Last year dozens of yoga teachers signed up for The Art of Teaching Yoga, YJ's new three-day mentorship program. Through semi-private sessions with master mentors Coral Brown, Alexandria Crow, and Giselle Mari, yoga teachers developed their skills and learned to be stronger, wiser leaders in the classroom. We followed up with two RYTs, Laura Currier and Sara Downey Robinson, to find out (in their own words) what they took away from the program.
Interested in joining The Art of Teaching Yoga? We have one session left this year! Join Coral and Giselle at YJ LIVE New York, April 21–23. Sign up before it's too late.
Laura Currier, RYT-200
Location: Loudoun County, VA
Teaching experience: Two years
“I attended The Art of Teaching mentorship program at Yoga Journal LIVE in Hollywood, FL, with Alex Crow, Coral Brown, and Giselle Mari. It was a wonderful experience to meet and learn from such astute teachers. As a result of guidance and valuable instruction provided by these women, I have been working with my own yoga classes with more purposeful intent.
In particular, Alex’s work and discussion on injury prevention and miscuing has made me rethink many common cues and sequences. I had been struggling with how to get my students to safely access Chaturanga Dandasana. Alex’s straightforward discussions on arm carrying angles accompanied by simple exercises to demonstrate everyone’s unique body shapes has helped my students to begin to access and understand the asana better.
Coral’s insight into the Prana Vayus has also help me build more meaningful sequencing for my students.
I have always planned my classes with intent. However, now I deeply question the “why” behind my choices, which has has helped me grow as a teacher.”
Follow Laura on Instagram at @lauracurrieryoga
Sara Downey Robinson, RYT-200
Location: Denver, CO
Teaching experience: About one year
"The Art of Teaching was life-changing for me. Mentorship is truly the missing link between being a great teacher and simply a certified teacher.
Giselle discussed the power dynamic between teachers and students in hands-on adjustments and how important communication and consent is during any assist. I've implemented yoga flip chips to empower my students to say no to assists without an element of confrontation.
With Alex, I furthered my education of injury prevention and understanding how the element of "why" is so critical in my sequencing. One of the biggest things I walked away with from The Art of Teaching with was a way to command the classroom by leveling the playing field. Everything is broken down into efforts and shapes in order to move intelligently toward a peak pose, and students make choices for their own unique bodies all the way.
Before The Art of Teaching, I was so frustrated with not being able to help my students practice mindfully. During the course of the weekend with Alex and Giselle, I realized that I was missing strategy in my sequencing. I was not communicating and articulating enough philosophy to my students in a tangible way that was actually teaching them.
A lot of what I end up doing in the studio is influenced by the fact that I play roller derby and have for nearly a decade. I'm no-nonsense and lighthearted in my nature. I like to help my students who come back week after week find their own path of development by consistently practicing with me. When I became a yoga teacher, I wanted to impact lives in a positive way. By finally getting mentors, I was finally able to harness my own voice to do so."
Follow Sara at her personal website, ontheyogamat.com, or on Instagram @meanestlook