In keeping with our recent exploration of what it takes to be a yoga teacher, the Yoga Lunchbox spoke to Claire at Hot Yoga to find out more about their six month teacher training programme.
It’s one of the few teacher training programmes available in New Zealand, and starts every year in July.
Why does Hot Yoga of New Zealand hold this training?
Our first studio in Nelson grew so quickly and the demand for more classes and certified teachers within New Zealand was pressing. We always knew we wanted to lead teacher trainings but the time line was sped up in response to the Universe saying, “HERE, NOW.”
How long have you been running the program?
We’re heading into the fourth year of the training program. It’s fast becoming a larger and larger part of what we love to do most for the yoga community.
Who leads the course?
A former champion body builder, my husband Lou brings passion to the asanas, including the necessity of students learning to teach from an embodied practice. As a former motivational speaker and theatre-trained, I lead study on yoga in daily life and the art of sharing one’s own experience of yoga’s transformational benefits with a heart-felt connection, clarity and confidence.
Who comes on the course – is there such a thing as the average student?
People from all over the world attend the training. All graduates walk away feeling an outstanding sense of achievement and personal power. Most go on to teach yoga in some form. Some open studios of their own.
Do people have to be really flexible to become a yoga teacher?
Only flexible in their ability to “learn something new everyday, and the wisdom to let something else go.” Transformation is messy business.
The program demands all students “show up” to each session ready to learn, play, contribute and stretch in new directions, sometimes physically. Sometimes emotionally. Sometimes in directions and ways completely unexpected. That kind of personal flexibility, the willingness to grow in self-awareness, is mighty handy in becoming the best kind of yoga teacher.
How do you know when you’re ready to train as a yoga teacher?
It’s an undeniable feeling of being ready to take your practice to the next level, to grow as a student of the yogic way of life.
Do you accept just anyone, or is there a selection process?
All applicants undergo a selection process.
First, applicants fill in a questionnaire, answering for themselves as much as for us, why they want to undergo a yoga teacher training of this intensity. Then an interview (in person or by phone for long distance applicants) furthers that discussion.
The program works best for students who purposefully dedicate the bulk of their free-time to the training. To layer this teacher training on top of an any other demanding extra curricular activity is not encouraged. A minimum 6-month regular prior practice is also necessary for acceptance.
What does the course cover – is it just asana or do you go into other aspects of yoga?
The course content is designed to be transformational not just informational.
As each week and each month progresses, new knowledge and skills ranging from asanas to meditation to public speaking skills and more are integrated into the personal and group process as a whole.
Over the course of the five months, students grow into their authentic voice by working closely with the teachers, presenting their work, contributing in discussions and, most importantly, by watching their own practice and lives change and strengthen in powerful ways.
Many trainees experience big, positive changes.
Guest speakers on topics such as anatomy and chakra theory add a further dimension to the course.
Graduates of the Hot Yoga of New Zealand Program receive a certificate to teach yoga.
This certification is recognized by Yoga Alliance – RYT-200 Level. The program exceeds international standards by over 50 hours.
Does anyone ever fail?
Only one student has not received certification due to incomplete work.
Can people expect to start teaching classes as soon as they graduate?
What kind of commitment does it take to become a yoga teacher – both before, during and after the training?
The kind of commitment you show to your yoga practice reflects on your commitment to being a yoga teacher, the kind that teaches on and off the mat. Learning to teach yoga well asks to you to be present, in your listening, in your ability to create and inspire and in whole heartedly sharing what you have with others.
Every yoga training is different. The personal transformation that takes place as a result is often the stuff you least expect. That stuff is your work in this life time, the ability to take a raw look at your personal patterns and limiting attitudes and then expand beyond the stuck places to live with more happiness.
After any training, that personal growth can take you wherever you want to go next – and whether or not you teach yoga in a classroom per se. New personal insights and helpful tools deepen and direct your path in ways never imagined. The Hot Yoga of New Zealand Teacher Training Program can get you on that path, provide those tools, offer that kind of personal insight. The commitment to keep going forward on that path is up to you and the world awaits.
Is this a good way to start a career as a yoga teacher?
Absolutely. Knowing you can teach “yoga” in every thing you do, not just in a studio speaking to a class.
Is there such a thing in New Zealand – a yoga teacher career?
The world is broad and wide and certified yoga teachers are needed everywhere, including Aotearoa. When beginning a yoga teaching career, supplementing with another source of income is often necessary. Training on yoga teaching as a career choice and studio management is briefly covered in the course.
Is there anything else you’d like to add about the Hot Yoga Teacher Training?
To anyone reading this article all the way down and thinking, “Wow, I’d really like to undergo this training, ” to you I add, “If not NOW, when?” Register and take the journey. We look forward to you joining us.
Contact the Hot Yoga studio for an application or further questions: 04 801 9642.
In the meantime here’s what some of our graduates, people just like you, have to say after completing the Hot Yoga of New Zealand Teacher Training:
One of the best things I’ve ever done…easily one of the best learning experiences of my life so far. – Marc Brady
This training experience was transformational. I feel a great amount of confidence and growth occurred in me. – Jocelyn Belden
Doing the Hot Yoga of New Zealand Teacher Training Program has been one of the most empowering experiences I can imagine. – Ella Salt
Yes it was hard, sometimes terrifying but transformation is a messy business! I’m extremely satisfied and thankful I choose to take the journey with such wonderful and caring teachers and an organization that offers training in such a complete and professional manner. I am forever grateful. – Claire Wright
This programme has been the best experience of my life which took me to the next level physically, mentally and spiritually and allowed me to see the new direction, previously non-existent but so much anticipated. – Katya Mourtis