Why and how did you became a Yoga teacher?
Originally from Austria, in 2001 I got into yoga through my interest in meditation. Very soon after exploring different styles I realized this practice needs discipline, and that’s what I didn’t have. So, I was looking for a school which could teach me how to do my own practice and along the way I hoped to become a teacher. From my first encounter in Guatemala I went to Mexico, Canada and ended up in Spain. Due to my travels I was very keen on learning Spanish so I thought why not combining the two and find a yoga school there.
Right away I started a 9-month long teacher course at a popular yoga studio in Barcelona which taught all kinds of styles. When finished I knew a lot, but unfortunately could do little with it.
Still living in Barcelona, I got pregnant and decided to take up yoga again. I found it extremely helpful as it gave me a better connection to my baby and physically it was just what I needed. After my first daughter was one year old, I went to look for a pregnancy teacher course and luckily found a training with a holistic approach to pregnancy and birth. Going ahead with this training has helped me in my second home birth and I finally had “a way of yoga”. Teaching here and there I was still on the search for the real deal. I had so many questions in my head and none of the styles I knew could give me the answers, and I seemed to have tried them all.
Our family moved to Helsinki to live in my husband’s home country and at that point I was ready to travel anywhere in the world to find a yoga system which would give me the answers I was looking for. As I google “Yoga teacher training in English”, I found this cosy looking place in the centre of Helsinki and checked it out.
When I entered the place, right away I felt an energy which was different then all the other yoga studios I have ever visited, the warm welcoming atmosphere, the organized cleanliness and then the practice, it felt very authentic.
You could feel that the teachers live their yoga. I was extremly inspired by the high standard and took the upcoming 200-hour training and later the 500-hour training with the founder of Purna Yoga and Master Aadil Palkhivala himself.
Last year I took over Purna Yoga Helsinki and now I can combine yoga philosophy with business and I love the challenge and growth it brings.
Do you Have any tips/advice to give to people dreaming of becoming a yoga teacher?
- If you want to take a yoga teacher training find a style which really resonates with you, just doing a training for the certificate and then teaching your own thing has brought a lot of damage to the yoga world.
- Choose a system with a lineage, with one clear master behind.
- Be careful of places with a variety of different styles mixed together.
- Ask how the teacher trainer has become a trainer and what are his/her hours of training, what is the quality control behind his/her training. A RYT 200-hour certification or a RYT 500-hour teacher training is not enough for a trainer to teach teachers.
- If safety is not the most important aspect of the training, skip it, it is your responsibility to keep your students safe, you need to learn how.
- Make sure there is enough time spend on teaching skills, it’s not only about learning poses and conferring them, learn how to speak clear and effectively, how to scan the room and see individual bodies’ needs.
- For you the training should be personal development, in the end being a yoga teacher is about changing peoples’ lives to the better, live what you teach. Always be a student.