Busting Some Bikram Yoga Teacher / Teaching Myths

Ah, just a short little post to quell some myths that have been in the air!

1. Anyone can be a Bikram Yoga Teacher.

Yes, anyone that has been CERTIFIED! All teachers who teach at affiliated studios have undergone the intensive 9 week Teacher Training and have been trained under Bikram himself [and as of Fall 2009 – have been CPR-certified too!]

2. Anyone can go to Teacher Training

Yes, anyone who has a solid, strong practice of more than 6 months and is in great physical condition who is really passionate about the yoga. [and who has the $$ to spare!]

3. Teaching is easy. All you have to do is get up on the podium, recite the Dialogue for 90 minutes and you get paid.

Uhm, nope. Teachers have to look around first set, identify what students can do more [lean back, suck stomach in, spine straight, look at alignment, body type / shape / problem…] and then correct it in the second set. On top of a podium where it’s HOTTER up there [hot air rises!] and talk for 90 minutes NON STOP. We also have to identify people who are about to pass out / throw up, control the room, identify if a student is going to hurt them/theirselves doing a posture.

4. Teachers are well paid

We are NOT in it for the pay. We are in it for the passion and love we have for the Yoga that has helped us. For those who are in it for the money, it won’t last long and you can most definitely tell.

5. My teacher doesn’t give me corrections. What gives?

Maybe your body is not ready for it yet, or maybe your teacher is not ready. Rule of thumb – new teachers don’t give corrections for 6 months. So it’s not that we’re being lazy, we just need to find our energy before we give it back to you! πŸ˜€

6. Teachers must be awesome all the time.

We’re human too. Some days we have problems, be it personal, financial, whatever – but our job doesn’t mean we take the easy way out and wallow in our sorrow. We still get out of the house, get up on the podium, smile, and kill you [with love] πŸ˜‰

7. What is the Dialogue?

The Dialogue is a written set of specific instructions written by Bikram Choudry and Jim Kallet that specifically tells you WHAT to do, WHEN to do, and HOW to do. Our job as teachers is not just to memorise dialogue and spew it out [lest I sound like a psychotic tape recorder] but to do what I have just covered in point 3. Correct and guide and lead.

And there you have it!



Posted on February 11, 2010, in Bikram Yoga, Malaysiana. Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. And you do all of those things wonderfully! I LOVED taking your class! Wish I could fly across the world and take it again. Oh, and maybe push you off the podium too. Wait, nevermind, you fall off all on your own. πŸ™‚

    • aww shucks thanks! My teaching style has changed since I graduated though! πŸ˜€

      Oh for the first time, I fell ON the podium, haha!

  2. So many myths surround teacher training!! I like this serious yet silly approach to debunking all those myths, Mei. Now, will you just come to Boston already and be a visiting teacher?!?!

    • I shall, it’s on my list of Things I Would Like to Do But Must Sell Remaining Kidney [you know, the one that remains after I’ve sold it for France πŸ˜€ ] *I kid

      Soon soon soon! πŸ™‚ Just be prepared for me to ambush you at your local studio… hee hee hee!

  3. Oh! Was Kallet the one who wrote down the dialogue with Bikram?! I knew SOMEONE must have helped him, but didn’t know who.

    Actually, that makes a LOT of sense. I just hadn’t thought about it before… huh…

    • Yep, twas Jim and Bikram.

      I wonder if they know about “Bring your arms over over your head” and forgot to ask if it’s at typo or meant to be that way.

      Oh come on, I know you know which posture this is. Put the dialogue down. πŸ˜›

      • Yeah it’s fixed firm, I don’t need to look for that one. πŸ˜› I like “your leaning against the wall, hips and head touching the wall.” Every time I say it, I’m seeing “your” instead of “you’re” in my head, just cause I know that’s how it’s printed…

        I was actually talking w/Diane about the evolution of the dialogue this weekend… she was telling us that in ’95 when she did training, Bikram just went up and taught postures and they all took notes and transcribed all the stuff he was saying. That was the first version and if you put it ALL together you’d have a 5-hour long class. Pretty cool. πŸ™‚


        Yah, that legend was told to us as well! I think someone should come up with a book of Bikramisms… πŸ˜€

  4. Are there really people out there who think that teachers are well paid? At best, I would have said that its OK pay for the flexibility it gives to the teacher’s schedule. But it’s hard to imagine a long term teacher who’s in it for the money.

    • Malaysians think that being a Bikram Yoga teacher means you’re well paid. Well, to be fair, the expatriates / foreign teachers are paid market rate and are provided housing, whereas I get paid the same rate as I would in the US but with no housing.

      And you’re right, those in it for the money will leave after a few months – either due to frustration, boredom or possibly both.

  5. Mei…your hip stores all your bad karma kah? Swing those hips baby and let em all out. I will be your cyber shoulder to cry on you sexy bitch.


    Love love

  6. not sure yet…but will suprise y.o.u

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