Sunday, May 18, 2008

A Premium Yoga Teacher Course for an Affordable Price

By Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Does an affordable Yoga teacher training option, for interns, exist anymore or is it pure fantasy? With the price of everything, except a house, going up; how can we expect to find a reputable training for an intern, who wishes to become a yoga instructor, at a reasonable price?

Some interns apply for “seva” programs (community service) in the larger ashrams. Any large facility needs cooks, housekeepers, office help, and a maintenance crew, so this is a good arrangement for the student and the ashram.

Seva is a form of selfless service, where one may be asked to perform a variety of tasks that will maintain the ashram. In some Yoga ashrams, all students seek to perform “guru seva,” in the spirit of selfless giving toward the head teacher and the facility.

This exchange of work for housing, meals, and learning, is a traditional one. The idea of giving of one’s self to a larger cause is noble and a form of Karma Yoga. Not every applicant is accepted, and some centers do not have seva programs at all.

Yet, it should be realized that a seva agreement between a student and his or her guru may last years. If you have obligations, such as children, spouse, family, job, or a significant other, the concept of seva may not fit your lifestyle.

Interns, with obligations, may seek a Yoga certification course, which gives them the independence to meet their obligations at home or on the job. In this case, a
home study option is your most affordable and flexible choice.

Correspondence courses have been around for years. With technology advancing to its present level, every skill can be studied at home. If you are not sure about techniques, and desire some hands on experience, you may want to seek out a local Yoga teacher or search for a mentor.

Some interns have years of previous experience. This is obviously significant, when approaching any intensive learning program. Therefore, experienced Yoga students will progress much faster, than those who have less experience.

The Internet has made it possible for anyone to learn about Yoga instantly. Just a few decades ago, you would be lucky to find a Yoga book in a small town library. We now live at a time when any subject can be learned in an instant.

With the use of CD’s, DVD’s, e-Books, streaming video, and the ability to ship anywhere, learning to become a Yoga instructor, at an affordable cost, is much more common than in the past.

© Copyright 2008 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

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Friday, May 09, 2008

Is Online Yoga Teacher Training Reputable?

By Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

What are employers looking for in newly hired Yoga instructor? The needs of employers are straight forward: Any facility, which hires a Yoga teacher, is looking for safety, competence, and certification. When considering a Yoga teacher training program, a prospective intern must consider the depth of the course in the above-mentioned areas.

Online Yoga teacher courses are an outgrowth of recent technology and the demand for affordable training options. Home study programs exist for aspirants, who want to advance, and deepen their knowledge, in any given aspect of Yoga.

At a time when most new Yoga instructors are teaching a few hours per week, who wants to spend the monetary equivalent of college tuition to earn part-time wages? It is a fact that most instructors begin teaching Yoga on a part-time basis.

This is the most conservative approach toward breaking in to a new field, while you continue to earn your full time income. Although you may have been participating in Yoga for years, it is not the same as teaching classes, marketing, networking, advertising, and all that entails a small business.

If you find the concept of a business to be offensive, the best option to take is working for someone else as an independent contractor or a part-time employee. In this way, you work for an agreed rate and do not have to be concerned with expanding your student base.

That is, unless your student participation suddenly drops, and the facility cannot afford to keep you on. Sometimes companies cut back programs permanently, or temporarily, during a slow season. Therefore, if you are teaching Yoga you have a vested interest in learning all you can about marketing, networking, advertising, and business skills, to keep your classes going.

This is why most veteran Yoga teachers do their best to learn many skills which apply to the business world. There is also the choice to operate as a non-profit, but you still have to file taxes and make sure you are within the guidelines of the law.

Now, let’s get back to: Is an Online Yoga Teacher Certification Reputable? In short, yes it is, as long as you become certified to teach. Make sure you will receive a teacher’s diploma upon successful completion of your course. Of course safety, competence, and some basic business survival skills are a pre-requisite to a comprehensive course, which would prepare you for the world of teaching Yoga.

Do you still feel that business and Yoga is not a good mix? Consider this: Some Yoga teacher graduates have spent over ten thousand dollars for their training. In the process, they never learn anything to prepare for interviews or business survival. There is no harm in preparing for success as a certified Yoga teacher.

© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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Saturday, January 05, 2008

Online Yoga Certification and Continuing Education Courses

By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Here is a story, which has been heard a lot lately. It does not apply to everyone, but it has become a common theme. You have been practicing Yoga for six to thirty years. Ever since your Guru retired, you have noticed a sudden influx of young, unseasoned Yoga teachers.

Suddenly, young flexible gymnastic bodies have decided to “change careers.” As a bonus, you learn their brand of Yogic philosophy. After a few months of practice, and a three week instructor’s intensive, they have all the answers to why we wake up with stiffness in our bodies, and where we went wrong in life.

In truth, some of what they say makes sense, but who wants to hear it? After all, you have children who are your instructor’s age. If you are an experienced Yoga practitioner, you may have contemplated practicing at home. Yet, solo practice can be dull as the months and years go by. You know the benefits and don’t want to stop practicing - which is a possibility, if you go it alone.

You have considered going to an onsite Yoga teacher training intensive course, but the cost is daunting. The retreats to exotic locations are also cost prohibitive.

Your children are in college, you are in college, someone at home is adjusting to a job crisis, or something else. The bottom line is: You have financial obligations and you do not want to spend thousands of dollars on a teacher certification program.

Did you ever consider a specialized Yoga instructor training home-study course? The price of a correspondence course is a fraction of the price that an onsite certification would cost. Correspondence courses are designed for easy self-paced home-study, and you can go about your daily life without any hardships.

© Copyright - Aura Publications

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Yoga Teacher Training Correspondence Courses

By Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Is Yoga certification online a new concept? Not really; correspondence courses have existed for decades - concerning a multitude of subjects. It was only a matter of time for correspondence courses to evolve into online courses. Higher education has learned to adapt to the needs of busy adults, who have many commitments at home and at work.

With the help of Email and telephone support, Yoga teacher interns receive much quicker responses, from their tutors, than ever before. Written assignments, completed exams, and critiques, can be sent back and forth via Email.

Some interns elect to send their practicum in a video format or by streaming video. The most popular way to send a practical exam is still by postal mail in DVD format. Of course, the large VHS tapes are also acceptable. However, the small Hi8 tapes, which resemble cassette audio tapes, can be erased by scanning equipment.

Sending a video taped practicum is a viable option, if travel for an onsite Yoga certification practical exam is a hardship. The cost of travel, time out of work, family obligations, and commitments to a higher college education, can make it impossible to complete an onsite practicum.

Interns of Yoga correspondence courses must be self-starters. It is best to have smaller specific goals in mind for successful completion of the ultimate goal - which is to graduate with a Yoga teacher’s diploma in hand.

Examples of smaller specific learning goals are: Reading ten pages per day, teaching for an hour per day, or a mix of learning methods, for a specific number of hours per week. The end result is a state of competence and successful completion of your Yoga instructor certification course.

© Copyright 2008 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications


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FREE CONTENT: If you are a Yoga Teacher, Yoga studio, blogger, e-zine, or website publisher, and are in need of quality content, please feel free to use my blog entries (articles) - Please be sure to reprint each article, as is, including the resource box above. Namaste

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Kids Yoga Teacher Training Issues

By Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

You have experienced the benefits first hand, and decided to become a Yoga instructor. Now you want to spread the word about the benefits to children in public schools. After all, children are not getting enough physical education, they are very stressed out, and they are bigger than ever.

Obstacles to Instructing in Western Public Schools

It seems like a perfect fit, but there are obstacles, which you should be aware of. Most people are educated enough to realize that Yoga will improve any child’s health and well being. However, there are some exceptions in the case of religious fundamentalists, who insist that Yoga is clearly a religious instruction.

Granted if Yogic philosophy were part of a class, it would result in a deeply moral and spiritually connected practitioner, but even in this case, religious instruction is a rarity in a Yoga class. You already know that Yoga does not exclude any group, because of religion, gender, age, color, ethic background, or social status.

Yogic philosophy does not preach intolerance, judgment of others, or that everyone else is going to hell, because they are not one of us. What a stark contrast to fundamentalism, which preaches intolerance, judgment of others, everyone else is going to hell, and in some extreme cases fundamentalism preaches, “It is justified to kill anyone who does not believe exactly the same thing.”

Granted there are some people who you cannot reason with. Especially, those who believe they can commit crimes against humanity, and also believe, they will go to heaven for it. So, how do you explain the benefits of Yogic methods for children in public schools? If two thirds of the adult population in the west has never practiced Yoga, you must assume that you have to thoroughly explain what you are teaching.

Before you talk to anyone to promote Yoga in public schools, please take the time to film your children’s classes. In this way, you will be able to demonstrate exactly what you do. It might be wise to have a duplicate DVD prepared; so that educators can show it to the school committee, other teachers, and concerned parents.

Do not be surprised if your classes are monitored closely to make sure you do not discuss Yogic philosophy or meditate. In the US, we live at a time when a different form of fundamentalist has successfully worked to ban Christmas trees, images, decorations, and carols, from pubic schools and government buildings.

Whether you feel it is right or wrong; this is only the “tip of the iceberg,” as the US government has “bent over backwards” to prove there is a separation between any religion and the state. Therefore, if you teach Yoga in public schools demonstrate posturing (asanas) breathing (pranayama), practical life skills, and relaxation only. This will help you avoid being drawn into the “gray area” of debate.

© Copyright - Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

If you are a teacher, studio manager, blogger, e-zine, or website publisher, and are in need of quality content, please feel free to use my blog entries (articles) - Please be sure to reprint each article, as is, including the resource box above. Namaste.