Yoga Teacher Assistant Training Program

Have you ever thought about taking the leap into becoming a Yoga Teacher Assistant?

“Creating connection and community through touch”

New Students Module PicA gifted assistant translates the yoga teacher’s words in the class into action by teaching the students through physical touch by offering corrective and deepening adjustments that enhance the students’ understanding of each pose. The guidance of a good assistant can be profound and students often express great appreciation for the steady presence of an assistant week after week. It is a deeply rewarding role, a form of seva (sacred service). Assisting is one of the most rewarding processes, because you can feel that ‘aha’ moment happen right underneath your hands and you can feel the transformation take place immediately in a student’s body.

Yoga Body Shop believes that Assisting is an Art—it is about creating presence, possibility, connection and action in others. It is about guidance and insight and allowing the right pose to emerge for everybody. Join us for YBS Assist & Align 1 & 2 Intensives where you will learn proper alignment, key aspects of assisting and how to assist using touch:

1. Investigative: This type of touch helps students become aware of what is going on in their body. An example is fingers gently pressing the abs to remind the student to engage their core.

2. Directive: You are directing the body into the correct alignment. You are physically showing the student what to do. For instance, in Downward Dog, tapping the feet to move in or out.

3. Awakening: You are waking the body up like spiraling the pinky fingers inward in Warrior 1.

4. Deepening: You are allowing for the body to have a deeper stretch. This happens in poses like Forward Fold, where you are allowing the body to enter a longer stretch.

5. Stabilizing: This type of touch gives grounding in the four corners in the hands and feet. The balancing series sees a lot of these types of assists in poses such as Eagle or Tree Pose.

6. Adjusting: As an assistant you are changing the foundation and helping to create a shift. An example would be lengthening the top arm skyward and then back in line with the torso and bottom arm in Triangle Pose.

7. Calming: Here, your breath is supportive and you are helping the student in times of need, like giving a gentle massage in Child’s Pose, Half Pigeon, or Savasana.

8. Supportive: You are supporting the entire class with breath, eye contact, and smiles.

Yoga Assistant ProgramCompletion of Yoga Body Shop’s Assist & Align 1 & 2 Intensives is required for anyone interested in becoming a yoga classroom assistant. Yoga Alliance credits are available upon completion. Upon completion of the intensives, mentoring with YBS Yoga Instructors is the next step towards assisting YBS classes.

In this very interactive hands-on workshop, we will explore different approaches for assisting and how to physically and energetically work with others. Come prepared to work on your mat and with the other participants. We will review alignment and how to correct asana without taking away from a student’s self-exploration of the pose. The intensive will also build a community of peers that will support your growth and learning.

This program is designed for students and teachers of all levels of experience. The YBS Intensive is suitable for:
◊ Anyone who loves the practice and wants to learn more
◊ Those seeking to understand proper alignment of yoga poses
◊ Teachers who would like to bring safe and effective assisting into their classrooms
◊ Those interested in working with others in the yoga classroom as an assistant
◊ Anyone who might want to explore teaching
◊ Students who would like to engage with their yoga community

HOW TO BE AN EMPOWERING ASSISTANT IN ANY YOGA CLASS:

1. BE OF SERVICE: Assistants take a stand for the student in need of support in that moment. It is the assistants who ensure that the safe space that is created within the yoga practice is upheld throughout the session.

2. HELLO-ASSIST-GOODBYE: This needs to be done ninja style—in & out. Your impact should be present yet subtle.

3. BE ADAPTABLE: Be flexible and adaptable in your assists because every body is different. Remember that it is crucial to assist to what the teacher is speaking to during the class.

Yoga Assistant Pic4. COMMUNICATE: An assistant communicates nonverbally, using deep, audible breathing. As an assistant, you are a leader, and your energy is communicated to the students who surround you. When you are assisting, make sure the student understands what the assist is helping to do. Be respectful to the yoga teacher and do not use words at all, and simply use your touch.

5. BE COMPASSIONATE: Being an empowering leader means having constant, emanating positive energy, and a mindful eye contact. You are in an atmosphere of no judgments, and it is your role to maintain this atmosphere to the best of your ability. Yoga teaching assistants are not fixers but they are part of a support system that makes everyone feel safe and in the right place.

6. ASSIST TO TRUE NORTH: True North alignment is key when you are assisting. Standing in Tadasana helps you feel powerful: feet grounded to the earth, connecting us to our core, gut, instinct – the source of where we make our decisions. Start from this place when you begin your assisting, and keep this alignment in mind as you make your assists.

7. PRESENCE: Be in the moment during class. And be there for the class. This ranges from breathing in sequence with the room, to being a yes, or even providing feedback after class that can help an individual. It is ever important to remain in the now as a yoga teaching assistant.

8. GLOBAL AWARENESS: While walking around the class and helping students, you have to be mindful of what is on the floor. Often during a class, as you walk across the room, you will find water bottles, towels, glasses, jewelry… Being aware also means being mindful of what each individual student needs – are there any brand new beginners, or any injuries to be aware of?

9. YOUR TADASANA: There are many ways to assist for the various poses in yoga. Just stand in your True North, and carry on with breath and look to what’s needed in the moment.

It is through connection that you will truly make a difference and create transformation change and growth for others! Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information about Yoga Body Shop’s Teacher Assistant Training Program.

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