infographic

The Path To Becoming a Yoga Teacher.

The Path To Becoming a Yoga Teacher.

One of the things people find most daunting about committing to yoga teacher training is not knowing exactly what will be expected of them, or what they can expect from the training.

This is the reason we give so much information about our course

But not everyone wants to wade through paragraphs and paragraphs of info - so we've summarised it for you! See? Pretty infographic.

Your feet don't have four corners!

Your feet don't have four corners!

One of the most frustrating instructions I hear in yoga classes is to 'ground through all four corners of your feet'. But look down: not a corner in sight. Understanding how the pathway of weight travels through your feet will help you correct how you stand, walk, do yoga, run, play netball. 

Yoga for the blokes

Blokes can sometimes feel a little left out in talk about yoga, because women do seem to love getting on their mats, and classes can be a little lady-centric. But we have a lot of men in our classes here at MmYoga, so we thought we'd dedicate an infographic to yoga blokey-ness.

Yoga for men

What guys have said about our classes:

Nadine is a terrific communicator and teacher, who I would thoroughly recommend for corporate events or personal yoga teaching. She introduced me to yoga in a very patient manner, and was adept in managing my various pre-existing aches and pains. She exudes warmth and personality, and is very knowledgeable and passionate about yoga practice.

Bruce Hawkins, Consultant, The Lonsdale Group

Nancy has been really amazing, from explaining the poses to offering advice and answering questions after the class, if I had imagined a yoga teacher before my first lesson, Nancy is the embodiment of that yoga instructor.

Michael McKenzie, Mission Australia

The legal team at REA Group booked Karen through MM… Yoga to run a yoga session for us at the start of a full day conference. A couple of people in our group had injuries at the time. Karen actively changed her class program to accommodate for the unique needs of these people so that they could still participate in the yoga class. On the day of our conference Karen arrived early, and was well prepared, which helped me out as the event organiser. Throughout the class Karen’s instructions were clear and easy to understand. I found her class well aligned to the abilities of the group that she was instructing. Karen provided the group with an enjoyable, energising experience which prepared us to kick off our full day conference in a relaxed and rejuvenated manner. If we have a similar conference I would definitely book Karen again, as she was proactive, organised and flexible in her approach. I recommend Karen and MM… Yoga to other companies that want to provide their employees with a healthy, fun and relaxing experience.

Ben Hooper, realeastate.com.au

Beth was clear in her instructions that if you couldn’t do something, that you could do it with your “knees on the ground”, for example, or balance with just your toes on the ground and your heel against the other ankle. I thought that was good, in that respect. The lesson was more obviously easier at the start and harder as we went along, so I liked that, the gentle start and gradual building. She moved around the room a lot, it seemed, and talked to individuals. Got her left and right, right. And demonstrated from locations that were best – didn’t stay up the front all the time. She was here in plenty of time and helped move the chairs. So, five stars from me.

Mark Jenkin, former National PublicAffairs Manager, Australian Bureau of Meteorology


Building a yoga habit

Morning yoga has become a ritual for me. 

I roll out of bed and do a few yoga poses on my bedroom floor in my pjs. I do this every day, sometimes just for ten minutes. It doesn't always feel good, but it tunes me in to how I feel, and I am usually calmer afterwards. 

This habit has a significant impact on the rhythm* of my day, my productivity in my work, and how stressed I do or do not feel. 

Rituals and habits are closely related. 

I think of rituals as habits that give us a little space to find meaning, or to remind ourselves of it.  

The dictionary definition of ritual is “any practice or pattern of behaviour regularly performed in a set manner”, and there’s plenty written on how rituals can give meaning to events (even a study that showed that performing a short ritual before eating food increased the enjoyment of eating it!), and how the things we do repeatedly are who we become. 

(These two, on the relationship between personality and habit, and on how long it takes to form a new habit, are particularly interesting.)

What does this have to do with yoga? Well, yoga is a tool both for noticing our habits (in posture, movement, thoughts, emotions) and for changing our them so we spending more time with the ones that help us.

And, of course, yoga itself can be a habit or ritual. 

Do you want to build a yoga habit?

I’ve written here before about how a home yoga practice can be an antidote to Busy. It’s also a way of noticing things about ourselves and how we are in the world, and, potentially, to begin to build more helpful habits in other parts of life.

But how to start?

I’m going to give just one piece of advice.  

Start small. 

A small change is easier to do regularly, and to form a habit we need regularity. (There's a great post here on the Zen Habits blog about forming habits.)

So perhaps start just by standing for a minute (yes, just a minute) each morning or evening in tadasana with your feet at hip width apart, spine tall, face muscles softening.

Or, you might like to try just a minute each day of any of these simple postures:

Build a yoga habit

Pick a time of day, and do it each day at (or roughly at) that time. Be flexible though. If the time doesn't work, change it until you find a time that does. Then stick to it. And that one little change may lead to bigger ones. After all, from little things big things grow.

*A note: I prefer the word ‘rhythm’ to ‘routine’ because it’s a little more flexible and a little less mechanical (and hey, life isn’t always predictable).


How to get (and keep!) people excited about yoga at work

Yoga at work. Obviously we think it's a great idea: it's our specialty. (Also, infographic on yoga for blokes here.)

When we did our survey, a fair number of you wanted to know how to get people excited about yoga at work. It's true: running successful and well-attended yoga classes at work can be a challenge, even if you and your colleagues really do love yoga.

So we thought we'd ask the organisers of a couple of the longest-running and most successful MmYoga classes for their expert tips! 

Alyson has had MmYoga classes running consistently in her workplace for about five years; Rosanne for about four.

How do you go about organising for people to get involved? 

Both Alyson and Rosanne use email to gauge interest and inform people about classes, and Rosanne also uses word of mouth.

“About three weeks prior to the end of term, I send out an email to the group asking for their intentions for next term,” says Alyson. “So I need to know if they want to continue, and if so, how many sessions are they wanting to attend,” she says.

Flexibility with the number of sessions helps, Alyson says. At her workplace, the terms are 20 classes long, but participants are able to attend 5, 10, 15 or all 20 of those sessions, which allows them to work around annual leave. 

“I keep a list of email addresses of anyone who has EVER expressed an interest in anything remotely related to yoga,” says Rosanne. “We also have a social yammer network at work and this has been used occasionally with mixed results,” she says. 

Both Alyson and Rosanne say it helps to occasionally open the invitations to classes out beyond the current list of attendees.

“If it looks like I'm not going to get the numbers, I send out a global email to all people in the building, with a bit of a spiel about the yoga,” Alyson says. “I always get a lot of interest from this,” she says.

Rosanne says she has found it useful to have an ‘open’ class towards the end of a term and invite people who haven’t already enrolled in a term to come along and try.

How do you keep them involved?

Alyson says people are more likely to stay involved if they feel like the space is a safe one and that people from all levels within the organisation can feel comfortable in. 

“We also have a bit of fun, and joke around a bit so everyone feels comfortable,” Alyson says. 

Money also comes into it. Alyson says keeping the numbers up means the cost is more manageable for everyone, and this is something she is clear about when she’s organising the classes — which encourages people to recruit their friends and colleagues to come along too. 

Having one term roll into the next helps to keep the enthusiasm up too, Alyson says. (Building a habit helps keep up the enthusiasm in a home practice too — here are some tips about how to do that.)

What are some of the challenges of organising a yoga class in a workplace?

Alyson says that finding the time to keep things going and keep the lines of communication open can be difficult at times because there is quite a bit of organising and chasing people involved. There are also lull periods where the organiser needs to amp up the advertising to get the numbers. Rosanne says it can be difficult sometimes to find an available space in which to hold the class. 

Tips for meeting the challenges

While every work place is different, Alyson and Rosanne have some good general tips for getting around some of the logistical challenges of organising yoga at work. 

“It really is about making everyone aware of it,” Alyson says. “So talk about it, publicise it, get it talked about in the workplace,” she says. Getting the support of the Workhealth team or Occupational Health and Safety representative is useful too.

Being knowledgeable about the bureaucratic ins-and-outs of the organisation really helps, Rosanne says. 

“And, trite but true — professionalism and being courteous always helps,” Rosanne says. 

Unexpected benefits

The challenges of organising yoga at work are worth it though. Rosanne says she’s had good recognition from her workplace for organising the yoga classes.

“I used to worry about the potential for injury (even minor) of a work colleague during a yoga class that I’ve organised,” Rosanne says. “I feel responsible for their safety (particularly for new participants). On the other hand, I also get a nice warm-fluffy feeling thinking that I’ve contributed in a small way to peoples’ health,” she says. 

Alyson has noticed a huge improvement in workplace culture: people from different teams talk to each other, and people from all levels come along - from junior to senior.

Warm and fluffy, plus a better work environment. Yay!

yoga at work