of your life opens your eyes to new opportunities. And sometimes, it take a little kick to get things rolling. Check our studio site for Beginner's series or 40 Days programs to get in a regular rhythm.
Low Back Pain is one of the most common reasons why people visit doctors in America today. The funny thing is that doctors and even physical therapists are not able to offer long term help. While immediate and short term relief are readily available, Yoga is the best way to prevent and relieve back pain for good, as it has the potential to repair overall posture and rebuild patterns of movement necessary for a healthy spine.
The primary cause of these challenges are posture habits. In our world today it becomes almost impossible to avoid common deteriorations of the spine through our everyday movements like driving, interacting with electronics, sitting on sofas and chairs. Our daily movement patterns have not caught up with the evolutions of working and social needs.
Daily group Yoga classes are excellent ways to counter these challenges and avoid initial or reoccurring back pain. The primary benefit to a yoga practice is that the posterior chain -- the back body running from the backs of your heels to the back of your neck -- is activated. Actions like stretching and opening the hamstrings will be huge for finding relief and beginning to create healthy movement patters.
If you have struggled with back pain in the past, or teachers, if you have a student who you know needs extra help here, be sure to avoid lumbar (low back) twisting actions and any rounded back movements, especially during forward folds. Anytime weight or rotation is being asked of your back, you will want to ensure that you are able to fully engage your core, keep your hips level and avoid adding additional strain to the lumbar spine.
If you currently have an injury or are experiencing pain, you will need to see a Certified Yoga Therapist. Learn more about scheduling a session at www.yogadeza.com/yoga-therapy.
I have always been drawn to yoga. I never wanted to go to a class. Not once in the first 7 years that I practiced. It took that long for me to find the courage to practice with others. I had all kinds of preconceived notions on what a studio would be like, who I had to be to go to class, and that somehow I would fail. I was never an athletic kid growing up. In fact, I was overweight and generally ate typical food for a teenager in the 90’s (read junk....). Practicing in front of others would show my weakness. Or so I thought. In one year alone my yoga practice, as well as my practice of self-inquiry, I developed far more than I ever could have thought possible. It is just what it says it is, a practice. I have realized that I don’t have to be perfect all the time, that the moment is what matters most, and that I cannot control anything but my reactions to the world around me. It is the detail and the moment to moment that makes us human. - Rachel McDonald, 200hr RYT
Anxiety can be a dirty little secret in our society. When we have it, we don't want to show it. And because of that cycle, it only gets worse. People deal with it differently -- some shut down and shy away, others lash out and control their environment to feel safe. Think this isn't happening to you? Or that you are the only one? Never. Even if it's on a small scale, these energies affect us daily whether the originate from your own processing of the world or others around you. With the practice of Yoga, we study this. Through that study, lives change.
Rachel is now a teacher at Deza and her love for her practices shines through her like a bright warm light. Through the exercises of teacher training, in a safe and grounded environment, she was able to break free from many old patterns of anxiety and stress. Identifying the things that were holding her back in her mind and in her life and choosing to reframe, reapproach and redesign.
This is the most rewarding part of our programs. Not only will you experience massive growth as an individiual, you will get to witness it in others as well. After program, you will go on to create an environment of empowerment for others in your world. Life is short and we need more people doing this work.
If you're experiencing anxiety about taking a deeper step, take it as a sign of the things you are about to release. Unsure if you can do teacher training or if you're even ready? The first step is the hardest. For teachers in training, once you get yourself in program on the first day, the hardest work you will do is done! The process is set in motion and you're then just along for an amazing, life changing ride. What's next for you?
I thought I wasn't ready. Musings of a Teacher Trainee by Rebecca Lange
"Emotion is your mind working out the difference between what you expected and what you're experiencing."
I can't think of another set of 16 words that resonates with me more regarding my experience as a yoga teacher trainee and along the path I've taken to get here. Fear, joy, disappointment, elation, confidence, insecurity, struggle, and flow - I've felt it all while on my mat and not to mention while upside down, balancing on one arm, and bending my body along planes I didn't even know existed.
And I wouldn't change a thing. Yoga Deza entered my life five plus years into my yoga journey, but as the name suggests, it found me in the right place at the right time. Although my ego would like to claim credit for having this whole thing planned out, I'm learning that there's so much more at play than that. I thought I wasn't ready for teacher training because I hadn't yet measured up to the physical standard and the image of who I was supposed to be in my mind. I needed the right community and, honestly, the right context in my personal life to realize that I was ready. And I was ready not because of physical ability level, but because that's all I was thinking about. I realize now that yoga is so much more than the physical asanas (though I AM stronger and have found my spine!). I have found the ability to meet myself where I'm at, be so grateful it's at Yoga Deza, and I am ready to free myself from the expectation of what comes next. Whatever it is, I'm grateful. Thank you, Deza Family.
Rebecca's words are some we hear so often. Reconciling the differences between what you are expecting of yourself and what is available to you, right now in this moment -- that is Yoga. You will never be more ready than you are today. If you wait until "next year" when you have more strength, more money, more time, or whatever else your mind tells you you need, you'll be missing the point of life. To be fully in the flow of life, to create what you're looking for, that is what is here and real now. What makes the best teacher trainee is the ability to learn! Do you want to know more? Do you love what your practice offers you? Are you willing to be teachable? If you answered yes to those three questions, you are absolutely ready.
Read more on the 200hr training and get started with registration today. www.yogadezainstitute.com/200hr
There's something different about a Yoga class, no doubt.
You felt it the first time you practiced, no?
How was that cultivated? What is it and why do we need it?
In today's society ritual has become a long-forgotten art. From meals to self-care, instant access to information matched with longer work days and less outdoor connection leave us with a dissonance to the rhythms of every day life. We can easily find ourselves searching for the present moment online; looking up recipes to eat healthier and then forgetting what went into our mouth last. A short 100 years ago our ancestors lived by the sun and the moon. School summers and daylight savings times were established to protect routines of the farmers as time began to rule. Everyone did the same thing every Sunday. Those who practice Ayurveda begin to consciously invite in the return of ritual through Dinacharya, the daily routine.
A Yoga class is often our only link to ritual each day. We unroll our mat, we collect our props, we focus on our breath, we move our body in conscious rhythm.
As a teacher and a student, a Sacred Space begins to unfold through this ritual. LIke Pavlov's dogs, our body knows what to do the moment we enter a room for practice. The more structured the routine, the faster your body will begin to respond. Here, the unwinding and subsequently recreation of yourself begins; physically, mentally, spiritually.
So whether you find yourself chanting Sanskrit or simply arranging your blocks and props, the intentionality behind your setup for practice begins the process in itself. There's a big difference between doing this consciously, with presence, and on auto-pilot. The whole basis for your practice is centered around fostering the former, whether you realize it or not. Yoga is the union of self to the conscious, present moment.
Adapted from the Structure of Vinyasa, 200hr Manual, Creating Sacred Space
Om Namah Shivaya Gurave