Teacher training

Submitted by dcooper on Mon, 10/09/2006 - 12:07.

Hi all,

Can anyone recommend any good teacher training courses? How much should one expect to pay? What is the duration of these course ?

Many Thanks



It depends entirely what you

It depends entirely what you want to get out of it, but - If you want to deepen your understanding and practise of yoga, as well as having a profound personal experience which will qualify you to teach... then i recommend the Sivananda teacher training. It is very pure yoga, taught with love. The course is one month, very intensive, and costs about a thousand pounds, depending on where you do it. I recommend India.

What do you want to get out of it, if you don't mind my asking?

Hi Ben,Thank you for the

Hi Ben,

Thank you for the advice... The Sivananda course sounds really good. Who do I need to contact to find out more? 

So what do I want to get out of it.... hmm tough question...., well I have been doing yoga (mainly astanga, although not exclusively) for about five years and it has slowly consumed more of my life. It something that I really love doing.

I currently have no real intention to teach, although who knows - maybe one day that may happen. However, I would like to deepen my knowledge and submerse in the study of yoga and as I see what better way to do that than to take a teacher training course.


Thanks again



Sounds good to me! I think

Sounds good to me! I think you'll really like the Sivananda course. It's actually not geared so much towards training teachers as it is towards training yogis. It's extremely challenging, but it is a yoga course after all! You'll be amazed at what they can teach u in a month. The great thing about the Sivananda organisation is that it's a charity, that exists solely for the propagation of yoga - no one in the organisation gets paid. It's all done for love, and that's pretty rare these days isn't it? I hope that if you do it you get as much out of it as i did. Good luck!

Ben - it's interesting to

Ben - it's interesting to hear you had such a positive experience doing the Sivananda course. I've heard many other people praise it, too - and. like Darren, I'd love to do it (and for similar reasons).

One thing that does slightly concern me, though, is knowing how well recognised it is as a yoga qualification? Although it's an intensive course, a month seems to be a pretty short time in which to become a qualified teacher.

The whole teacher training thing seems to be a bit of a minefield in that there are so many different, almost competing, bodies (British Wheel, Yoga Alliance etc) and it's difficult to know which of the courses are most recognised and acknowledged.

 Any thoughts really welcome!





Editor - Yoga-abode

Yes, good question. How can

Yes, good question. How can they train u in a month? The course is based on the ancient tradition of the Gurukula system: The way yoga was handed down over the millenia was that the Guru would take students into his home - usually when they were about 8. ( Guru  means teacher, Kula means home ). So they would live, work, and study with their teacher. In this way the teachings were not so much taught, as transmitted and absorbed. If you do the Sivananda t.t.c. you live one month in an ashram side by side with senior disciples of one of the greatest yogis of modern times. You have the opportunity to absorb his teachings and his energy. And it is really intense - up at 5.30, finish at 10.30, not much time to think in between. They cram a lot in to a month, believe me. And the intensity serves it's opwn purpose...

Also, it's the oldest teacher training in the west. It's been going well over 30 years, and is recognised world wide. I've taught for 6 years now all over London and the world, and never once had a problem. There is an insurance company - yoga link: http://www.yoga-link.co.uk/ - that provides specially cheap insurance for Sivananda yoga teachers, and every year it gets cheaper!

Swami Vishu-devananda set up the ttc because he had a deep meditation in which he saw the world in flames. He felt that if he trained enough peace-loving yogis, the world could perhaps be saved. In other words, the motivation behind the course is very pure. If you do it, do it with a keen mind and an open heart, and you will come away feeling extremely fulfilled, with enough energy to last a lfetime of dedicated yoga practice.

Thanks for your thoughts,

Thanks for your thoughts, Ben - very interesting. You're definitely inspiring me (even more!) to give the course a whirl! Thanks, also, for the insurance link.

One other question - I've heard fab things about the Sivananda TTC course in Kerala but am not sure, from the Sivananda website, which one this is. If you happen to know which one I mean I'd love to know its name. Thanks!


Editor - Yoga-abode


This one:


It's where i did my ttc. All the ashrams have their pros and cons, but kerala is beautiful, and close to my heart. You'll be chanting every day, morning and night, and after a month, u'll feel so damn good - makes me a tad jealous thinking about it actually. I'm going back there, but not for a while Cry

Piece of advice - if u do decide to do it, get down to the centre in Putney before u go, get some books there, and do a few classes and meditations - Satsangs. It'll get u into the right frame of mind. I'd never done any chanting b4 i got to the ashram and i was a bit freaked out at first. If u have any more questions don't hesitate...

Thanks, Ben - looks

Thanks, Ben - looks fantastic. I'm determined to do it now!



Editor - Yoga-abode

I'm just re-opening this

I'm just re-opening this thread because the subject is especially pertinent for me at the moment.

I've grabbed the bull by the horns and signed up for the Sivananda Teacher Training course in northern California this May. I can't wait to do it, though realise it's gonna be tough.

I do intend to teach afterwards - but have had very mixed feedback as to how well (or not) regarded the Sivananda TT course actually is.

Two major yoga centres in London have told me they'd be "very unlikely" to employ someone with "just" a Sivananda qualification, because, they say, it doesn't go into enough detail regarding alignment and anatomy.

I know probably about 6 graduates of the Sivananda teacher training course now - and they've had no problems at all getting work.

There does, however, seem to be a very mixed bag of opinon as to how well regarded this course is, and while this doesn't put me off doing it for a minute (I want to do it for other reasons too - not purely to teach) I am a bit concerned that opinions about its credibility vary so much.

With my journalist's hat on (sometimes rather tricky to shake off!) I'd say it's more evidence in favour of regulating yoga teacher training. At the moment it seems like a bit of a lottery, and a confusing one at that.

Any thoughts, anyone?



The problem is this

The problem is this fixation with alignment and anatomy - focusing on the body. Yoga is primarily intuitive, and the best thing about the Sivananda training is it's focus on this aspect, awakening our intuition. If you go to India and inquire amongst those that really understand what yoga is: "where can i find a good yoga ttc with plenty of focus on alignment and anatomy" i guarantee you will make them laugh. But we are not from India, where the culture is based on spirituality, we are from another world, the West, where our culture is based on materialism.

As for these so called "major yoga centres", they have to contend with many issues that have nothing to do with yoga - profit, covering their backs against law suits etc, and brand / image consciousness. They are essentially businesses.

I do understand your dilemma though, it's a tough one. Whatever you decide to do, let your decision be based on love not fear, and the path will open before you.

Ben Ralston

Prem Yoga School


Thanks for your reply, Ben -

Thanks for your reply, Ben - you make some pertinent points, and it's good to see someone out there who's at least as cycnical (or realistic?) as me!

I think your point about the huge difference in emphasis, and culture, between the "West" and the "East" - and how yoga is interpreted so differently - is an important one.

I'm all booked onto the Sivananda teacher training course in Northern California this May, so bring it on!



Editor - Yoga-abode

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