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Life as a Yoga Teacher: Another Day at the Office by Nancy Mahon U

pon walking into work today you notice the environment is calm. The faint scent in the room is pleasing to your nose. The lighting is subtle. The crowd is quiet and pleasant. Everyone in the room listens and moves in the direction you ask. After your work is completed you feel vibrant and relaxed and satisfied. Does this sound like a day at work to you? It does if you are a yoga teacher.

One of the most rewarding accom- plishments we can achieve as humans is to give of ourselves and to help others. By guiding a safe and effective yoga class, it’s easy to see why teaching yoga is so gratify- ing. Whether you are instructing a class of children at a nursery school, seniors at an assisted living facility or a group of new students at a studio, the result is the same for the teacher. You have made someone’s life a little bit better that day.

Teaching yoga is not only a path in physical fitness but one of deep consciousness as well. To teach yoga is to continue a tradition that is easily three thousand years old. To teach this authentically is to take it seriously for yourself and your students.

The Training

Becoming a yoga teacher means taking classes in a number of areas in order to gain a minimum certification of 200 hours of concentrated study. This certification is knows as becoming a registered yoga teacher (RYT). Courses include the study of asanas (the poses), pranayama (the breath work), pratyap-

to learn about anatomy, physiology and kinesiology. A good school will steep you in teaching methodology, corrections and enhancements, and different styles of yoga. Many yoga schools give you the opportunity to take your studies in the evening and week- ends through a committed program. Students should expect to be in classes for about six months. It’s a good idea to look for schools that have years of experience, not only in practicing yoga, but more importantly, certi- fying yoga teachers.

After completing the 200 hour RYT, in- dividuals can choose to continue their edu- cation with the 300 hour program, which is considered the 500 RYT. Other options

“Never think that you are stuck in a job forever. I used to sit in a cubicle crunching numbers all day, thinking: ‘Is this it for me? This can’t be the way my life was supposed to be.’ I knew there was something better out there and my yoga practice

became more than just something I did on the side; it became my ultimate dream.” ~Ashley DiMeglio, full time yoga teacher

ana (the warming up of the body), meditation (the conscious- ness, mindfulness), as well as yogic theory and history through reading of ancient text and modern day interpretations. Expect

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include yoga therapy or children’s yoga certifications. Teaching yoga can compliment an existing career or can be your sole form of employment. Yoga teachers work full-time, part-time, seasonally and everything in between. Most yoga teachers incorporate their certification skills into other areas of their work, for instance, the school teacher who uses breathwork to focus the class or the therapist who integrates poses or breathing exercises in client sessions. Healthcare workers increasingly are be- coming registered yoga teachers as they incorporate the practice not only with the patients but with the families as well. Class is over, after some conversa- tion with the students, you give the floor a sweep, look over the sign in sheet and grab your iPod. As you walk out into the fresh air you say to yourself, “I can’t believe I get paid for this.”

Nancy Mahon is the owner of Sanctuary Yoga Studios, located at 132 Park Avenue in New City. For more info call 548-1090 or visit

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