We are seeking candidates for Maine Hatha Yoga’s Teacher Training Program. We have designed a course that will prepare qualified individuals to teach our Classic Hot 26 Hatha Yoga class. While we recognize that this sequence of postures is not original, our approach to the practice, and our style of teaching differs from most studios that formerly or currently teach Bikram’s yoga. It has come to light through the works of other dedicated and curious minds, that the sequence is older than Bikram Choudhury claims, casting doubt on much of his influence over the methods of practicing Hatha yoga. Angela and Michael intentionally and intuitively stripped away the aggression, regimented authority, condescension, and disrespect for students that was inherent and implied in Bikram’s training. Removing this baggage reveals a mindful physical discipline that may serve as training and inspiration for choices we are faced with throughout our lives. Considering this, we feel encouraged to share our methods.
While we are looking for new teachers at our Portland facility, we have intentions of expanding throughout New England. Our fundamental message is that the days of the “guru” are over. Each of us has the capability of learning from our hearts, our actions, and our observations. The ability to learn and make choices based on clear observation is the essence of spiritual growth. We train the body, to train the mind, to connect with the heart, to reveal ourselves to ourselves, through ourselves. It is time to let go of rigid rules, anachronistic traditions, false impressions of yesterday’s glory. Our world needs healthy people to make better choices for the sake of kindness, cooperation, and sustainability. If this message calls to you, please answer, first to yourself. If you find resolve, please consider reaching out to us.
Angela and Michael have both been studying this yoga sequence for over 20 years. We have taught many thousands of classes to many thousands of students. We have owned, operated, and taught at Maine Hatha Yoga for 15 years. While we have trained other teachers throughout our career, this is our first foray into a small group training format. The course is designed to fit into anyone’s lifestyle and will not require long periods of consecutive time. Much of the work required to complete the training will be home study. We will meet with you regularly, either in person or online, but you will not need extensive time away from family and/or other responsibilities. We will limit participation to less than five students. We do this so that we can provide each of our students the necessary attention required to ensure a successful training.
We understand that you may or may not wish to teach at Maine Hatha Yoga. There are a variety of reasons to undergo teacher training. You may wish to further your understanding of your own practice and learn to become your own teacher. Please understand that graduation from our training program does not automatically guarantee you a teaching position with us at MHY. You will be well qualified, but we simply cannot hire everyone we train. We do intend to assist the opening of additional studios in locations throughout Maine and New England. We are looking for some part time teachers to join the current team at MHY in Portland.
Our training consists of six modules, each with specific goals, requirements, and exams. You will have six months to complete all modules to qualify for the final exams.
1) Dialogue development and delivery: We will provide you with a basic framework of ideas that need to be conveyed to students. It is your responsibility to take what you are given and develop it into your own language. We will address communication style, vocal projection, intonation, enunciation, melody, rhythm, physical demeanor, and phrase effectiveness. Once we have verified the effectiveness of your presentation you will need to rehearse and recite each posture, groups of postures, leading to the entire sequence. Part of the final exam will include teaching the entire class to your instructors.
2) Anatomy and physiology: We will examine A&P as it relates to Hatha yoga. Most of the work will involve joint structures including the role of bones, muscles, and connective tissues. We will address some biochemistry with respect to respiration, perspiration, and endocrine function. Major organ systems will be reviewed considering their impact on Hatha yoga as well as how certain asanas affect organ functioning. We will study anatomical terminology, and discuss the simple physics of levers and pulley systems, as they relate to movement. There will be written and oral exams on the subject matter.
3) Posture mechanics: We will review each posture to examine safe alignment principles, effective use of strength and softness, effective breathing techniques, limitations and obstacles, and therapeutic benefits. We will address these issues within your practice to serve as a basis for understanding other students. We will address specific corrections, modifications to accommodate injuries, differing body types, and pregnancy. We do expect your practice to evolve through this training. This does not necessarily imply that your body will look different, although this may happen. It does imply that you will develop deep mind-body awareness with a foundation of patience, determination, humility, curiosity, and safety. These pillars will not only support your practice for the rest of your life, but will enhance your ability to navigate the trials of life.
4) Personal practice: You will be required to practice 150 hours of Classic 26 postures over the course of the 6 months. While it is preferable that you complete these classes in a studio setting, you will also be expected to practice at home. You will maintain a journal documenting your 150 hours of practice. This will include reflections and observations, as well as a record of time and location of practice. Periodically you will meet with us to go over your practice so that we may address any concerns or misunderstandings. This may be done with skype or some similar technology, if you are not able to travel to Portland. Aside from Hatha practice, we will introduce additional Pranayamas, Om-chanting, Chakra system, meditation and mindfulness concepts.
5) What is Yoga? History, cultural heritage, religious influence, misunderstandings, misrepresentations, theory and practice: We will examine the meaning of yoga from a variety of perspectives. You will be required to produce two 1000-word essays on subjects that intrigue you. Additional research will be necessary. Topics include (but are not limited to): The Sutras, Hinduism, the Caste system, British occupation and subsequent revolution, Mysore palace, Krishnamacharya, Yogananda, eight limbs, the guru model, a survey of extant practices, and the emergence of an empowered, authentic, innate guide.
6) Respect, etiquette, and boundaries: Being a yoga teacher may or may not be new to you. There are certain boundaries that we emphasize that may differ from your previous experience or training. We will discuss the roles of mutual respect, compassion, empathy, authority, leadership, kindness, discernment, and advice. Your student’s will approach you with a variety of concerns; some of these will be appropriate, some will not. We will discuss ways to maintain safe boundaries and healthy relationships with diverse personalities.
While we hope to begin training soon, we are less concerned with fixed or absolute timelines, and more concerned with working with committed individuals and providing effective training. The tuition is $3000.00. Please note that this is not a “Registered Yoga Alliance” training. You will need to have a functioning computer, with a webcam, a high-speed internet connection, and a google account to participate. (We will be utilizing gmail, google docs, and goggle chat to facilitate training. These work much better with a google account.)
Now that you are aware of the basic format of our training, please carefully consider your intentions. If you decide to proceed, there is an application to fill out. We will provide this upon request. Upon receipt, we will schedule your interview. If you have any further questions, please reach out to us, either in email or in person at MHY. Many blessings to you, and we look forward to hearing from you.