Instructing Yoga with Integrity
Natural Awakenings spoke with Sara Carapezzi of The School of Royal Yoga on inspiring others to become yoga instructors and what that entails.
How do you inspire potential instructors to begin?
I focus on telling them that instructing yoga is a higher calling and a noble profession. The yoga instructor has the privilege of guiding their students to achieve greater openness, balance and health on subtle and physical levels. Students begin to feel more deeply as yoga draws them inward. They have the opportunity, in their own timing, to connect with the divine aspect of themselves. Yoga is a Sanskrit word which means “Union with God” or “Union in God” and cannot be licensed, accredited or regulated.
What education is required to become a yoga instructor?
The first step is to enroll in a professional yoga instructor certification course that is taught by an instructor who has studied yoga extensively in a sincere and devoted way. This course should cover not only the asanas, pranayama and anatomy, but dive deeply into the wisdom of yoga and, through compassion and patience, teaches each trainee the art of teaching each individual student from the heart.
In Yoga Journal’s November 2016 issue, the “What it Takes to Teach” article stated that, “Yoga is a complex practice with thousands of years of history and the ability to transform lives…Most master teachers in the West became teachers the old fashioned way; by studying for years with a mentor or guru. They didn’t keep a timesheet or checklist of anatomy training hours. Nor did they abandon a topic like philosophy after fulfilling the requisite hours of study. Rather, they devoted themselves to the practice month after month, absorbing all they could before their teachers deemed them ready to take over a class.”
To attempt to qualify yoga by modern day measurable and conventional standards of achievement or to intellectualize it, is an injustice to the sacred ancient science of yoga and diminishes the practice to simply exercise. The Yoga Journal article also refers to the Yoga Alliance mentioning that it is not a licensing, accreditation, certification or regulatory body, and has no power to audit or enforce its standards. Therefore, if you are truly seeking a yoga experience, look for a school with a direct lineage to a master.
Where does The School of Royal Yoga fit into this tradition?
The School of Royal Yoga is fortunate to have a living master of yoga. Those that have been granted the privilege of teaching our instructor certification course remain true to the ancient tradition and devote themselves daily, monthly and yearly, studying directly and continually with the yoga master. This commitment of each instructor is necessary in order to be a pure instrument of the love and wisdom of yoga, so that the yoga taught in our instructor certification course reflects this pure and ancient tradition.
Those that instruct yoga classes at the school must continue to steadily and consistently connect with the wisdom of the yoga master in order to remain true to the integrity of yoga. We are fully committed to giving our students the pure, loving experience they deserve. As each instructor develops and unfolds in the wisdom, this enables them to offer the highest to their students. Yoga is infinite and sacred.