What Yoga Teacher Training Doesn’t Teach: Lessons From the Pandemic

Yoga students with dreams of becoming a yoga teacher will go through 200+ hours of training to add to their yoga bio that they are a registered yoga teacher (ryt 200) through yoga alliance or a comparable organization.

Many will go further in their training by enrolling in continuing education programs that will add several hundred more training hours. The extensive training covers topics such as yoga philosophy, sequencing, hands-on assists and a variety other yoga related practices.

There are a lot of teacher training programs to accommodate the various teaching styles; however, none of them anticipated the disruption the yoga studios would experience in 2020. Yoga classes moved from group classes at the studio to a personal practice at home, in a shared communal Zoom setting.

How does a teacher adapt their teaching methods during these times?

It is a lesson that has not been incorporated in past teacher training programs but perhaps will be in the future for all styles of yoga.

We follow a yoga teacher who has demonstrated the ability to adapt through these changes and stay connected with her student community.

Through social media and Instagram posts, veteran yoga teacher Jamie Harig shares her journey and lessons learned from teaching in the traditional studio setting to a new format -- online Zoom. Currently, she teaches a hybrid of online and in-person classes (ashtanga, vinyasa flow and yoga nidra).

Jamie and yoga students surround her; computer screen with zoom attendees in front of them

Yoga Teacher Jamie Harig (follow her @JamieHarig or Ashtanga Open Practice for future Yoga Teacher Training NYC updates)

Jamie demonstrating hanumanasana/split assist into a variation on Yogasana’s eco-friendly yoga mat.

This is what our Mysore crew walked into today. I got one hand assist on both sides. I'm so appreciative of the collective energy. When we lost our old space people asked us why we didn't just do privates.

I've never felt more healing or joy happen for me than when sharing space with others breathing and moving with the same longing for freedom.

"I have everything I need”

"Merrily, merrily, merrily.." Leaving these 3 weeks with a very clear picture of why this
space was named Ascend. So grateful to Ascend Center and to everyone who came.

Jamie demonstrating hanumanasana/split assist into a variation on Yogasana’s eco-friendly yoga mat

I kept looking at that dream catcher the last few days
almost trying to make a wish or define a dream.

But I kept being taken back to one of my favorite sankalpa phrases, "I have everything I need."

So today, I looked at it and trusted the process. Trusted that maybe what's to come is something beyond what I could dream up. The experiences of the past 3 weeks definitely exceeded expectations.

I get very inspired watching zoom practices. It actually helps me a lot. The dedication, the deep chats, the laughter.

While I am feeling super lucky to be on the teaching side of in-person classes, I can not wait to join yoga practice with others.

Jamie demonstrating a handstand transition on our Ether (purple) yoga mat at one of her new teaching spaces in NY.

Read Next: How Yoga and Meditation Will Enrich Your Life in 2021

Join Jamie at Ashtanga Open Practice

  • In-person: Mysore, M-F 6am-11am
    2067 Broadway, New York, NY
  • Online: Patreon

Yoga Teacher Bio: Jamie Harig

Jamie began practicing yoga over 20 years ago in NYC. She began teaching yoga in the Ashtanga Open Practice room in 2014.

Much of what she shares comes from her husband, Scott Harig and their teacher, Manju Jois. She has also learned ashtanga with David Swenson, Kathy McNames and Nancy Gilgoff. She did her Yoga Nidra teacher training with Shakti Assouline Benedict and hasbeen sharing that practice since 2015.

She graduated from Fordham University with honors in Communications and religious studies. Jamie previously worked as an actress, singer and dancer.


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