January 2012 – Selecting a Yoga Teacher

January being imminent, many will be making New Year resolutions and looking at fitness from the perspective of body and mind. Yoga is a practice that encompasses both. The popularity of Yoga and the choice of classes available in Dublin has increased dramatically over the past 15 years. Reading a recent article in the Irish Independent titled ‘Is Yoga actually bad for you?’ my initial thought was ‘yes’ Yoga, as with many disciplines, may be bad for you if the practice being taught is inappropriate for the individual and being taught by a teacher who does not have a professional qualification.

As there is no formal regulation of Yoga teachers in Ireland, top of the list in terms of selecting a Yoga class is to look at the prospective Yoga teacher’s training and teaching background. Speaking with and/or emailing the teacher to find out more prior to signing up for a class will also help in terms of making a decision.

A number of Yoga teachers in Dublin now also offer individual lessons. However many of these lessons are taught ‘as if’ a group class for one, as opposed to being specific the individual. Yoga taught on a one to one basis provides an opportunity to tailor practice specific to your needs and personal situation. The Yoga teacher must have been taught the skills of appropriate application. There are few teachers in Dublin, indeed in Ireland who are sufficiently qualified in this regard.

Many current Yoga trainings do not provide a sufficient grounding for teachers in the skills fundamental to the application of Yoga to the individual whether it be from a developmental, a recovery or a therapeutic perspective. It is important here to check out the training background of the Yoga teacher. For individual lessons an initial consultation where both you and the Yoga teacher meet to discuss objectives and expectations, prior to committing to individual Yoga lessons is beneficial.

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