Teacher Training Program


If you love yoga deeply, you are already sharing it on a teacher-level. People around you experience your love and it teaches them yoga. WYC’s next Teacher Training Program will give real depth to that sharing. The love has to be there already, but if it is, we can guide things from there. Everything that yoga is has a place in our programs. It’s a matter of heart. The heart opens us up to real yogic knowledge and then love pours into it naturally.

So don’t worry about whether you’re ready to be a yoga instructor.  If you love yoga, you’re ready to start the process. Again, it may already be happening, and maybe you already know that. It’s also possible that you’re already teaching yoga. Even so–even if you’re already a yoga instructor–our program can be great for you. Frankly, it deepens everyone’s ability to teach no matter what your experience level is.

HOW TO FIND OUT IF WYC TEACHER TRAINING IS RIGHT FOR YOU

If you love yoga, the next real step to knowing if our program is right for you is to ask us questions. Email or call us. When you’re ready, Scott will conduct an interview, but even that is about you really. Scott will help you figure out if the program is right for you way more than vice versa. Again, if you actually love yoga, chances are great that you’re right for us. If you really love yoga it’s unlikely our political and religious views will clash with yours. We’re political and religious. How you vote and what you believe is your business, but, for example, if you believe in building walls to keep people out of the country, we’re not going to get along. Check out the About Us page for more on that. Of course, most yoga people understand that yoga promotes social justice and religious pluralism. So if you love yoga, we probably are right for you. If you feel that connection with our approach, then check to see if the dates of the next course works for you. The financial part can always be workout, so the thing is to contact us. It’s a simple process.

Or just come in. Maybe the easiest thing of all is to attend our Saturday class at 8:30am. It’s a slow, stretch oriented class with room for talk. Come, stretch, listen to Scott talk, and ask questions. We’re at 3870 Lemon St in downtown Riverside. Or come on Sunday at 9:00am for an active “Ashtanga” class. It’s not at all a prerequisite for enrolling in the Teacher Training program, but attending some WYC open sessions will give you the best sense of what we do. Besides, the sessions themselves are great training for teachers. And if you’re already teaching, it’s even better. For people already doing some teaching, coming to WYC’s advanced open sessions will be like post-graduate work. Lots of teachers maintain their own personal practice with us. That’s another reason for our existence. It may seem strange, but lots of yoga instructors have a challenging time keeping up their personal practice. They teach yoga, but they teach yoga at the same times when all of the other yoga classes in the area are happening, and it’s hard to consistently practice on their own. The teachers who practice with us have solved that issue by practicing with us in the morning. You can join us then too, and for those of you who are not teaching yet, the truth is you can learn how to be a teacher just by practicing at WYC. That’s fine with us.

Either way, experiencing WYC will…

  • Enable you to share your love of yoga with deeper energetic awareness
  • Increase your knowledge of yoga poses
  • Treat you to the joy of teaching asana, pranayama and meditation
  • Expose you to all forms of yogic philosophy and spirituality
  • Unlock your authentic inner voice
  • Open your heart and connect you to other open-hearted people
  • Teach you practical anatomy for understanding injuries, poses, and mind-body energetics
  • Expand your awareness of energy and its yogic expressions
  • Develop your teaching style
  • Demystify the principles of class and pose sequencing
  • Prove for you that yoga art and yoga music can be expressed by anyone.

BASIC FACTS ABOUT THE TEACHER TRAINING PROGRAM

It starts every October, and lasts eight months. Three months before each new program, the schedule is set and posted. For the first half of the course, there will be one weekend per month. Saturday sessions go from 10:30am to 5:30pm.  Sunday sessions go from 10:30am to 3:30pm. There is some required reading, but the homework is relatively light. The emotional engagement experienced during program weekends is intense and you will need time to rest Sunday evenings.

Students receive a Program manual on the first day of the course. It contains explanations of everything taught in the course. There’s a full schedule in it and the schedule includes a sequenced list of main poses and associated teaching concepts. The order of those poses is meaningful because they come together to create the structure of a regular yoga class. So the things that happen at the beginning of a regular yoga class are taught at the beginning of the program, the things that happen in the middle of a regular yoga class are taught in the middle of the program, and the things that happen at the end of a regular yoga class are taught at the end of the program. It creates a meaningful structure and helps students understand how to sequence poses.

The course structure is also designed to increase what we call “energetic sensitivity.”  It’s what society numbs.  DSCN0127Energetically sensitive humans don’t do what society wants in respect to commerce. Numb people buy things they don’t need, thinking it will make them happy. Energetically sensitive people experience freedom from the societal enforcements related to unhappiness. People who are effective energy experiencers feel good to the point of being at least relatively free. And that’s why the WYC program starts out with spiritual experiencing. We jump right in to the highest levels of yogic engagement so that our coming together as spiritual beings elevates our consciousness. And the initiation process is more creative than intellectual, involving WYC YOGA MUSIC AND ART.

And if that scares you a little, don’t worry about it. If the ideas in that last paragraph weren’t scary to most people–even most “yoga people”–they wouldn’t be true. What happens in our programs is a little scary, and WYC’s Teacher Training programs are not just scary in spiritual ways. We’re scary creatively too because unlike other yoga teacher training programs, we expand the usual scope of yoga training courses with yoga music and art. Of course, in the end, it’s more fun that frightening. In fact, in the end, it’s not scary at all. The music and art just enhance our energetic understanding of yoga and in turn, the enhanced love of yoga makes it easy to understand the philosophies and methodologies that have confused even the most renown contemporary yoga teachers.

That’s the tricky part to explain. There’s so much confusion about what form of yoga everyone does today that explaining things isn’t enough. We have to actually experience yoga spiritually, soulfully, intellectually, emotionally, and physically for the explanation to make sense. So, in WYC’s Teacher Training Program, you get to do yoga in all the ways it can be done. Most of those ways don’t happen in regular yoga classes. There are different “styles” of yoga and doing yoga in regular studio classes exposes you to the different styles. Even in WYC’s regular open sessions, people are exposed to a style. It’s called Ashtanga. But WYC’s Teacher Training Program is not based on any style. The way we teach students how to instruct the poses has been influenced by all the main styles of yoga, including Iyengar, Kundalini, Sivananda, and Viniyoga.

Because the course is emotionally intense, prospective students are strongly encouraged to consider the timing of doing the program. There should be room for change in your life and if there are already intense things happening for you–a death in the family, divorce, or alike–please let us know ahead of time, so we can discuss that.

While the course begins each October, because the weekend course material scheduling is consistent year to year, students with enough previous experience can join programs in progress and then attend the first part of the next program to complete the course.

WHAT IT TAKES ON A PHYSICAL LEVEL

You do not need to be able to do so-called “advanced” yoga poses. If you can do a basic Sun Salute, you’ll be fine. Doing Headstand is not a pre-requisite. Those people with advanced practices can add to the program curriculum by attending WYC’s advanced open sessions and learning from that experience as well. Those people with less experience and who want help developing the physical aspects of yoga can come to regular open sessions to receive help with basic pose execution. It helps too that the program tuition pays for the extra sessions.

Being willing to challenge yourself on all levels is important—possibly more important than your present state of yogic knowledge and experience. Even people relatively new to yoga can be immersed in yogic spirit and find a new way of sharing yoga. So your physical abilities are of little concern. You need to be confident, but not physically gifted. And even if you have some doubts about your physical ability to be a yoga instructor, you can get over that insecurity with a little patience. You’ll see that physical limitations never kept anyone from being a wonderful, loving yoga teacher. Others in the group will be dealing with the same insecurities you have. If you let yourself receive love and support from the group you’ll be fine.  Teacher training fellows often become life-long friends.

GROUP ASPECT

Perhaps the most important thing is to understand that you will be part of a spiritual group. Yogis call it a “Sangha.” What makes yoga Sanghas so powerful is that they can tolerate and even foster diversity. Everyone believes what they believe, and while it takes an open mind to grow, outside of the aforementioned belief in social justice and religious understanding, you will not be encouraged, much less required to believe a certain way. Yoga Sanghas support spiritual individuality even as they inspire collective spiritual joy.

CONTACTING US

Call us or email us until you can make a good decision. If the conversation we have is inspiring, that’s a good sign. You can contact Scott Miller directly at 951-522-6266 or by email. Scott conducts  pre-registration interviews himself because they are not just a step in your process, but a really important step that helps begin your journey well.

Like any important journey, if you knew ahead of time what it would entail, you’d feel overwhelmed. And at this point, you probably can’t grasp how your love of yoga can make it easy to learn everything in the program. But it does “just” happen. The group love makes it easy for everyone to learn practical and effective asana instructional techniques and principles, teaching methodologies, anatomy, directed and non-directed meditation, chakras, sutras, mudras, mantras, sacred chants, pranayama, Taoist theory, meridian theory, class design, observational skills, social awareness, business and teacher ethics, and the dynamics of teacher/student relationship.

In connection with your love, WYC is also structured to help you be fully committed to the program, and being fully committed to the actual program sessions is really all it takes at first.  Class sessions for each course total 120 hours. They happen at least once a month, with each of the 10 weekend sessions lasting 7 hours on Saturday and 5 hours on Sunday.  Additional reading and practical assignments will go along with the sessions, but the extra study requirements are relatively easy.  In order to fulfill the 200-hour Yoga Alliance RYT registration requirement, you will need to log an extra 80 hours of yoga related activities. The options are listed below under GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS.  But keep in mind that WYC makes this part of becoming an RYT with Y.A. particularly easy by providing “open regular sessions” that are included in your tuition.  These regular sessions are open to everyone, not just students enrolled in Teacher Training, but they are also taught on teacher-level.  Lots of instructors and WYC alumni attend our daily open sessions, making it a great environment for teachers in training.

FACTS ABOUT WESTERN YOGA COLLEGE

WYC has been in existence for over a decade and the studio-style Yoga Teacher Training Program we conduct has been going on since 2001. WYC director, Scott Miller, began doing the first studio-style Teaching Training Programs (outside of universities) in the area right after founding what was once the largest non-Coastal California yoga studio.

But WYC is also just a little group of yoga lovers. You can tell by our logo that we have a sense of humor.  WYCeyeLogoFinWe’ve been around long enough to see the ups and downs of yoga’s popularity. We stand outside the trendiness through a unique combination of hardcore dedication and could-care-less-ness. So what makes WYC’s programs different has to do with creativity. We create an original yogic theory, methodology, music, and art, and we try to be humble about it. That’s the hard part.  WYC was not founded by a humble man.  Before establishing WYC, Mr. Miller was science fiction television writer, and before that he was a highly regarded visual artist. Mr. Miller has written three books on yoga, and the ideas in those books have been incorporated into the fantastically creative WYC curriculum. You can read the new (unpublished) first four chapters of his book “What Is(n’t) Hatha Yoga?” HERE.

And here are a few more facts that might matter to you:

WYC is registered with Yoga Alliance. WYC graduates are immediately eligible to become “Registered Teachers.” That registration status is recognized by Yoga Studios, Fitness Clubs, Hospitals, Universities and Community Colleges, Community Centers, Public Schools, and Wellness Centers who hire yoga teachers. As a registered school with Yoga Alliance, Western Yoga College is able to guarantee that our graduates will become RYTs through a simple, automatic filing process.

All WYC graduates can repeat the program in a connection with an even smaller tuition. WYC is registered with YA as both a “200 and 500 hour School.” So graduating repeaters are eligible to register as E-RYTs at YA.

REGISTRATION AND PAYMENT FOR TEACHER TRAINING

The first step in registering with WYC Teacher Training is to complete a telephone interview with Scott Miller, the program director. You can call Scott directly at 951-522-6266 to get this process started.  But even if you do call directly, it’s helpful to also contact us with your info. After completion of your course interview and a mutual decision to go forward, we can proceed to payment arrangements and options. The fee for the entire course is $1,500 if paid by the first day of the program, though we understand that it is not always possible for students to pay the total course fee in advance. We therefore provide additional options, such as splitting payments in halves, or even arranging monthly payment schedules. Along with the lowest fees in the yoga world, WYC also offers scholarships. It would be inconsistent with our whole approach toward yoga to handle money issues cold-heartedly. So please don’t hesitate to speak to us about monthly payments and other considerations that could help you attend WYC. We want to help.

Cancellation Policy

Refunds are not guaranteed. If you have paid the full course fee we will consider any legitimate emergency as the basis for a fee refund. The amount of refund will depend on how much of the program has been completed.

GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS

This is a 200-hour program. Students will complete 120 of those hours during the weekend sessions of the 8-month course, or by doing two-week intensive courses when offered.

The accumulation of the additional 80 hours will be the trainee’s responsibility and can be handled in a range of ways at very little extra cost. We will help guide you through your options, which can and ought to be highly individualized. They include the following:

  • up to 40 hrs of regular public classes at approved venues
  • up to 20 hrs of approved workshops and, or kirtans
  • up to 40 hrs observing, adjusting, assisting, and, or student-teaching at approved venues
  • up to 10 hrs creating a spiritual art project (yantra) above and beyond what the project usually takes.
  • up to 25 hrs teaching family or friends as your students and writing a report about it
  • up to 20 hrs teaching regular classes at an approved venue

Students will also complete the following in connection with direct program instruction:

  • complete a Final Exam (open book and notes, so don’t stress)
  • complete a yoga art project called a yantra.
  • read the required books

Certificates verifying completion of a 200-hour program in yoga instruction from Western Yoga College will be presented to all graduates. Since Western Yoga College is accredited by the Yoga Alliance, graduates of our program will have completed the necessary requirements for becoming a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT). The RYT recognition from the Yoga Alliance will follow separately, upon acceptance of individual applications from graduates.

REQUIRED READING

You will also be able to purchase Scott’s book from him…What Is(n’t) Hatha Yoga? – The Book

RECOMMENDED READING