Shriyog Institute’s team of trained teachers are intuitively compassionate and undergo rigorous training to address the differing needs of all kinds of students. Young children with their playful energies are introduced to yoga through fun while awkward teenagers are bolstered to find confidence amidst rapid changes of body and mind. The senior citizens often need a patient ear and positive encouragement which is the hallmark of all the teachers at our institute. There is nothing like a sprinkle of humour to bring new spirit to stressed out corporate executives and harried homemakers and classes are often peppered with smiles and laughter. The doors of Shriyog are open to all and the teachers patiently guide and assist those who walk in. Our teachers are ever ready to spread the message, knowledge and immense benefits of simple yoga techniques that will go a long way in maintaining health and a positive approach to all situations in everyday life.
When the guidelines of Shriyog’s teacher trainee manual were being laid down, Rajeshree looked back and took key points from her training days under the watchful eyes of her teachers- Late BKS Iyengar, Late Dr. Geeta Iyengar and Shri Prashant Iyengar. She often reminisces the positive reprimands from her gurus and owes every bit of the teacher in her, to them. Rajeshree’s learning years and path to become a yoga teacher were filled with an unfair number of hurdles in her personal and professional life, but she was unstoppable. Her upbringing in this subject is what cemented the foundation of this training program at our Institute.
The rigorous training to become a teacher at Shriyog Institute is a journey of at least 3 years. The program starts when the trainee is enrolled as a student for the first 12 months. This is followed by the trainee assisting and supporting a Level 1 Yoga Teacher at the Institute for another 6 – 12 months. Throughout this tenure, the trainee undergoes intensive study and training in asanas, pranayama theory and practice. In the third year of training, the trainee learns and gains experience in the subject and the in-depth qualifications to teach Yoga. They work as volunteers, shadowing the Institute’s trained and experienced teachers.
Just as there are unsaid rules of the universe, empathy is a very crucial unsaid rule to become a good teacher. Without empathizing with each student, a teacher cannot form a connection and carry forward the subject’s teachings. That is why during this phase of being in between of a student and teacher, Shriyog makes a trainee to be a part of different classes to observe, practice or assist which unknowingly inculcates a sense of empathy with a student as well as a teacher.
Based on their aptitude, hard work and willingness they will progress to become a full-fledged trainee in the third year or fourth year of the teacher training program. In the total duration of the teacher’s training, the trainee agrees to show competency and skill along with necessary grades to pass the examinations conducted by the institute to assess the capability and knowledge of the trainee in the field of teaching yoga as per the benchmark of the institute.
Yog is a very sacred subject which cannot be learnt by a reading a book or watching online tutorials. The knowledge has to be passed down in a truthful manner, from a learned individual to one who seeks to learn about the subject. At Shriyog, we strongly believe in the age-old guru-shishya parampara or the mentor-student system. Each trainee has a mentor who guides him/her through the entire training period. This vigilant one on one teaching and learning ensures every detail is looked into without a trainee going astray. The guru-shishya method also helps to retain the individuality of every trainee. The guru adapts the teaching methods to match the wavelength of the shishya to maximize learning and stir the passion from the heart. Hence, no two Shriyog teachers are the same!
Rajeshree looks into each trainee’s progress personally from time to time. From randomly quizzing them in between an asana class to testing their knowledge on a sutra, she invokes the desire to learn and keeps the interaction flowing. A firm non-believer in any sort of hierarchy, you will find her practicing around an eager trainee explaining the alignment of a particular asana, following up on literature study or sometimes even reminding him/her the correct use of a prop. Seeing her fierce passion, this inspires trainees to dive further into the subject.
At the bottom line, our teacher training program was begun to carry forward our vision statement- to spread the subject of yog. We at Shriyog, strive to imbibe this in every trainee so as to get one step closer to our aim!