What is the Difference Between the Skanda Yoga teacher Training program and other schools? This is a question I have received a lot while teaching in Miami and I’m only able to give a short answer to students. Here is the long answer in this blog. The main difference is that most schools will give you a certificate for paying the fee and showing up. To pass the Skanda Yoga teacher training program and receive a certificate, then you must pass three final exams and turn in one final 40-hour take home test. One final exam is a blindfolded test over 108 Sanskrit names of asanas. The other exams are a live teaching test and a 4-hour written test. If you don’t pass any of the exams, then you have the opportunity to study more and re-test when ready.
The Skanda Yoga 200hr teacher training is a four-month course but it takes most students at least six months to finish all of the requirements, and some students can take up to two years to complete the program. This is because we work with teachers until they are ready to teach, and it is a process that cannot be rushed, as it takes a lot of time to become a good teacher. A lot of teacher training programs are over one month, which is attractive for students who think they will be certified teachers. However, it is really it is a disservice to them and to the yoga community as a whole, because it has watered down the quality drastically. Our intention is to offer a high-quality power vinyasa training program and to craft amazing teachers that transmit the sacred art of yoga with elegance.
Another major difference in our training program is that we have techniques for our verbal instructions just like for asana, which gives the teacher skills to guide students at all levels and body types. Most schools don’t give any guidance to how to use your voice as a tool or how to organize the alignment principles. Other schools will give you a script to repeat like a robotic instructor. Skanda Yoga teachers have many options for how to guide students through a sequence by using connecting instructions, balancing action instructions, directional energy instructions, refining form instructions, and heart-inspiring theme-based instructions.
The Skanda Yoga training prepares teachers to instruct 20 different sequences at three main levels. This ensures that teachers never get bored and students never feel stagnant in their practice. Having a different sequence and energetic theme to teach every day keeps the practice fresh and fun. Most training programs will only offer 1 or 2 sequences to trainees during their program, which is good if that is all you want to do for the rest of your life. There is also a great deal of emphasis on adjustments and assisting students in the Skanda Yoga program. We employ the use of “liquid hands of steel” to give safe, secure, and effective adjustments to students. This allows them to feel the correct alignment, action, and potential in asana. This is often an are left out of courses that teachers then have to receive through a continuing education course.
Skanda Yoga has several books to facilitate the learning process. The Practice of Skanda Yoga details the technique and dynamic alignment utilized. The Classes of Enchantment text details 69 power yoga sequences: 4 beginner classes; 20 main classes (at 3 progressive levels); and 5 advance classes. There is the Skanda Yoga Practice mobile app to facilitate the learning and practice of the sequences, which is also a great reference guide when teaching. The website, www.skandayoga.com has a section under Teacher Training where you can “test your knowledge.” This is a flash card asana quiz that can be used for studying. The Skanda Yoga Teacher Training also has a course manual that covers all of the adjustment techniques, anatomy, mythology, and philosophy.
A lot of graduates from of other local training programs have gone through our 200hr program to complete their teaching skill set. This is a really great thing to do. I personally did a 500hr year long teacher training, then an intensive training with Richard Freeman, and then three other Anusara teacher trainings. I continued to study and learn from other teachers even after completing all of those trainings. The practice of yoga is endless and trying to digest all of it would be equivalent to turning yourself into a black hole. All teachers should feel inspired to continue learning and have the resources to do it. This is why we offer a 300hr program after completing the 200hr. We also take pilgrimages to India to South India to the sacred temples of Skanda. The Skanda Yoga teacher training program is ultimately different because it connects you to the oldest civilization on earth that continues to honor and worship the spiritual warrior.
If you feel you are up for a challenge and want to embark on a great learning safari, then please drop me a line and ask any other questions about the course. Om Skandaya Namaha!!