“Teacher Education” is a misnomer; the more appropriate term is “Studentship.” B.K.S. Iyengar has said on numerous occasions he continues to be a student of yoga. That he continues to learn is one of the reasons why so many flock to his institute in Pune for his guidance. What is required in order to help others learn this great art, science, and philosophy of yoga, has to be put down in some concrete terms. The Iyengar Yoga National Association of the United States is the governing body for certifying practitioners of Iyengar Yoga to be teachers. Please check the web site for further information on IYNAUS teacher certification requirements.
One of the requirements for the first two levels of assessment, teacher in training and introductory, is to have two teachers, one mentoring and one recommending, to guide and see you through the process to full certification. At the higher levels of certification, intermediate junior 1 and above, two recommending teachers are required.
For students of Iyengar Yoga who would like to be guided in their studentship, and possibly be recommended for IYNAUS teacher certification assessment under the tutelage of Lois Steinberg, her requirements are listed below for mentorship. Fulfillment of requirements does not guarantee recommendation for assessment. Not all practitioners are destined to be teachers.
- Completion of introductory, continuing, and regular attendance in the “advanced” level classes at YICU, and continued weekly study in the latter.
- Weekly attendance in class during the fall, spring, and summer sessions. At least one day a week of practice at YICU where Lois can observe while she is practicing. One week prior to practice, submit a sequence appropriate for your syllabus that you will be practicing.
- An established meaningful, daily practice of pranayama and asana. The main focus is to practice everyday. The time may vary. Teacher skills come from practice. Most dedicated practitioners/teachers devote about 2-3 hours to a daily practice. When a teacher is practiced before class, the class goes very well.
- A brief essay on how you started yoga, your background in Iyengar Yoga, and why you want to teach.
- Weekly assisting in a class. The class may be introduction to asana, experienced beginner, continuing asana, and yoga for women, and/or yoga therapy. The latter class would be in addition to one of the other classes and would be optional. For intermediate junior 2 and above, yoga therapy is required.
- Current membership in IYNAUS (www.IYNAUS.org) and attendance at tri-annual IYNAUS conventions. The next one is May 10-15, 2013, San Diego, California.
- Purchase of the certification assessment manual through IYNAUS. Please note that each January (sometimes there are delays) a new manual is issued and you will be required to purchase the current one prior to application.
- Attendance at workshops to deepen your knowledge and further your development. Students mentoring under Lois are required to attend the 7-day August Intensive (sometimes held the end of July) as well as teacher education weekends held in the spring (usually two, unless pre-empted by guest teachers). For those who would like Lois to be a recommending teacher (not a mentor), details of attendance at workshops in lieu of those at YICU must be agreed upon.
- Ongoing, self-directed, book study of Light on Yoga, Yoga: A Gem for Women, Preliminary Course, and Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Written exam questions will be given after mock assessment teaching.
- Arrangement of the second recommending teacher is your responsibility.
Out-of-town students unable to meet numbers 1, 2, and 5:
- For out-of-town students unable to attend weekly, attendance is required for at least three consecutive days during the summer, fall, and spring session, respectively. The best days are Tuesday through Thursday when Lois can observe you in the advanced class, assisting in introduction to asana, yoga for women, therapy, and continuing classes. During practice time on Wednesday, Thursday, and possibly Friday, Lois will observe whilst doing her own practice. Three different sequences of your practice should be written and turned in one week prior to the time scheduled at YICU. The sequences should be developed from the syllabus you are working on, and should include important poses from previous syllabi when applicable.
- Three assessment style teaching sessions at YICU mus be arranged with Lois in advance.