Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What will I get out of a training if I don’t want to teach?
A: The practice of yoga helps us to live in this world with more resilience and persistence. In these times, where there seems to be so much dissonance and violence, practice is necessary so we can continue to show up as who we want to be in tumultuous times. Taking a training is not only to study and refine the way we move on the mat, but to also study and refine the way we move through the world. Learning to bring the principles and philosophies of the yoga practice is more than just physically empowering; it can help you to become a leader in your community, family, and in your own life.
Learning to teach connects you more fully to your own learning, and you’ll know what you know so much more deeply than you thought you could as you learn to communicate it to others.
Training is not just for those who want to become teachers, or just for those who can put a leg behind the head, hold a long plank, or balance upside down. A strong physical practice goes beyond the outcome of the pose and is reflective of the attention and awareness with which a person moves. Spending 200 hours devoted to all of the aspects of yoga practice will deepen your connection to the parts of yoga that have the potential to change the world: deeper listening, strong and sustained attention, courage, and heart.
Q: What will I learn?
A: You will establish a foundation in alignment, assists, physical and subtle anatomy, yogic philosophy, history of yoga, sequencing, cueing and languaging, teaching methodology, Non-violent Communication, pranayama, and Ayurveda. If you do want to teach professionally, the program includes a business course where you can establish clear next steps to teaching out in the world. If you don't, those topics are still pertinent to other endeavors. Here is a bigger breakdown of some of the topics covered:
Alignment, assists, benefits/contraindications for all basic and intermediate poses in the following categories: seated poses, twists, side bends, forward bends, inversions, arm balances, back bends.
Yogic Philosophy: We will study the 8 limbs of yoga, the Yoga Sutras, The Bhagavad Gita, the history of yoga, subtle/energetic anatomy such as the Koshas and the Chakra system. You will learn some Vedanta such as the three Gunas, and about Purusha, Prakriti, Atman, Brahma in a way that is accessible and relatable. In the fall training you will additionally learn about the Hindu deities.
Non-violent Communication: a system developed by Marshall Rosenberg, PhD, that we consider to be "meditation for your mouth". NVC is a form of communicating that allows one to have strong but compassionate boundaries, to identify one's own feelings and needs, so that in communication we can get right to the heart of the matter and connect with clarity. We believe this is important for all humans on the earth, but is especially pertinent to yoga teachers, as communication is a cornerstone of teaching.
Ayurveda: the sister science of yoga, we will learn self-care techniques, daily routines, and how to be in tune with our own nature and with nature itself so we can be more in the flow of life.
Anatomy/Physiology: You'll learn from one of the foremost educators on anatomy for yoga teaching about muscles, bones, body systems, and how to integrate that information into understanding the physical asana practice more fully and how to let this knowledge inform your teaching. You will also learn how gross anatomy and subtle anatomy collide in a scientific way.
Sequencing: Learn how to sequence for yoga asana classes of all levels from different perspectives in a safe, anatomically sound, intelligent way. You'll practice co-creating and creating your own sequences, and understand on a foundational level the rhyme and reason for placement of postures in a class sequence.
Cueing/languaging: How to communicate the yoga practice, how to use words to bring understanding in your classes and empower your students in an authentic way, how to give cues that are helpful and bring understanding of alignment and breath that maintain the flow of the experience for students.
Business of Yoga: how to be a marketable yoga teacher and how to navigate the industry so you can put your expression of yoga and who you are out there into the yoga world. Learn from professionals in different facets of the yoga industry who are successful in the field.
Meditation: Develop a personal meditation practice, how to guide meditation in your classes, the science behind meditation.
Yin Yoga: Four hour intro to this practice that includes slowing down, changing the shape of connective tissue, introspection, and balancing out the body. If this is a path you'd like to follow in your own teaching, our resident yin teacher is happy to point you in the direction after training.
Pranayama: Learn many different yogic breath practices and how to guide them in your classes.
Q: Who are the teachers on staff at NSYA? Laura Ahrens is the owner, founder, and lead trainer for NSYA, is on staff at CCY and Sadhana, and leads retreats around the world. She is currently completing her Yoga Therapy training with Sarahjoy Marsh in Portland, OR. Tatyana Souza is the owner and founder of CCY and the owner of Sadhana Yoga. She is a lead trainer for NSYA. Previously in the pharmaceutical field with a doctorate in immunology, she took her teacher training and it changed her life and her direction and inspired her to open up her studios, which are heart-centered and community based. She is currently completing her 500 hour training at Wanderlust Hollywood in Los Angeles, CA. Goldie Graham was a teacher at Back Bay yoga for 5 years before moving to San Diego. She now travels the globe teaching workshops, retreats, teacher trainings, and has been an instructor at various Wanderlust Festivals. Goldie has been featured in Yoga Journal, Runner’s World, Marie Claire, The Huffington Post and was among the list of the 100 Most Influential Yoga Teachers in America. Andrew Tanner is our resident philosophy teacher, and has studied the Yoga Sutras and Bhagavad Gita intensively and lived as a monk for 5 years. He brings a unique perspective to the business of yoga, having run the school of Yoga and Ayurveda at Kripalu and over 10 of his own yoga studios. He is the author of "So You Wanna Open A Yoga Studio" and is also the chief ambassador to Yoga Alliance. Kris Quinones, Ayurvedic counsellor and bodyworker and owner of Rasayana in Somerville is our Ayurvedic expert. Grace Jull is our anatomist. She led the anatomy portion of teacher trainings at Kripalu for 16 years, and has been leading yoga trainings in the US and in Bali for decades. Grace bridges east and west through the study of the overlapping systems of traditional anatomy, embryology, and the Chakra and Kosha systems. Joan Dwyer is our dreamer in chief. She owns three yoga studios called "All The Matters" in Rhode Island and helped Russell Simmons open his studio, Tantris, in LA. She will bring vision and purpose to help you move forward in whatever direction you choose. Dr. Manoj Chalam lectures for free around the world on the Hindu deities because he believes that self-knowledge should be free for all. He "schleps" (his own words) Murtis, or sacred statues, to pay his way. He brings his lighthearted nature and deep understanding of yogic philosophy, and is also able to look deep into one's eyes and tell them their archetype. Emily Peterson teaches an intro to Yin, and how to practice and teach meditation and centerings. She is both a yin and meditation teacher and a Reiki master. She is also a lead trainer for TIMBo, Trauma Informed Mind Body.
Q: There are so many yoga teachers? Does the world really need one more? Isn’t the market saturated?
A: The time has passed for hoping that someone else will step up and bring the hope and healing to the world that we know is needed. The yoga community needs to give a voice to the practice that brings us all personally so much peace so that we can contribute to the world with the clarity that it brings us.
Q: I have a busy life. How can I possibly fit this into my schedule?
A: You are able to miss and make up 20 hours of the training, which is helpful if you have prior commitments or something unexpected needs attending in your life. We have had doctors, ER nurses, doctoral students, mothers, and fathers successfully take training amidst their other responsibilities.
Q: What kind of homework should I expect?
A: You will be expected to spend time outside of training completing homework to reinforce what you've learned and prepare you for what's upcoming. For summer, since it's such an immersive schedule, you will be required to do some reading at night, but you won't be overloaded with assignments. As practicum comes closer, you will need to set aside time outside the training to further meet with the group you'll be co-teaching with as a part of your final exam. For fall, you will be given reading assignments to prepare for each weekend. In the larger gaps between meetings around the holidays you will be asked to sequence and teach your own class to family and friends. Unlike assignments for classes you took out of obligation in the past, you will find these readings and assignments fascinating and enriching because you've elected to dive deeper into the practice of yoga, and your homework will help facilitate that.
Q: I want to become a teacher. Will I be able to teach upon graduation?
A: Yes. If you want to learn to teach, NSYA gives you the skills to teach a safe, intelligently aligned vinyasa class and an understanding of the industry so you can be competitive in the field.
Q: What continuing mentorship is provided after the training?
A: CCY allows students who have successfully completed the training to assist one weekly class of a teacher of their choice (with the teacher's approval) for a committed time of 6 months. The student will receive 30-60 minutes outside of class time per week for mentorship and to review assists with their chosen teacher. The teachers from the training are also available for questions and support after the training is over.
NSYA also allows all graduates of the program to attend select modules of future trainings. Space permitting, you will be invited to sign up for Anatomy, Manoj's lectures on the deities, Ayurveda, History of yoga, intro to Yin, and others.
Q: What does the application process entail?
A: To apply, please fill out the application on our application page. You will hear back shortly about the status of your application. If you receive an acceptance letter, you will be prompted to make payment to secure your spot and given an outline for the next steps. If we do not know you personally, you will be asked to take class with the lead trainer of the training that you selected so that both parties can be sure that it's a good fit, and to catch up and chat briefly after class to get to know one another. You'll be spending 200 hours with us, and it's important that you really want to learn from whoever is leading. Note: Please do not make payment before you receive an acceptance letter or verbal confirmation from the lead trainer or from Laura (the owner of The New School of Yogic Arts).
Q: What are your policies for financial matters such as payment plans and refunds?
A: Our financial policies are listed beneath the application on our application page.