Lately there’s been absolute yoga media frenzy. My response to a NY Times article claiming that yoga can “wreck your body” went crazy viral, receiving thousands more hits than anything I’ve previously written.
Good yoga teachers are not Krispy Kreme donuts. They can’t be mass-produced on a conveyor belt. Far too many lovely but inexperienced yoga enthusiasts become teachers before become time-ripened students–resulting in too many teachers attempting to teach what they have not yet even truly assimilated themselves.
I know because I was one of them. I offer myself as Exhibit A.
I trained to teach over a decade ago, before the current Anusara curriculum was in place. Eager beaver that I was, I cut right to the chase and signed up for teacher training before I could tell my root chakra from my elbow.
I had yet to become time-ripened in my practice. I chose a training because it was geographically convenient and fit into my schedule. My cheeks are burning as I type this: I enrolled in an Anusara yoga® Teacher Training without having ever even heard of Anusara yoga.
I’d never knowingly encountered tantric philosophy. I had no interest in community, and zero idea how to align my poses. Instructions to do things like, “Put my shoulder blades onto my back,” confused and frustrated me. I didn’t belong in that training. I didn’t belong in any teacher training.
I belonged in an Immersion. Only, it didn’t exist yet.
I cried over the course of that training—a lot. Upon graduating, realizing the depth of my ignorance, I immediately enrolled in a second training. I had a lot of getting up to speed to.
Don’t be like me. Since I trained, the Anusara curriculum has been far more systematically laid out. Our training curriculum is now rigorous enough to set the bar for the yoga community at large. If you find yourself practicing in an Anusara class, you can be confident that you are with a well-trained teacher.
We don’t crank students through Teacher Training. We’ve evolved The Immersion for students–and even teachers—who want to deepen their practice and dive to the very depths of their being. Diving to the depths of your being doesn’t happen overnight. It requires some time.
The Immersion is the doorway to the Anusara method through which every serious Anusara student walks. From soup to nuts, it introduces–or deepens–the philosophy behind the practice, elucidates the optimal ways of going about practicing, and of course includes lots of actual practice–for which there is no substitute. Immersing is designed to help assimilate the various snippets you’ve already picked up in class into a bigger, cohesive picture–as well as to fill in the missing pieces.
Have you been secretly wondering exactly what your teacher means by tantra?! Are you curious about The Bhagavad Gita–starting with the correct pronunciation? Ever try reading a yoga text on your own? How’d it go? Don’t feel bad if it didn’t go so well. Yoga texts should always be studied in community with a teacher who can offer insight into them.
Want to become a teacher? Immersing is the first step. Some Immersion graduates–having actually ripened in the method–go on to learn how to teach. Some don’t. That’s exactly as it should be. (Teaching yoga is a terrible way to get rich. The only good reason to teach is a deep call to serve.)
Speaking of teacher training--I will not be offering a Level 1 Teacher Training at either of my home studios in CT this year. Instead, I will be collaborating with Elements Yoga and Blackbird Yoga to offer a year of Immersions for every kind of student, and Continuing Ed for teachers. Together we will be devoting our combined resources to offerings of deliberate, unrushed programs designed to immerse you in your juiciest, most essential self.
2012 is the official Year of The Immersion. In addition to Immersion I, II and III, get ready for a brand new Immersion–a Mythology Immersion (!) debuting this fall, where you’ll have a chance to get your deity on. Details to be announced soon. For teachers wanting to refine—there is crazy good Continuing Ed this April with Level 2 Teacher Training.
2012–it’s gonna be a rad year.
PS: (For eager beaver types who are dying do Teacher Training, don’t despair–we’ve got you covered first thing Jan 2013.)