If you are interested in offering Ashtanga yoga classes at your yoga studio or fitness center, you will need to complete a formal Ashtanga yoga teacher training program. Ashtanga yoga is a system of yoga that incorporates a series of eight different poses and requires advanced skills and training. The Ashtanga yoga instructor training programs are usually offered in two formats: classic training, designed for students who want to incorporate Vinyasa yoga into their practice; and fundamental training, which is a good match for students who are new to yogasana.
What to Expect with Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Training Programs
Ashtanga yoga teacher training programs train students how to execute various poses, and also how to incorporate yogic philosophy and lifestyle concepts into their daily routine. Students learn how to impart this specialized knowledge to their own students, and how to develop their yogic philosophy and skill set.
Not all yoga training centers and schools offer Ashtanga yoga instructor training programs, so some students may need to travel out of their city to complete their training, or complete an intensive training workshop over a week or weekend at another locale. Many schools and training centers that offer a formal Ashtanga yoga teacher training program also offer certification classes and four-week intensive training programs that lead to certification.
Some schools that offer this specialized training only accept students that have included basic certification courses from a Yoga Alliance approved school. Students who choose to complete their instructor training at a retreat or through an intensive training program at a training center, may be required to attend a certain number of teaching skills workshops, participate in master yogi-led Ashtanga yoga classes, as well as meditation and chanting rituals.
Classes in an Ashtanga Yoga Instructor Training Program
Ashtanga yoga is becoming extremely popular and instructors who are trained in this specialized type of yoga may be able to attract and retain more students when offering it at their own yoga studio or a fitness center. Ashtanga yoga can be performed independently and in a group setting, but most people need to first learn the series of poses with the help of an experienced Ashtanga yoga teacher.
Many Ashtanga yoga instructor training programs include the following classes:
- Mantra and Japa
- Yogic philosophy
- Ashtanga yoga teaching techniques and methodology
- Pranayama and Mudra
- Adjustments and teaching techniques
- Anatomy and ayurveda
- Meditating instruction
Most advanced practitioners recommend practicing Ashtanga yoga poses at least three times, and up to six times per week. In order to lead an Ashtanga Yoga class effectively, the student must learn how to properly sequence each move and focus on the principles of Vinyasa (the movements between each psotruep performed). They also learn the importance of sound-induced breath (Ujjayi Pranayama), the gaze (Drishti) and the three locks or seals (Bandhas).
Aspiring teachers are also encouraged to chant the Yoga Sutras, practice meditation, and maintain a vegetarian diet and lifestyle. Ashtanga yoga requires ongoing practice, and many instructors and teachers can continue their training by taking courses in their area, and by practicing the technique at home.