How do I become a Yoga Teacher?
Many yoga studios and instructors offer some type of teacher certification process. They may vary in length and intensities. Some occur on weekends, others daily for partial or full days for a number of weeks. All should require you to complete the curriculum in full and demonstrate a capacity to teach others. Please look at the Yoga Alliance website for curriculum requirements they mandate for registered yoga schools (RYS).
Is your yoga teacher training appropriate for me? Am I ready?
When a person heads off to college, they generally have an interest in their field of study but rarely the experience. They take a series of courses, each building upon the next, within their discipline that expands their overall knowledge and skill. That’s pretty much the same purpose behind any type of yoga training. You needn’t have a decade of yoga experience under your belt to decide you’d like to teach the practice. It simply starts with a desire. If you feel you want to teach, yoga teacher training will give you a practical understanding of the art and expose you to a diverse number of styles or possibly only one style. That being said, the more training you have can only strengthen your expertise. To this day, I still seek out different training sessions to develop my personal practice and what I can offer my students.
Over the years of my teaching, I’ve tried many different program lengths or structures and found that this particular timeframe works the best for many people. Besides the fact that most people don’t have a wealth of vacation at their disposal or are unable to get away for an entire month, it’s really best to learn and then put into practice. It’s much like the people who’ve participated in The Biggest Loser. While on the show, their path to weight-loss and fitness is far more straightforward. Temptations are kept at bay, time is structured, and focus is maintained by others. Once they go back to their own world, the true test begins. Only then will they experience genuine success since they are now able to put into practice all they’ve learned. A teacher only provides you with the history, theory, teachings, and practice, all very important provisions. It’s you who puts yourself into it.
How does the immersion experience differ from weekend training?
Weekend training sessions meet for up to 20 weekends at one or a few locations. I started training others in this format, but found the distractions of life really impeded the progress of my students – particularly working parents of children.
The immersion style or intensive is a very focused timeframe where the student will live with the other students and usually the teacher(s) during their training. Some are conducted at ashrams or other spiritual centers, but many are held at retreat locations. Many trainings conducted over a longer period of time require that you participate in the housekeeping or cooking duties as part of doing your share of the work.
Typically the immersion training sessions have daily practice of yoga, meditation, instruction of varying workshops/ lectures/ discussion groups, philosophy of yoga, and practicum. Vegetarian or vegan meals are prepared. Some immersion trainings have cleansing diets as part of the process as well. Our school resort partners are carefully selected based on proximity to the ocean, safety, outstanding yoga facilities, comfortable lodging, gourmet vegetarian meals, housekeeping and swimming pool. I feel it is an important part of the yoga tradition to be in nature, as the ancient yogis were when they handed down the tradition to their students.
Immersion trainings of greater than 3 weeks typically have multiple afternoons or entire days off during the session to allow for independent or group activities, travel, excursions, self study, etc. Most of my students travel before or after their time in the training. This is not to say there isn’t some independent time available in my training, just that we have a lot to do to accomplish your goals and get there in a fun way. My students with extra days to travel can do what they want on their schedule either before or after their training.
What is your predominant style?
First off, I was raised in a yoga household so I’ve been studying some form of yoga since I was a child. When I was older, I had the opportunity to study under BKS Iyengar and Gurmukh Khalsa. But if you were to classify it, I’d say I was close to Hatha with a tendency towards Flow. With that said, I truly believe that every teacher has their own original style, taking from what they’ve learned, be it a combination of Kundalini and Ashtanga or Bikram and Vinyasa, and incorporating it into their practice. You see, there is only one Marianne Wells in this world as there is only one you. So you could be a second-rate someone else or a first-rate original. You define your own style and provide your gifts to yoga.
Will I be ready to teach after the training? Can I be a registered yoga teacher?
I tell my students that I will do everything I can to provide the training and tools to make you the best yoga teacher you can be. Authentic. Original. Teaching what you know and knowing what you teach. It is up to you to decide if you are ready to teach others. The best way to do so is to just start following your training, drawing upon the knowledge and experiences from the training. You will grow, learn, and develop into a wonderful yoga teacher with dedication and daily effort. The ability to successfully teach others yoga goes farther than a proper yoga foundation. It requires faithful and honest examination of what yoga teaches you about yourself in your personal practice. This approach is proven with the success of my students teaching in 52 countries around the world. Light the fire in others and the gifts of yoga will spread. Upon successful completion you will receive a certification from Marianne Wells Yoga School, a registered yoga school (500RYS) located in Costa Rica with Yoga Alliance. You are then eligible to become a registered yoga teacher (RYT) with Yoga Alliance.