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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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.