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Designing & Promoting Yoga Immersions & Teacher Trainings to Maximize Effectiveness & Attendance

Introduction

The following information is for teacher trainers and for teachers who have a significant amount of experience with yoga and yoga teaching.

If you’re a less experienced teacher, you may be interested in perusing this section, but please know that we have other support for you. We specialize in making yoga teaching knowledge clear and accessible. So for those of you who are newer to teaching, we suggest using our study guides, knowledgebase of lessons, and teaching tools to increase your expertise. (At the same time that you’re building your knowledge, we of course recommend that you immerse yourself in your practice, seek a mentor, and build your teaching experience.

For a teacher membership, see packages & pricing. Please let us know if there’s anything more we can do to help.


The Situation

It’s common for yoga students to express an interest in taking a teacher training not because they plan to teach, but because they wish to deepen their practice and knowledge. When we see a student’s desire to deepen her understanding of yoga, we’re observing a natural and sincere evolution of practice.

Do you remember the curiosity you had before you took a teacher training? It may have been a small and nagging desire to know more, or it may have been a full-on obsession. Yoga keeps blowing our minds and improving our lives no matter where we are on the path. Once we’ve been exposed to such rich and practical knowledge, our curiosity is constantly piqued.

I propose that we’re wired to remember and reclaim our divinity and, therefore, our human experience is such that whatever spiritual path we choose, whether yoga, shamanism, a major religion of the East or West, or any combination of paths, our curiosity and desire to learn more is never fully satiated. But whatever your belief, isn’t it interesting how that desire to know more has never left you?

If you feel drawn to supporting our brothers and sisters worldwide in following their impulse to learn more and to deepen their practice, please read on for support in doing so.


A Poor Response

I’m aware of few trainers who truly and directly respond to this desire among sincere students. Instead, so often I only see offerings for the tired and inadequate “200 hour teacher training,” which requires forcing these curious students to conform to a model that is a mismatch to their needs.

In contrast, teachers and trainers who offer workshops and series that support a deepening of yogic studies are tapping into this powerful need (although I propose we can take this a big step further by offering a more comprehensive and structured path).

For many students who don’t actually want  or feel ready to teach, the common teacher training model presents major obstacles, including time and cost. And how about the fear related to being squeezed into a training that is targeted for teachers? Yikes, that’s a major obstacle, indeed. (And, frankly, I believe that the many potential students who struggle or fail to commit because of such obstacles are wise to be concerned. The fact is that their desire and the offering are, in most cases, a mis-match.)

Granted, there are a growing number of trainers who have come to explicitly acknowledge this desire and invite students to use the teacher training as an opportunity to deepen their practice without needing an intention to teach. That’s better than NOT acknowledging this vital student desire, for sure. But it’s still missing a crucial opportunity to offer a yoga immersion that is specifically designed to meet this common need.

(There is another fall-out from this common approach of only offering a “200 hour teacher training”… because so many trainings have been offered over the years using this description, we’ve got ourselves “an industry” or a “market” that has been ripe for corruption and has resulted in a glut of unprepared teachers. We’ve promoted the propaganda that was fed to us, resulting in a widespread belief that anyone who takes 200 hours of training is capable of teaching. Not only is this demonstrably untrue, it has resulted in harm. More information here and here and here.)


The Opportunity

Wouldn’t it be a boon to our world if more of the population who tasted the fruits of yoga had an easy way to step onto a more structured path, thereby gaining a deeper knowledge of yogic wisdom and a consistent and functional personal practice?

Please know that you are more resourced and prepared than most people on the planet to offer a path for curious students to deepen their  understanding and practice of yoga.

Wherever you are in the process of planning or executing on immersions and trainings, we can make it far easier and more effective for you. With our support, you can focus on mentoring and diving into the subjects where you excel. But to make this a reality, you have to believe in the idea of offering immersions and be willing to get started.

I recommend having a longer-term curriculum so that you can guide students in a structured way. (See below for access to our excellent curriculums.) In fact, I think the ultra-ideal plan would be to structure these immersions as modules that can be applied toward a teacher training with you as students so desire. For example, the philosophy immersion you offer to curious students is the same philosophy foundations module in your Yoga Teacher Training and thus, students who start out curious who then wish to pursue training already have one module complete. (I recognize this makes creating a consistent cohort not possible but I propose considering such trade-offs and meeting the need for community and connection in additional ways.) With this model, you’re not only connecting with curious students, you’re providing a more accessible and effective pathway to teaching as well.

But even if you’re not yet ready to commit to offering a more complete curriculum, you can still offer workshops or immersions in any of hundreds of yoga subjects. You may begin marketing immediately. Or you may wish to first test out the idea and some of the various formats you could offer. In that case, you might speak with and write to some of your dedicated students. Ask them questions. Run ideas by them. Listen to their responses with an ear for really hearing both the logistical concerns and the deeper needs. Sit with the ideas. Meditate. Make a decision to begin.


Designing Your Immersion Curriculum

If you’re a current trainer member, you’ve got access to the highest quality curriculums and a massive library of lessons, presentations and assessments. You might consider the following:

  1. Listen to this brief free “course” which was designed to support trainers who have reached out with questions about the complex task of designing a comprehensive curriculum for a foundations level (or 200 hour) teacher training. It includes audio lessons (totaling less than 30 minutes) and links to member resources.
  2. Or you can simply begin by selecting a subset of the Foundations Curriculum to offer your immersion students. You would, for example, delete the section on Teaching Methodology and then determine how much you want to focus on Anatomy vs. Philosophy for example.
  3. Use the Hours Planning Worksheet to brainstorm various combinations of subject matter and training types until you’re satisfied with a model to use. The spreadsheet gives relative percentages for various subjects and then computes the number of hours for a 30-hour, 100-hour, 200-hour, 300-hour training and so on. You can change the percentages and edit categories as desired.
  4. Download lessons, presentations and assessments for your lesson planning and manuals.

If you were a trainer member in the past, email us for 50% off the published rate.

If you’ve never been a trainer member, you can get more information here:

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