Curious about Yoga Teacher Training? Let’s explore . . .

Three little words, one short phrase ‘Yoga Teacher Training’ can represent an entire spectrum of feelings, such as excitement, passion, freedom and of course fear.


The desire to take a Yoga Teacher Training course is felt in the heart, but the head’s response is usually to create barriers made of ifs, buts and should nots. Let’s work through these ifs and buts to see if we can find a unity between the heart and the head which can unlock the door to Yoga Teacher Training for you.


Let’s begin with no fixed notations just a curiosity . . .


To be a teacher of yoga one must forever and always be first a student of yoga.  Let’s begin there . . .


Come into a comfortable seated position, softly close your eyes, bring your hands into chin mudra, thumb and index fingers lightly touching. A mudra focuses your mind and channels your energy. Feel the contact of your thumbs and index fingers, let this represent the wisdom and knowledge you already have, feel the circle your fingers make here, a circle of possibility, feel the openness in the palms of your hands and allow an openness to possibility. As you think to yourself, I am curious. Stay here a few moments and breathe. Take a few gentle stretches luxuriating in the feeling of yoga. Simple yet powerful. Accessible yet profound.


Return to stillness and ask your heart ‘Why am I curious? What am I curious about?’


When considering Yoga Teacher Training, the first question to ask is of yourself . . .


Why am I interested in yoga teacher training? Do I . . .


  1. Wish to deepen my own knowledge and personal practice of yoga?
  2. Do I wish to share my knowledge and the practice of yoga with others?
  3. Both!

When first enrolled in a Yoga Teacher Training course I had recently finished a Yoga Immersion Course, purely to deepen my personal practice, I loved this course so much that I wanted to study more. I loved the depth, the dedicated time, and the community of like-minded people that I had been able to connect with in a way just not possible in a weekly 1 hour class. So I enrolled in Yoga Teacher Training, saying to myself I had no intention of teaching yoga. But in hindsight, I can see that it was a ruse created by my head, rather than fessing up to the limiting beliefs that were getting in the way of me hearing my hearts true desire to teach.


If you can honestly say that you have absolutely no intention to actually teach in any capacity my advice to you is don’t take a teacher training. Instead invest your time, money, and energy in your personal journey, find an immersion course, read books, go on retreats, connect with as many different teaches as you can, and digest as much yoga as feeds your passion.


yoga teacher southampton

But . . . if you notice you can’t help but ‘share’ your love then let’s explore a little further. When a colleague grumbles of back pain do you find yourself extolling the virtues of child’s pose, if a friend tells you their feeling anxious do you find yourself demonstrating a breathing exercise from class?  When you have felt for yourself the life-changing effect of yoga it can feel selfish to not share the teachings with those you care for. This is your inner teacher yearning to step forth. It’s from here that the spark is lit, I’m curious about Yoga Teacher Training, but then too often the ifs and buts blow out that spark.


Lack of self worth is the biggest spark blower outer I know.  There isn’t a single person that I have taken through teacher training or mentored that hasn’t struggled with self worth. It shows up a little different in each person but usually something along the lines of . . .


I’m too old, I’m too young

I’m not strong enough or flexible enough

I’m too fat or not fit enough

I can’t do advanced postures like headstand or wheel

I don’t know enough

I can’t remember the Sanskrit names etc

Or they compare themselves to their current teachers, who’ve probably been teaching for years and can’t imagine being able to do it, but did you see the evolution from trainee to now?

Let’s pause here . . .  what is your spark blower outer? Now let’s consult your wiser self, that self that’s in your heart. If you’ve been practising yoga for anytime at all, you know it has nothing to do with your body size, flexibility or fitness level. Say that statement again to yourself, smile and say So What? That’s not yoga!


Now let’s continue . . .


So we’re ready to admit that somewhere inside of us the teachings of yoga desire to be shared. Let’s ignite that spark and let it burn bright. What do you dream of doing as a Yoga Teacher?


  1. Travel the world as a nomadic teacher
  2. Share your passion as a paying hobby
  3. Find freedom in retirement with teaching as your project
  4. Supplement your current career by giving back to your community as a teacher
  5. Set up your own business as a full or part time yoga teacher


Your answer to this question helps you select the right type of teacher training course for you. Let’s look at the specifics in some detail.


Types of Course


The standard Yoga Teacher Training Course worldwide is 200 Hour Accredited Course. 200 hours is the minimum number of hours to qualify to teach. Many 200 Hour Courses will end up being more than that though, once you add in practise teaching, homework and homestudy. For instance my 200 hour course is about 215 contact course hours, plus 20 hours recorded class attendance and around 1-2 hours home study each week for the duration of the 9 months which totals around 300  hours, but it’s still called a 200 Hour Teacher Training.


200 Hour Courses as accredited by self-appointed governing bodies such as Yoga Alliance Professionals, Yoga Alliance USA, British Wheel of Yoga, The Independent Yoga Network and Friends of Yoga. They are all organisations that aim to set standards and quality within the Yoga Teacher Training world, they are competitors’ of one another and will all argue their case for why they’re the best. The top two in the UK are Yoga Alliance Professionals and the British Wheel of Yoga, who both have qualification criteria and high standards for both their Teacher Trainers and potential Teacher Training Students. For instance, to run Teacher Training with Yoga Alliance Professionals you must first be a Senior Yoga Teacher with them which means you must have been teaching for 8 years and 4,000 hours and to be accepted on a Teacher Training course your need to have been practicing yoga consistently for at least 2 years. This is not the same as all the accrediting bodies.


Length of Course

So we know the courses are 200 hours but the length of courses can still vary a lot. Intensive trainings range for 2.5 weeks to 6 weeks, now you can do the maths on this that’s going to be tough to just fit the 200 hours in, with little time left for further reading, assimilation and practice. Medium range courses are 6-12 months and there are some longer courses that take 2- 3 years to complete.


Consider the balance here of how you’ll fit the course around your current life commitments, how much time you want to absorb and assimilate that experience and what you end goal is. Intensive trainings are fine, honestly, but they will leave big knowledge gaps as you simply can’t learn and absorb as much in 3 weeks as you can in 9 months. If you are aware of this then you can fill the gaps with Yoga Teacher Mentoring or specific further trainings and CPD courses.


Many people are attracted by the intensive trainings in India as they crave an authentic experience and really living the yoga; but this is unlikely to be your experience simply because of the intensity of completing the 200 hours in a short space of time, you will be in trainings, lectures and on the mat every waking hour to tired to experience the local culture. Instead if this authentic Indian experience is what you crave book yourself and extended retreat at an Ashram in India, travel to Rishikesh, where you can devote your days to practising yoga and the yogic way of life as opposed to learning to teach.



If you’re not doing an intensive, it’s likely your training will be in the UK and you may need to travel for it. Teacher Training courses are usually long and tiring so consider the implications of traveling both in time and financially.



Online teacher training courses have been around for a while but never accredited by Yoga Alliance Professionals or British Wheel of Yoga. The effects of Covid have meant that more online courses have started or blended courses. You need to consider if this suits your learning style well and if you are self-motivated enough to really make this work.  I personally don’t feel that a 100% online training works for yoga, to me it would be like learning to drive a car online and then going out on the roads.


Yoga Style

Some teacher training courses are focused on one style of yoga such as Vinyasa Yoga, some go as far as to tie you in to teach their style such as Bikram Yoga or Forrest Yoga and others are more broad qualify you to teach Yoga and then empowering you to find you own style and your own voice as a teacher.


Course Syllabus

The accrediting governing bodies tend to leave it open to the Course Directors to set their own syllabus which means they varying windingly between courses. Look at the course syllabus to see if it aligns with your interests and also your intentions. If for instance, you want to set up your own business as a teacher make sure the syllabus includes the business of yoga in detail, which is quite rare.


A fully rounded syllabus should include:


Yoga Asana, Pranayama & Meditation, both developing your own appreciation and the in’s and out’s of how to actually teach

The History & Philosophy of Yoga

Teaching Methodology – how to sequence, how to lesson plan, voice and language, modifications, injuries, how to creating a safe and inclusive yoga space

Anatomy – a thorough and broad overview, relevant to teaching yoga

Business Methodology – how to set up class, how to set up your own business, marketing etc

Teaching Experience – each other, real students, how often?



What to expect: However you choose to train it is going to be an intense journey. There will be tears, you will form friendships that will last a lifetime, you will find it challenging, there will be massive heartfelt highs with such joy but also fear and doubt will bubble up a lot.  Teacher Training is a journey of self-development and professional development but there will be a lot of support from your teachers and your fellow trainees.

200hr Yoga Teacher Training Hampshire

This is what you can expect from training with Laura Green Teacher Training Yoga School:

A 200+ hours accredited course with Yoga Alliance Professionals

A 9 month journey, with 8 full weekends in the UK and a 1 week intensive retreat at the end.

Me, Laura Green, present and connected with you throughout and teaching 70% of the course plus a small faculty of teachers and experts in their field.

10 homework assignments directly related to your growth as a teacher.

8 real world real student teaching experiences at my Community Classes

A tough, intense and life changing journey, check out the course testimonials here.

A broad experience in all yoga, giving you the tools to teach Vinyasa, Restorative, Yin, Chair & Hatha so that you can get out there are really teach in your community.

No cookie cutter teaching, you will be challenged and inspired to bring you, your uniqueness, your voice and your magic to your teachings.


Words Matter, The Power of Language for Yoga Teachers

As a Yoga Teacher, your voice is a tool for healing and your words are medicine for the body, mind and soul. The words you use are the primary way in which your yoga students receive the teachings of yoga. Yes, you might demo yoga asanas and use hands-on assists etc but the main teaching modality which is delivered to each and every student in your yoga class is your words. The power of language as a Yoga Teacher is a key skill, for words matter.


Get started with these 3 key areas – for more learning come and explore with me in person at my next Voice & Language for Yoga Teacher Training on 13th Sept 2019 in  Southampton, UK.


How skilled and consider are you in your use of language as a Yoga Teacher?


Words have the power to heal and hurt. Remember that saying ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me’ – this is just not the case. Injuries caused by ‘stick and stones’ will heal quickly but the emotional hurt caused by badly chosen words can last a lifetime. We all remember a time someone in authority, a parent or teacher for instance, harshly rebuked or criticised us – often with the addition of shame and blame. The words from these interactions can remain in our psyche for a lifetime often shaping how we view ourselves and our own self-worth. Words can cause a huge amount of damage, especially when spoken by a voice of authority, power or high regard. As a Yoga Teacher, your yoga students will respect you greatly and listen to you intently so please use your words with kindness, awareness and intention for even greater is the power of language to inspire, uplift and heal.


Your words are medicine.


Updating Verbal Cues

Many of our verbal cues as Yoga Teachers have been passed down through the generations, we cue ‘engage your core to protect your back’ because that’s what we heard our teachers say, like a giant game of Chinese whispers. But the modern teaching of yoga has evolved a lot in recent years due to collaborations with sports scientists, anatomy specialists and bodyworkers and we need to update our cues to match our new knowledge of how the body works both physically and physiologically. The simplest way to do this is to ask yourself ‘Why?’. If you can’t explain the why behind a cue or statement you give when teaching you’re not really teaching. Go to your mat, your anatomy books, your teacher and work out the reasons why and ask if they hold true.  Your verbal cues will grow and evolve as your knowledge does.


Pain & Fear Based Language – The Nocebo Effect

Much of our inherited language has a base of fear and pain avoidance which can be restrictive when it comes to healing. Have you heard of the NOCEBO EFFECT? This is the evil twin of the PLACEBO EFFECT, where negative statements or beliefs can have negative effects on your health and healing.


A classic example of this is when a student experiences back pain and is told that they have a weak back and need to go to yoga to strengthen their core to protect their back. Have you noticed the vast number of people that believe they have a ‘weak back’? They move awkwardly, avoid certain types of movement and are nervous about everyday actions like picking up a suitcase because they are scared for their weak back. This belief is what’s preventing them from moving forward in their healing to a place of pain-free and carefree movement. The human body is not weak; it is strong, resilient and capable of healing and regeneration. A better approach would be to empower the student by sharing that their back and core abdominal muscles could benefit from further strengthening for optimum posture and function and that specific yoga poses could help achieve this.


As general guidance try to avoid whilst teaching your yoga classes the language of:

Pain / Tension / Tightness instead try Sensation / Awareness / Attention

Negative / No / Don’t instead try Please / Try To / Focus On

Fear / Protect / Never instead try to explain the why, educate and empower


A few phrases to consider:


Nocebo/Negative/Fear/Pain Language Placebo / Postive Language
If you feel pain in your knee


If you feel sensation in your knee


Notice any tension in your shoulders


Bring your awareness to your shoulders


Don’t lock your knee


Please keep a micro bend in your knee


Engage your core to protect your back


Draw your navel in and up to engage your abdominals


Never let your knee go forward of your ankle


To feel more balanced stack your knee over your ankle


If you have neck pain don’t look up


How does it feel in your neck when you look up, would it feel nicer if you looked straight ahead?


Take care (insert student name) with your ‘bad’ knee


How does this feel in your ‘left’ knee?


If you feel pain in your knee but padding under it (e.g. low lunge) For a little more luxury place a towel under your back knee in this pose



Hierarchical & Challenging Language

A key teaching of yoga is that it is non-competitive. The lessons contained within the Yamas and Niyamas remind us to practice in a way which is truthful, non-harming, and helps to conserve our energy.  Beginner students, however, do not know this; they are likely to enter your class with sports logic such as pain no gain, go hard or go home, no pain no champagne etc! We live in a world where society judges self-worth through accomplishment. It is our job to create a sanctuary where students can accept themselves just as they are and not have to strive to do more and be more. Create this space through the language of permission and self-inquiry avoiding hierarchical and challenging statements and phrases.



Hierarchical or Challenge Based Language Language of Permission & Self Inquiry
Level 1, Level 2, Level 3 / Beginner / Advanced Option


Alternatively, explore, experience, experiment, maybe, or


To deepen the pose place your elbows on the floor


How does it feel if you lower your elbows here which variation do you prefer today?


To challenge yourself lift your back knee up and rise into a high lunge


For a grounded effect keep your back knee on the ground, for an energised effect try rising up into a high lunge


Never let your knee go forward of your ankle


To feel more balanced stack your knee over your ankle


If down dog feels too much / is too strong go into childs pose. Give yourself permission to rest today.


There is so much more I would love to explore about the use of language with you today but this is about lifelong learning and slowly evolving your verbal cues so get started with these key areas to elevate your students’ experience of your yoga classes. If you would like to learn more I am offering a 3-hour CPD Yoga Training for Teachers on the use of voice and language on 13th September 2019 in  Southampton, Hampshire.


Yoga Teachers . . . . How Do You Get Inspired?

It’s a new week, a new yoga class to plan, maybe a yoga workshop or course you are designing.

You’re sitting on your mat, in front of you awaits  . . . THE BLANK PAGE

and in a few hours time await . . . YOUR STUDENTS

What’s the plan – what are you teaching this week?

I’ve been teaching for over 9 years now and yes I still ALWAYS plan my yoga classes.  I want to share inspiring, heartfelt themes with well-constructed yoga sequences that are poetry for the body, mind and soul – NO PRESSURE HEY?

So how do you get inspired? How do you come up with yoga class themes, design beautiful yoga flows that are adaptable and accessible to all your students?  There are MANY ways, but here are a few ideas you can draw on when you’re feeling less than inspired

1. MUSIC: For me, music is the easiest way to tap into my creativity. I roll out my mat and put on some new music. I find myself a still posture (seated, standing, or reclining) close my eyes, connect to my breath and open my whole body to ‘HEARING’ the music. I allow the music to lead my movement; I follow the sounds wherever they take me. It’s not dancing, it’s different to a kitchen boogie, I stay on my yoga mat and explore yoga related movements. I keep a piece of paper nearby and something always emerges. Maybe just a little repeating arm movement, a new transition or sometimes a whole sequence. I love SPOTIFY for this.

Top Tip: If you have a premium Spotify account every Monday Spotify creates you your own bespoke playlist based on the things you like and listen to. It’s called Discover Weekly!


2. A PROP: As a Vinyasa Yoga Teacher I don’t always use props but when I do I like to get some bang for my buck! If I want to use a specific prop for a certain pose, say a strap for a reclining hamstring stretch, I then think how else I could incorporate this prop in the rest of my class to either make poses more accessible or teach an alignment cue or muscular activation.


Top Tip: Explore the use of props in your own yoga practise, even in poses where you wouldn’t usually ‘need’ a prop! It’s so tempting to Google ‘yoga poses with straps’ but try and make your own practice your first point of reference rather than Google.


3. Change The Mat Layout: This one messes with my head! And my students but it’s a great way to shift things up. If you usually teach with your students’ mats in the ‘portrait’ orientation for say the Sun Salutations from the top of the mat. Try for 1 week turning the mats to ‘landscape’ and designing a whole flow facing the long edge. Or put the mats into a circle and design flows that travel around the mat in a Mandala.

Top Tip: Check out my YOUTUBE playlist for some Mandala Yoga Sequences or the Chandra  Namaskar sequence is perfect for a landscape mat layout.


4. Nature, The Universe & Her Cycles: The world around us is full of inspiration and affects how we feel on so many levels. Lean into this first in your personal practice, and share it with your students when you feel you can speak from personal experience. A few suggestions:

~ The Lunar Cycle: Grounding Full Moon classes with Chandra Namaskar or energising and uplifting classes on the New Moon. You can find my Full Moon Guided Meditation here.

~ Summer Solstice / Winter Solstice: Acknowledge these moments of peak light and maximum darkness with classes that align with the energy. A fiery heart opening flow with lots of Sun Salutations in midsummer or a slow comforting restorative flow for mid-winter.

~ Change of Seasons into Spring / Autumn: The season shifts are hard on the immune system as we see an increase in coughs and cold. Build a serious of classes around this time that boost your student’s immune system with twists and inversions.

~ TCM & Meridian Line: Learn a little about Traditional Chinese Medicine & the organs that come into focus during the different seasons. Design yoga flows that stimulate the meridian line of each season’s organs.

Top Tip: Check out the book ‘Seasonal Yoga’ by Sue Woodd & Julie Hanson


5. Words / Images: Intention cards, oracle cards, poems, postcards, quotes, a newspaper article can all become great muses. Find your seat on your mat, connect to your breath and bring to mind or look at your chosen muse. Breath into your heart space and ask ‘how does this speak to me?’, ‘how does it make me feel’, ‘what is the message I’m drawn to share from this?’. Then free write, journal, scribble down words, doodle, stickyogis, just keep your pen moving. Then after a few moments, sit back, take a breath and see what recurring thought is on the page. How does this thought make you feel? What yoga poses, meditations, pranayamas help you access or work through that feeling? How you can design a whole class based around this feeling or sentiment?

Top Tip: I’m currently loving the Intention Cards from Iris Hill


5. YOU: Be your own muse! As they say, ‘teach what you need to learn’. Yesterday I sat on my mat, feeling tired and uninspired. I asked myself, ‘If I was to attend a yoga class today what would I be hoping for? What do I need from my Yoga today’. The answer was, I’m tired but for no reason, I wish to be gently coaxed from my legarthy and my shoulders/neck feel tight – they could do with some TLC. I proceeded to give myself what I needed in my personal yoga practise and then wrote it down as the class for this week. I shared with my students where the inspiration had come from and they all, I’m mean seriously 100% of them, felt the same. Yes, we are all unique but you know what invariably we tend to be feeling or going through relatable life stuff!

Top Tip: Trust yourself, ask what do I need today? How can I serve my students today? Listen to the answer and plan accordingly!

LEARN MORE: If you’d like to get really inspired, I’m teaching an 8 Hour CPD Day on the Art & Science of Sequencing on Sunday 21st July 2019 at Chilworth Village Hall, Southampton. Email for more information


How to Theme a Yoga Class

The Art of Theming a Yoga Class | Support for Yoga Teachers Looking to Add A Little Magic

So first off, let me be clear you do not need to theme your yoga classes. Teaching Yoga is a tough (but awesome) gig and there is enough pressure put on Yoga Teachers with the expectations of things we should and shouldn’t do, and don’t get me started on social media. But if you’d like to mix things up a bit, bring a more immersive yoga experience to your students and make lesson planning a whole world easier then let’s look at How To Theme A Yoga Class.

So here’s why Theming a Yoga Class works:


  • As a yoga teacher, theming your yoga classes helps inspire your creativity and directs the selection of asana, meditation, pranayama, music, quotes, language and imagery.
  • It enables you to bring your authentic voice and your unique experience as a yoga teacher to your classes.
  • Only you can do you! When you theme your yoga classes it creates a unique experience and helps you to stand out as a teacher.
  • For your yoga students, a class theme is a great way to layer a deeper experience, learn about yoga philosophy and explore how the practice of yoga can step off the mat and into life.

Really anything can be a yoga class theme if it is honest, heartfelt and authentic but here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Yoga Philosophy – delve into the yoga texts, find and explore the lessons contained within that most speak to you, and communicate these through your experience and your perspective.
  • Yoga Mythology – everyone loves a good story and the mythology behind the yoga asanas will give you endless inspiration.
  • Body Anatomy – the sacred sacrum, psoas the muscle of the soul, aligning with your core!
  • Yoga Anatomy – the anatomy of the subtle body such The Chakras, The Nadis, The Koshas, The Movement of Prana (WARNING – you need to really know your stuff and be working with it in your practice before bringing it to class!)
  • Life values, lessons & moral – your inspiration doesn’t have to come just from yoga whatever inspires you – if it has depth go with it!
  • The Natural World: the lunar cycles, the changes in the seasons.


  • Personal Experience – you can’t teach what you don’t know!
  • Simple & easy to understand
  • Universal & accessible to your students
  • Connects to both yoga and life off the mat


  • Cliches – it’s better not to have a theme than a clichéd theme! “Let go what no longer serves you” – please no more!
  • Inauthentic – you need to speak your truth, your students will know when you’re simply repeating another teacher’s truth.
  • Too Messy – if you’re still working through a life lesson this is not the time to make it a class theme. You need to have come through the other side, to have learnt the lesson before bringing it into your teaching, even then be careful of Too Much Information!
  • No Depth – you need to work through your themes and make sure they have enough depth.


  • 5 Mins Tops – when your students arrive at class normally they’re ready to get going, get moving and get their yoga on! So set yourself a maximum of 5 mins until you start physically moving. This 5 minutes is time to Introduce Your Theme, Centre and Connect with Breath Awareness and Pranayama. You can further develop your theme during the class.
  • Relate the theme to the whole class – Introduce at the beginning, expand in 2-3 points during the class and recap during or after Savasana, then give a final takeaway thought or quote.
  • Find different ways for expressing the same concept so that it is accessible to all your students.


  • What lessons have you learnt through yoga?
  • What are important human morals and life values to you?
  • What inspires you?
  • These give you ideas of your potential class themes.


Right here we go! Open and print off the Free Yoga Class Theme Planner to work through your theme.

Below are two examples:

  • Description of how to use each box

Worked through example for the myth of Eagle Pose:

If you’d like to explore in greater detail the Art & Science of Sequencing, then join me for an 8 Hour CPD day on Sunday 21st July 2019 at Chilworth Villiage Hall near Southampton. Find the details here.

Laura x


Boundries For Yoga Teachers

yoga southampton

Teaching Yoga is Tough…you get that right? I refused to accept this for a long-term, having come from a full-on corporate job. I couldn’t understand why I was tired when I was working way fewer hours.  But we give our all, our body, heart and soul when we teach and this my love, is why, it is tiring.

In preparation for my 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training Course which started this weekend, I’ve been considering the role of boundaries in teaching yoga. Boundaries are about conserving your energy as a Yoga Teacher and respecting your students. The term ‘boundaries’ gets used a lot (along with ‘holding space’) but we never really stop to consider what it means and how we work with them.

Most of the time we don’t ever know where our boundaries are until they get crossed. If you’d like to reflect on your boundaries and your sensitivity towards your students boundaries consider the following categories, I’ve included a few examples of boundaries to provoke your thinking but have no judgement either way.  Boundaries are personal, you set yours and your students set theirs.

  • Material: What do you feel comfortable lending/sharing with your students. Do you have a system in place if you loan out books so that you get them back? Do you lug around a huge bag of mats for your students increasing physical strain on your body and then spend your spare time cleaning these mats (I’m still guilty of this)? What about students & you stepping on people’s yoga mats? If you teach a really sweaty class do you have a hand towel to place between your student and your hands when you do adjusts? Will you teach students in your home or not? Would you give a student a lift in your car?
  • Physical: Where are your boundaries in terms of personal space? I like my personal space and I’m not a hugger. How do you read a student’s boundaries around being touched and adjusted? What about when students work together in partner work? This also refers to your physical time. How long are you prepared to give a student at the end of class? If a student is asking a lot of questions have you considered inviting them instead to book a one:one session with you? What about when you bump into a student outside of class. I guess I’m not the only one who’s stood in Waitrose for 20 mins listening to a student, after having asked ‘How Are You?’. My husband pulled me up again on Sunday after another long supermarket chat. He’s coaching me not to ask ‘how are you?’ unless I have the time to listen but to instead say ‘Nice to see you’.
  • Mental: This comes down to thoughts, values, opinions, beliefs. How do you share the philosophy of yoga whilst honouring your student’s various beliefs? How do you stay true to your authentic self when there are so many preconceived ideas of how a yoga teacher should be? How much of your personal life and journey do you share?
  • Emotional: This is one of the toughest ones. The practice of yoga brings emotions to the surface. How you respond to a student who is feeling upset will differ whether it’s just before the class starts, during the class or after class? When you ask a student how they are and they respond ‘I’m really not good’ but then give no further information how do you interpret this boundary? I currently say something like ‘Well done for coming to class, you’re in the right place. If I can support you in any way please ask’. When you’re having a tough time of things what is your process for making sure you don’t bring this into class. Where are your boundaries when it comes to the student-teacher relationship? Would you go for coffee with a student? What about romantic relationships? My boundaries are pretty strong here as I’m an introvert and I find socialising like this draining. I prefer to keep a small group of friends.

This is a complex topic but I hope this has given you some food for thought. It’s good to think through where your boundaries are and also know when, why & how to shift them. At some points or with some people you may need to firm up your boundaries and in other situations make them a little more permeable.


Trusting your Yoga Teacher Instincts

yoga teacher southampton

You’ve planned a high energy, upbeat yoga sequence designed to challenge your students, you look at the class in front of you and they’re tired, stressed and in need of something chilled out and relaxing? What do you do? You trust your yoga teacher instincts and rethink you plan!

The main critique of lesson planning and sequencing is that it prevents you from reading your students, their energy and what they need in the moment. I encourage yoga teachers to do both; lesson plan thoroughly, play and create yoga sequences that enhance your yoga students experience of the asanas and the flow of prana and then be present and adapt to the moment: watch your students as they arrive at the yoga class, observe them during the warm up and throughout your sequencing and adjust your plan accordingly, by that I mean the following:

  • As your students begin, are they holding their shoulders unusually tight? If so, add shoulder opening variations to your standing sequence and some extra warm up poses.
  • Have they walked in energised and full of get up and go, when you’ve planned a totally chilled out and meditative flow: Meet them somewhere in the middle to help them find balance, remove a few of your resting poses, add in some extra vinyasas, swap your pranayama to a balancing one such as Nadi Shodana.
  • Do your students look exhausted and depleted: Take your poses lower to the ground (e.g. instead of a high lunge take a low lunge, switch standing or seated poses for the reclining (supta) variations), swap a few Downward Facing Dogs out for Child’s Pose. Encourage students to take it easy and honour their body, cut out a couple rounds of your Sun Salutation or Standing Poses to save time for an extra long Savasana.
  • You’ve planned a flowing yoga class with emphasis on fluidity and the movement of prana but in the first couple of rounds of Sun Salutations you notice some very dodge shoulder alignment in the majority of your students during Chaturanga. Pause your music (if using), explain your going to take a little detour to workshop Chaturanga and then get back into your flow.

Learning to be observant, trusting your gut and being flexible with the content of your lesson plan will help to ensure that your students leave your class feeling looked after.

If you’d like to explore in greater detail the Art & Science of Sequencing, Laura is teaching an 8 Hour CPD day on Sunday 15th April 2018 at Rownhams House near Southampton. Find the details here.


Creative Approach to Yoga Class Sequencing

yoga sequencing southampton

Stuck in a Rut? Fancy Mixing Up Your Yoga Class Sequencing?

Getting a little bored with your yoga lesson plans? Looking to bring new inspiration into your yoga teaching, and mix things up for your yoga students? How about trying out some new yoga class sequencing techniques?

In sequencing a yoga class a yoga teacher draws on all their skills, knowledge and intuition to craft a journey for the body, mind and soul. Yoga students put their absolute faith and trust in their teacher to lead them on a journey that is safe, authentic and true to the teachings of yoga.  This takes planning and practice, it is both a science and an art.

Lesson Planning & Sequencing

Yoga class lesson planning and yoga sequencing is in my opinion a must. I know that opinion is divided on this topic with many yoga teachers proudly saying that they don’t plan classes; I usually don’t come down heavy on anyone side of a yoga debate but on this one I am firmly in the lesson planning camp. The sequencing of a yoga class dramatically impacts your yoga students’ experience.  When it’s done well, our bodies open with ease and feel fantastic but when it’s poor, the body feels tight, poses feel unnecessarily challenging, the alignment can be unsafe and the flow of prana is inhibited.

By planning and carefully crafting yoga sequences you start to teach your students rather than just lead them through yoga asanas. As a Yoga Teacher you get to truly facilitate your yoga student’s journey and create an engaging yoga experience. The science in yoga sequencing is your understanding of Asana, Alignment, Technique, Modifications and your Students Bodies, the art in yoga sequencing is in holding and creating the space for your yoga students to blossom, grow, transform and experience.

So here are a few suggestions for alternative ways to sequence a yoga class.

  • Singular Pose Yoga Sequence: A great way to really teach your yoga students a posture very thoroughly, inspiring them to add it to a home yoga practice. Take one fundamental yoga pose keep repeating throughout the yoga class, use complimentary postures to teach alignment principles of the main pose and draw the energy/feel of the main pose into other posture. Such as Tadasana, Star Pose, Tree.
  • Repetition Yoga Sequence: Build a yoga sequence around a repeating posture, transition, movement motif, mantra, mudra or pranayama. For instance, a flowing arm pattern you set up as a standing movement meditation, re visit as an arm variation in standing postures and then again in seated.
  • Double Up Yoga Sequence: Bikram style. Perform each yoga pose twice, either increasing or decreasing the hold length. You can experiment with adding additional cues. For instance – first round physical cues, second round energetic or breath cues or visualisation.
  • Wave Yoga Sequencing: Take a peak yoga pose such as crow and break it down to the easiest variation. Begin with this seed of the posture, then a warm up, revisit the seed and add the next progression, continue preparing the body with standing asana, revisit the seed, the progression and add the full posture, then counterpose. This can be used in a theme and variation approach such as variations of all fours.
  • Bilaterally Symmetrical Yoga Sequence: The first half of the yoga class is mirrored and taught again as the second half in its mirror image/reverse order. This makes for a really interesting journey of observation as the yoga students experience the poses the second time they can notice changes in their body and mind.
  • Book Ends Yoga Sequence: A simpler version of above. Create an opening yoga sequence and repeat in the reverse order for your closing yoga sequence so students can observe and reflect on the journey.
  • Building a Chain: Take a yoga sequence such as Surya Namaskar with Warrior II, repeat right and left. Start the yoga sequence again and add on another posture to the chain, such as Pasrvakonasana, next round add Trikonasana, then Ardha Chandrasana for the final round. Can be done with easier postures and even seated sequences.
  • Chorus & Verse Yoga Sequencing: Your chorus is your connecting vinyasa, the most common is the plank, chaturanga cobra/updog, down dog flow but you can create a variety of other vinyasas. A connecting vinyasa neturalises the body between sides and sequences. Experiment with other approaches.

If you’d like to explore in greater detail the Art & Science of Sequencing, then join for me an  an 8 Hour CPD day on Sunday  21st July 2019 at Chilworth Village Hall near Southampton. Find the details here.

Laura x


Getting Published Online

write southampton yogaBy Laura Green

You’ve spent hours laboring over your blog post, researching and tweaking.  Taking amazing photos to support your writings. You upload it to your website. Great ! Now what . . . .read further for handy hints on how to get published

Why not extend your reach by sending it off to a couple of publications. Often our own reflections and musings can inspire and help people. What better way to practice Karma Yoga on a Global Scale. Today most magazines have an online presence, I can easily subscribe to a magazine that is in print in Canada or Australia. So, even if you are in Southampton, you can have a global impact due to publications moving to an online platform.

A Few Things to consider when submitting a blog or article to a publication

  • Your topic should be well researched
  • The format must be right for the publication it is being submitted to
  • Write passionately and for the reader
  • Edit, check, and Edit again !

We’ve done the hard work for you on the most popular sites to get published in the Yoga world.

Each link below will take you to the relevant page on the publications article submission requirements and guidelines. Always read the guidelines as each publication is different and unique in their own way, and could be looking for a certain style. I suggest that If you have a topic you are passionate about and want to write for a publication, first check out their guidelines before you start, so that you have a format to follow before you submit. It will save you from having to edit your work too much. Peruse the published articles of the publication you intend to submit to. It will give you a feel for the types of articles and style they are looking for.

Asana Journal

Elephant Journal


Om Times

Om Magazine – Head over to the Contact page and get in touch with the editor. When emailing an editor use the subject title – Article for your consideration.

Yoga Digest

Writing Tool Box

In this section you will find some really handy resources to help you on your journey as a writer or blogger. There’s a myraid of resources on the internet that offers support, from Facebook groups to writers Forums. We have chosen a few to help you get started.

Facebook Groups to link in to…

We Blog…A Blogging Community

Blogging Boost

Write On! Online





Are you Online?

Yoga Teachers Are You Online

When we come to our mat so often we hear the words “switching off” and that’s the magic of yoga, it gives us the time, space and permission to do just that. To move from being busy to mindful. From fast paced to slow and measured. However, as a yoga teacher, we need students to connect with us and come to our classes and other offerings, so being “Present” online is a matter of course.

According to a recent article in Forbes magazine, “Multiple studies confirm that consumers report using the Internet first (80% of the time) when they need a new product or service.”


Google is the 21st century yellow pages. Any time I want to find out something, or find a product or service, my go to solution is pulling up Google Search. Before I even think about making a call to enquire about the product or service, I first find out as much about you as I can, either through your website, if you have clickable links to Facebook or Instagram.  So if you haven’t set yourself online yet, see my quick step guide below to getting started and building your online presence.

Creating your own website

There are many free sites available to you to set up your own website. Check out Squarespace  or Wix

Having a simple website with your details, sign up to newsletter options, contact and about details is all you need to get started. As you have more time and money to invest you can start to fluff out your website.

Google Business Listing

Google for business has two main objectives:

  • help business owners increase their online visibility.
  • help people find and review businesses in their local area.

It’s quite possibly the most comprehensive and accessible business directory ever created.
Anyone using a Google search function which Google determines to have local area intent, such as ‘yoga teachers Southampton’ or ‘chiropractor Winchester’, links to 3 Google My Business listings will be displayed below a map of the local area.  When clicking on a business’s Google My Business listing, people can see the following:

  • The business’s name, address and phone number.
  • The business’s location on a map.
  • The business’s opening hours.
  • A link to the business’s website.
  • Photos related to the business.
  • Reviews of the business left by previous customers.
  • A rating out of 5 for the business (based on scores given by previous customers).

If you haven’t yet added your business to the Google Business listing, I suggest you visit the Create Page and look for the option to create a Google+ Page and get started! Follow the wizard (it’s much like Facebook’s Pagewizard), and choose the most appropriate option to classify your business. You’ll be able to select from the following options: Local Business or Place.

Facebook Business Account

This one is an easy win, who Doesn’t have Facebook these days. Make sure to set up an account that is separate from your personal Facebook account, and that isn’t a group. There is limited functionality using a personal account or group.

From your Facebook profile page, click the Pages header in the left-side navigation. Or head over here Create a Page.  Next, click the Create a Page button, and select the type of page. You’ll see a number of fields to fill out, such as your business category, name, and address.

Engage your followers with information about your class schedules, what’s on, and fun pictures of workshops or offers you have running. Think about how to engage your audience, and how to interact with them. Facebooks algorithm works in such a way that the more Likes and shares you have the more visible your content will be in a subscribers news feed.


Instagram has over 700 million monthly active users, less competition and a more engaged audience than other social media giants like Facebook or Twitter

Head over to  Instagram to get started! Having quality photos, and relevant #Hashtags will raise your profile. Go check out people who inspire you, who have a huge following and see what they are doing. Is it photos, video or what hashtags they are using. The more likes you have to your post, the more you will raise your profile and presence.  Be creative, Instagram is more about selling a lifestyle rather than a product.

Tip: Use your personal work email address. Assuming you save your clients email addresses, clients have your address saved in their phones or have their email connected to their address books. So, when one of your contacts uses Instagram’s “Find Friends” feature, you should show up on that list. Therefore, your direct work email address will get you the most hits


Using Twitter is an easy quick way to market yourself. Limited to 140 characters per tweet you have to be word savvy, but it’s also a great way to establish yourself in your field with fun bursts of knowledge, tips or offerings. Click here to set up a free account and get tweeting!


YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine in the world and 1 billion people visit YouTube each month. Marketing your business on YouTube will help you get found on google due to Google Search function. Videos, images, news, books and local searches are combined together in Google’s search results. If you enjoy being creative in front of a camera then perhaps YouTube is another platform to extend your creative content. Youtube is owned by Google, so any google search will also bring your video !

Tip: Don’t forget to also include call-to-actions inside your videos, with annotations that link to:

  • Other videos
  • Content on your website
  • Email auto-responder series
  • Products and services on offer

You can use a Brand Account to create a channel that has a different name but that’s still managed from your Google Account. Learn more about about Brand Accounts.

Snap Chat

Snap Chat has two very useful functions.

  • Story telling
  • Providing value added content, with helpful information, hints and tips.

Using the video function you can give your audience great insight to yourself and your business. Consumers buy from trusted businesses and using snapchat as a platform to engage your clients is an easy way to engage them. Remember, using social media is about selling a lifestyle.

I’ve linked two useful articles below, the first is, what is the point of snapchat anyway and how does it work?

And this one is a very handy guide to see if Snapchat is going to add value to your business.

Download the app on your phone and get started.


OK, so you might be thinking, NOT ANOTHER SOCIAL MEDIA website.

However, Pinterest is the fastest growing social media platform with over 75 billion ideas and 10 million unique visitors. Sharing, liking and commenting on users pins is an easy way to increase your visibility on the net. Linking your blog or website photos to Pinterest creates an easy cross platform access for various users. Use Canva, or any other collage maker to create fun and informative picture pins.

Visit website to get started.

Below is a list of Yoga websites for advertising your services. These pages get a lot of traffic, some of them are free to use, however it’s worth considering investing in a monthly subscription.

Yoga Near By

Find yoga classes, workshops and holidays all over the world.

It’s FREE to join

  • Add all your yoga classes
  • Add your yoga workshops and holidays
  • Upload your yoga images

Visite website to get started.

Yoga Hub

Yoga Hub is an online community for Yoga, its also an online directory of Yoga Teachers, Yoga Classes and Yoga Courses.

Visit website to get started.

Yoga Classes Near You

Find A Local Yoga Class Near You

Our yoga class search allows you to access a database of thousands of yoga classes all run by qualified yoga teachers in local venues, yoga studios, health clubs and spas around the UK.

Visit website to get started.

Yoga Trail

YogaTrail is where yoga providers can communicate with their students and keep them in the loop about classes, workshops, news, and events.

Yogis: simply follow your yoga providers to get all their classes in one simple place. No more scouring tons of websites and Facebook pages for schedule info!

Yoga Teacher? Studio owner? Join YogaTrail. It’s free.

Visit website to get started.

Yoga Village UK

The aim of the Yoga Village UK website is to use the wonderful potential of the internet to put yoga people in the UK in touch with each other – internet interactions hopefully leading to fruitful meetings and enlightening student-teacher relationships and friendships.

Visit website to get started.

Annual Fee £35

Independent Yoga Network

In 2004, a number of independently-minded teacher trainers in the UK decided to get together and offer a creative response to the fitness industry’s ill-informed attempt to define acceptable Yoga training.

Visit website to get started.

Yoga Finder

A business listing site for classes, workshops, retreats and teacher training.

Visit website to get started.

Subscription from $23

Be seen in local Google searches. 84% of Yell customers say helps their business to be found on Google. Adding your business to is the first step to appearing in your local Yellow Pages – the UK’s leading print directory found in over 76% of UK homes

Visit website to get started.


20 Books for Yoga Teachers

20 Books for Yoga Teachers
20 Books for Yoga Teachers

Totally geeking out at the moment, re-reading my favourite yoga books and topping up my inspiration tank as I plan the Reading List for my 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training Programme. In the process, I’ve whittled down the list to my top 20 Books for Yoga Teachers. When I look at the Reading Lists for many Teacher Training Courses I see the same old texts, again and again, it’s time to update that list by adding some of these 20 Books for Yoga Teachers. Yes, clearly it is essential for yoga teachers to be aware, knowledgeable and inspired by the true lineage of yoga and the ancient texts but we need to continue evolving the science of yoga and finding ways to update the teachings so that we connect with our students where they are today, with their real world challenges. So here goes my Essential and Recommend 20 Books for Yoga Teachers.

Essential Reads for Yoga Teachers – from 20 Books for Yoga Teachers

The Spiritual Teachings of Yoga
There is an ancient philosophy behind yoga practice that is rarely taught in the west. The ancient wisdom of Yoga gives us a way of life, a path that is at least five thousand years old. This book presents and contains within it the key philosophical texts from the Yoga Sutras, the Bhagavad Gita, the Vedas, and the Upanishads in an accessible and poetic manner.

The Key Muscles of Yoga – Volume One & Two
These two books offer a scientific approach to understanding the practice of hatha yoga. Through four-colour, three-dimensional illustrations of major muscles, tendons, and ligaments. From beginners to experts, this book will become a constant companion.

Yoga The Path to Holistic Health
This book makes Iyengar Yoga accessible to all, while celebrating the life and work of the world-renowned B.K.S Iyengar, a world leading authority on hatha yoga and is globally respected for his holistic approach and technical accuracy.  Over 60 step-by-step sequences of asanas, pranayamas and over 20 include unique 360 degree images of classic Iyengar asanas.

The Science of Breath, A Practical Guide
For thousands of years, yogic adepts have claimed that breath is the essential link between body and mind, energizing a “subtle body” which connects the physical and mental aspects of our being. In this landmark book, Swami Rama and two noted American physicians explore the science of breath as the missing key to both physical health and the attainment of higher states.

Meditation for the Love of It
Meditation is like a love affair with your innermost self. At times it can be ecstatic and entrancing; other times simple and still and sometimes you might not even feel its profound effects until later. Sally Kempton shares practical secrets to help us turn meditation into an unconditional embrace of the fullness of our experience on and off the meditation cushion.

Mindful Teaching & Teaching Mindfulness: A Guide for Anyone Who Teaches Anything
Author Deborah Schoeberlein pioneers the practical application of mindfulness in education. By showing teachers how to tune into what’s happening, inside and around them, she offers fresh, straightforward approaches to training attention and generating caring both in and outside of the classroom.

Career Yogi – Marketing Wisdom for Yoga Teachers
In this empowering guide for new and aspiring yoga teachers, you will share the story of how one career yogi found her way to inner peace and success and get plenty of advice along the way. From developing your brand, to marketing yourself, to keeping your intention grounded in love, Blanco offers valuable words of wisdom for anyone looking to pursue a career in yoga.

Recommended Reads for Yoga Teachers from 20 Books for Yoga Teachers

The Desire Map
Danielle LaPorte turns the relationship to goal-setting inside out. She provides hands-on tools to help you first and foremost identify your core desired feelings, and then create practical Goals with Soul to generate those feelings. By chasing the feeling versus the goal, she empowers you to forge substantial life changes that reflect your intrinsic nature.

Guiding Yoga’s Light: Lessons for Yoga Teachers
This book presents 74 easy-to-follow, succinct lesson plans offering instruction in hatha yoga, including asana, pranayama, the yamas and niyamas, the chakras, creating mindfulness and understanding emotions. Lesson plans progress from basic yogic concepts important for beginning students to more advanced material.

Adventures in Human Being
We have a lifetime’s association with our bodies, but for many of us they remain uncharted territory. In Adventures in Human Being, Gavin Francis leads the reader on a journey through health and illness and  an adventure through what it means to be human.

Wisdom of the Body Moving
This comprehensive guide introduces Body-Mind Centering. Hartley’s explorations of the images, feelings, sensations, and intuitions of the diverse organs and cells lead to exercises that gently guide students in ways of discovering and integrating their bodies multidimensional aspects.

On Form
Four forms of energy pulse through each of us at all times: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. To thrive, we must recruit all four of these energies in the service of a specific mission. In this book they offer their precise understanding of how to help individuals and organizations manage energy to drive full engagement.

The Brain That Changes Itself
An astonishing new science called neuroplasticity is overthrowing the centuries-old notion that the human brain is immutable. Psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Norman Doidge, M.D., traveled the country to meet both the brilliant scientists championing neuroplasticity and the people whose lives they’ve transformed.

The Breathing Book – Vitality & Good Health Through Essential Breath Work
A groundbreaking approach to improving the quality of your life through the most readily accessible resource: your breath. These safe and easy-to-learn techniques can also be used to treat asthma and ease stress, depression, eating disorders, insomnia, arthritis, chronic pain, and other debilitating conditions.

Yoga Adjustments: Philosophy, Principles, and Techniques
The quintessential guide to yoga assisting and hands-on teaching. Covers the philosophy of yoga practice, the sensibilities of touch in teaching yoga and improving alignment, the seven principles of hands-on yoga teaching, and the twenty-five most effective methods of tactile cueing.

Restorative Yoga: with Assists A Manual for Teachers
Master the art of teaching and practicing Restorative Yoga and deep relaxation with this easy to follow and well written manual. A great resource for yoga teacher training programs, seasoned teachers and students of yoga. Includes over 100 photos to help you to understand each posture and a set of simple yet profound assists to take your students into deeper relaxation. 

Myths of the Asanas
Practitioners around the world reap the physical benefits of yoga, assuming poses and frequently calling them by their Sanskrit names. Behind each asana and its corresponding movements is an ancient story about a god, sage, or sacred animal. Myths of the Asanas is the first book to collect and retell these ancient stories adding a new dimension to your teaching.

Hatha Yoga Pradipika
Hatha Yoga involves the yoga of the body, and yet this book does not restrict itself to the physical aspects of yoga, but delves deeper to how yoga can awaken the chakras and the kundalini energy, helping the person who practices it achieve spiritual liberation. Hatha Yoga Pradipika is a translation of Swami Svatmarama’s original text.

The Yoga Teacher’s Guide to Earning a Living: How to Claim the Confidence, Mastery, and Finesse of Being a Successful Yoga Professional
 This first-of-its-kind guide walks both beginners and established professionals through maximizing their impact as teachers and succeeding financially. While any would-be yoga professional could pick up a business how-to, this resource adapts the visions and values of yoga to the business of business.