One of the most common questions we get from potential trainees for our foundational 200 hour vinyasa yoga teacher training is, do you think I'm ready? If you are thinking about this, you are not alone. Most who show up to their first day of training are wondering if they are ready, glancing over at the other trainees and their yoga practice. Is she stronger than me? Is he more enlightened than me?
We've had trainees from all walks of life graduate our program with flying colors. An 18 year old recent high school graduate having a taste of freedom. A 63 year old former marketing director looking for change. A 23 year old medical student on a gap year. A 34 year old psychologist in-between jobs. Along with most of our trainees (we've graduated over 100 at the time of writing), they have a few things in common. Do you recognise yourself in any of this?
Read about our next 200 hr vinyasa yoga teacher trainings here. And feel free to contact us if you want to discuss if our training is the right one for you!
Less of a career choice, more of a heart's desire. That's what brought most yoga teachers to start teaching. Yet, it is certainly a profession, no matter to what degree you end up teaching. Here are few things we'd like to share that might help you if you are thinking about becoming a yoga teacher.
Interested in a vinyasa teacher training? Check out our Yoga Alliance certified 200 hour trainings here ›› And our certified Advanced vinyasa teacher training here ››
Every now and then when looking for vinyasa class planning inspiration, all you need is a picture of one fun, funky, surprising, modern yoga pose variation. That one, where you go "Ha, I've never tried that".
Then you roll out your mat, play with the pose variation, break it down, and your whole class sort of unfolds. Vinyasa is beautiful that way, as teachers we are free and unlimited to explore, play, offer up new exciting dishes and flavours.
Just remember that including a funky yoga pose will ask something from you. Make sure you try everything about the pose, transitioning in and out of the pose, find the easier versions of it to guide it well to all levels of yogis, and of course sequence it into your class in a sensible, pedagogic and intelligent way. Have fun sequencing your next funky and playful vinyasa class!
1. Humble Flamingo
2. Variations of Camel pose
3. Goddess pose variation with a big smile
Photo: Pinterest/Christina Michelle
4. Crazy triangle pose
5. Forearm wheel with lounge legs
6. Pistol squat hold
Photo: Pinterest/Erica Tenggara
As vinyasa teachers we constantly crave and look for new and fun transitions, don't we? How to guide students from one pose to the next with elegance and maybe a little innovation is an art. Here are three fun, playful transitions that might give a little edge to your next vinyasa flow yoga class. To see them in movement, there are links below. You can find more moves if you head over to Elin's Instagram account and look under reels!
1. All fours to high lunge
From all fours, inhale to extend the right leg back. Exhale to lift left knee and draw right knee into chest (big image). Inhale lower left knee, right leg presses back. Exhale lift left knee, draw right knee to chest. Now inhale to three legged dog. Exhale to step the foot forward between the hands. Inhale arms up to high lunge. See the reel here.
2. Three legged dog to camel pose
From three legged dog, exhale to shift forward to three legged chaturanga. Inhale to upward facing dog. Exhale to sit back on your heels, grabbing the heels. Inhale press hips and chest forward to camel pose. Exhale to come all the way to down dog or child's pose. See the reel here.
3. Dolphin pose to chaturanga
Establish dolphin pose, ensuring that the elbows are pointing straight back, hands shoulder width apart. On an exhale, keep the elbows bent and shift the chest forward, squeezing the elbows in until landing in chaturanga. The arms never straighten. Inhale to up dog and exhale to down dog. See the reel here.
At the time of writing this, True North Vinyasa has graduated close to one hundred amazing, authentic vinyasa flow teachers at the 200 hr level. At this point we are getting ready to start designing a program on the 300 hr level (the two certificates combine into a 500 hr certificate). Our current plan is to launch the program in 2022. But we'd like your help in our pursuit to put together the best possible program!
If you are a yoga teacher, let us know what you are craving and longing for in an advanced teacher training. What is the most important for you? Please take 5-10 minutes and help us by filling out the survey below. More information about the advanced teacher training (we can tell you already that we'll have a lot of practice, anatomy, vinyasa sequencing and yoga business on the schedule!) will follow later this spring/summer.
Link to the survey
Elin & Lisa
At the moment, Yoga Alliance has extended the possibility for yoga schools to offer yoga teacher trainings online for at least another year. Chances are, this is a permanent shift. It's now possible to join a certified training anywhere at anytime, for as little as €350. A difficult choice for someone interested in becoming a yoga teacher just became even more difficult. How do you compare a €350 training with a €4500 training? We think you don't.
We discussed moving our training online when the pandemic first hit. Ultimately, our decision is firm. We will not offer our program online. These are some reasons why.
So, instead of re-inventing our program and trying to squeeze it into a screen, we will stubbornly stick with our 3 week intensives through 2021 as well. This is what we are passionate about. This is what we do best.
PORTUGAL APRIL 2021
SWEDEN SEPTEMBER 2021
PORTUGAL NOVEMBER 2021
If you're a yoga teacher, you're also an online yoga teacher now. Whether you like it or not. Overheard in a yoga podcast last year, oh so true. We've had to adapt and adjust, fumble around with cables, software and angles like never before. Here are a few things we've learned so far about teaching vinyasa flow online to a live group.
Your can find both Elin, Lisa and Nazareno online streaming away in the winter and spring of 2021. Take a class with one or all of us to get an idea of what you can expect in a daily practice at a 200 hour vinyasa teacher training.
Inpsiro Yoga's (Lisa & Nazareno) Virtual Studio ››
Elin Jensen's Virtual Studio ››
We are at the half way point of our 200 hour Vinyasa Teacher Training immersion in Portugal. We are fortunate to be in this educational and personal growth bubble for three long weeks. Under the olive tree, soaking up the sun, we asked everyone to share one of their insights so far. Ten days with 2 hour morning practices and long hours loaded with lectures, discussions and workshops covering everything from the Yoga Sûtra and Human Anatomy to teaching sun salutations and learning hands-on assists. Here is what some of our trainees shared.
I have learned the value of routines. It's good for me.
I feel safe and accepted just being who I am.
I've discovered how much I love sequencing and even drawing stick figures.
I've learned that a challenging pose can be a positive thing. It hasn't always been like that for me.
I have learned to enjoy the process.
I have realised the power of intention setting.
In our yoga teacher trainings, on the very first day, we ask our students this question. What makes a great yoga teacher? Not a good yoga teacher. Great. It's always a fantastic discussion. We end up with a long list of qualities that a great yoga teacher should have and quickly realise we may or may not have the time to develop them in the 200 hours ahead. But as hard as it is to sequence a class, separate left from right, and communicate the depth of yoga to a room full of people, even when all this is in place a yoga teacher can still be, well just good.
This discussion is important. How do we go from good to great? Do all great yoga teachers fill the room in the big cities? And, if a yoga teacher is popular and has a huge following, does that mean she must be great? Does a yoga teacher in a big high profile studio teach at a higher level than one in a small town space with 8 students? Think about it. Who is a memorable yoga teacher you have come across? One that you were willing to change your own schedule for. One whose class you cancelled when you heard there would be a substitute teacher. What did she have that the others didn't have?
What we have found is that great yoga teachers don't always come in the format of sold out high profile events. The primary quality of a truly great yoga teacher we believe is presence. The ability to truly connect. To work in a dialogue with the students, to see them, to be there in every cell and breath. Keep your eyes open – you can come across a great teacher anywhere at anytime.
In this the year of the mighty Covid-19, the connection of course is challenged. That dialogue with students is always compromised when teaching online. Not to mention when training teachers online. For a brief moment there, we were tempted to move our training to an online format. It seemed like the only way. But it never felt right by our trainees and everything we worked for and stand for.
We are so very grateful to our trainees this year, who have stayed with us and moved their dates forward. With your support and trust, we've been able to stay with our original concept: in-person immersion vinyasa teacher trainings with, you guessed it, human presence and connection for three long weeks. We managed to pull off an in-person training with 12 beautiful souls in Sweden in September. At the time of writing this, we are looking forward to our up-coming sold-out training in Portugal November 2–22, 2020.
Articles about the world of teaching and living Vinyasa Flow Yoga by Elin Jensen and Lisa Andersson Rhodiner