Foundation Teacher Training
Run on a 1-1 basis at mutually convenient days/times to be decided upon between the trainee & Mark.
Full fee to be paid upon sign up.
The course will be run entirely by Mark Freeth. Anatomy & physiology will be delivered by an external specialist.
Please note: Once paid for, we do not refund TT money. If you are ill/injured/unable to start the before the agreed date, then you can defer until another time. If you’ve completed parts of the program and then are ill/injured/unable to start, you can complete your studies when you're able.
Module 1: Adjustments - Anatomy & Physiology.
A detailed study of adjustments of a practitioner’s body whilst in a yoga position. These will include physical, verbal and demonstrative (i.e. the instructor ‘showing’ the position so the practitioner can copy). We will build up a library of adjustments that will equip the teacher trainee with the skills and techniques to safely and confidently encourage their students to more deeply explore their practice. The process is relatively simple: after warming up, Mark will demonstrate a position, the trainee will do it, Mark will then demo the various adjustments for that position on an assistant 'body' drafted in for the purpose & then on the trainee, then the trainee will demonstrate that adjustment on the 'body'. We then move on to the next position.
The A&P module will come from an entirely scientific, practical, pragmatic standpoint. We think it is the duty of a yoga/movement instructor to have knowledge of how the body works. But this will not be a series of dry anatomical lectures – interaction here is key.
Please note: you will need to be registered with YAP as a Trainee Yoga Teacher so that you are insured to work on your buddies, members of the public and run classes in-between modules, if that’s applicable. You will then be able to upgrade to a Registered Yoga Teacher with them, after you have graduated, should you decide to go down that route.
Module 2: Movement & Sequencing Work.
This is where FYP really comes into its own! We will move on to studying a myriad of movement-orientated (as opposed to static positions) sequences so that the trainee will have a kit-bag of sequences to build a class from. The sequences range from bite-size (3 or 4 movements linked together) to more complicated routines. Mark will lead the you and an assistant through a sequence then the trainee will take the assistant through that sequence. By the end of the module, the trainee will have prepared an hour long sequence to run a 'mock' class of their own, attended by a group of FYP students/previous/current trainees/other FYP instructors whilst Mark observes and then gives immediate feedback after the session.
Once the trainee & Mark feel the trainee is good to go, another hour long class will be set up, this time attended by members of the public (free), giving the trainee the chance to try out their new skills in a ‘real’ situation. The classes will be advertised accordingly and the attendees will be fully aware of the environment they are walking into. Mark will be in attendance at all times.
We will also be having detailed discussions to do with the business of being a movement/yoga instructor.
Along the way Mark will sit down with every individual and discuss how the course is developing and what strengths and/or weaknesses need to be addressed.
Trainees will be expected to keep a ‘TT Diary’, making a note of all observing/shadowing/assisting classes – whether they be Mark’s or another consenting instructor.
The FYP Approach to Yoga & Movement
Dynamic, challenging, movement-orientated, The Freestyle Yoga Project is geared towards encouraging teachers and students to think for themselves and investigate what’s going on over the side of the fence of their particular physical discipline. No one style of yoga/movement holds all the answers and so can be potentially limiting. FYP just love to MOVE! This is an intelligent approach to movement & yoga. One size does not fit all.
So, how does one teach such a free-flowing class? We will show you. There will be nuts & bolts instruction on how to carefully adjust a body in numerous, relatively traditional yoga positions and then student teachers will be investigating how to create flowing sequences depending on their students’ needs/requests or particular themes you may want to lead your class through.
Teachers will learn to apply their own personalities to their classes and students will learn to tailor their practice to suit how they feel, what their bodies need and what position/movement they want to improve on.
NOTE 1: although the majority of trainees that join us want to become teachers, you can also use this program to gain a deeper insight into your own practice. However, this is NOT a course for newcomers to movement/yoga – you must have at least two years regular practice under your belt before you sign up. Whilst we do not expect an all-singing, all-dancing practice, we DO expect a solid one.
To apply, please email us an introduction to yourself outlining your yoga/movement experience and some basic personal background information. If you have not worked with us previously, you will need to attend at least one of our classes/workshops/adventures so you can see where we’re at and we can assess whether or not you’re the right candidate for this course. If this is difficult for you, i.e., you are from overseas, you will be required to supply video/photographic evidence of your practice.
NOTE 2: you do not have to have a dynamic yoga background to join us, but if you do not, please know that we will be working extremely hard.
NOTE 3: we do not believe the idea of ‘pass or fail’ has any place in movement/yoga. Trainees who stay the course will be issued with a ‘certificate of completion’ and entitle you to become a Registered Yoga Teacher with YAP, which comes with its own insurance if you do not already have it. However, YAP will only issue an RYT certificate to those names we have supplied them with – those we feel are ready to teach & have completed the full course. Others will be encouraged to continue to work with us until we feel they are good to go.
NB. We reserve the right to hold back issuing the certificate to anyone who we feel has not earned it or has not attended 100% of the course. This will come as no surprise, as we will be continually monitoring every student. If your certificate is held back, it will be waiting for you and handed over once you have put in the required work and shown that you have reached a satisfactory level.
On this, we consider that this program provides people with a springboard towards teaching. Some can get going almost as soon as the course ends, whilst others might be good-to-go in a couple of years. We see the relationship between you & FYP as an apprenticeship/mentorship.
NOTE 4: we feel that the FYP TT is unique in that we will not be asking you to write essays or study books which we expect will be read on your own time anyway. Essay writing and reading study groups will not make you a good instructor. Practical skills and techniques, as well as the ability to pass on information in a clear, confident, inspirational and safe way will. There is no ‘spiritual’ dimension to FYP’s approach to movement/yoga. Your personal belief (or non-belief) system is your own concern. We do, however, recognise the history, philosophy, ideology and political climate that gave rise to yoga and we will consider and discuss this accordingly in an informal and organic way. But there will be no dogma. This is a very 21st century take on physical discipline. We question EVERYTHING! And we expect you to do the same.
For more information, contact us on 01892 526938 or email@example.com
ASSESSMENT CRITERIA & PROCEDURES
As there is no ‘pass/fail’ on our courses, the student is continually monitored throughout – obviously during the three modules, but also in-between, both in person in terms of the student observing/shadowing/assisting us in class, attending led classes or 1-1 sessions (practices or discussions) and remotely via telephone or the internet.
It will be this continuous mentoring that will determine – at the end of the course – whether or not the student is ready to go on to teach. A certificate of completion will be issued to each student who sees the course through, and who we feel has reached a satisfactory level. But it will be the aforementioned dialogue that will give the ‘seal of approval’. Or not. Clearly a student could go on to teach despite our advice not to – this would also be the case if a student ‘failed’ a ‘pass/fail’ type course. But we do not envisage this will be the case - the relationship we intend to cultivate with our students will be such that we fully expect them to take our advice seriously.
Those who we consider are not ready to teach ‘in the field’ will be advised to continue to work on those areas thus far lacking. Those who we consider are ready, we will actively help them set themselves up as bona fide teachers as recognised by us and Yoga Alliance Professionals. This process in itself may take a while – it will be totally dependent on the individual concerned. In this regard, we will be looking at:
- the student’s attitude and manner
- general understanding and knowledge of yoga/movement
- confidence and safety in adjustments
- creativity and intelligence in sequencing
- basic grasp of anatomy
As we consider the FYP TT to be more along the lines of an ‘apprenticeship’, contact between us and the student will continue for as long as is necessary. This might include embarking on our advanced TT program.
Should a problem arise during the course, we fully expect it to reveal itself before it gets ‘out of hand’, thus enabling us to deal with it accordingly. From the outset of us running our courses, we have emphasised the fact that we can be approached at any point – in or outside of the course modules. This is an extension of the very informal way we have always our daily classes, workshops, retreats and indeed, teacher trainings.
In the unlikely event that an issue cannot be resolved by the above informal procedure, we will make it clear that any student can make a formal complaint to us either face-to-face or via telephone or email and we will address the problem professionally and swiftly, hopefully setting straight any grievances that have arisen. If this proves to be impossible, and it becomes clear that the student feels that they cannot continue with the course, we will then go our separate ways. This will not exempt them from returning to the course at some later date should they feel this would be their best course of action.
CODE OF CONDUCT
Throughout our course, we will be presenting and conducting ourselves with utmost professionalism. We will be treating our students with the kind of respect we would expect them to treat us & our assistants/students. This is perhaps even more important given the arena we are working in – a very physical environment where hands are laid on bodies in terms of adjustments and emotions can be foregrounded through movement/yoga’s tendency to mine deep.
This is an area we emphasise a lot on our courses as part of what we call the ‘Ethics of Teaching’, whereby, although a movement/yoga class can be an informal, fun and exciting place, it must also be safe, comfortable, non-threatening and welcoming. And the onus for this lies squarely with the teacher. Her or his conduct must be beyond reproach and s/he must deal with any disruptive elements in class that may make for a negative experience for someone else. This is no less so in the context of teacher training – one might argue more so as we, as teacher trainers, are helping to create the next generation of teachers and we should be looking to completely squeeze out any inappropriate behaviour from the movement/yoga class however it may raise its ugly head.
But from the outset, we expect the most basic degree of politeness when it comes to anyone we're working with – listening to others, turning up on time, etc. A discussion along these lines always takes place at the beginning of our courses so that everyone knows from the start what is expected of them. Including ourselves.
NOTE: As a student of our training course, you consent to your contact details (name, email and phone number) being passed onto our partners, Yoga Alliance Professionals, so they can contact you directly and invite you to register as a Trainee and Teacher. You understand that you have the option of opting out of this registration process.
Policy documents are available upon request.
You will WANT to read ALL these books & watch the videos – but of course, this will take you forever! So be reasonable and take in what you can. As you will see below, there are some we consider ‘key’ and the rest if you have time. They all provide useful insights into our own practice and approach to teaching. They’re all readily available from the likes of Yoga Matters, The Yoga Shop and Amazon. If you’re REALLY stuck, speak to us and you can borrow our dog-eared copies...
The Yoga Body – Mark Singleton
The Science of Yoga – William Broad
The Key Muscles of Hatha Yoga – Ray Long
The Muscle Book – Paul Blakey
Anatomy of Breathing – Blandine Calais-Germain
No-Risk Abs – Blandine Calais-Germain
The Psoas Book – Liz Koch
The Performance Cortex – Zach Schonbrun
Anatomy of Hatha Yoga – H. David Coulter
Relax into Stretch - Pavel Tsatsouline
Convict Conditioning – Paul Wade
Becoming Batman – E. Paul Zehr