Interview with our Teacher Trainers Naomi & Sibylle

We're really looking forward to the second 200hr Yoga Teacher Training "The Art of Teaching" this August 2017 with teachers Sibylle Dallmann and Naomi Sturdy.

With over 20 years of Yoga experience between them, Naomi and Sibylle are committed to supporting and inspiring you on your journey to becoming the best teacher you can be.  Read on to discover how they became so passionate about their practice and the funny parts of being a Yoga teacher!

 sibylle and naomi
"The Art of Teaching" Teacher Trainers: Sibylle (left) and Naomi (right)

1. Tell us about your first ever Yoga class and what made you go. 

Naomi:  My first ever Yoga class was in University and I went because my friend asked me to go as she was participating in a study on improving lung capacity through practice of deep breathing techniques. 

Sibylle:  I had been curious about Yoga for a while but I was living in a very rural part of southern Germany where at the time there weren’t any Yoga classes. So when I moved to Dublin in 2003, still at a time when Yoga studios were a rare thing, I got myself into a school hall Yoga class, which was organised by this super enthusiastic and incredibly warm hearted teacher. I definitely came to Yoga for the physical side of things but this particular teacher had a brilliant way of integrating the deeper and more subtle aspects of the practice, the attitudes, the mindset, the psychology and philosophy of the practice, in a way that was relatable, useful and to me super exciting.

2. What led you to become a Yoga teacher?  

Naomi:  After the first Yoga class, I went on to try out other Yoga classes as a balance to a lot of training and rock climbing that I was doing. I tried Yoga in many different countries while travelling around the world and I just fell in love with the history and philosophy aspects of Yoga.  I was already teaching full time for a number of years in a school when I decided I would love to learn more about Yoga and study how to teach the practice.

Sibylle:  I remember as a child wondering what this whole “work” thing is all about. Why people get so serious when they grow up and seem to lose their love for life. In my head as a child it was clear, that if we humans really had to work, shouldn’t it be something that brings us and others joy? I probably didn’t use those exact words at the time but I remember feeling quite strongly about this and being quite a pain in the... to my parents about it!

So in the end what brought me to teaching Yoga was probably a combination of my teacher encouraging me and this feeling that I may be of more use to people in the Yoga room than I was at the time in the marketing office.

3. What did you do before training to be a Yoga teacher?

Naomi:  As I mentioned above I was teaching as a school teacher and continued in that profession after qualifying as a Yoga teacher, I taught part time Yoga for one year before transitioning into it full time.

Sibylle:  I studied business and worked in marketing for a few years. I met really nice people along the way and actually enjoyed my job but there was one particular day I remember. I got the job that I was working towards for a while and instead of feeling elated, I felt so empty. I didn’t understand what was going on. This was supposed to feel different and I remember this was the beginning of me moving out of what my head thought was right for me and followed my heart.  Brief word of caution... although it would sound so much nicer and braver if I told you I just quit and that was that, it was actually a slow process during which I was teaching most evenings and holding up a full time office job until I was really clear that I felt more at home and more at ease in the Yoga room.

4. How has Yoga changed your life?

Naomi:  Tough Question with a long answer! I’ll try give you the short version!

Yoga has given me so much in terms of physical balance and awareness but beyond that the practice of Yoga and Meditation has enabled me to tune in.  I feel more grounded and settled in myself, I feel calmer and more enabled to cope with day to day occurrences and stresses.

Sibylle:  For me the changes keep on coming. It’s not like you touch your toes and your life is pure bliss. I thought that for a while but turns out it’s more subtle than that. It’s a process of psychologically and emotionally unwrapping and understanding not only WHAT we are doing but also HOW and WHY. The physical practice creates a great context but the actual work is done on the inside. Looking at someone in a Yoga pose you only see a fraction of the stuff that’s going on. So for me the practice is a tool to keep navigating through life. It’s a place where I digest life, where I integrate and release. You’re never done... but then again, being done would be boring, wouldn’t it?

yoga teacher training

5. What advice can you give to a Yoga newbie?

Naomi:  Always remember to tune in to what feels genuine and good for you, everything else is just noise.

Sibylle:  Keep it light hearted and keep on scratching the surface to see what lies beneath. Find a teacher you resonate with, someone who challenges you because they see your potential. Then stick with them for a while and watch what happens.

6. What message do you have for anyone considering your Yoga Teacher Training course?

Naomi:  Doing my Yoga teacher training was a step for me to becoming closer to the person I want to be.  If it feels right - go for it! There may be doubts or worries or insecurities but if you are genuinely interested and passionate about Yoga you will love every minute.

Sibylle:  Meet us and see if we resonate with you. Listen to the voice within as it is usually right. If the timing is right for you, you’ll have the most amazing time. We are excited to meet you and help you grow into the teacher you want to be.

7. What level or how much experience would you recommend someone has before enrolling in teacher training?

Naomi:  It’s good to have a base knowledge of Yoga classes, the structure, various postures, breathing practices and meditation.  You do not need to be an expert but having a knowledge of what you enjoy and like helps as a good starting ground for what you would like to teach and give to others.

Sibylle:  You don’t have to be an acrobat or churn out advanced postures but feeling familiar with asanas and knowing your personal strengths and your struggles within the practice is important. It’s hard to put a timeframe on it because some people practice twice a week for years, some people practice 5 times a week but are newer to the practice. It’s quality of engagement rather than quantity.  If you feel you are drawn to the teacher training but are unsure in any way, just get in touch with us and we’ll have a chat. Most people who sign up worry to some extent about their readiness. It comes with the territory, you’re venturing into something new but you’ll find that after talking to us you’ll have more clarity.

8. What do you think the biggest Yoga misconception is?

Naomi:  That it is all about flexibility!

Sibylle:  I don’t know. I’m not really dogmatic about Yoga. Yoga is such a vast field, some people feel drawn to the physical practice, some people get hooked by the intellectual or psychological expression of the practice, some people stay on the surface, some people feel drawn to go deep. What you perceive Yoga to be depends on where you stand and what you are looking at.

200hr yoga teacher training dublin

9. What is your funniest experience as a Yoga teacher?

Naomi:  Mmmm…..I have lots of funny moments, I love saying the wrong things and laughing at my mistakes sometimes!

Sibylle:  There are so many times we giggle in class because the moment itself is kind of funny or awkward. I’m either demonstrating a pose and realise too late that the angle I chose is, let’s say, not the most flattering aspect of my behind or sometimes I just can’t get the name of the pose out. Crow Pose is my favourite to forget but it has happened for Down Dog, Lunges, etc.....It’s funny because I know the word, I can see the pose in my mind but it just doesn’t come out of my mouth, so the whole room is experiencing this gigantic pause, oftentimes while in some sort of a pretzel shape or a tough hold that you don’t want to spend 5 extra breaths in until the teacher finds her words again.... that usually feeds into a big laugh and we just pick up from there.

10. What do you think is the most important thing to remember when practicing Yoga?

Naomi:  To stay aware of yourself to the extent that you become very familiar with your habits, knowing when negative thoughts or judgements come in and being able to drop them and stay in flow with your body and breath.

Sibylle:  To have fun. To move a little slower. To feel more.

11.    Do you have a favourite mantra?

Naomi:  Be awesome!

Sibylle:  I just know that we have a limited time here on this planet and I’m trying to remind myself to do my best to really live each day fully.

If you are interested in finding out more about our upcoming training, get in touch today or check out the link below.



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