Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings Sarasota / Manatee / Charlotte

Yoga Teacher's Training

Jun 01, 2012 05:53PM

The leisure of summer often brings the opportunity for new experiences and broadening horizons. Travel widens a person’s perspective and gives clarity to the world, so visiting Disney World or taking a trip to the Caribbean is fun, but no destination can make as big an impact as traveling within to explore your own heart and mind.

Yoga teacher’s training not only provides yoga enthusiasts with the training and confidence to teach yoga as an alternate career or side job, but the course also dives deep into the core philosophy and theory that makes the practice of yoga a deeply poignant, life–altering experience.

Getting in great shape with steady physical practice and learning proper technique, anatomy, history, & hands-on corrections is only one part of yoga training. Beyond this, students study the yoga sutras, chakra theory, intention setting, and they engage in vibrant group discussions to explore yoga beyond the mat. At ReFlex Arts, students in the RYT-200 training start by demystifying yoga. They openly evaluate the pros and cons of commercializing and franchising yoga in America. Only after yoga is deconstructed and then put back together as the vibrant, beautiful practice it can be, will “big yoga” (the name the director, Ginny East, uses to describe authentic yoga as a tool for self-discovery and therapy) find perspective.

Many programs teach a single method of yoga, such as Bikram, Ashtanga or Anusara, and students who already have had broad exposure to the vast array of yoga styles available and have found the one style that speaks to them may be well served to train only in the method of their choice. But many people find themselves teaching classes in places with a diverse population, such as an office building, gym, recreational center, or at vacation resorts. In these circumstances, students appear with varied experience and expectations. A program that helps a new teacher recognize and understand the differences and similarities among various yoga methods not only provides a broad base to draw from, but prepares the instructor to teach a variety of levels, types of classes, and individuals from any and all yoga paths. Most importantly, people come to teacher’s training with certain assumptions, but as their awareness and skill set grows, they discover yoga might take them directions they never expected.

“They say, when the student is ready, the teacher appears. And while many people are becoming yoga certified, not all of them are finding jobs because they lack a unique and strong voice that others can relate to or want to follow,” East says. “I believe each one of us has something special to offer the world, and there is no one-size-fits-all pre-ordained series of poses or words to define yoga. Therefore, I’m careful not to create teachers who are a carbon copy of me, going through the motions of my classes as if that is the one true way of teaching yoga.

“I present a wealth of information and differing opinions, and encourage everyone to embrace only what rings absolutely true to them personally,” she continues. “Each aspiring teacher is encouraged to develop his or her instincts, and then consider their life experience and special gifts while developing a class. Only if you have conviction and trust in your knowledge and skill will you be a truly dynamic teacher.”

Many of the graduates of the ReFlex Arts RYT-200 program have gone on to teach traditional hatha yoga classes privately and in area studios, but just as many have chosen to tap into their personal skills and experience to create unique classes that define their niche in the business. Graduates include teachers now offering classes in circus & aerial yoga, Christian Yoga, Yoga for addiction recovery, Yoga for overweight individuals, and hybrid classes, such as yoga/pilates and yoga/dance.

The attitude that the wider the umbrella of knowledge the stronger a graduate will be has inspired ReFlexto include a great deal of additional training to their program. The course covers all the required basic training defined by Yoga Alliance, but also includes Reiki Level 1 certification, aerial yoga certification, and this summer, chair yoga certification as well. An evening of Kirtan, an outdoor retreat day, and other surprises make the program as inspirational and fun as it is educational.

“We believe this course is so life altering that everyone should go through it, whether they have aspirations to become yoga teachers or not. The journey changes people from the inside out,” David Shaddock, one of the ReFlex trainers, says.

Making yoga accessible to all is an important part of ReFlex’s mission statement, so the school offers RYT training for far less than the cost of other programs in the area, and the tuition includes the extra certifications, unlimited classes for the duration of the training and more. The summer immersion course features the lowest price and shortest time frame, but the school also offers a 4 month weekend course in the fall and a new once-a-week daytime course for people who can’t give up their weekends or evenings. “We have a program for every lifestyle, and they are all affordable,” Shaddock says.

If students do not feel ready to teach at the session’s end, they are welcome to continue on in future sessions without charge. Some of the graduates return to reinforce their understanding of one facet of the training, such as anatomy or yin yoga, while others have chosen to take the entire course a second time to gain a stronger information base before they begin teaching on their own.

“If you trust us to help you become a yoga teacher, we’ll do whatever it takes to get you there,” East says. “No one should invest the money and time in yoga training and walk out the door ill-prepared or lacking confidence. We work with our students until they’re truly ready to share their yoga with others. Of course, it’s not like having them hang out for a while longer is a sacrifice. Yoga training connects the people involved on deep levels, so our students are also our friends. We will always support our friends and help them walk confidently in the direction of their dreams.”

The summer Immersion RYT-200 course at ReFlex begins June 29th. For more information call 941 359-9642 or visit the website at to read about the program and see a slideshow featuring highlights from former sessions.

Natural Awakenings of Sarasota March 2020 Digital Edition