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Why Should I Consider a 300 Hour TT Course?

200 hour teacher Emma is interested in doing the 300 Hour Yoga Teacher Training but has a whole host of questions, so we decided to write down the conversation for those of you thinking of embarking on this journey.

Emma: Do you think this course will open more opportunities in my yoga career?

Marit: From an administrative stand point, some of the studios (for example any of the Glasgow clubs, Glasgow Life, some larger more established yoga studios, and most private health clubs) require a 500 hour certificate from teachers now.

There are also real opportunities for your career in the growth of your specialism, we call this your niche on the course. We support you in finding where your passion lies. This could be anything from power yoga, yoga for pregnancy, mindfulness, yoga for kids, rejuvenating yoga, etc. You will be running a mini workshop for the group and we shall be helping you create a business plan for how to take it forward. Our intention is that you leave the course with ready-made workshops for your students in an area that really lights your fire, and a plan on how to go about getting them out there.

Cherry on the cake is also the advanced teaching skills you will get including the opportunities to teach large groups asana and mentor in home assignments. Together these just move on your teaching ability and confidence to take you to the next level as an advanced teacher.

Emma: I have spoken to some other teachers who have told me about the finding your niche – I don’t have that yet and I am concerned about what that would involve and why you want me to do that?

Marit: Yoga Alliance as our accrediting body requires the cultivation of a niche, and I whole heartedly agree with it, as it is a really important part of your evolution as a teacher. It gives you the opportunity to really think about when you come alive teaching and focus on your areas of passion, and experience. Most people do not come on with their niche pre-set, we help you cultivate them through the program.

Sometimes we just go on the path that seems easiest or most obvious, but actually, this may not be the style of teaching that will help you to flourish. One teacher graduated and started teaching fast flowing, power style classes because that is what they had known. But the exposure to different styles (from her colleagues workshops as well as guest teachers) and careful consideration of her values, areas of interest, strengths as a teacher, meant that she changed her focus to a nurturing class for woman, exactly what she, and a lot of other yogis, needed. These classes are so much more nourishing for her and her passion comes across when she teaches.

Emma: What do you mean by the charity project? Have I got to find my own and how much time will this take up in my already busy life?

Marit: During the whole year we ask you to commit 10 hours in total to this, you can do a one day workshop (5 hours prep, 5 hour workshop) and give the proceeds to charity, you could offer an hour a month to a local charity to do something like ironing, washing dishes, etc. Or you can help us here at Outreach Seasonal Scotland and we can give you a 10 hour project. Some of our graduates are still engaging with their project after finishing the course and consider it a very fulfilling part of their life now.

Emma: Do you think the 300 course is something you can do alongside a full time job?

Marit: We have people on the 300 hour who have very demanding full time jobs and we have designed it to slot into your life as easily as possible. That’s why we’ve moved it from Friday/Saturday to Saturday/Sunday for 2018 so it doesn’t impact on annual leave.  We also try to ensure the reading list is available in audio where possible, and with the course spread over the year it means you can fit it into life.  We are recognise life can take over and so we are flexible in ensuring you stay on course and fit in any missed hours and topics.

Emma: As someone who has been out of education for quite a while, how am I going to cope, and what sort of support would be available?

Marit: Most people who come on the course are in the same situation, most have had at least one decade (!!) since being part of any formal education system. The regular course learning is the same set up as the 200 hour course, we try and make it as accessible to life as possible by using mostly books available on audio, and if you are not able to complete the reading we will guide you on specific sections to concentrate on so that you cover the most important information. There are then personal evolution assignments as we believe that learning through doing is the most efficient way of learning, especially with Yoga.

There are no compulsory written home assignments on the course. There is a written assignment at the end of the Oxford Uni Bhagavad Gita course that we follow on the course, but this is up to you and not a requirement. Interestingly, about 80% of the course this year completed the essay, and were really pleased they did, including someone who left school before highers and never went to any further education, and were so proud of themselves when they got the pass and feedback from Oxford tutors .

Ultimately, this is now the advanced teaching level, so although you will have buddies and log books, there is a lot less monitoring of your home assignments, it is entirely up to you how much you want to get out of the course.

This is a small, intimate group, so the community feeling is fantastic. In terms of the support, you will have a buddy each month as your first port of call, then the Seasonal team will be there every step of the way, either Marit or Claire (depending on what the request is) will be there to help. If there is a home event which means you are not able to perform your workshop, or asana practice, we move you to another month. This has happened many times over the years and everyone comes together to support one another.

We will not ask you to anything you are not able to do.

Emma: Is it just Kundalini Yoga and not Seasonal Flow on the course? I would like to know the differences and why I am learning this different style.

Marit: There is both Kundalini and seasonal yoga on the course. The Kundalini yoga is an advanced energy practice, it is on the course to progress your yoga practice and experience of energy, not necessarily as something you will go on to teach. The kundalini practice is a traditional static style, holding postures longer than you are perhaps used to, with a focus on energy movement and shifts to your consciousness/mind set. This is a real eye opener for many of the students, these powerful techniques have opened many to actually feel prana in their bodies and how they affect their minds. It includes advanced pranayama, advanced kundalini mudras, and meditation. These offer an opportunity to experience how the wonderful teachings of yoga can impact your ability to meditate and build awareness in everyday life.  You will practice this each module, building up throughout the year, as well as a regular asana class each module too.

Emma: Is there any Advanced Seasonal Teaching in it?

Marit: Yes, there is a 7 hour advanced seasonal workshop for each of the 6 seasons. It will cover advanced seasonal teachings, advice on teaching flows, more detail on the organs of the season, a full practice, some seasonal adjustments, and the introduction of a seasonal yin practice.

Emma: Why should I do it with you over a year and not do a month compressed course abroad?

Marit: Please see my blog – Going Away Study versus Studying at Home

Highlights – “You see, when you remove yourself to practice yoga, it brings a sort of re-integration period when you come home

  • Internal conflict at the vast differences in ethos of the two places
  • lack of community and support upon your return
  • gradual melting away of the impact of the training, and if you do not go away again all the good may disappear completely
  • lack of compatibility of the teachings with real life- you are not able to really understand the demands of the life of a working parent, and so inappropriate advice on practices and depth may be given
  • and the most important one – you separate yoga from life

So, although I highly recommend going away and doing intensive periods of practice, these should be integrated into the life you lead. They should support your growth of all the areas of your life, your work, your family life, your studies, your place in society, as well as your personal evolution, to allow a more integrated evolution of your whole being which will have a lasting impact.”