When the idea first popped into my head of becoming a yoga teacher, I was shocked and a little fearful.
I’m not strong enough. I'm not flexible enough. What if I was laughed at because I wanted to be a yoga teacher. What if I'm not inspiring enough? What if no one comes for class? I worry I wasn't good enough I need more time - I was like maybe a year into my practice and still finding my way. #dreadedvoicesinmyhead
But I couldn't shake off the thought. What brought up the mid-life crisis was a question asked during a discussion a Baptiste Yoga workshop:
What would you do in your life if you could not fail? If absolutely anything is possible, if money is not a problem?
And I wrote:
I would quit my job, travel the world and teach yoga.
Teach yoga! Okay it sounded alien when I said it out loud then, but the more I thought about it, the more desire I had in my heart. I taught dance before; I could teach yoga. Yes. Why not?
But which one? There's so many. Do I do it in Singapore or overseas? Would Helen (my ex-boss) allow me to take a month leave for training?
Here's how I chose my teacher training - I hope it worked for you as much as it did, in shaping my yoga teaching path.
4 tips to choosing a Teacher Training thats right for you
Ask yourself what style of yoga lights your Being when you practice? Or which is the style that makes you enjoy yoga more than anything else?
You need to teach what you love and what you enjoy doing. You are paying a lot of money for this yoga teacher training course. You don't go for a Hatha training when you clearly love to move and breathe; A Vinyasa course would be a better option. And vice versa. And you don't go for Bikram Yoga-styled Teacher Training, if you hate the heat and you don't practice the 26 postures at all.
Each style has its own way of teaching that works and is unique. Plus you don't want to dread the time there; a 200 hour teacher training is intensive and long. You would want to look forward to waking up at 530am every morning for 3 -4 weeks.
Once you've found the style, look for someone whom you want to study with.
Best thing is if you can attend their class face-to-face or follow their youtube channel and see if you like him or her. It's important to have some kind of connection so you won’t end up spending all that money and realised that you can’t stand the person’s voice or whatever.
**If they are not in Singapore, nor are they active online - know what?! Just trust the voice inside of you; Ask your teacher or mentor for advice. Do more research and be very sure that this is the style that really lights you up.
budget and save up!
There is a lot of yoga teacher training courses available locally and internationally. Be prepared to fork out at least S$2,000-$4000, though some teacher training programs cost much more. If you are doing an overseas training course, you will need to factor in additional items like flight, , baggage allowance, travel costs (to the yoga studio/centre), accommodations and food, pre- and post-training shopping money, foreign exchange risk and your personal security etc.
The other thing to check is if the organiser does payment schemes i.e. have the payments spread over a period of time.
How much time do you have?
A typical 200 hour yoga teacher training is usually conducted over one month program so make sure you BLOCK OUT some time off from work or ask for a sabbatical. Some trainings are modular base or on a part-time basis (spread over a couple of months or even a year, or over several weekends.) which makes it easier, timing wise for some people.
I did my 200 hours Power Vinyasa Yoga teacher training with Power Living in Australia.
I knew I wanted to teach Power Vinyasa because that style lights me up. The choice was either Power Living or Baptiste Yoga. I wasn't ready to do a Baptiste Level 1 yet and the Baptiste Institute didn’t have a a 200 hour teacher training back then. I felt that I needed to clock in the full "Yoga Alliance accredited hours" to get me the papers to qualify to teach.
I chose Power Living because:
- It was recommended by my Baptiste Yoga teacher, Tryphena
- The facilitators were trained under the Baptiste Methodology
- Australia is closer to Singapore than the USA
- I was working for an Australian company who paid me partially in AUD
- It was on a modular basis, so I travelled 5 times to Australia, so it saved me my job. (which I quit 3 months after :P)
Everything seemed to fall into place, like magic.
I was fortunate as well to be able to take a class or make that one week of yoga with Duncan Peak, the founder of Power Living, when they coincidentally held their first yoga retreat in Bali. There I met, the inspiring Kristin Clark and Keenan Crisp. Thus I made the life-changing decision of attending their next intake of teacher training.
The only disadvantage I felt in doing my training overseas was that I don't have a community of local yoga teachers for support, to connect with and to get feedback from.
I have no regrets though. One of my childhood dreams was to study overseas and this experience though short - was fulfilling.
Personally I think it is best to take time off somewhere to do the teacher training, so that you are fully committed and you don't have to deal with work or worldly stuff. Obviously it all depends on your lifestyles and what is available to you right now. Do what you need but most importantly, keep in mind these tips.
It took me a while to get where I am, to know the people I know, I don't have to know many, and create my own Baptiste Yoga Singapore community.
Today, I'm a certified Baptiste Yoga Teacher. I got there in the end. :)
I am doing what I love right now.
I'm so blessed.
I want to teach Power Vinyasa yoga
Someone asked me if they can still teach Power Vinyasa even if they've only done a Hatha or Vinyasa teacher training?
Firstly, it doesn't mean that because I did a Power Vinyasa training, that I am instantly an amazing Power Yoga teacher. No, it took time and a lot of messiness; and guess what I'm still practising at my craft.
However, there is a certain quality that is needed to teach a powerful Vinyasa class. It could be the sequence which is usually fixed like Baptiste Yoga or Ashtanga and/or it could be the methodology ie the words used.
I'm grateful for my training because it made me the teacher I am today.
And so you Yes, you can still teach power vinyasa - the learning may be instantaneous for you, or it may take more time and additional training.
Power is not in the volume of the voice nor the strength nor fanciness of the poses, but in your willingness to be a Yes.
I was inspired by how my teacher, Tryphena - she really spoke to my body and my mind; more than the other teachers did. And the difference was that she was a certified Baptiste Teacher. She had other training, but from my experience, if you want to be more than a teacher, do a Baptiste Yoga training. It transforms you from the inside out.
Or do what you want!
Yoga is your life-long practice, be it as a student or a teacher. You choose what you want to do.
Power Vinyasa Training options
I can only recommend what worked for me and what I think will work for you.
- 200hours Yoga Alliance certification
- Power Living - they hold 200 hour yoga teacher training all over Australia and New Zealand. Cost is A$3,499 (for a 1 month intensive) and A$4,899 for a modular training (4 weekends plus a 1 week retreat immersion in Bali).
- Baptiste Yoga now holds 200 hour Expand your Power training in the USA, which costs US$3,600. But my teacher Tryphena do hold trainings in Hongkong once a year; you can check with Pure Hong Kong for more information.
- If you are in Oklahoma, you are so fortunate. Trish Corley of New Angle Yoga- a certified Baptiste Teacher, who used to live in Singapore, now resides there - will be holding her teacher training there soon. Contact her here for more information.
- To be a Certified Baptiste Yoga Teacher
Even if you have completed the 200 hour Expand your Power , you can only call yourself a Baptiste-Inspired Yoga teacher and that you are teaching Baptiste Inspired Yoga.
There are 3 tiers to becoming a BAPTISTE-CERTIFIED TEACHER. The first Tier requires you to complete:
- Level One: Journey into Power Training AND Level 2: Sannyasin's Journey Training
- Art of Assisting Training
- 35 approved elective program hours
- 50 hours of teaching Baptiste Yoga
For more information, click here.
In 2017, they held their first Art of Assisting in Singapore and in 2018, they held the 1st Level One training in Phuket. Hopefully, there'll be more to come.