Iyengar Yoga Certification is one of the most rigorous and yet rewarding paths I have taken. I began this journey four years ago and this weekend I will know if I’m ready to go up for assessment or wait another year. This journey requires you have two teachers guiding you. The mentor is who you take weekly classes with and helps you with questions and studies. The recommending teacher is the one who you do teacher training with and along with the mentor will write your recommendation to be allowed to go up for assessment. The assessors are senior teachers so basically we are being assessed by our peers! They are looking for basic understanding of the Iyengar method and that we practice and teach safely.
The assessment is given once a year at various places and is a three part test which is pass or fail. You can fail some parts, like the written exam and take it again in a month. I think the other two you have to wait another year.
•a written exam covering 10 books including anatomy, philosophy, teaching, pranayama, and more. You have one hour.
•demonstrated practice of 2.5 hours covering almost or all of the 80 poses we are expected to know by heart. I have done a mock practice and it’s exhausting and exhilirating! The names are only given in Sanskrit which we are also expected to know.
•40 minutes to teach 6 poses to 6 students you don’t know. This may seem like an easy thing but it isn’t. The structure of the teaching is to be done as follows: Name of pose in Sanskrit and in English, I demonstrate the pose and give 3 points of HOW to do the pose, the students do the pose as i teach, I find something to correct and have them improve upon, demo it, and they do it again. All in 6 minutes per pose!!!! This is nerve wracking! You never know the difficulties of students you don’t know so a lot is happening in the decision making process as to how to teach each pose as is allowed in the syllabus.
This process has forged me from the fire. You have to really want to teach the Iyengar method to see it through. I love a good challenge and moreover I want to spend my life helping others through B.K.S. Iyengars work. I don’t know if I would even be walking at this point if I had not found this transformational yoga. It saved me from scoliosis and so many other things. Even if I have to wait another year or I go up and fail, I will still continue to pursue this path. It’s all learning and the only failure is when we don’t go after what we really want or try.