One Yoga Teacher’s Journey to Greater Confidence and Skill:
spotlight on Amanda Walker, participant in the on-going Advanced Teacher Training (Yoga University)
Q: Amanda, after your initial training, did you did you feel confident and ready to teach?
A: After training, and earning my certificate, I was excited to teach! With one-on-one private clients I felt confident because they were my only focus. However, my confidence was not 100% when it came to working with groups of students in traditional classes. I questioned whether completing my basic certification was enough.
Q: You’re now part of an Advanced Teacher Training (ATT) program at Yoga from the Heart. What was it about this ATT program that interested you?
A: Lynn Burgess! When I first came to Yoga from the Heart, I was drawn to Lynn as a teacher. I immediately wanted to watch and learn everything I could from her. When I saw she offered an Advanced Teacher Training (ATT) program, I jumped right on it. I don’t even recall asking questions beyond, “How do I get in?”
Q: Where did you complete your original 200-hour teacher training?
A: I completed my 200-hour Teacher Training through Joy Yoga University. It gave me a good foundation, but I knew there was more to learn. There is ALWAYS more to learn!
Q: How does the Advanced Teacher Training (ATT) at Yoga from the Heart differ from your original training at Joy Yoga University?
A: My first training broke down the history of yoga, beginning anatomy and techniques for teaching safely. It gave me the basics to teach smart but Lynn’s ATT dives so much deeper into the art of intelligent teaching. It also keeps me sharp. From cues to sequences, we are constantly asking why; explaining why a cue or pose is not the most effective for what you want your students to learn in each class.
Q: What has changed/improved for you since participating in the training?
A: This has changed the way I teach for the better. I am always looking at my sequencing and cues from all different angles. I think to myself, if Lynn and our group were here, what would they think or suggest?
Q: Have you received feedback from your students since you started the advanced teacher training with Lynn?
A: Since starting ATT, I have received such kind feedback from my students. They have said that my cues are helpful and clear. I have students who had never practiced before, and even told me they were sure they could not do yoga, come back again and again after their first class…the joy on their faces is beautiful. Students share with me that they enjoy how my class makes them feel mentally and physically.
Q: The benefits your students are receiving from your growth as a teacher are fabulous! But I’m curious to know how you feel the continuing education received in ATT benefits you as an instructor?
A: If we as teachers are not constantly learning and growing, we become complacent. Our teaching becomes routine and uninspiring. I do not want to be satisfied with instructing physical movement only—I want to inspire, motivate, and create understanding. I want to always be aware of the cutting-edge teaching tools in my field. I want to provide the best learning environment for my students, so they can fall in love with yoga just as I did. I want our love for the practice to fill the room.
Q: What are your plans for your future continuing education?
A: I plan to continue to learn and grow. Lynn will always be my mentor, someone with whom I share the good and the bad experiences as a yoga teacher. She will also always be my friend. The universe truly brought us together and I am so appreciative to her.
Writer: Dianne Ochiltree is a graduate of Yoga from the Heart’s Teacher Training Program, a 200-hour RYT with the Yoga Alliance, and has happily served as Lynn Burgess’s teaching assistant at weekly gentle yoga classes for Parkinson’s disease students. She is also a children’s author and freelance editor (www.dianneochiltree.com).