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What You Learn In Yoga Teacher Trainings

Posted on Jul 28, 2013 by in Blog | 3 comments

"What You Learn In Yoga Teacher Trainings"

When you take a yoga teacher training, one of the things that of course you learn is all about the poses.

How to do the poses.

How to do them well in your own body.

How to teach the poses.

What chakras each pose activates.

How to put the poses together in sequences for various purposes.

All about the yamas and niyamas, which actually none of my students have ever asked me about.

Sometimes you read the yoga sutras.

And of course, you read a lot of books about yoga and you are asked to do a home practice.

Pranayama, or breathing exercises.

The names of the poses in Sanskrit and English. Being that I had taught primarily in a Catholic church and sometimes in other schools and businesses, I generally used the English words so as not to intimidate anybody or make yoga sound foreign or inaccessible.

For all the learning that we do about the history of yoga, how to do the poses and how to teach the poses, nobody really talks all that much about how yoga actually works.

This is what I hope to discuss in this book.

I believe that when you understand what the yoga practice is doing you have the opportunity to take your practice to a whole new level, no matter what kind of yoga you happen to be practicing, whether it is Iyengar, Astanga, yin yoga, kundalini yoga, vinyasa yoga, Anusara yoga, what have you.

Understanding on a deeper level I felt would help the average yoga practitioner learn even more about themselves and in so doing inform not just your yoga practice but also your entire life.



  1. Hey Catherine, what about how to set up yourself as a Yoga Teacher? Are the YTTs usually covering that?

    • Hi Adriana, The yoga teacher trainings that I have attended have not gone over the business of setting yourself up as a yoga teacher. Business skills have to be developed elsewhere. The truth is, I am an entrepreneur. I own my own business and over the years have developed my own classes. I have had many clients who are yoga teachers who have lost tens of thousands of dollars running yoga studios. One client I worked with who teaches yoga had not been on vacation in ten years. If you choose to make yoga your business, it would be wise to work with a good business coach. It is wonderful to teach yoga but you do not want to get stressed out doing it because you can’t pay your own rent! Hope that helps. Catherine Carrigan

    • Hi Adriana, That is a good topic to write about. I am not sure if I am the right person to write about that as I do things a bit differently, but I can give it some thought. In general, in my life, I just decide what I want to do and then I – metaphorically speaking – drive a stake into the ground. “I’m doing THIS!” For example, I teach yoga no matter how many students show up. I teach qi gong no matter how many students show up. This is not folly because a long time ago I actually listened to a client who is a good businessman. He said to me, “Catherine, the key to business is low overhead.” I teach yoga at a church where they charge me no rent. I may not make $1 million but we are very very happy and laugh all throughout our yoga class. I teach qi gong in my garden. The flowers there charge me no rent. I decide what I want to do and how I want to live my life and then I make it work. Because I have very low overhead I can focus on my own education. I am constantly learning and growing as practitioner. For example, I just completed my sixth yoga teacher training program and finished my 500 hour certification. Now I am on my way to becoming a yoga therapist. I know other people who have lost their entire life savings running a yoga studio. I am very happy teaching yoga – I have taught for 17 years – and I have no stress about it because I do it all for love. I love what I do, I love my students and I do it in the way I am guided to do. I guess this all sounds quite corny but I am still in business, still teaching, still improving my teaching, still growing as a practitioner and all the while getting stronger and more at peace. Maybe there is something in there that will help you, I don’t know!

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