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The British Wheel of Yoga Diploma journey

This weekend marked the last day of our British Wheel of Yoga diploma course up in Troon in Scotland with Carol Price. It also marked 3 years since we first met our wonderful tutor Carol Price and began training with her.

A serious end of course pitcure
Slightly less serious exuberance

Our first Yoga Teacher Training qualification

Our first teacher training course which we started in February 2016 with Yoga Alliance as the awarding body left us feeling unprepared to teach yoga. I am sure that there are some very good courses out there with Yoga Alliance as the awarding body. In fact I have been on some myself, however our first Yoga teacher training course certainly wasn’t one of them.

British Wheel of Yoga Certificate in Teaching Yoga

Feeling quite despondent, we were recommended to look at the British Wheel of Yoga. We found a certificate course running in Salford with Paul Fox (then BWY chair) and Carol Price. I had a chat with Paul and we decided that we would embark on another teacher training course that would actually teach us to teach yoga! The British Wheel of Yoga Level 4 Certificate course has BWY Qualifications as its awarding body which is regulated by OFQUAL. This was more like it! A qualification that we could be proud of. There was a lot of hard work, learning and academic essays to complete. We were also assessed teaching a real 90 minute class with real students. The final day of the course was very emotional and we felt very proud of our certificate. This was a world apart from our previous experience!

British Wheel of Yoga Diploma in Teaching Yoga

We then became aware that Carol Price had a British Wheel of Yoga diploma course which was part way through. It was possible we could tag on to the course and upgrade our qualification to the highest level of OFQUAL regulated Yoga Teacher Training available, the BWY Level 4 Diploma. We gave this serious consideration. The course was running in Troon in Scotland and obviously entailed a further significant financial and time investment. Both of us wanted to continue our learning with Carol and felt it was absolutely the right thing to do.

The British Wheel of Yoga diploma top up has been a fantastic experience. It covers 3 modules on Hatha Yoga & Pranayama, the teaching & philosophy of meditation and progression in yoga.

On the course we dived deep into the ancient texts and looked at how we could make them relevant for our classes and create rich layered lessons. The formal essay writing was the part that I found particularly enjoyable. It really encouraged me to read around the topics and to draw together references and importantly allowed me to work out my own opinions. There was also a further assessment of us teaching one of our real weekly 90 minute classes, and those who come to our classes may remember Carol sitting in the corner! Despite having been teaching for 3 years at the point of being assessed it was still a very nerve wrecking experience. I felt supported and buoyed by the lovely yoga students who attend our class.

Carol Price – Celtic Yoga

Let me just say a few words about Carol Price our Diploma Course Tutor. Carol has been a wonderful guide to us on our diploma course. She never fails to come up with either a wonderful pearl of wisdom, a lovely new mobilisation exercise or an intelligent imaginative sequence. Carol always provided constructive and helpful feedback. One of her catch phrases being “what could make you even better would be….”. She has been an extremely important teacher to us. We can’t thank her enough, we will always affectionately refer to her as our Yoga Mama!

British Wheel of Yoga Diploma Yogasmiths
Yoga Mama Carol Price with her two boys!

Here is a link to Carol’s facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Celtic-Yoga-264932390858722/

Continuous Professional Development

As an already qualified yoga teacher (at least twice over) when embarking on the Diploma top up I was keen to get as much out of it as possible. When deciding to do further training / CPD I want to gain extra knowledge that is going to make me a better teacher. This is certainly what we got in bucket loads from the diploma course with Carol. It has also been a greatly enriching personal journey studying in depth the ancient yogic texts and pulling together formal assignments.

We are both very proud to be British Wheel of Yoga teachers. With an OFQUAL regulated awarding body, you know that you are going to get excellent quality training and rigorous assessment. It may feel like a lot of hard work as you progress through the BWY training but this is exactly why it is worth it. You come out the other end of the training prepared and ready to teach yoga to all ability classes. The staged approach to teaching that the BWY train you in is all inclusive. We have in our classes students who are retired yoga teachers and others who are completely new to yoga. Both are able to practice side by side.

Choose Wisely

There are so many different yoga teacher training courses out there, I even saw one that was a correspondence course! Choose wisely. How long does it really take to learn a profession such as teaching yoga? In an unregulated arena go for regulated courses. Do your homework. Speak to previous trainees. Spend your money and time wisely and you won’t regret it.

Check out our bio’s for further details of all the training we have undertaken: https://yogasmiths.org/about/

British Wheel of Yoga Diploma Yogasmiths
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A Great Start to the BWY Gentle Years Yoga National Research Trial

Gentle Years Yoga Class online

Hi Everyone, some of you may be aware that we are taking part in an exciting trial around our chair based Gentle Years Yoga class. Here is an article about the Gentle Years Yoga National Research Trial written by Laura Bissell who, along with Jenny Howsam created Gentle Years Yoga;

Gentle Years Yoga National Research Trial

On  30th June, nine northern BWY Gentle Years Yoga (GYY) teachers met at the Principal Hotel in York for the first Standardisation Training Day in preparation for Septembers launch of the NIHR Research Trial classes. The next Standardisation Day will be on 23rd November in Birmingham for research teachers involved in the second wave of classes in 2020 to take place in the southern half of England and Wales.

Laura Bissell and Jenny Howsam opened the day with a yoga centering session, followed by inspiring talks from Chief Investigator Dr Garry Tew and Professor Tim Rapley from Northumbria. Trial Manager Helen Tilbrook, Trial Coordinator Shirley Paul and Research Fellow Laura Howe from York went through the formal process that would be used to recruit patients from GP surgeries and the procedures the yoga teachers would need to follow in order to set up the classes. 

It was good to hear that the research so far has shown that yoga might be a useful intervention with the ability to address multiple health conditions at the same time, simply and at low cost to the NHS said BWY teacher Rachel Bayliss from  Chesterfield.  As yoga teachers, we may feel we already know this but if this Trial can prove this, then it may lead to more funding and more support for yoga teachers wanting to offer these classes.

After lunch, Jenny and Laura taught modifications required for a new Age-Related Condition section of the training in response to GPs suggestions for inclusion in the Gentle Years Yoga National Research Trial and they covered yoga sequences that teachers course plans would need to follow for research standardisation and consistency.

Feedback from Yoga teachers attending

“Undertaking the training was a fantastic CPD decision.  The training is inspiring and imaginative and equips you to create your own interesting and layered chair-based yoga sessions” said Yogasmiths Paul Smith and Stephen Smith from Merseyside. “We have been amazed at the change in the people who attend our classes. People with degenerative disease regain strength in their legs and improve their sitting to standing, those with lung diseases have reported their lung capacity checks have shown good improvement from the breathing exercises, but the most profound change is the mental health of the attendees. Some have reported that the GYY class is the highlight of their week.  It is lovely to watch the friendship groups forming.  They rally around in support of one another.”

Clare Gardner from Merseyside summed up the day, “l thought the Standardisation days was useful, fun and informative. It was a great day.”

Celia Grieve from Ripon reported “It was so good to meet the other Research Teachers and the organisers of the Trial.  It answered all the questions I had about delivering the classes.  The whole team are enthusiastic and excited about taking this forward.”

“It felt as though the Trial will make an important transformational change” Stephanie Braysmith from Beverley expressed.  “Hopefully one which will spread throughout the whole of the U.K.”

Further information:

You can find further details about the British Wheel of Yoga here: https://www.bwy.org.uk/ 

You can read our other blogs here: Blog

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Congratulations to our Duke Of Edinburgh Award Yoga Students!

We have been delighted to have been able to introduce yoga to a group of young women completing the Duke of Edinburgh award via our weekly yoga classes.

Faith, Katie and Maisie have been regular attendees at our weekly classes to fulfil the requirements of the Duke of Edinburgh for physical activity / sport.

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They have been and continue to be regular attendees along with their friend Esme. We have been very pleased with their commitment to their yoga practice and their progression within yoga. It was with great pleasure that we were able to sign off part of their Duke of Edinburgh award as assessors and wish them good luck in completing the rest of their award.

If you are completing the Duke of Edinburgh award why not consider attending yoga classes to satisfy the Sports / physical activity requirements!

As they are all under 16 they attend with a parent / guardian and we are pleased to have 2 of their parents as regular attendees to our classes now as well! If you are interested in attending our yoga classes with somebody under the age of 16 please see the student resources tab on our website for details of consent forms that need to be completed.

Namaste

Paul & Steve

The Duke of Edinburgh Award

Please see below for information about the Duke of Edinburgh award, taken from their website;

Since its creation in 1956 by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, the DofE has gone from strength to strength. Guided by the same set of principles and by young people themselves, it’s as relevant today as it was then. The DofE Award was based on Kurt Hahn’s Moray Badge, run by him while Headmaster at Gordonstoun School.

A flexible programme that helps to develop young people for life and work, the numbers speak for themselves: 93% of participants feel that DofE has helped them to work in a team and 84% feel that they have become a more responsible person.   From 1,000 DofE Awards achieved in year one to 142,961 last year, we have both a rich history and a bright future. Why not let our timeline and our young people tell you more?

The DofE has a positive impact on young people’s lives, in terms of their personal development and employability, and on wider society, from charities gaining active and engaged volunteers to businesses hiring work-ready recruits.

Demand remains high. With increasing numbers of young people wanting to take part in the world’s leading youth achievement award, it’s our ambition to give another one million 14 to 24-year-olds in the UK this life-changing opportunity by 2021.

Thanks to our fantastic team of employees and volunteers and the generous donations made by our supporters, we look forward to doing just that.

Find out more here;

https://www.dofe.org

Read our other blogs here: Blog

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Mental Health Awareness Week – helpful tips to deal with stress

At all of our weekly classes this week we discussed Mental Health Awareness Week and the topic for this year which is stress.

Stress has been shown to be one of the main contributory factors in triggering a mental health problem. Research has shown that two thirds of us will experience a mental health problem during our lifetime.

In the spirit of Mental Health Awareness week we decided we would start the conversation about mental health and ask our yoga students to share their tips and ways of dealing with Stress.

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We had our Stress board at all the classes and students all wrote down on a post it note what they do to deal with stress.

At the end of this week we had a mountain of post it notes with lots of helpful tips and ideas. We typed them all up and entered them into a special website of wizardry which came out with a wonderful word cloud with the most common suggestions in a bigger font. Here are the results;

Screen Shot 2018-05-19 at 17.40.32

The top 3 helpful suggestions were going for a walk, talking to someone and doing yoga! Have a look at the word cloud and see if there are any ideas that you may like to try next time you are feeling stressed.

We would like to sincerely thank all of our students for taking part in this activity and sharing their own personal strategies for dealing with stress. Sharing our ideas can help others and remove the perceived stigma around Mental Health. The greater our awareness of Mental Health is and the knowledge that many of us will experience a mental health problem in our lifetime will help those who are suffering in silence. There is no need to suffer in silence, talk and reach out. People have lots of tips and strategies that may help you too.

Paul & Steve

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Happy 1 Year Anniversary of our public classes!

First and foremost thank you to everyone that has supported us over the last year since we moved from teaching one to ones to group classes!

This includes all those that have come to our public yoga classes, our one to one clients and our corporate clients!

Thursday 19th April 2018 marked the one year anniversary. A one year anniversary is traditionally known as the paper anniversary, so what better way to mark this than by giving away some of our gift vouchers!

We decided to add up who had attended the most classes and give something back to our biggest supporters.

Our leader board was as follows;

1st place – a gift voucher for a block of 6 classes – Jane Walsh

2nd place – a voucher for 3 classes – Janet Deighton

3rd place – a voucher for 3 classes – Julie Forshaw

4th place – a box of fancy chocolates – Graham Cowell

There were also Co-op vegan doughnuts for everyone after class, a fine selection of both custard and jam. One of our class members, Margaret can be seen feeding us doughnuts in the picture below whilst demonstrating our peak poses of Cobra and Upwards facing dog.

Thank you again for all your support

Namaste

Paul & Steve xx

 

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