Yoga Teacher Training: What is covered on the course

Course content

Yoga Alliance and IYN registered yoga teacher training courses are required to have an extensive range of study and Zenways is no different.

The Zenways yoga teacher training course gives you the knowledge and confidence to teach yoga professionally in a range of paces and styles with correct alignment and mindfulness. Both flow styles and non-continuous styles are covered. We put a big emphasis on acquiring practical teaching skills that will be of use in the classroom setting. In addition you will learn many aspects to explore and develop in your own practice because we believe that the key to a fulfilling and successful yoga career is your own vibrant and sustaining practice.

Our course content includes a broad range of history, philosophy, asana practice, and teaching theory and practice. Everything is oriented around teaching and getting you to be your best teacher.

On the practical side, you’ll be learning about:

  • Yoga asanas (postures and flows, including a 2-hour daily master-class).
  • Pranayama and qigong (breathing methods and energy work).
  • Meditation and relaxation techniques, how to practice them and how they relate to yoga practice. We include an hour of guided meditation at the beginning and end of each day.
  • Mudras (the yoga of gesture).
  • Spontaneous (or natural) yoga – see below for more info on this.
  • Verbal and Communication Skills including voice work to motivate, uplift and relax your students.

Zen Yoga posture for heart meridianOn the theory side you will be studying:

  • Safety and contraindications.
  • Physical anatomy and physiology. This gives you a fundamental understanding of what correct alignment actually means. Physiology covers the effects of yoga practices, their benefits and their contraindications. All anatomy and physiology is taught with direct relevance to Yoga and is not merely textbook learning.
  • Learning to adjust with awareness and sensitivity. We combine the latest flexibility research with some simple adjustment techniques to create a powerful tool for helping your students’ yoga practice.
  • Energetic anatomy and the Chinese 5-element system.
  • History of yoga in the Indian, Tibetan, Chinese and Japanese traditions, and its influence on modern yoga.
  • Philosophy, including basic Buddhist philosophy and a comparison between the Vedic/Hindu and Buddhist approaches (e.g. 8-limbs of yoga vs. noble 8-fold path).
  • Ethics.
  • Business methods (including how to set up your business, where to find work and how much to charge).

I would recommend the course. Be prepared to go on a deep and interesting journey Francoise Lamouche, London

How are the days structured?

A typical day on the course is something like this:

6.00 – 7.00 Guided Meditation
7.00 – 7.30 Breakfast
7.30 – 8.30 Yoga Nidra – (yogic sleep)
8.30 – 10.30 Physical Yoga – work on asanas
10.30 – 12.00 Class
12.00 – 12.30 Lunch
12.30 – 4.30 Class/academic study/teaching practice
4.30 – 5.30 Chanting/breathwork
5.30 – 6.00 Supper
6.00 – 7.00 Reido (spontaneous yoga)
7.00 – 7.30 Mudras – the yoga of gesture
7.30 – 8.30 Meditation
Learning down dog adjustment zenways yoga teacher training

Spontaneous yoga

Within the yoga tradition, spontaneous practice is sometimes called “sahaja yoga” (lit. spontaneous yoga). “Sadhana” is the other side of the coin, meaning regular commitment or discipline.

We include an hour a day of time for spontaneous movement. In Japanese this is called “rei-do” (lit. the heavenly way). In regular yoga, our movements are directed by our own mind or by the mind of the teacher. “I’m going to do a Warrior II followed by Trikonasana”, etc. In spontaneous movement we attempt to turn over control of our movements from our head to our body. We let our body start to direct things and connect to the innate wisdom deep within our muscles and tissues. What manifests might be complete stillness, it might be vigorous movement, it might be repetitive or asymmetric. We may pass through traditional yoga asanas, but that’s not the aim.

If this sounds scary, don’t worry. We’ll guide you in. We also have a DVD/downloadable video on spontaneous practice on our online shop.

The night is clear
The moon is full
Let’s dance together
All night long.
A last memory for my dotage.
– Ryokan

Our practice is to delight the life force within youMasahiro Oki

Daizan teaching Zen Yoga for Winter 2