Yoga Training for Pilates Professionals

by Yoga & Pilates Teacher & 200hr Yoga Teacher Trainer Naomi Sturdy

You may have trained as a Pilates instructor and/or feel connected to, love or identify as a Pilates devotee.  I wanted to write a piece on how Yoga teacher training may be of benefit to your existing skill sets and passions, and in doing so go beyond another piece of the top ten benefits you would gain! There are so many articles whittling down the experience of Yoga to the smallest list, the minimum guarantees and gains.  I do not feel any of us need more of the short lists!

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In my experience to date teaching both Yoga and Pilates, I find there is a broad range and scope to which the practice of Yoga can add to your teaching profession, enjoyment, quality and longevity.

Wisdom from a practice built over thousands of years

This is something not to be overlooked or taken for granted.  The fact that Yoga has lasted so long, has a deep rooted history and continues to appeal to modern societies and individuals is quite valuable.  To be able to read ancient wisdom and theories, to gain an understanding of original and continually evolving philosophies adds a lot of weight especially in our modern era of take and go snap trends and next best things!  Yoga is like the grandparents or older relatives we love or find grounding because they have been through it all and seen it all and come out the other side with a lesson or two.

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Ways to experience slowing down, relaxation and the effects

A lot of us experience anxiety, stress, worry and tiredness with our families, our jobs and our responsibilities.  It doesn’t make us ‘bad humans’ and these aspects are not something we are here to eradicate but aspects of Yoga such as Meditation, Pranayama (Breath practices) can help with is to balance out the system, balance out our ways of knowing ourselves, balance out the overload of information.  I find that when we allow a little slowing down, a little more relaxation, we can actually tune in and still be strong in classes, still commit our efforts, still practice and progress and actually we do it more effectively when we are not strung out, pushing and pulling at ourselves.  The strengthening elements of Pilates are amazing for the body, supportive and stabilising and there are similar aspects to the practice of Yoga, but when combined with an overall approach of presence and an attitude of relaxation we can make our practices much more sustainable and safe.  This can be for you as an individual teacher creating balance in your life, or for your students.

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Self awareness

Through Meditation we gain tools to get to see ourselves objectively, we cultivate skills and tools to know what we need.  This can benefit you to stay replenished during stressful or tiring work periods.  This can benefit you in your interactions with students or clients.  You can become familiar with your own signs and signals and develop self compassion, kindness and self care rather than burning the candle at both ends.  Meditation as part of your daily routines becomes a way of developing non reactivity, noticing and observing without supressing or over attaching and in these ways, allowing yourself to make the best and effective choices throughout your day.  Meditation is also practicing non externally or internally distracted experiences, so without moving, or doing, or having to or should do…it is a way of knowing yourself beyond all of that.  This I feel can help us get to the heart of the matter on many levels without so much side stories and drama…and in that way it can help us relate to our bodies more clearly, our breath and each other.

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Ways to view and experience these amazing bodies

Through undertaking a training, with teaching on Yoga anatomy, Yoga postures, movements, sequences and cueing, you will gain another avenue through which you can experience your body move, another set of principles through which you can understand movement and view others moving.  I really believe there are assets and value to be taken from a broad range of modalities available to us today.  It is not like one is the right way and the only way.  All of these practices just give us another lens, another option, another way of understanding or resonating with or feeling connected to, and then with that you gain more ways to feel good, more ways to heal or rehabilitate after injuries, more ways to create balance and more ways to enjoy the gift of these beautiful and amazing bodies.  Another practice can add a layer of appreciation and gratitude for all that these bodies can do and experience.

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Skills to effectively see students or clients and assess their needs

In taking into account the ideas above, professionally if you have as a teacher more words, tools to call upon and knowledge about how to look at the body, you can begin to more effectively see what your students can need and will benefit from.  When we are not boxed in to one way, we can open out the options, we can try various components of practices and offer our students more holistic ways of physically educating.

Perhaps you would be interested in chatting to us about our upcoming ‘The Art of Teacher Training’ in Yoga Dublin, Dundrum 2018.  You can contact the studio or Sibylle and I directly for any questions you may have or to express interest.

Happy health,
Naomi x


About the Author


Naomi has been teaching for over 10 years. She originally qualified as a Physical Education teacher with a great interest and passion for exercise, activity and a healthy lifestyle.

Naomi began practicing Yoga in Dublin and went on to travel around the world practicing Yoga in India, Nepal, New Zealand and China.  She undertook her 200 hours teacher training qualification with the YTTC in Dublin in 2010 and has since then continued training with many world renowned teachers in Ireland and abroad.

After completing her Pilates teaching qualification, Naomi went on to set up her own business teaching both disciplines full time in 2012.

In 2016 Naomi came together with fellow teacher Sibylle Dallmann to create The Art of Teaching 200hr Yoga Teacher Training.

When not on her mat or teaching, Naomi loves getting outdoors, rock climbing, the sea and coffee!


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