As yoga continues to grow in popularity worldwide, so too do opportunities to study to be a yoga teacher. Even here in New Zealand, there are now a multitude of choices for yoga teacher training.
The latest training on offer is Abundance Studio’s Power Living Yoga Teacher Training, an intensive two-week programme kicking off this February with Baron Baptiste-trained Duncan Peak of Australia.
The Yoga Lunchbox had a chat to Allyson Donnelly, Director of Programming at Abundance Studios in Wellington to find out more about the training.
1. What inspired you to start offering Yoga Teacher Training here in New Zealand?
When we started developing ideas about the Abundance Studios, one of our objectives was to have a training partner who could support our vision of the experience we wanted our students to have in our space.
While we plan to offer several styles of yoga, we wanted a core programme that was in line with our fundamental beliefs of what a yoga class experience should be.
It is our goal to provide a physically challenging, inspirational practice that opens the body and mind, without any dogmatic approach to philosophy or spirituality – we want all students to find their own path.
We met Duncan Peak in Australia and quickly realized that his teaching style and coursework were a perfect fit and wanted to get him to New Zealand as quickly as possible!
2. Who developed the programme and what does it cover?
The 200hr Teacher Training programme was developed by Power Living’s founder, Duncan Peak. Duncan has trained in many major yogic traditions and focuses on a strong flowing class as a vehicle to understand the mind and ultimately transcend the attachment to ego identity. He often assists Baron Baptiste at his trainings around the world, has played competitive rugby, was a member of the Australian military forces, and trains some of Australia’s top athletes.
The course totally immerses the students in the knowledge of a basic Power Living Yoga Sequence, introduction to the history of yoga and intense personal development to prepare the student for the role as a teacher.
The modules focus on an in‐depth understanding of the anatomy and physiology of Hatha Yoga, Power Yoga asana and assisting, selecting and designing different sequences, yoga physiology and philosophy, introduction to Ayurveda, meditation and pranayama, counselling skills and techniques, connecting with the class, and practical teaching experience with feedback.
Duncan leads the training with his senior teaching team and is assisted by guest lecturers who are subject matter experts in their field of study, e.g. yoga philosophy, anatomy & physiology, etc.
3. Who is the programme suitable for?
The training is not only for new teachers – it is also a great way for already established teachers to reignite their passion for teaching, or for students who simply want to learn more about this great tradition and Power Living’s modern day fusion of many styles and systems. The course is for people who are ready for this development. It is intensive, inspirational study and requires commitment.
It is recommended that participants have at least six months to a year yoga practice, but students who are newer to yoga are invited to apply for the course as well.
Interested applicants will complete an application, which is reviewed by the Power Living team, and then will speak with someone from Power Living or Abundance via phone (or in person if logistics permit).
4. What can students expect to get out of this teacher training?
Students will experience tremendous personal and physical growth. Two weeks in our lives seems like such a short time, but when you are immersed in a programme like this, it is incredibly transformational on so many levels. Our last group of students left the training able to execute asanas they couldn’t imagine on day 1, and went from looking down every time we needed a volunteer to standing up in front of the room with confidence.
Students also gain tremendous insight into living the yoga way – i.e. if you are teaching yoga, your ‘teaching’ extends well outside of the studio. The confidence and personal growth students experience on the course enables them to shine both in and out of the studio.
5. How does this training differ from other teacher training programmes available in NZ?
Duncan and his team have such a wide range of experience, both yoga-related and otherwise. These varied influences provide such a unique perspective on yoga, teaching, acceptance, and humility.
The programme is also fairly simple to fit into a ‘normal’ life, as students may participate in one week at a time if they cannot complete the entire course in one two-week period. This structure allows for professionals and those with family obligations to take minimal time away, study intensively, and then continue their studies at home and through our mentorship programme if they choose to do so before attending the second week.
The Power Living sequence is a vinyasa sequence, and this training is the first true vinyasa training to be held in New Zealand. Students who enjoy the physical challenge of yoga as much as the mental challenge will find great potential to excel here.
6. What kind of qualification do students receive at the end of their training? Is the course Yoga Alliance registered?
The course is registered at the 200hr level with the Yoga Alliance. Students also receive 50 NZ REPs CECs, if they are active through that organization, and can receive credits through Fitness Australia if they choose.
Upon completion of the course, students receive a yoga teacher qualification. Students may also choose to participate in the first week of the course only, after which they will be ready to teach basic level vinyasa classes, but will not be eligible for Yoga Alliance registration.
The Power Living Yoga Teacher Training started on February 14th at Abundance Studios in Wellington. For more information, or to receive an application pack, please contact Allyson on firstname.lastname@example.org.