From yoga student to lecturer!

Rik Dawson

From yoga student to lecturer!

Two years ago Physiotherapist Rik Dawson enrolled on the IYTA’s Diploma of Yoga Teaching – a year after graduating he is returning – as a lecturer!  

Sydney-based Physiotherapist Rik Dawson has always been a keen advocate for yoga, but it wasn’t until he sold his physiotherapy business that he decided to enrol in a Yoga Teaching Course.

He says: “I’d been practicing yoga personally for about twenty years and always introduced yoga to my patients and encouraged them to join classes when it was appropriate for them. And taking the course was my reward for selling my business!’

Two of Rik’s yoga teachers had recommended the International Yoga Teachers’ Association (IYTA), so he went along to an Open Day to find out more and was instantly impressed.

He says: “I really liked the spirit of the teachers and it felt like the kind of environment I would want to be in for 12 months!”

He signed up and the course quickly exceeded his expectations. He says: “I didn’t appreciate the meditation would be so well structured and paced and I really appreciated the safety and pace of the asana practice.”

He liked having a range of different teachers delivering the lectures. He says: “They all had a similar philosophy about safety and careful instruction, but slightly different approaches and class structure. It didn’t feel as if there was just one way to deliver a class – there were lots of ideas and different modifications for poses.”

He was also impressed with the support from the teachers and course managers. “I liked how they demanded us to be courageous in our teaching early – to get over our ‘imposter syndrome!’ At first, we began to deliver a five minute flow, before moving into a 15-20 minute sequence so when we needed to teach our final assessment class, I felt ready.”

Importantly Rik had the confidence to teach immediately after graduating – even when a pregnant student arrived in his class, he was able to draw on the knowledge learnt on the course and teach the class confidently and safely.

He also found the course helped his personal practice. “I had become quite passive in my own practice but since the course I’m now far more active. I am more mindful and move in a conscious way with intention. And my body has changed for the better with this approach.”

Since graduating a year ago, Rik – who is also the Vice President of the Australian Physiotherapy Association – has taught two online classes a week for staff at Sydney University where he is also doing a PHD – on developing an online yoga program for seniors.

Rik is now excited to return to the Diploma of Yoga teaching next year – as a lecturer!

He says: “I’m glad I’ve had a year to teach since graduating. As a physiotherapist I obviously have a good working knowledge of anatomy, I can give insight to how the year will unfold and as a former health business owner offer some advice about setting up a yoga business.

To anyone who is considering signing up for a yoga teaching course, Rik thoroughly recommends the IYTA. He says: “The IYTA embraces a nurturing spirit and everyone wants you to succeed and find your own way forward as a teacher.”

To find out more about the IYTA’s Diploma of Yoga Teaching CLICK HERE

It’s simply the BEST (yoga course!)

Gary Drummond
If you are keen to study yoga, then check out the IYTA’s Diploma of Yoga Teaching. Here’s one graduate’s story…
Yoga teacher, Gary Drummond is constantly recommending the IYTA’s Diploma of Yoga teaching course. He says: “I would say it is the best teacher training course available and everyone I know who has done the course raves about it.”
The internationally recognised diploma is taught by more than 20 expert lecturers. And Gary says he also loved the great vibe on the course – between students and with the lecturers. He says: “I knew right away I’d made the right choice.”
Gary discovered yoga ten years ago when he was struggling with anxiety. He says: “My wife Lorraine suggested I do something to get out of my head. At the time we lived opposite Manly Yoga Studio, so I went along to a class.”
Gary was immediately hooked – and found the yoga practices such as asanas, pranayama and meditation helped him cope with the crippling anxiety he was experiencing. Eventually his anxiety became so challenging that he left his corporate job. Now for the first time in many years he found himself with time during the day and so he began to attending more yoga classes.
After about three months of regular yoga classes, he observed a shift in his mental and physical health – he was noticeably calmer, more content, his sleep had improved and relationships with his wife and kids very much improved as well
Then one evening in class Gary remembers hearing a voice in his head saying that he needed to become a yoga teacher, so he could help other people who had experienced anxiety.
At first he didn’t have the confidence in his ability but the teachers at the studio believed in him. A few of the teachers were lecturers on the IYTA’s Diploma of Yoga teaching.
Gary attended one of the IYTA’s Open Days where he learnt about the Foundation Course – a 70-hour course which is taken as an online course or face-to-face for three months starting with the Diploma Of Yoga Teaching (if you do this you also have the option to continue on the full course).
As soon as Gary attended the Open Day he resolved to join the Foundation Course immediately. And within the first couple of lectures knew that he wanted to sign up to the full internationally recognised Diploma.
Once Gary began the Diploma he enjoyed the pace of the course, which is run over the year. This gave him time to digest the information and enjoy the regular monthly study weekends. “We’d all meet early and have breakfast together,” he says. And the group are still in close contact and have regular reunions.
Gary’s been teaching regular yoga classes since graduating in 2018 and has in the process of created specialist workshops for men and people with anxiety and also empty nesters.
If you would like to find out more about the IYTA’s Diploma of Yoga Teaching and the Foundation Course – then please call us on: 1800 449 195

Breakfast Berry Smoothie

brekkie smoothie

This nutritious smoothie fills you up and is a delicious brekkie option!


½ cup of rolled oats (if you have a high speed blender – grind them up on the top speed which gives you a smoother smoothie!)

1 cup of frozen organic mixed berries

1 large glass of oat milk

1 teaspoon of honey

1 large ripe banana 


Grind up the oats (if you prefer)

Add in all other ingredients

Whizz on high speed for 30 seconds

If you prefer a thicker consistency then add another ½ banana, for a runnier consistency add more oat milk.

  Drink straight away and enjoy


Looking for more Spring ideas? Here is a delicious Spring Veggie Couscous

Search for more healthy spring recipes!


The IYTA’s Diploma of Yoga was life changing

Intan - DYT was lifechanging

Intan Ridwan’s life has turned around completely after graduating from the IYTA’s Diploma of Yoga teaching – she’s left her corporate job and created a successful yoga business.

  When Intan’s doctor suggested she find an exercise she enjoyed she decided to give yoga a try. It was a decision that would be life changing.

She worked in the city and soon found herself attending classes 4-5 times a week during her lunchtime.

At that time, Intan had two primary-school aged children and her husband also had a full-time job, so days were busy and chaotic. Yoga provided a much-needed balance to their fast-paced life. 

The more Intan practiced yoga, the more she wanted to know, so she researched yoga teaching courses and settled on the IYTA’s Diploma of Yoga.

She says: “I liked the fact the IYTA was well established and had been around for 50 years. It wasn’t based on any lineage and the course was taught by a faculty of more than 20 teachers.”

The course quickly exceeded Intan’s expectations. She says: “I was an empty sponge soaking up all this amazing information and knowledge.” Intan really liked how the course was structured. You work your way up from a foundation of knowledge and build up your understanding,” she says.

Intan didn’t intend to teach, but it wasn’t long before teaching opportunities arose. At the time, Intan was dealing with some work challenges and in the end decided to leave her job. She said: “The yoga course helped me feel grounded and in a peaceful state where I could make my decision.

And within a couple of weeks Intan was offered teaching jobs. She says: “It was as if I’d shut this ugly door and this other beautiful, peaceful door started to open up and I went along with it.”

Intan, 44, now also a yoga therapist has established her own yoga business: and has says most of her students are in their 60s and 70s. She says: “They say you don’t choose your students, they choose you, which seems to be the case!”

Intan specialises in promoting healthy ageing in people from middle age onwards. “People who want to lead a healthy life and want to maintain health and mobility in their mind and body.”

And for anyone considering studying yoga, Intan wholeheartedly recommends the IYTA’s Diploma of Yoga teaching. She says: “It was value for money as it spans an 11 month program and you graduate with the ability to go and teach.” She explains it will always be nerve wracking teaching for the first time after graduating from a yoga teacher training program, but with the IYTA as soon as you stand in front of the class your training just “flows organically.”

Find out about the IYTA’s Diploma of Yoga course here

Check out Intan’s business here