Yoga Teacher Trainee Testimonials
I arrived back in Dublin after an amazing month of training courses at Yoga Thailand in September 2011 knowing that I really would love to experience a teacher training course and certain that I wanted to do it with David and Paula as my teachers. The question was how to convince them to agree to train me (at this stage there was no course offered at the shala). I had been practising at the Ashtanga Yoga Dublin regularly for 2 years and had completed the Heart of yoga course the previous year and knew that I wanted to deepen my practice…this seemed like the logical next move…well, it obviously was because on my first day back in the Shala, David told me that they were about to launch a new teacher training course…it was meant to be!!! So in January we embarked on our training, unsure of what to expect.
The course was very well structured and David and Paula were always on hand to offer encouraging advice and support. I have always been impressed by the depth of knowledge that David and Paula have on all 8 limbs of the Ashtanga practice. They truly inspire confidence and I walked away from each one of our weekends together feeling enthused, nurtured and confident to move forward. I appreciated the fact that we were well prepared and that a feeling of calm prevailed, something that can often evaporate when acquiring new knowledge and experiences. Together we worked through modules on anatomy, philosophy, safe adjustments, nutrition and teaching practice. We also developed our own practice through asana, meditation, chanting and yoga nidra (the perfect ending to every weekend). The assignments that were set for us were helpful and deepened our knowledge and experience. The bonds of friendship that were formed amongst the group were really special, lunch times were always filled with chat, support and good advice.
I would highly recommend the course to anyone who is serious about or would like to deepen their yoga practice. I was pleased that I completed the Heart of Yoga course initially especially with relation to my understanding of philosophy which I have noticed is constantly growing and changing (I did find it was a lot to process at the start!). The base from this course made the progression into the teacher training a lot less daunting as so much of what was discussed and practice was already a big part of my life anyway and the development was natural. David and Paula have both been such a wonderful support on my yoga journey. They truly inspire confidence and I walked away from each one of our weekends together feeling enthused, nurtured and confident to move forward. A journey that started with dabbling on a mat twice a week with the hope of becoming bendy but has since transformed my life so positively and completely.
When David and Paula announced that they were doing teacher training I was delighted! I was a bit apprehensive of doing it so soon as I had only being practicing for a short while but David and Paula assured me that it was the right time. The Yoga Teacher training like the heart of Yoga covered so much in one year. The difference this time being that it was definitely more serious. I had an obligation this time and it was to learn and learn well so that the correct teachings would be given to my future students.
David and Paula brought us through each of the Primary series Asana’s in great detail along with the anatomy and adjustments surrounding the postures. We learned the sequence, posture names and the count of the Primary series in Sanskrit. Each Teacher training weekend we would display our capabilities to David and Paula and receive feedback. It was necessary to practice several times a week with our yoga partners in order to maintain the pace. This was one of the more difficult things for me to do as I would be quite shy by nature and felt very nervous having to count out loud in front of the class but with encouragement and sometimes a good old push from my teachers I slowly began to overcome my ego!
David was excellent at showing us what to look out for and how to correct/assist the postures. This is something that I really loved! We learned adjustments under the eagle eye of David. Our duties were to observe the class, perform adjustments where necessary and give instruction on how to get into asanas. David was excellent at showing us what to look out for and how to correct/assist the postures. This is something that I really loved! That one to one personal teaching experience was something that I got great enjoyment out of (in the same way as I enjoy receiving those teachings in my own personal Mysore practice).
David and Paula allowed us to develop an awareness of bodies and how each person is different not just physically but emotionally too. Different people are dealing with different things and this can be clearly seen in the practice. We received excellent guidance throughout the year and our competency went up 10 fold by the end. This is by no means an easy feat but it is very rewarding when you make it through.
David and Paula’s goal for their graduating teachers was to have an in depth knowledge of the teachings of the yogic philosophy as well as the physical asana and the other limbs of ashtanga yoga. Knowing the thread of the Yoga Sutras – Samadhi Pada and Sadhana Pada was vital and to become a true yogi it is necessary to know and practice them. The teacher training year was an emotional, challenging but most of all a rewarding year and has given me inspiration on what is possible for me and also the students that I will teach in the future.
It has been nearly 3 years since the first time I walked through the doors of Ashtanga Yoga Dublin but it feels like a blink of an eye. The transformation that I have gone through in that short time through the teaching and guidance of David and Paula is immeasurable and I can’t thank them enough for guiding me through it.
I was seriously considering doing the Heart of Yoga course again (you can never read the Yoga Sutras too many times!). Then David and Paula told me that they were going to run a teacher training course which would build upon what I had already learned in the previous year. I was slightly apprehensive about it as it is quite a lot to take on. David and Paula are very serious about maintaining a high standard and it definitely was not a case of just showing up every month and getting your certificate at the end. Still, I was eager to learn more so I decided to give it a shot (not necessarily with a view to being a teacher myself but more with the intention of furthering my own practice).
Under the watchful eyes of David and Paula we were guided through the intricacies of each asana in the primary series. We learned the key anatomical points, the appropriate adjustments for students of varying levels and the count in Sanskrit. It’s a great way of learning although counting in Sanskrit in front of a room full of people can feel a bit daunting at first! David and Paula both gave me excellent feedback so I always knew what I needed to work on. I quickly learned that adjusting students is a real art form which will take years to perfect. David’s emphasis was always on safety and he really taught us to pay attention to ensure that students enter each asana safely and in a way which will not result in injury. We also delved more deeply into the Bhagavad Gita and the Yoga Sutras in class and were given written assignments to complete over the summer.
The 200 hour teacher training course is definitely a lot of work and it shouldn’t be taken on lightly. However, if you put a bit of effort in yourself the rewards are huge. At the end of the course you will have no problem leading a counted class or teaching a Mysore style class. Perhaps more importantly, you will also learn so much about your own practice. I absolutely loved the 200 hour teacher training course! I have experienced firsthand the enormous holistic benefits of Ashtanga yoga and I would like to say thank you to David and Paula for all their support and encouragement and for their wonderful teaching.
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