Dharma Richards is well known in the yoga community and understands what it takes to become a yoga teacher and how intense a yoga teacher training program can be. As a Yoga Alliance Advanced Registered Teacher, she intertwines Classical Hatha-Raja style of teaching which she feels encourages organic movement and guides her students through nurturing practices of pranayama/breathwork, asana/physical postures, and dhyana/meditation. Dharma has studied with some of the most profound yoga teachers in the world which include Seane Corn, Sharon Gannon, Angela Farmer, Paul Grilley, Sarah Powers, Sadie Nardini, Jenny Sauer Klein (AcroYoga), Andrey Lappa and Stephanie Keach. We are very pleased to bring this interview to you our readers who are interested in taking a yoga certification program and taking that next big step in becoming a yoga teacher.
I teach Classical Hatha Raja Vinyasa Yoga based on the teachings of Sri Dharma Mittra and his senior disciple, Chandra Om.
I have been practicing yoga for about ten years and teaching for the last eight.
When I registered for my first 200-hour yoga teacher training with my beloved teacher Chandra Om, I had no intentions on teaching yoga. I was simply wanting to deepen my own personal practice. But once I started teaching yoga to my neighbors and friends (my first ‘payment’ for a class was a fresh, hand-picked Asian pear from a neighbor’s tree), my yoga teaching practice quickly grew and I realized that it was my dharma. It has been an amazing journey and privilege to watch friendships form, good health established and community build throughout my teaching career and the life of our studio.
Chandra Om, senior disciple of Sri Dharma Mittra, at the North Carolina School of Yoga where I completed my RYT 200 level, as well as two Advanced RYT 500 level trainings.
The focus on the more subtle aspects of yoga and the true goal of the science of Yoga. It helped to reawaken my spiritual connection to the Divine in a way that rang true to me.
My biggest challenge in becoming a yoga teacher was trying to balance being a yoga teacher while also being a householder, devoted wife and modern mommy!
I have a very dedicated personal yoga practice which I’ve had for many years now. That has always come first, so it may seem counter-intuitive, but trying to keep up with technology – even though I try to spend a very limited amount of time in front of the computer, it is still a vehicle in which I can stay in constant contact with my students.
Practice Ishvara-Pranadhana – devotion to the Divine. Offer your actions and the fruits of your actions up to something that’s bigger than yourself. And in the words of my Teacher, stay clean. Practice saucha, cleanliness, in thought, word and deed – watch what you put into your body (food) as well as what comes out (words & action). Be sweet and humble, and remain a student first. Continue spiritual readings and meditate every day. Yoga Sutra 1:14 – Practice becomes firmly grounded when attended to for a long period of time, without break and with complete devotion. Om Shanti.
We continue to have yoga teacher trainings at our studio, and have recently expanded to studios along the East coast. I will also be traveling around the country throughout 2011-2012, offering various workshops, intensives and retreats.
We’d like to take this time to thank Dharma for her wonderful insights on what it takes to become a yoga teacher.
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