Hi, everyone, it's me, Steven (Lamppost). I usually leave the blog posts to Teri, but I think I am in a better position to tell you why our Teach From Love Seminars are so awesome. See, moving to New England was the best thing I could have done to become a better Bikram Yoga teacher, but I never intended to live here. Let me tell you how it happened.
When I had been teaching Bikram Yoga for about a year, I realized I desperately needed some mentoring. I had so many questions and wasn't getting a lot of answers. So I arranged a trip to visit Diane Ducharme Gardner (Teri's mentor and first teacher) in Boston, Massachusetts. As I look back on it now, I realize I was either completely delusional or completely full of myself; I thought that I could come to Boston for two weeks and learn everything Diane had learned from teaching for 20+ years—ha! Two weeks immediately turned into a month, which turned into six months, which turned into nine months and... That was four years ago.
Within just a few weeks my whole practice changed. My whole body changed. There was significant improvement to my backward bend, and my knees didn't hurt anymore—all due to just a few small changes in my technique. I felt excited and motivated to learn as much as I could while I was here, so I became Diane's shadow: I got up every morning to take her class, attended every private lesson she taught, attended all of her posture clinics, went to every lunch opportunity to talk about yoga, and hung around the studio for hours just to hear one more golden nugget of wisdom.
After I'd been in New England for about a year, I started doing the same thing to Teri. I asked her so many questions I ended up moving into her house and living there for three years! That's when we started Teach From Love, and ever since then we've spent most of our time thinking about and discussing the best ways to help teachers learn and grow. 2017 will be the fifth year that Teri has offered teacher seminars and the fourth year we have been doing them together. We have been constantly refining the format, and it's now the best it has ever been.
So what's so great about our Teach From Love Seminars?
1) You can experience Teri's studio.
Teri runs her studio as a wellness center. It's a place where people come when they need healing. We have a lovely community with a wide variety of practitioners, all of whom are excited to help each other grow. You’ll see practitioners aged 8 to 80, yoga champions next to brand-new beginners, or students practicing in a chair. Students here practice with injuries and limitations—double shoulder replacements, hip replacements, and knee replacements (though you often can't tell because many of them can sit Japanese style!). It is also a place of love, which means you can practice as a teacher free from any judgment or pressure on your practice—your only goal is to take care of yourself. If this is different from your home studio, it really is something you need to experience to understand.
2) We know what you need to know.
Teri has taught thousands of students and mentored hundreds of Bikram Yoga teachers over the years, a process that has enabled her to recognize common tools teachers need to go from being a good teacher to becoming a great one. We also understand a lot of the common blind spots—the things you don't know you don't know. In other words, the curriculum is thorough and comprehensive so that, no matter where you are in your teaching, you can learn the tools that will help you grow.
3) There's enough time.
It takes time to change, both in your practice and your teaching. You might have to struggle with a concept or an idea for a couple of days before it sinks in. In our experience, this takes time and people often experience big breakthroughs the last few days of a seminar. A weeklong seminar provides enough time for you to digest the new information you're learning and still have time to ask follow-up questions. The seminars are purposely kept small, so you have time to ask questions both about your personal practice as well as the teaching tools you're learning.
4) You can get back into the yoga bubble.
Our seminars are like all the best parts of teacher training and a yoga retreat combined. Everything is optional. If you want to sleep in and not go to yoga, you can do that. If you want to go for a walk in the woods instead of listen to Teri’s lecture, you can do that, too. The food is delicious, the company is excellent, the yoga studio is fabulous, and the retreat center is breathtaking (even in March!). It is the perfect environment for learning and growing.
5) Our seminars are true to the source.
No one else is doing what we are doing. Not even close. Everything we teach is supported by the Dialogue and is based on the way Bikram teaches beginners. You will leave the seminar with a much better understanding of Bikram Yoga: the Dialogue, all of the postures, the theory of teaching yoga, and the teaching tools to help every student who walks into your class. Those tools will enable you to grow as a teacher for many months after the seminar.
Our hope is that you will leave with a sustainable lifetime practice, so that you can practice Bikram Yoga without pain for the rest of your life. In other words, your new knowledge will restore Bikram Yoga to its full healing potential—so that you (and your students) can get the maximum benefit and have a happy, healthy life in and out of the hot room.
Hope to see you at a seminar!