Suzanne's explanation of the 200 - Hour Yoga for Wellness Teacher Training Course
I took my first YTT years ago with Ana Forest. Her first trainees were my teachers. I also studied with Bikram's first yoga teacher trainees, when things were very different then they are now. It was not common for casual practitioners to attend teacher trainings, it was for very serious students of yoga. Now many who just want to deepen their practices want to train, which is such a good idea as training changes lives. Full stop.
I lived next to a great studio growing up in Southern California, where my teachers infused us with Ashtanga, Bikram, Forrest and a bunch of other interesting practices. I almost don't know what to say anymore when people ask me what I teach. It's such a mix and I teach what I find works for students. The main thing for me is focus and breath (as it should be). I am fascinated by teaching. I watch students develop habits that stop pain in their practice and help them to develop new, safer habits. I enjoy the Iyengar yoga a LOT but also love softening into more gentle, yin style yoga. It's fun to teach and practice in different ways and to have the flexibility of mind to teach different things. This comes with practice (I have taught over 13,000 hours of yoga and have no intentions to stop). But you have to start somewhere. I welcome anyone with a burning desire to learn and grow.
I enjoy sharing from my experience and will give you all I've got so by the time you graduate you understand alignment and how to teach and give your students rich, meaningful experiences on the mat despite your level of practice. Everyone can teach but to me the most important thing is teaching the true essence of yoga which stems from wanting to help others heal and feel better. Almost all of my trainees get this (yes, I take a vested interest in all of you). I teach to share the essence of yoga asana which in my mind is presence, curiosity, patience, humility and liberating our minds.
This course seriously changes lives, so.....
Get ready to learn & GROW
Philosophy and Lifestyle
The training is super "practical" and although we do get into the roots of the practice and philosophy based on the Sutras (super helpful and important), the way it is all presented is acceptable to the Western mind (for any mind for that matter. My mind is steeped in Easten and Western philosophy, and I share from both places), to be easily absorbed and easily applied.
My love is simplicity, and teaching practices that get the job done in terms of being able to be applied to everyday life, being able to understand your body (or your students) and what you need on any given day depending on what's up in your body, health, life and this includes mentally, emotionally as well as physically, with practices as tools to draw on ways to stay grounded in your true nature, healthy and happy.
The main meditation we cover was developed by Ron Rathbun in California (he teaches at UC San Diego and is a long time surfer with a 30 year meditation practice - his work has been published in major medical journals, he works at one of the world top meditation research centers, mainly works with the medical profession). This practice really really works in everyday life to keep us clear. It takes around 7 minutes to do.
The name of the game for me in terms of mindfulness practices is learn, practice and teach things that free up your head space (living by your personal values, the use of NLP as well, and positive psychology is my favourite subject), to just get on with life and enjoy yet also be able to weather life's storms with as much grace as possible. Once you have your own established practice, you will teach from that experience.
For the anatomy, practical. I work with my friend Stephane Laporte who is a sports therapist and marathon runner. Beautiful soulful dude, like a brother to me and students really like him. He's easy to understand. We use other course materials for the anatomy, to keep it all easy to digest.
Mainly Hatha Yoga that you can play with to create nice sequences to teach or practice. You will learn SO MUCH here. I have taught for a long time and this is one of my favorite parts of teaching - my 24 year background is in Hatha, Ashtanga, Iyengar, Bikram, Forrest - with some other things mixed in and I teach what I know will help students most. It's a culmination of different styles (also Yin and Restorative) and in the end again, practical so you really get familiar with your own body first and from that foundation, can help students of all ages, abilities and keep everyone safe (including yourself). Yoga related injuries for teachers are common, so we want to be sure our graduates know how to stay safe). You would learn to be able to adjust sequences based on pacing, sequencing, etc. so you have a simple way of creating classes for others based on their health, age, time of day, amount of time you have to teach a class, etc etc.
We work on beautiful, euphoric feeling breathing techniques, and take ample time to cultivate a solid pranayama practice. You will look and feel different after really getting into this. You will look and feel bright, with more energy and focus, better sleep, a more calm mind (or energetic depending on which breath technique). The breathing is kept simple because that is what works and what you need on a daily basis. Deeper stuff can be layered on later if you wish (most importantly, when you are ready) but to really have an established practice, you need to work on the basics for a long time. That's the right way and is plenty for most people.
This course is kind of like a life couching, health and mindfulness program with asana, meditation and pranayama at the core.
We give the solid foundation, so you stay safe and knows what's up - we think walk before run. and get solid footing, build great habits for the rest of your life's practice (and pass this to others if you so wish). Upon graduation, you will have a beautiful practice to build on as you progress throughout your life.