Posts tagged yoga teacher training
From School Teacher to Yoga Teacher
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Like many Yogis, my Yoga journey began as a physical practice. After watching a documentary called “Happy” I decided that I needed Yoga in my life and I took part in the ‘Bad Yogi 30 Day Yoga challenge’. From there I was hooked! I joined a local gym that offered Yoga classes and started doing some ‘Yoga Challenges’ on Instagram to learn new poses!

Fast forward a few years and I decided I really wanted to deepen my Yoga practice and use my teaching skills (I am a Secondary School Music teacher) to perhaps teach some Yoga classes!

I found out about CAMYOGA at the OM Yoga show in London - they seemed so relaxed and friendly and they offered a 2 week intensive course in  August, which fit my school holidays perfectly! I spoke to some of my Yoga teachers at the gym and they all spoke so highly about CAMYOGA’s reputation and high standard of training, so I knew I’d picked the right course.

The 2 weeks intensive training honestly changed my life. My understanding and love of Yoga grew so much and my mind was opened up to the philosophical and spiritual aspects of Yoga that made me realise Yoga is so much more than what happens on the mat. It opened me up to a daily meditation practice that I honestly feel has had a huge impact on my day to day life. I loved exploring my own physical practice and realising that there was so much ego involved that I needed to remove to really deepen and develop. But most of all, I was grateful for the opportunity to work with the wonderful people I got to know during those 2 weeks - I loved eating breakfast with them in the sun, hearing all about their personal Yoga journeys and teaching and studying with them. They were a truly wonderful group of people and I have loved following their Yoga journey since we graduated in November. I must add that I absolutely loved the assessment days! I enjoyed getting to be apart of everyone's assessment lessons,having the opportunity to talk about how our 6 week courses had been and to share our lesson plans / course outlines etc. I actually posted a vlog about my teacher training journey, which can be found here.

Straight after graduating in November, I had the wonderful opportunity to cover a few classes for CamYoga at the their Buckden site (now closed). The support and encouragement from some of the wonderful Jivamukti teachers I met there (Hakan and Andy!) really helped me to kick start my own Yoga teaching business. 

In January, I set up two local Yoga flow classes in my local area, using my 6 weeks beginners course I had planned as part of the YTT. After completing the course they wanted to continue their Yoga journey, so the classes have continued to grow ever since! I also took on a weekly ‘Sweat Yoga’ class at a local gym, and from there my name was passed around to most of the gyms in Northamptonshire area, which means I each week I cover a wide range of classes (including pilates inspired Yoga and Yoga with weights!) and to work with a wide variety of people with differing experiences and expectations of Yoga. In my school holidays (especially this summer) I have been covering 2-3 classes a day! 


I have also started to bring Yoga into my full time teaching job, from holding Yoga sessions for staff and students who are preparing for their exams, to doing assemblies on mindfulness and meditation. Leading 600 Year 9 and 10 students through a short morning meditation was a wonderful experience!

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My favourite thing so far has been holding Yoga Brunch events. Myself and 16 Yogis spend the morning together moving the body through a themed asana practice, meditating together and finally digging into a tasty Vegan brunch! I’ve been lucky enough to find a wonderful, local, vegan catering company, Bharita, who have provided the most delicious post-yoga dishes, from pancakes to tofu scrambled ‘eggs’. It is a truly moving experience to see people coming together and sharing their practice with each other - there are always so many smiles and giggles! I am hoping to hold these events every 2 months and am currently looking into organising a mini Yoga retreat with a local glamping company. I am also looking forward to working teaching with the new HotPodYoga franchise that is opening in Northampton in September!

From a personal perspective, Yoga teaching and developing my asana / meditation practice has really helped improve my mental wellbeing. My job as a secondary school teacher and Head of Year was becoming very overwhelming for me and I would often end up crying in the toilets as soon as I arrived to work in the morning. Nothing had changed at work - my job has always been demanding, but I was just not coping with the demands any more. I was working a full school day and then coming home and working until 11-12 pm every night. I just felt so physically and mentally exhausted. After my YTT, I developed a consistent morning Yoga and meditation practice that helped me start my day in a calm way. My readings of spiritual and philosophical texts helped me realise that there is nothing more important that the present moment and it helped me accept and surrender to the fact that I may never reach the bottom of my to-do list at work...and that is ok! Spending some of my evenings teaching Yoga made me realise there is so much more to life than my job. I am actually busier than I ever have been before, with teaching full time and teaching at least 4 Yoga classes a week on top of this, but I possibly the happiest I have ever been! People I work with often say “How do you stay so calm?”!

I am so grateful for having taken the plunge into YTT and for the positive impact it has had on my life as a whole. I have had so many wonderful experiences in the short time I have been teaching and I am so looking forward to seeing where this journey may take me in the future.

by Marie Newton

You're Never Too Old To Follow Your Dreams

Compared to most I am fairly new to yoga. It is something that I have dipped in and out of over the years, but it wasn’t until recovering from a cycling accident in 2015 that I really found that a regular practice helped me to regain my strength, both mentally and physically.

My first experience of yoga was mainly through home practice, helped by online classes, books and the odd workshop. I fell in love with the practice and in 2017 I went to Greece on a magical yoga holiday, where after many conversations with the teachers, was inspired to look at teacher training myself.

The choice of courses was quite overwhelming, but as a CAMYOGA member it seemed an obvious choice to enrol with them and, being impatient, I liked the fact the intensive course could be completed within six months and was fairly local to my home in Cambridgeshire.

I’m not your average new teacher. For a start, my teacher training course was a 50th birthday present to myself.


I am also no gymnast and know too well the wear and tear that years of cycling and running can cause on the body as I am tight, lopsided and click a lot, so when looking for a training course I was very conscious of all of this and extremely nervous about what I was entering into! I shouldn’t have been, the other students were all lovely, I wasn’t the oldest (not that it would have mattered if I was!) and on the first day, everyone was apprehensive about what was to come.

This year has been truly amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed the training and am still in touch with all the other students. It was a tough, emotional and inspirational 6 months that I will never forget and it was well worth it. Since qualifying, I have reduced my hours as a management consultant to part-time and have started my own yoga and wellbeing business. Along with offering private nutritional advice I now also teach 5 yoga classes a week in Buckden and Stonely, Kimbolton in Cambridgeshire to a wide range of students and absolutely love what I do.

And the best bit?  All the doubts that I had about being too old, not ‘gymnastic’ enough and quite new to yoga have proved to be positives as they mean that I bring honesty, understanding and real-life experience to my teaching.

You’re never too old to follow your dreams.


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CAMYOGA Bursary Student Leads Fight Against Eating Disorders

CAMYOGA Bursary Student Leads Fight Against Eating Disorders

- by James Downs

I started attending CAMYOGA in November 2016, after a long time of telling myself that “I really ought to go back to yoga soon”. Although I had tried yoga years ago - at a very different point in my life - I would be the first to admit that my knowledge of yoga at this point was quite limited. In this sense, coming to CAMYOGA was the beginning of a whole new journey for me. At the same time however, it came with a feeling of ‘coming home’, returning to something I had a profound sense of connection with. 

Despite not really seeing myself as a yogi back then, I somehow had a sense of confidence and trust in the process of becoming a yoga teacher. As I started to go regularly to classes at CAMYOGA, it seemed as though something was slowly being revealed in me that had been there all along. With every pose I learnt, I was uncovering a greater sense of knowing that yoga was something that simply had to be a part of my life. 

Of course, the idea of becoming a teacher was a scary and uncertain one - would I be any good? Was my practice good enough? Would anyone come to my classes? These anxieties however paled into insignificance when I reminded myself of my long recovery from severe anorexia and bulimia since my mid-teens. My life-threatening struggle with eating disorders showed me that if I could cope with that, I could cope with almost anything. For many years, my eating disorder had ground me down and taken away opportunities, time and health. Now however, I took a sense of confidence from tackling such a difficult condition that I (and even the doctors who treated me) thought I would never recover from. Now I was ready.


I already had so many ideas of what I could do with my teacher training: so many ways in which I  could use yoga for the good of others. I had a strong background as a mental health campaigner, having organised events to raise awareness and funds for mental health. From charity concerts and vegan cake sales to political hustings and speaking in Parliament, it seems natural to me to use and share personal talents to make a difference. In the same way, I had benefitted from yoga myself, and so I wanted to share it with others, hoping that they might find it useful for their own wellbeing or even as part of recovery from an eating disorder. 

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The CAMYOGA Bursary has helped make my dream of using yoga to help other people experiencing eating disorders a reality. All of the plans and ideas I had, as wonderful as they may have been, would simply not have happened without the financial support of the teacher training Bursary. Soon after qualifying, I organised a “Yoga Against Eating Disorders” fundraising event, where I taught a class in my home city of Cardiff, raising funds for the Service for High Risk Eating Disorders in South East Wales. They had saved my life, and ever since being discharged I have worked with them to improve the support for other people going through similar difficulties. Having seen first-hand the level of pressure on their resources, I know that the £1000 that was raised at the yoga event will make a huge difference. 

I believe that there is so much potential for yoga to help people experiencing all kinds of mental and emotional difficulties - especially where these relate to the relationship between mind and body and anxieties around body image. Of course, yoga can be used unhelpfully and we can punish ourselves by pushing into pain, comparing ourselves to perfect Instagram photos and reinforcing unhelpful patterns of behaviour. This was certainly how I encountered yoga for the first time, when I would push my emaciated body in intense yoga classes to the point of passing out or being asked to leave the class. Because of this, I am especially passionate about promoting ways of practicing yoga that are beneficial for our mental health. Practicing yoga in a very compassionate way is what has given me the confidence to use my own body to help others to learn, and helped changed the way I think about my body from something I once wanted to destroy to something worth nurturing and celebrating.

James presenting at a National eating disorders conference in Brighton earlier this month

To try and help promote yoga as a therapeutic rather than competitive or punitive practice, I’m trying to take my own personal experience and beliefs about yoga into my campaigning and academic work. On November 17th I gave a presentation and lead a workshop on the benefits of yoga at a national eating disorders conference in Brighton, exploring issues such a self image, body dissatisfaction and exercise in relation to eating problems. This builds upon outreach events I have already done with the wider student body at Cambridge University, at my own college here, and through teaching at NHS England on World Mental Health Day. As a psychology student, I am hoping to further my connection with the Service for High Risk Eating Disorders as part of my Masters thesis, and have set up an honorary contract with the service to teach yoga on a 1-1 basis with patients. Watch this space!

What strikes me most when I look back on my journey into teaching yoga is how much I’ve relied on the support not just of myself, but of so many people around me. Yoga is all about connection, union, joining. I have been so lucky to have everything fall into place at the right time, and all the necessary dots join together to make becoming a yoga teacher happen. A fundamental part of this was the CAMYOGA bursary, which enabled me to learn from inspiring teachers during an amazing teacher training. It helped me to find the support of tutors and fellow trainees, and I have continued to be supported by CAMYOGA as a graduate. Of course, I continue to learn from my students every time I teach. 

The generosity of the Bursary scheme motivates me to be generous with what I’ve learnt. Having the chance to use my skills towards making a real difference to others - especially for those struggling with eating disorders - has been hugely rewarding. For me, this is an example of what yoga is all about. 


Find out more about our Teacher Training Diplomas here.

Want to have a chat about Teacher Training at CAMYOGA? Give us a call on 01223 840700 or email


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Become a Yoga Teacher? Why?


6 reasons why you should become a yoga teacher straight from the mouths of our Camyoga teachers

1 - You make a positive difference to other people’s lives

“What I love about teaching is to have the possibility to share knowledge and/or experience with other people so that they too might feel the benefits and happiness it gave me.” Jozef Wiewel

“i like the idea of helping people or influence them in a positive way” Hakan Aydin

2 - Become a yoga teacher - keep fit and healthy and it does not have a retirement age!

“It's probably the one and only job in the world which makes you healthier and happier the more you "work" (with no negative side-effects!)” Andrea Price

“Yoga teaching goes with you throughout your life. I am still teaching 30 years on from my training, and one of my first teachers only retired at 75.” Beverley Nolan

3 - It enriches your own spirit and mind; to be in “satsang” – to learn and grow yourself from other like-minded people

“Teaching enhances one’s own personal development because as a teacher you are forever expanding your knowledge.” Kari Knight

“Teaching is a two-way dynamic, and everyone you meet is unique. I learn a lot from everyone” Beverley Nolan

4 – You become part of a positive and proactive community

“Social connectedness supports us. Practicing yoga in the community in the company of others brings social connectedness. Other benefits include sharing positive energy of love, compassion, kindness.” Kari Knight

5 – As a yoga teacher you can help people to reconnect and re-energize

“To guide and to inspire others that yoga means finding connections and links to all life – life is precious , all beings are worthy, lets make the planet a better place to live on and off the mat “ Andrea Kwiatkowski

“It may sound like a trite FB post, but you have something not only practical but amazing to offer people: a way back to the lived experience of the body” Beverley Nolan

6 – It’s a great and enjoyable job!

“You get to teach something that you love (and have the perfect excuse to do as many yoga courses and workshops as you want)” Paul Fox

So there is it, from the horse's mouth so to speak. Thank you to all the yoga teachers that took part, though I must say I can't believe nobody mentioned the great clothes you get to wear to work (have you seen the leggings they have for sale at the moment?!) If you are interested in becoming a yoga teacher take a look at our courses and workshops here or email us at

“with teaching comes responsibility , you guide , like the translation of Namaste says- “the spirit of yoga in me guides and honors the spirit of yoga in you” – that in essence is what your ultimate reason should be about” Andrea Kwiatkowski