When we go to watch a movie or watch a documentary, we come away if it is over 2 hours long and say ‘that was a long movie’. Somehow in the world of education, courses have had to be condensed into intensives over a period of several days and in particular with yoga trainings, the teacher usually singularly talks for several hours a day. In fact if a course is advertised as 50 hours, that’s 50 hours of delivery and speaking which no actor ever has to do over a period of a few days. They would quite simply lose their voices!
From early school age, my mother took us to Speech and Drama lessons which culminated in my completing this at Gold level with LAMDA (London School of Music and Dramatic Art). I was never going to be an actress though I dabbled in doing adverts once I had left University. I began teaching Speech and Drama and later English to second language speakers and completed 2 rather gruelling intensives with Cambridge School of Teaching English learning to teach adults and children. Those were the courses I found even more challenging then getting my Business Degree. I say all this because I had a solid education in learning how to look after my voice and several years of teaching experience before it came to beginning my yoga studies. I am an avid learner and having focused on science throughout my school years and having education drummed into me as a school girl growing up in Singapore. After years of a high powered job working in the City of London as an Underwriter and Broker in a highly dominated male industry, I was longing to explore my creative side. The opportunity came in a way that no one could have imagined. My appendix burst and it was undiagnosed. I was also 7 months pregnant with my first child. The unexpected had happened and I found myself fighting to survive those unending weeks in hospital with one complication after the next. Finally I came home but without my baby. He was to remain in NICU (Neo natal intensive care unit) for another few weeks.
I am sharing the story because the road back to health and the road to building a new career with a young infant was not an easy one and yet as I sit here now with the opportunity of time and insight 24 years later, I feel an immense swell of gratitude. Wow we survived, I lived to share my story and I can see now that everything that transpired has not just led to this moment but in fact, contributed to it.
I began to develop courses that were derived from a multitude of study in science, spirituality, experience in teaching English, Drama, Business, coaching professionals, learning dance, Meditation and then yoga. The essence of moving and the art of stillness. The courses have evolved and expanded to a level of rigour and a standard tried and tested by hundreds of avid Yin Yoga learners. I’ve had an incredible career underpinned with devoted parents and a supportive family who have encouraged me every step of the way. Not everyone has this and there are many reasons why one could not afford the privilege of time and study in this way. When teaching 12 classes a week no longer felt sustainable and I felt like I might need to abandon yoga as my full time job, my father reassured me ‘I’ll support you whatever you choose to do” and he meant being affirming, not taking on my financial burden.
In sharing my teachings in condensed and affordable ’50 hour’ modules, I’ve been able to relay what I know has helped me to develop as a teacher. My teaching is personal and it matters to me who I am teaching behind the screen. I have built a rich and powerful community of Yin Yoga and Mindfulness teachers who have had the confidence to leave the courses and start to teach Meditation, Mindfulness and Yin Yoga. I know this from the vast feedback I have received that has forged a critical analysis for me of how to deliver clear, concise and experiential practices to develop strong teachers in this field. I do not just deliver facts and figures or teach a course to entertain or give home practices that can’t be translated into teaching or sharing with others. Transitioning to online teaching has not only saved my voice but it turns out has allowed students greater autonomy with their learning styles and ability to retain and absorb the information. Practicing multiple times has allowed the teaching to filter into their somatic experience and learning has become less intense. We all know that we learn best when we are more relaxed and that we get our brainwaves or ‘insight’ when we are calm, safe and relaxed.
If you know others that would almost certainly benefit from sharing Yin Yoga and Mindfulness Meditation practices with their clients, students or for their own personal practice, I welcome everyone from all backgrounds.
The July Level 1 course is being run over 2 weeks to enable those that wish to complete the course and devote the time for more intensive study. All participants will receive a 50 Hour Certification in Yin Yoga and Mindfulness Meditation. Level 1 covers the foundations of Mindfulness, Meridians, Psychology and Anatomy. It is a ground breaking course that will feel both transformative personally as well as helping to truly believe that they too have the skills to teach and share the practices with others. I aim to have every teacher feel that they too can find the strength and unshakeable confidence in their teaching to share what they know and feel the authenticity in their voices too.nbsp;
With love, Sarah