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  • Writer's pictureCYS

The steady rise of men coming into CYS Yoga Teacher Training

Updated: 4 days ago

This year on the two Scottish CYS courses in Perth and Glasgow, we have five guys training to be teachers – this is always great for Judi Farrell and I to see as we are very aware that yoga is a ‘human being thing’ and not just for women, which is often mis-represented through the media.  In Perth, Glasgow and Addlestone, Surrey we are very pleased to have been attracting more and more men into the training courses and the four great guys on my Perth course this year, three in their 30s and one in his 50s, will all be making huge contributions to the health of their various communities throughout the country.

With Ashtanga Yoga being our base practice and being a physically stronger practice than some other styles, it gives men more to do and they begin to realise how strong, flexible and fit they are becoming, plus learning to give the body time to get into the postures through letting go and thereby easing off any sense of pushing themselves/competing – all this makes sense and draws, and keeps, men in Ashtanga Yoga particularly. 

Teachers in London like Scott Johnson at Stillpoint Yoga, Hamish Hendry at Ashtanga Yoga London, the wonderful and ex-CYS tutor, David Keil in Miami plus world-renowned teachers such as John Scott, Richard Freeman with whom Judi did an advanced teacher training in Colorado, Paul Dallaghan, my own Ashtanga trainer on Koh Samui, David Swenson – and so many more, are all men who have been practising and teaching Ashtanga yoga for many years and maintaining amazing fitness levels – which is what Ashtanga does.  And then of course there is Sting at 72, not a teacher but an Ashtanga practitioner of very many years, still with the body of a 25-year old 😊

Our base practice at the Classical Yoga School is Ashtanga Vinyasa Primary Series with additional tutorials in Sivananda (Hatha), Iyengar and Vinyasa Flow styles.

We aren’t saying you have to teach Ashtanga, we are saying, as a CYS graduate with a sound Ashtanga Vinyasa practice, you can teach any yoga style. Over the 12 months of the course and particularly during the second half, each student will gradually begin to feel confident about their own way forwards as a yoga teacher and this is something that we very much give guidance for, and encouragement.

Ashtanga Vinyasa Primary Series for those not familiar with it, is a sequence of postures that are practiced and learnt, with individual asanas developed as each student makes progress.  It begins with Sun Salutations, then into standing postures, then floor asanas, back bends and inversions with the focus always on the Tristana of Ujjayi breathing, Bandhas and Drishtis – the sound of the Ujjayi breath, the internal locks of Mula bandha and a partial Uddiyana bandha for inner strength and to give good support in the lower back;  plus the focus of various Drishtis/gaze points in the postures.

In this way your practice becomes a real moving meditation whether it’s 10 minutes or an hour and a quarter which is the usual time for the full Primary Series.

June Mitchell, Course Director, Classical Yoga School

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