Should I Train Teachers?

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Dear Venus,

I would first like to say how happy I am to hear that you are excited about teaching yoga. I am also thrilled to hear that it's taking root in your little town. There's nothing like a yoga class or studio that becomes part of the heart of a community.

However, I also read that you have only taught yoga yourself for a year and have only completed a 200-hour training. This is simply not enough to qualify you to teach teachers yet. First, I would encourage you to keep studying—yoga teachers at every level benefit from continuing their work as students. Take workshops from visiting teachers in your region of the country.

Meanwhile, since you said your new town is small, I think that you should continue on as the teacher to the students there. Teach more classes if the need arises. I think it would be wise for you to develop a student body and then perhaps start a practice group with some of the more senior students.

And continue to practice, practice, practice! A great teacher has a firmly established practice from which to draw. I would have your classes bursting at the seams before thinking about training anyone else to teach.

Good luck—teaching is truly one of the most rewarding callings ever!

Nicki Doane had a wanderlust that led her to India in 1991 to study yoga. She went to Mysore to meet Sri K Pattabhi Jois and immediately realized she had found her teacher. Nicki started teaching in 1992. She cites Pattabhi Jois, along with Eddie Modestini, Gabriella Giubilaro, and Tim Miller among her most influential teachers. She is an authorized teacher of Ashtanga Yoga. Although rooted in Ashtanga, Nicki's teaching goes beyond the traditional. Her classes combine asana, Pranayama, philosophy, and poetry. The emphasis is on awareness: creating integrity within each pose that can be carried beyond the mat into daily life. Nicki lives in Sebastopol, California with her husband, Eddie Modestini. Together, Eddie and Nicki co-direct Maya Yoga Studios in both California and Maui, Hawaii.