Become a certified yoga instructor

USTRASANA: Ustrasana, or camel pose, is a deep backward bend in a kneeling position that improves core strength, and spinal and hip flexibility.

USTRASANA: Ustrasana, or camel pose, is a deep backward bend in a kneeling position that improves core strength, and spinal and hip flexibility.

Yoga is a discipline that fuels the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of one’s life. It is a practice that is transformative for both the body and mind.

Saddleback College is now offering a yoga certification program that will teach its students how to become an instructor for a Vinyasa Flow style yoga class.

Deidre Cavazzi, assistant dance professor, and Lindsay Steinriede, head coach for the Saddleback surf team and fitness professor were nice enough to answer some questions regarding the new certification and yoga in general.

Steinriede teaches beginning yoga, a class where students can come to, setting aside their busy schedules for an hour and 15 minutes.

“I wanted to try yoga and now that I am in the class, I would recommend it,” said Claire Predmore, 21, undeclared.

LARIAT: What are the benefits of yoga?

“Yoga is a mind and body practice that originated in India over two thousand years ago, and has spread through the entire world.  Yoga strengthens and stretches the body while also calming and focusing the mind–it is a great way to reduce stress and improve health!”

LARIAT: For kids who are interested, is there any physical limitations?

“Yoga is infinitely adaptable–it is a practice that is shaped for each individual; there are many different types of physical yoga practices, and each pose can be modified to best suit the student–in fact, this is one of the important elements that we communicate to students in our classes and in the certification program–yoga is not a ‘one size fits all’ practice, and each class should allow options so that every individual can get from a class what they need, both physically and mentally.”

LARIAT: What does the certification allow you to do?

“Upon completion of the required courses, students will earn both an Occupational Skill Award from Saddleback College, and a Yoga Alliance-recognized 200-hour instructor certification.  Yoga Alliance is a nationally-recognized organization, and a YA-approved certification will allow students to teach classes at many studios, gyms, and other locations.  In order to attain the certificate, students must complete five classes at the college, including three core courses:  Anatomy of Yoga (KNES 160), Teaching of Yoga (KNES 161), and Philosophy of Yoga (KNES 162).  These classes are taught by Deidre Cavazzi and Lindsay Steinriede, and will be offered each semester, so that students could even complete the entire certification in a single semester if they chose.  In addition to the three core courses, students also must take two physical yoga classes (choosing from KNES 28, 39, 40, and DANC 128).”

LARIAT: In terms of knowledge, what do you think a student will take away from the courses?

“Students in the certification program will learn how to competently and confidently teach a Vinyasa Flow-style yoga class, provide appropriate modifications and proper support for all levels.  Students learn to diagnose common misalignments within poses, explain the anatomical support for each yoga pose, and learn how to use breath and relaxation techniques.  Students will also explore the history and philosophy of yoga, work on communication skills, classroom management and instruction techniques. Further, students will learn how to design class sequences and best practices.  Our students will have the skills, confidence, and compassion to enter the community and provide high-quality yoga instruction.  We have such a wonderful and inspiring group of students in our first Cohort, and we are looking forward to seeing them share their teaching skills and love of yoga with others.”