That’s the opinion of Queensland-based Robyn Jarram – a correspondence student on the IYTA’s International Diploma of Yoga Teaching. She’s so committed she travels to Sydney most months to attend lectures face-to-face.
Here she tells us what led her to yoga, why she loves the course and how her life is about to change!
Why did you decide to enroll on a yoga teaching course?
My yoga journey began 20 years ago in Williamstown, Melbourne under the tutelage of Fiona Hyde. It was a time of my life which was very traumatic. My father had died suddenly and unexpectedly and I found that yoga helped me relax and deal with my own trauma which enabled me to support my mum.
I loved the way I felt after a yoga class, so relaxed and balanced. I investigated becoming a teacher, but l didn’t have the confidence to pursue it. Life led me in different directions and I stopped practicing for a few years. I eventually relocated to far north Queensland and took up yoga again. The old familiar voice in my head kept telling me to become a yoga teacher and so, with some very valued advice from a yoga teacher friend, I finally enrolled with the IYTA.
I enrolled specifically to become a yoga teacher knowing that within that process I would learn more about myself as an individual and as a sharer of yoga. For me, the practice of yoga brings peace, happiness and a sense of wellbeing that I haven’t been able to achieve through other modalities.
Why did you choose the IYTA course?
I researched many yoga teaching courses and finally decided on the IYTA diploma because of its reputation as one of the best courses in the world. I wanted to obtain a well-rounded and in-depth education which adequately addressed anatomy, philosophy, pranayama and meditation.
Also, I live in a small country town and I wanted a course I could do online. The IYTA offered everything I was looking for.
What have you enjoyed about the course so far?
I have enjoyed learning and expanding my knowledge about how the body works holistically.
My Certificate IV in Fitness which I completed in 2006 gives me knowledge of the anatomy as it relates to exercise and I have enjoyed transferring and expanding that knowledge into this education.
I have especially enjoyed delving into yoga philosophy learning more about the yamas and niyamas and the various energy systems. I am really enjoying expanding my understanding of the therapeutic benefits of relaxation and meditation.
When you enrolled did you expect to do the entire course via correspondence?
Yes mostly. I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to undertake the course over two years. I thought I might attend one or two study weekends in Sydney but intended to do the entire course by correspondence.
What made you change your mind to attend lectures face-to-face?
I undertook the first year (philosophy, pranayama, meditation) entirely by correspondence.
Prior to the current online learning platform being introduced we were not given any real access to other correspondence students except via the Residential which I didn’t attend in my first year. I found it quite isolating and while I thought I was a bit of a loner, I have learnt that I prefer to have a community of like-minded people around me.
I also work up to eight hours a day at home on the computer and as a result I have certain physical ailments which result in significant pain. While a daily yoga practice helps manage the pain; sitting in front of the computer to watch 16 hours of IYTA lecture videos each month wasn’t helping.
Are you attending all study weekends in Sydney?
I am trying to attend every study weekend in Sydney. I negotiated special rates with a nearby hotel and I try to get the most economical flights possible. My husband and I have made lots of sacrifices so I can attend the IYTA study weekends.
Attending the weekends and working directly with the lecturers and other students has improved my personal learning experience, and as a result my confidence has increased and my teaching ability has expanded exponentially. I also feel part of a real community and have made some life-long friends.
What has surprised you about the course and your yoga discoveries made via the course?
I was most surprised to discover how much I love Restorative Yoga. I had always found it quite difficult to practice because I had so much pain all of the time. My mind wasn’t switching off from the pain and the stillness of restorative yoga seemed to make it worse.
In a restorative yoga class during the IYTA Residential in May this year, I discovered that my mind never switches off, even when I’m looking inward, it’s always going a million miles an hour thinking about what’s next! I was never truly with myself. And so, my exploration into Restorative Yoga has taught me how to slow my mind down, how to look inward more gently and how to be a little more kind to myself. These days, I attend a restorative yoga class once a week and it’s my go-to-class when I am feeling tired, rundown or in need of some quiet time.
What are your plans after the course (in terms of your yoga journey?)
I am currently in the process of opening my own yoga studio in my home town of Mossman in far north Queensland. I believe it will be the very first dedicated yoga space in Mossman. It’s exciting to give the local community a dedicated space in which to practice. It will also provide a beautiful, fully equipped space for qualified yoga teachers to deliver creative yoga classes and workshops. I have already received a great deal of interest from local teachers who are interested in using the space and also from interstate yoga teachers offering to conduct workshops. The local community is being incredibly supportive and they are excited about the studio.
I am considering studying Yoga Therapy sometime in the future because I am very interested in how yoga can be used as a tool to treat and support people with various mental health conditions.
In the short term, I am planning to enrich my education by continuing with my regular personal practice, teaching yoga and continuing this never-ending journey of discovery.
Why would you recommend the IYTA Diploma yoga teaching course?
The lecturers’ knowledge and levels of experience are exemplary.
The course is structured and delivered in a logical manner and it promotes experiential learning through a good combination of theory, practical tasks and assignments.
In addition, each representative of the IYTA is supportive of each students’ individual journey through the course. They approach the teaching with understanding and compassion. This enables us (the students) to feel at ease and be willing to express our true selves in the classroom (as students) and ‘up the front’ as rookie teachers.
Robyn, 49, lives in Mossman, QLD with her husband (who also loves yoga) and their two West Highland White Terriers, aged 10 and 4, who enjoy relaxation practices!). Since 2003 Robyn has run her own business – Symbiotic Enterprising working as a technical writer/tender writer working directly for local businesses and remotely for clients located around Australia.
She is very proud to be opening Mossman Yoga Studio in the very near future.
Our next Open Day is currently FULL – Register your name for the waitlist at our next Open Day or Find out more & download Course outline to discover more about the IYTA’s Diploma of Yoga Teaching