I remember the day I decided to do my yoga teacher training with the British Wheel of Yoga (BWY). I was rolling up my mat at the end of the practice and my wonderful teacher Mikki Marks asked me if I felt ready to teach. I had been practicing with Mikki for several years, and greatly admired her. She had been a long-time member of the British Wheel of Yoga and was highly respected in the organization.
My first response was to say, no, I didn’t feel ready. Even though I had been a practitioner of yoga from my late teens, it had never occurred to me to teach. I didn’t see myself as a teacher, but the thought of immersing myself in the ancient texts, studying the philosophy and delving into the repertoire of postures was very appealing. After Mikki shared more of the syllabus with me and explained that she would be one of the teachers on the 3-year diploma Course, I agreed. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. My yoga practice and journey with yoga has given me extraordinary resources, and led me to a wonderful life of science and inquiry, enabling me to bridge the gap between yoga and sport.
Taking a Virtual Leap
The process of becoming a Yoga teacher twenty years ago is very different to today. Online yoga training wasn’t an option and the 200 hour yoga teacher training model wasn’t as prevalent as it is today. (Back in 2008, the biggest challenge I faced when I first started developing the Yoga Sports Science® syllabus online, was that it had never been done before. No-one had taken the ancient practice of yoga and translated it into digital content to become an online source for professional training).
I set out to create a dynamic online environment that would enable students to feel deeply connected to their studies and to their tutors whilst giving them the skills that would enhance their professional prospects and the freedom to do it from anywhere in the world. My vision was to create a global network of teachers and Yoga Sports Coaches™ that could support athletes through tried and tested yoga methods and provide an on-going network to support them once they had graduated. Almost 10 years later this vision has been achieved with over 150 students world-wide teaching in 13 countries.
Honoring the Wisdom of My Yoga Teacher
During the process of designing the online Courses I would often refer back to many conversations I’d had with Mikki over the years about the art and science of teaching and the qualities it takes to support every type of learner. Every student cohort that has trained with us has been an invaluable contributor to the continued high standards we set for our online and live Courses.
With the world of yoga thankfully ever evolving, the British Wheel of Yoga continues to set the bar high in its evolution. Now members of the BWY can join other yoga teachers, healthcare and fitness professionals that train with us and gain the skills they need to successfully bridge the gap between yoga and sport.
I am personally delighted and professionally honored that the Institute of Yoga Sports Science® has been approved as a Recognized Yoga Centre with the British Wheel of Yoga.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank my yoga teacher, Mikki Marks, for seeing something in me that I didn’t see in myself and for her excellent guidance in helping me become the teacher that I am today.
Hayley Winter holds a British Wheel of Yoga teaching diploma.
She is Yoga Sports Scientist, with a Masters education in Sports and Exercise Biomechanics and the founder of the Institute of Yoga Sports Science (YSS). She is creator of the YSS 40-Hour Yoga for Athletes Foundation Course, the YSS 200-Hour and 300-Hour Yoga Sports Coaching Courses and along with her team, trains Yoga Sports Coaches™ worldwide. She is a leading elite performance movement consultant, an international lecturer in yoga biomechanics and the leader in her field in applying the science of yoga to improve athletic performance.
The Institute of Yoga Sports Science® is providing In-Service Training (IST) days with the British Wheel of Yoga. Contact our BWY IST Tutor, Anthea Sweet for details on how you can host an IST day. Click here for more details...
If you want to improve performance results for yourself and for athletes, then take a look at how you can train with us:
We have Courses starting in September, October and November in New York, London and online. Limited spaces available.
The Institute of Yoga Sports Science® is also a Registered Yoga School with the Yoga Alliance in the U.S.