Saturday, March 8, 2008

Teacher Training Explained

Teacher Training, abbreviated tt by most, is actually held by Bikram himself, though loads of other people teach classes and seminars and lectures. For our training, there will be about 300 people from all over the world. There are several components to the training (see the official curriculum here), but in a nutshell...

1) Anatomy
2) Dialogue
3) Practice
4) Posture Clinic
5) Logistics/Practicalities

Anatomy is taught in relation to each posture - and in my usual classes, I love this! "You are compressing the thyroid and parathyroid..." ... "You are massaging your liver..." Bikram is a yoga that impacts your body from the inside-out, and when you're suffering/struggling in a posture, for me anyhow, knowing the goodness that comes from it helps! I want to share this with my students because I know it helps me!

Dialogue is known as "the dialogue" - 41 pages of words the teacher speaks during the 90-minute class, barely taking a break. Again, this consists of getting you in and out of the posture safely, explaining the benefits of the posture, offering corrections and advice on how to go deeper if you are able. The glitch here is that you must learn it VERBATIM - and a lot of it has an ESL quality since Bikram is not a native English speaker... "arms always with the ears" and stuff like this, where we would say "arms always with your ears" or whatnot.

Practice - oh, the kicker. The thing that instills the fear of gawd in us all - Monday through Friday, 2 practices a day (9:30 and 5:00 I think), plus one on Saturday morning...then rest Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday. Of course "rest" means you study and memorize dialogue, prepare for anatomy exams, etc.

Posture clinics are where you learn the intricacies of each and every posture, and then give the dialogue in front of your group. You have to "pass" each posture to graduate.

Logistics/Practicalities - Additionally, you get lectures on yogic philosophy & history, how to project/protect your voice and the business logistics of opening your own studio.

The day looks like this (M-F) roughly:

9:30 - 11:00 ish Practice
11:00 - 12:30 Lunch
12:30 - 5:00 Lectures, Posture Clinics
5:00 - 6:30ish Practice
6:30 - 8:00 Dinner
8:00 - 10:30, or 12:00, or 2:00 a.m. Lectures/Posture Clinics (no kidding)

8:00 a.m. Practice

In the end, you are a Certified Bikram Method Yoga Teacher, and after 6 months of teaching, you are eligible to open your own studio. Additionally, for me, you get to say (in my case, hopefully....) that you survived tt.

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