Yoga teacher training during pandemic

With our current restriction of the COVID-19 pandemic, you might be wondering if now is the right time to start a 200-hour yoga teacher training (YTT). I said to myself, why not? Instead of wishing for the pandemic to end, a well regulated local course would suits our current situation better!

The Setup

Starting in 2021 May, I’ve embarked on a full-time Ashtanga Vinyasa 200 YTT course with Tirisula. Following the current Covid-19 restriction, we bring our yoga equipment, keep a safe distance between each other, and wear masks during the classes.

What’s in a YYT? 

Throughout the time we spent together, the classes cover three parts – practical, theory and teaching.

  1. Practical
    The instructors will guide you through the yoga poses in Sanskrit names, alignment, and the tactics and transition for the Ashtanga Vinyasa primary series pose. And of course, a lot of practices!
  2. Theory
    It covers yoga history and philosophy such as Yama and Chakra; and human anatomy such as digestive and muscle systems.
  3. Teaching
    Step by step guides you through the teaching techniques such as how to cue, make alignment adjustments and more.

The experience 

While our class made the best of the situation, it wasn’t always perfect. Here are some pros and cons I observed from my experience:

Pro: 

  1. The small class size.
    We were able to ask questions whenever they appeared and had what felt like an above-average opportunity to practice teaching. We would frequently partner up and troubleshoot our cues, help each other with alignment adjustments.
  2. The 1-on-1 connection.
    By having such a small group, you get to know everybody in the course, adding a layer of comfort when you’re vulnerable.
  3. Learning at your own pace.
    When it came to the homework assignments, you could work on them on your own time instead of needing to attend an in-person class. If you have jam-packed days, this opens you the opportunity to make it up in the following days.

Cons:

  1. The anatomy section.
    Learning anatomy with a human-size skeleton in front of you and few pictures in the manual were not ideal. It’s hard to take notes fast enough or ask for a repeat if you missed something.
  2. Practice while wearing the mask.
    I was struggling with it at the beginning. My breathing technique improved over time, and eventually, I can give instructions while doing the Sun Salutation flow with the mask on!

Final Thoughts

Overall, I enjoyed my experience with the 200hr YYT course during this pandemic time! It was definitely not easy to do a full-time program while working at the same time. But I’ve learnt so much!

I loved getting to know our small pod of yoga partitioners and rooting for everybody’s success. The instructors’ practical teaching approach made me take what I had learned into my everyday life, which made study less stressful and plays more fulfilling.

If you are considering embarking on a 200-hour YTT now, during this time of continued social distancing, doing one will still empower you with the necessary knowledge to launch your yoga teaching journey, with the bonus of a generally smaller (and more intimate) class size.