Ever thought about teaching yoga?
I know I certainly hadn’t. It’s one of those jobs that makes you think ‘WOW… That’s great!’ but what you really mean is, ‘Yeah that’s great for you’. Don’t get me wrong I love yoga- I’m there religiously every Thursday, waving my arse in the air and bowing down to my inner goddess!
But as a job?
Well, I can’t say it’s at the top of my bucket list. It’s no secret that yoga teachers usually work through dinner and then start at silly o’clock on the weekends- a daunting prospect for us 9 to 5 lot. I think most of us are much better suited to just putting our feet up and enjoying some well earned TV in the evenings. Who’s with me?!
Well, not my friends as it happens.
I’d assumed that they would back me up on this one, but a recent revelation has since proved me wrong. You see, these are the kind of people I had always classed as normal, (let’s just say they like their fair share of Dominos pizza and Pinot Grigio, if you know what I mean), so it came as a huge surprise to hear that some of them had applied for The Chi Kri Gold Standard Yoga Teacher Training Course for 2015.
Foreseeing the downfall of Two-For-One pizza nights, I knew I had to step in.
My friends are a pretty diverse bunch, it’s true, but yoga teachers? Come on.‘Tee total’, ‘vegetarian’, and ‘fitness’ are like swear words to us, so I figured that after a bit of digging I could easily find something to persuade them otherwise (who has time to read the small print, anyway?).
Now I don’t know about you, but I’d always thought a yoga teacher would have to meet a certain type of criteria- sporty, bendy, and a little bit ‘airy-fairy’ in the upper regions; you know the ones that look like they’ve never had a care in the world (or a biscuit for that matter).
As you can guess, my mates are far from this, but little did I know that the Chi Kri training course opens its doors to everyone- not just the stereotypical ‘yogi’ kind.
Hurdle number one.
This documentary called ‘The Human Journey’ gives a pretty detailed insight into the course itself and the type of students who Chi Kri are looking for, so it didn’t take long to guess that things might run a little differently here.
From what I could gather, it’s not so much about what someone is physicallycapable of, but instead what students are willing to achieve mentally that will earn them a place on the course. The ability (or the inability, in my case) to perform the world’s greatest headstand has no influence on theapplications process at all.
Sounds like the girls weren’t quite as misinformed as I had thought…
‘All aboard the Chi Kri train’
As I continued to scan for hidden flaws, my next target was this promise of a ‘personal discovery’- or as they like to call it, a human journey.
‘A journey to where?’ I hear you ask. Well, according to the documentary featured above, it’s a journey to a higher platform with better views and a clearer perspective than where students first boarded. Rumour has it, the Chi Kri train only runs on one way tickets; leaving passengers stranded in ‘A Good Place’ with no way back.
Sounds traumatic, doesn’t it? I can’t possibly imagine what my friends were thinking.
Hurdle number two.
Now hear this- two graduates from last year’s Gold Standard course can both be seen in the video claiming to have the answers to some of ‘life’s biggest mysteries’; suffering, science, religion- you name it. Not only that, but they actually reckon the teacher training course has prepared them so well, that they’re now capable of overcoming absolutely anything that life throws at them.
Feeling a raised eyebrow coming on? Don’t worry, I’m right behind you.
What exactly are they suggesting; that Chi Kri can make us all perfect?
A pretty outrageous claim to make, don’t you think? But just as I started to feel like I was back in the game and I’d worked it all out, it then became clear what the speakers had really meant, and it turns out that they weren’t quite as delusional as I had first concluded.
Perfection, so it would seem, is in fact not what Chi Kri teacher training is offering; instead they aim to steer students towards becoming the best versionof themselves that they possibly can be.
Apparently this is the real key to succeeding in life.
If that is the case, then maybe the Chi Kri train isn’t chugging off somewhere unrealistic after all- it might actually be terminating exactly where we need it to… so not quite as ridiculous as I’d first thought.
Despite my efforts, the Chi Kri Gold Standard course was withstanding my attack, and if anything it was me who was really falling at each hurdle. I did still have some questions however, so at this point I decided to look elsewhere for the answers- after all, what good is any of this if none of the other graduates will back it up?
On consulting a different Chi Kri student- off camera this time- I was told that the course is specifically designed to ‘shape your character’. With Neil as the ‘sculptor’, she explained that he reshapes students internally, ‘chiseling away the unwanted bits in order to finish with a beautiful carving.’
That has to hurt… but you know what they say; no pain, no gain, right?
When I first heard about my friends signing up I had only really imagined it to be physically challenging, but now it sounded like this training may well be tougher for the mind than the muscles.
I’m sure there’s a lot of us who could do with rounding off our ‘edges’ a little bit, and I don’t doubt that a year of self development would be hugely beneficial to anyone who tried it- but I just couldn’t see how necessary this really was for a teaching qualification.
Surely a teacher’s priorities should always lie in the understanding and development of others, rather than themselves?
But according to Neil Patel, it is fundamental that his students first purify their own minds before attempting to teach yoga the Chi Kri way. He claims that the purpose of the course is to ‘inspire, empower and create peace in its trainee’s hearts; so that they may influence their students to be positive members of the human race.’ So a kind of knock-on affect then.
‘If you’re looking to make a quick buck, then this is not for you.’
This piece of advice was given by another Chi Kri teacher, but delivered with a frankness that I hadn’t yet been able to detect in the documentary. It became clear to me in this moment that if an applicant truly wants to succeed on this course then they must be ready to acknowledge their own faults… all of them.
If you’re anything like me, then you’ll know that this is much easier said, than done.
Originally I’d pictured the Chi Kri Teacher Training Course as just another glorified fitness regime with an extra ‘om’, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Let’s face it, there certainly isn’t a shortage of yoga courses out there that’s for sure, but I think it’s fair to say he’s got something a little different going on here and that alone could determine whether this is something for you.
The closing message of the documentary was no doubt the deal-breaker for my friends (along with many other applicants, I bet)- supposedly none of the usual sacrifices are required for this yoga course; food, drink, or any other lifestyle preferences which would usually require some adapting, shall we say.
Not at Chi Kri- apparently this journey can be made just as you are, pizza and all.
If teaching yoga to students ‘the Chi Kri way’ really is the same as justhelping people improve their lives, whilst influencing the happiness of their families and friends at the same time, then instead of preventing these changes I think it may well be time I encouraged them. At least with our Tuesday pizza night still firmly in the diary for 2015, I could sleep easy.
So my investigation hadn’t given me the answers I went looking for, but it didn’t even matter.; what’s more important is it confirmed that my friends hadn’t completely lost the plot, as I’d initially thought. Truth be told, if this course can provide exactly what it says on the tin, then I might even be persuaded to sign up myself.
How’s that for a spanner in the works.
Just as one former Chi Kri student asked upon graduating with her Gold Standard certificate; ‘Well, why wouldn’t I teach?’, I would now be very surprised if there aren’t a lot more people wondering the exact same thing as they complete their own journeys.
If you would like to know more about ‘The Human Journey’, then you canfollow the link here to read more, or send an email directly to Neil Patel, the founder of the Chi Kri Gold Standard Teacher Training Course.
email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org