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.”