Teachers

Delve a Little Deeper

So perhaps you want to delve a little deeper into your yoga practice, learn more about the history and the philosophy behind yoga or perhaps even teach, what do you do?

http://www.exhalestudio.com/

We are lucky to live in such a huge yoga community with endless options on styles, studios and teachers so how do you decide where to take your training? I’ve come up with a Top 5 List of questions that you should ask yourself before taking the plunge.

  1. Availability – How much time do you have to commit yourself to training? The first part of teacher training is 200 hours, or you could go for the full meal deal & do all 500 at once. Do you work full time, go to school, only have weekends, evenings available or maybe you only have weekdays available? Do you want to get it all done in a month or would you prefer to take a few months to complete your training?
  2. Style – What style of training do you want to take? Vinyasa, Hatha, Hot, Bikram, Anusura? Make sure that you determine what style of yoga the studio offers before signing on the dotted line.
  3. Location – Maybe you live in the Fraser Valley or maybe you live right downtown, where you live will also determine on where you take your training unless you are planning on relocating for the duration.
  4. Cost – Since teacher training is certainly not a cheap affair, make sure you research what the studio has to offer. Do they offer payment plans or want it all paid up front?
  5. Teachers – After narrowing your studio selection down, make sure that you take classes with the instructors of the teacher training program before you sign up. Do you like their style and personality, remember you will be spending 200+ hours with them.

Even if you have no intentions of teaching, you can gain so much from a Teacher Training Program with benefits to your life and your yoga practice.

Yoga Teacher Review: Dan McInnis

It was Tracy’s birthday earlier this week, so the lovely folks at YYoga sent her a ‘you and a friend free class for your birthday’ email. (She also received a similar email from Semperviva). These must be recent promotions by the Vancouver yoga companies, since I never received emails for my bday a couple months ago. Tracy was kind enough to invite me to attend a class with her at one of my favorite studios, YYoga Flow Wellness. We thought the complementary classes would be a great chance to venture a different instructor and deviate from our usual yoga routine.

We chose a yoga teacher neither of us had practiced with before: Dan McInnis. We attended his Hatha class yesterday and absolutely loved it. He began the class by recounting to us how he was getting ready to come to work and started becoming really excited about the sequences he was going to get us to try. When your teacher is bringing forth such amazingly positive energy, it really sets the tone for the whole class. Dan is a very encouraging and supportive instructor who just makes you feel so good! His class was very well rounded, with a good focus on balance and core strength. We left class with openness in our hips, strength in our cores, and positivity in our minds.

Apart from YYoga, he also teaches Corporate yoga classes in Vancouver. Leave a comment below if you’ve attended any of Dan’s classes and know of other studios he teaches at 🙂

[source: YYoga Flow]

Intro to the Blissful Burbs!

Having grown up in the Lower Mainland and lived here my whole life, my path to yoga was not something instilled in me since I was a little kid. In fact, the first class I took was in a local rec centre, with a friend who had to “drag” me with her, long story short, a lot has changed since that first class & the friend who first introduced me doesn’t practice at all, ironic I suppose.

I have gotten to think over the last couple of weeks how do people get introduced to yoga and do they know after the first class that this is where they need to be or does it take weeks & weeks to discover that? I have heard from many yogi’s over time that while they may drift away from their practice it is always something that they inevitably come back too, for it gives you this feeling of “coming home.”

We all know that Vancouver has a wide spectrum of yoga to offer, which is completely fantastic, but Vancouver doesn’t just consist of the downtown area or Kitsilano. Yoga studios are popping up all over BC and throughout the Lower Mainland, with a wide spectrum of teachers and styles to choose from.

Blue Skies in the Burbs! Taken on a walk through one of the many beautiful parks that the Tri-Cities has to offer.

Being a resident of the “burbs”, and while it may not have all that Kitsilano or the downtown core has to offer it does have a lot, with lots of parks, trails, lakes and so much more, the burbs kind of stand up for themselves. I’ve heard from some Vancouverites that say, Coquitlam is so far away, in fact by car it’s only 20 minutes without traffic, not bad!

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to show you some of the fantastic studios that 15, 20, 30 or 50 minutes out of Vancouver can offer you. Stay tuned & get ready to plan that trip out on a Saturday or Sunday to explore it yourself and in the meantime tell us, how did you find your path to yoga?

If any studios from Burnaby out to Abbotsford are interested in participating in my Blissful Burbs series, please drop me a line at [email protected] First up next week; Vital Energy Yoga, Port Moody.

To Speak The Truth or To Not

Over the last couple of days, after attending a couple of classes at different studios and spending time with my own students, I got to thinking about Satya (Truthfulness). For those of you who do not know, Satya is one of five Yamas. The Yamas are the first limb in the eight limb path as outlined in the Yoga Sutra.

The eight limb path suggests a program of ethical restraints or abstentions (yamas), lifestyle observances (niyamas), postures (asana), breath control (pranayama), withdrawal of the senses (pratyahara), concentration (dharana), meditation (dhyana) and absorption into the Divine (samadhi).  The yamas are about restraining behaviours that are motivated by grasping, aversion, hatred and delusion. At this point you are probably asking what do a couple of classes have to do with Satya (Truthfulness), well….

I attended a class yesterday, that in respect of Satya, was not my favourite class to say the least. The teacher seemed nervous, unsure of what she was doing and sloppily guided us through a hatha flow class that wasn’t very flowy. Being new to the teaching world, I have come to respect and always take the chance to “give them a shot,” but find I quickly decide what I like and do not like. The class jumped from Mountain Pose to Triangle, with not much direction in between, sometimes the breath was directed and sometimes it wasn’t and the teacher rarely left her mat or made any acknowledgement of the students who were in the class. I thought to myself as we muddled through the 75 minutes, is it over yet, and thought perhaps I’m being too judgemental and if i could get into my practice a little deeper than maybe she wouldn’t distract me so much. I managed to survive the mismatch of poses and while I did enjoy a couple of her pose choices, I arose from Savasana feeling a little disappointed. I was leaving not getting the yoga practice I needed or was looking for to start my day.

Now, this wasn’t the first time that I had taken this teachers class but I have always told myself that you must try things at least twice. In order to get past the weirdness and the unexpected, to go again with a clear head and some expectations of what is to come may change your judgement the second time around. As I made my way to collect my belongings I overheard some ladies “reviewing” the class in a whisper to each other about how they greatly disliked the class and the teacher. And ironically as I relayed this story to a wonderful girlfriend of mine, she told me she had encountered a similar incident the other day at yoga where some ladies were remarking on a teachers teaching style, and their lack of the “spiritual side” of yoga and how could that teacher possibly teach. All of this got me thinking about Satya, we all have comments and feedback about teachers or what we like or don’t like but yet we either say things at the wrong time or say nothing at all and why is that?

Satya requires that you consider both the spoken and unspoken aspects of your words. You don’t want to mislead through omission; neither do you have to say everything that’s on your mind – especially if it is hurtful.

As I walked out the studio I thought to myself, maybe I should give her my thoughts on her class on what I did like and didn’t like or perhaps mention that I had overheard these ladies speaking about her class. Would it have made a difference or is it better left unsaid? I strongly believe that every person’s yoga journey is different than mine or yours and that there is a teacher for every person. There are teachers we love and teachers we think are okay and teachers that we avoid, but do we ever tell them this? People are very quick to tell you if they LOVE something but very quick to “zip their lip” if they have any formal criticism. Being a teacher myself I have had the praises of how I love your class, but have yet to hear any real negative feedback, which makes me wonder, why are we not being truthful?

We spend our lives omitting the truth or avoiding the truth, but as Satya outlines speak only of the highest, use your words to elevate the listener. I wonder how many of you tell your teachers what you like and don’t like, do you find that it makes a difference in their style of teaching or do you just stop going back to the ones you dislike?

Whistler Yoga Conference

Attention Yogis in British Columbia!

You will all be very interested in the upcoming Whistler Yoga Conference, which will be held for 3 days from June 4 – 6, 2010.

Open to all levels, so come deepen your knowledge as a practitioner, or try different styles of yoga as a beginner.

With over 20 experienced yoga teachers from across Canada and over 40 seminars and workshops to choose from, it is guaranteed to be an awesome event in beautiful Whistler BC.

Vancouver Yoga Review reviewed the Vancouver Yoga Conference back in October 2009, which was a great conference with amazing teachers.

Will you be attending the Whistler Conference?

Namaste!

Yoga Association of BC: Connecting your Community

The Yoga Association of British Columbia is an organization assembled in the late 90’s which acts as a forum for advocacy, dialogue, peer-to-peer connections, and continuing education.

Check out their website to see which studios and teachers are members of YogaBC.

Yoga students, teachers and studios can all apply to become members of the YogaBC and can members can apply for extended health/dental/insurance through the organization.

Want to know what’s going around your area? Click on their Community Calendar for the latest yoga events.

Which upcoming events are you attending in Vancouver?

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