• Morven Hamilton

200 hour Yoga Teacher Training FAQs

So you want to become a yoga teacher? I'm delighted to hear that. You won't regret it - whether you just want to deepen your practice or become a yoga teacher, a yoga teacher training will 100% change your life for the better if you let it. Read on to find out what to expect from your yoga teacher training and whether this is the right course for you.

For detailed information on the 200 hour yoga teacher training course in Weston, go to the main web page here.

Now you have made your decision, I bet you have loads of questions to ask. What will it be like? Will I get to know my course mates? Do I have to be uber bendy? What do you actually do on a yoga teacher training? This blog will give you answers to some of those questions, tackling the nitty gritty of what you'll be doing and with whom during your 200 hours teacher training.

Why should I choose this course?

This is a teacher training course with heart.

The cornerstones of both yoga and Mindfulness are kindness and compassion, and the YTT has been designed and curated with those values as the foundational elements. This means, a yoga training course that is carefully planned and delivered to nurture every learning style and with the current group dynamic in mind. You will find yourself in a welcoming, supportive and friendly environment. Our space is free from judgment -a place where you can pursue your own journey with the support and encouragement of like-minded people.

Learn to teach YOUR yoga

The TT course does not contain any preformatted sequences other than the sun salutation and its variations and adaptations. Instead, the course aims to equip you with the knowledge of movement, technique, anatomy and complementary properties of asana etc. to be able to design your own sequences. You learn to teach your own style of yoga, because I believe that there are as many styles of yoga as there are people on the planet. Of last year's intake, one graduate now teaches gentle yoga, one works with SEN teenagers, one is going on to teach pregnant women and another is doing aerial yoga while the others have stayed more mainstream

With diversity in mind, there is a focus on experiential anatomy in movement, sequencing and creating a student-centred environment. You will do modules on gentle yoga, restorative yoga, pregnancy yoga and flow yoga. There are also detailed techniques sessions where you learn the principles of alignment and movement in specific poses - the knowledge of which can be transferred to all 800,000 yoga poses (or however many there are).

From my perspective as the lead trainer, having people with limitations in the TT group is a huge asset as it provides the whole group with material to work with in a forum where ideas and experiences can be shared freely. Each person's idiosyncrasies bring a whole chapter of learning to the training group.

Our small group sizes allow us to get to know each trainee and to adapt the course material to support every person to get the most they possibly can out of the training experience. We don't pack them in, so we have time to listen to your needs and questions, to discuss big ideas with you, to support you with your coursework and to give you considered, detailed feedback on your assignments. During group discussion, there is opportunity to work in pairs, small groups and as a whole group together - in each setting, there will be space and time for you to bring your thoughts and ideas and to be fully listened to. In this training group, your voice will always be heard.

Mindfulness is one of the modules on the Yoga by Nature 200 YTT. Morven has trained as a Mindfulness teacher with Breathworks and her own teaching is heavily influenced by Mindfulness. Mindfulness is a method for understanding your own mind so that you can with all your heart. You will learn the basics of Mindfulness for Stress, including several mindfulness practices which you can take into your own practice and do with your students when you become a teacher. You will also learn what it means to be a mindful teacher and how to teach a mindful yoga class.

Your course is taught by highly experienced teachers who are committed to the yogic path and excited to share their knowledge. We have connections to yoga studios in Weston and Bristol, and good relationships with yoga organisations nationwide. You will receive the best foundation to start your yoga career after you graduate.

What is a holistic yoga teacher training?

To practice yoga holistically is to practice with an awareness of all aspects of the self. From a yogic viewpoint, this means embracing yoga as a lifestyle, mindset and philosophy as well as a physical practice.

In the 200 YTT, we cover all aspects of Hatha yoga practice - asana, pranayama, mudra, bandha, mantra and meditation. There are also modules on Ayurveda, Nada yoga (yoga of sound), Lifestyle and Nutrition and Mindfulness. Our anatomy module strongly emphasises experiential anatomy, where we learn an aspect of anatomy and then we practice it in an embodied way so you can understand the workings of your body in a felt way and on a cellular level. You will understand the relationship between space, breath and gravity and you will study anatomy in movement.

This course gives ample weight to the study of philosophy and the practical application of yogic ideas. We explore all other aspects of Hatha yoga too - you will learn the seminal yoga mantras and what they mean, the main pranayamas and several meditation techniques.

During our study time together, we respect ourselves: we take regular breaks, we eat well and we always have time for yoga nidra or a body scan in the afternoon of a training day. Holistic training means we practice yoga all the time we are training and that means always with ahimsa (non-harming)

Who are my tutors?

Meet Morven - your course leader and head of training.

Morven has been teaching yoga since 2008 and training teachers since 2011. Her background is in Holistic Hatha yoga and Mindfulness. She has had in interest in the nature of reality and in Eastern philosophy since childhood; this led her to yoga and meditation, which have steered the course of her life ever since, and taken her to far flung corners of the globe in her search for wisdom. Morven has over 15000 hours of teaching and training experience and has over two decades of experience working in various educational settings internationally as a teacher, lecturer, group facilitator and event organiser.

As a yoga teacher, her primary goal is to offer a healing, restorative, empowering practice and a tool for life. For some people, that looks like handstands and planks, and for some people that looks like micro-movements lying on the mat and yoga nidra. Her specialisms as a teacher are in therapeutic and restorative yoga, and yoga for cancer - she loves working in creative ways to create bespoke yoga practices for exactly what people need, and she draws on all of the Hatha yoga practices, and on Mindfulness, in order to do that.

Morven lives in Weston-super-Mare with her partner Andy, daughter Isla and Aussiepoo pup Ruby. Her daily yoga practice keeps her teaching fresh and inspired, as she never stops learning.

Meet Andrea -your anatomy teacher

Her interest in how life works began with a 4-year degree in Biochemistry at the University of Bath in the 1980s. After having her daughters, she later trained to be a yoga teacher through the British Wheel of Yoga, and has been teaching since 1994. She graduated as a Rolfer in 2008. She continues to research and take specialist training courses regularly with experts in their fields. Her enquiry into how we move our bodies and how we exist in the world is an ongoing process which she finds endlessly fascinating.

Meet Marinella - your Ayurveda teacher

Living Ayurveda means living in harmony with Nature and all inner and outer cycles, by paying attention to the elemental changes around us and inside us, so that we can adapt our daily and seasonal rhythms accordingly. Marinella is a yoga teacher, massage therapist and doula. She has been studying and practising yoga and Ayurveda for two decades, and believes that Ayurveda can help us to stay in balance with our inner selves and the ever changing outer world.

In her module on Ayurveda, she will guide you through finding your dosha, how the doshas play out in all aspects of life and how to gear your yoga practice according to your constitutional type.

Meet Ali - your Nada Yoga (yoga of sound) teacher

Ali is a yoga teacher, sound therapist and gong master. She specialises in working with the majestic gong for self healing and meditation.

Sound has been the guiding thread of her journey over the last 15 years through various studies and initiations. She is a member of the College of Sound Healing and has undertaken training and CPD extending to over 1,500 hours. She believes in truly living your yoga - a strong daily sadhana (yoga practice) and offering regular service keep her grounded and connected to the highest source in her work.

Ali is passionate about sharing sound, breath & movement practices which can bring transformation in all areas of life, all layers of our being - both the profound and the practical. Her intention is to hold authentic, safe and loving spaces for others to connect with Spirit or Self.

Ali will guide you to an understanding of the power and relevance of sound in yoga, and how to use sound in your yoga classes.

All of our tutors are highly experienced teachers and trainers, and fully committed to sharing the path of yoga. We have chosen only the best.

What support will be there for me outside of contact time?

Your tutors are there to provide support to you throughout this journey. You will be in email contact with your tutors, who you can contact with any questions or concerns about the teacher training course. We will have check-in time every day where you can raise anything that you need to, whether that's a question about material covered, a concern about the practical running of things. For more personal issues you can always get in touch with one of us and we will be there to help.

You will get feedback on all of your assignments and on the final practicum. Your tutors want you to succeed and will make time for you if you need to reach out.

But I'm not bendy!

Doesn't matter. Being bendy has nothing to do with yoga. Asana (posture) practice is a tiny part of the whole practice of yoga. In fact, you could say that not being bendy is an advantage as a yoga teacher because you can understand and relate to your non-bendy students so much better. If you effortlessly fold yourself in half the first time you attempt a forward bend, you are going to have a very steep learning curve to understand the way most other people's bodies work. Hatha yoga is about exploring the body-mind connection and playing with space and boundaries, whilst supporting optimum health. Being bendy really doesn't come into it, although it's a fun side-effect of practising regularly.

Will I get teaching experience on the course?

Yes, absolutely. You will begin teaching your peers during the techniques classes on the very first weekend of teacher training. We take an experiential approach to learning, which means you always learn by doing. In techniques class, you learn about the mechanics, alignment, benefits and contraindications of a pose and then teach it to your partner. You will then teach a pose or two to the whole group and in this way gradually build your confidence and your resources to teach a public class. In the meantime, set up your own little class of family and friends if you're not already teaching. It's the only way to become a better teacher. If you want to get some advance prep done, listen to some yoga podcasts and tune in very carefully to how the teacher cues the poses. It'll give you a head start in languaging your classes. Here's a link to Morven's free podcasts on the main website if you'd like to give them a try.

How long will the days be?

Your day will start at 8am and finish at 5pm. We'll take a one hour lunch break in the middle of the day and have plenty of comfort breaks and time for restful yoga nidra. We're not out to break you, and after all yoga is all about non-harming (ahimsa) so we try to look after you during your training day. Each weekend will run either Friday - Sunday or Saturday - Sunday and you can expect a pretty full programme during that time. Refer to the 200 Hour Training page for details of the daily schedule.

I'm worried about the assignments, how much guidance will there be?

Don't worry. You will receive plenty of preparation during session time, and you will have the opportunity to discuss your assignment. Each assignment will be clearly outlined for you and you will have a reasonable deadline by which to complete your work. There will be some group study time allocated to preparing assignments, and the rest of the work will happen at home in your own time. If you are ever struggling with the assignment itself or with your deadline then don't hesitate to talk to one of your tutors who will discuss your needs with you. We do want you to graduate and receive your final certification and we will accommodate you as much as we can. You must complete and pass all assignment work in order to graduate.

Here is an example of the set coursework:

2000 word essay on Patanjali's Yoga Sutras

10 minute group anatomy presentation

4 weeks of practice diaries

1500 word essay on the Baghavad Gita

6 class observations

Teaching practicum (20 mins teaching of a co-taught public class)

One hour open book final exam

Will there be a lot of reading to do?

As soon as you are enrolled on the course, you will receive your reading list and it's time to get started on your pre-course reading. This will give you a tremendous advantage when doing the course so you can devote your energy to the current work rather than catching up on the set texts. You will read versions of the Sutras, the Baghavad Gita, The Hatha yoga Pradipika and a text each on ethics and anatomy.

What will I do during lunchtimes?

Unless you prefer to do your own thing, we will share lunch together, each bringing a vegetarian or vegan dish to share with the group. This can be a great way to get to know each other and enjoy a sense of community during our training weekends.

Will I get to know my course mates?

If you have ever been through an intense, life-changing experience with someone, you know how binding the experience can be. You will find that your teacher training group becomes your yoga community and provides you with a support network as you go on this transformational journey. You will be able to share experiences, discuss new material and help each other along the way. Many people find that the people they meet on their 200 hour yoga teacher training course become friends for life and even future business associates. The wider yoga community is very supportive with local and national groups networking online. Whatever you need on your yoga journey, there is always someone there to help.

Is this for me?!

If you are prepared to work hard, be honest with yourself and turn up with an open mind every time, then yes, it is!

Good luck! I hope this post has helped you to come to the right decision, and if you are already enrolled, has helped to clarify a few things for you. If you have any questions, contact Yoga by Nature on info@yogabynature.org.