Yoga was first taught in ancient times by a Master passing on its numerous techniques and complex philosophy to one student at a time. In modern-day yoga classes of 60 students or more, one-to-one teaching may appear a luxury. But Mark Breadner believes that the future of yoga teaching is better qualified, more authentic yoga teachers specialising in niche markets, and one-to-one yoga coaching.
“Taking something out of context renders it meaningless,” says Mark. “Doing asanas is not doing yoga unless we understand and study the other components that make up yoga. If you’ve learnt to just teach asana, come learn to teach yoga with us.”
Crowded yoga market
Yoga has become a mainstream physical activity in Australia and yoga teacher training courses abound. But many teachers struggle to differentiate themselves, and older, more experienced teachers are still attracting committed students. All of which doesn’t leave much room for the newer teacher to attract students to their classes.
Yogacoach begins from the premise that the yoga teacher must live and experience all facets of yoga to be able to teach effectively. The syllabus incorporates the whole methodology of yoga, and teacher trainees deepen their understanding of all aspects, from the physical body and energy systems to the unconscious mind.
They are supported by Mark, a teacher trainer with 15 years experience teaching teachers on yoga courses both nationally and internationally, and Tanya Halleday.
Tanya specialises in teaching in the corporate arena, sharing insights into the day-to-day stresses of the modern office-bound person. Mark’s background in corrective exercise therapy and injury rehabilitation, combined with qualifications in Exercise Kinesiology, led him to specialise in training elite athletes such as Ian Thorpe, members of the Olympic Swimming Team, pro-surfer Phil MacDonald and members of the Rip Curl pro-surf team.
Finding your teaching niche
Mark and Tanya are strong believers in the need for yoga teachers to specialise in a niche. Working closely with teacher trainees through weekly mentoring sessions, regular assessments and case studies, as well as specialists from other areas, Mark and Tanya help students decide on a niche for their yoga teaching.
“From teaching prenatal yoga, ‘mums and bubs’, children or teens, to elite sportspeople or drug and alcohol rehab, there’s lots of areas where the philosophies and practices of yoga can be put to good use,” says Mark.
“The yoga teacher as a coach is really a modern-day guru who supports the student to live well. To live up to the responsibilities that the student confers on the teacher, the yoga teacher needs to work from a comprehensive, complete system that not only gives them the tools to teach well, but supports their own wellbeing and continuing development.”