There are many yoga teacher training courses in Ireland now and it is hard to know what makes one different from the other. You can do a course online in one month or in person in a matter of 3 – 4 weeks or you can register for a longer-term course that can vary from one academic year up to 4 years. Depending on your experience (if this is your first yoga teacher training for example), you might want to think carefully about what kind of learning environment suits you the best and how skilled you want to be starting off your teaching career.
In this blog, I will explain why it is important to choose a yoga TTC carefully and will have a look at key considerations and questions you should ask before you sign up.
What is Yoga Teacher Training and Why Does it Vary So Much?
Typically, the standard introductory yoga teacher training in Ireland is a 200 Hours Course. Out of those 200 hours, the amount of hours actually spent in the classroom with a skilled (hopefully) and experienced teacher trainer can range from 60 – 200. The quality of a lead teacher can also be variable. You could have someone leading a course who has been practising yoga for as little as 5 years or on the other end, 30 – 40 years.
These are just some of the variables so, you can see, you really want to do your homework and ask the right questions.
How to choose a yoga teacher training wisely
Compare Like with Like
This is a good tip for almost any big decision or investment in your life. We can easily be distracted by the cool branding, pics and fluff that is used in almost all marketing. Marketing plays on your emotions, and we can often make choices rashly instead of looking at the big picture. It pays to be discerning (a strong quality in a yogini/yogi), stand back, take your time, and ask the right questions. Then you can take comparative notes and make an informed judgement and that is a much more powerful starting point on your yoga teacher training journey. So, compare apples with apples and not with pears!
How many hours of actual classroom time (contact hours) are you paying for?
Being in the yoga room with an experienced lead teacher following a well-formed curriculum is a wonderful experience. It cannot be replaced with reading, watching online pre-recorded videos (which can be a great teaching tool for non-contact hours) or even live online. The ‘real thing’ simply cannot be replaced. These ‘contact hours’ should be high up on your list of questions. Remember, as I said above, because the yoga industry is unregulated, you could be buying as little as 60 contact hours when you register on a programme. This must be considered when you are comparing prices too!
How Long Is The Course?
A student teacher of mine did her first Yoga Teacher Training in one month in Thailand. She had an amazing experience but came out the other end and did not feel that she had adequate skills in place to teach well informed and empowering yoga class. She has since done the Anusara Yoga Teacher Training with me and says that the experience ‘gave me time to learn the language of yoga and sequencing skills that I simply didn’t pick up the first time around. Also, yoga philosophy and anatomy were brought to life when I had the time to study and work with these difficult subjects.’ Having time in between modules to absorb and embody what has been learned is a real gift. Understanding and skill development take time and cannot be rushed. It is a practice after all.
Where is the Course? – The Venue for your yoga teacher training
Yoga in Ireland is getting popular day by day. There are lots of beautiful yoga studios all over Ireland. Check out the venue. Is it located in a peaceful, serene and suitable atmosphere for yoga or is there a lot of noise that could be distracting and take away from your experience? Is there parking, easy access by car or public transport? If it is a hotel room or village hall, is it clean, warm, comfortable etc. As yoga teacher training programmes are conducted over a longer period of time, cleanliness, comfort and the right atmosphere for the yoga practice do make a difference.
Who is the Lead Teacher Trainer and how long have they been teaching yoga classes and yoga teacher training?
If you were to climb a perilous mountain, think Base Camp, who would you like as your guide? Someone who has done it once, took great Instagram shots and has now set themselves up as an authoritative guide themselves or, someone who has spent most of their life trekking up the mountain and back guiding many others along the path? OK, so yoga is not perilous, but it is a sophisticated ancient system combined with cutting edge biomechanics and anatomy that really is quite deep and requires a confident and experienced teacher/guide. So, don’t be shy, ask. How many years have you been practising and teaching yoga? Who are your teachers? What are your qualifications? Etc. You are not being rude, you are discerning.
Also, not to be underestimated, you must get a good ‘feeling’ from your teacher. You will know quickly if you click. Take a class, ask for a one-to-one phone call – this is a big moment for you, again take your time.
Do your homework. Take your time, don’t rush. Make your comparisons and then narrow down your best options. Attending a yoga teacher training programme in Ireland can be a life changing experience for you. I would advise you to sit quietly and listen to what your inner voice, your inner teacher is saying. Listen to your gut feeling and you cannot go wrong. Good luck.
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