Onyx Yoga Studio 


45 Mountain Blvd


Warren, NJ 07059


Onyx 200 HR Teacher Training FAQs

1) Is Onyx Yoga Studio’s teacher training pass/fail?    
All students who complete the requirements of the program will pass. There is homework assigned following each weekend session and you are expected to complete the hours set in the program. There is practicum. In the end, you can either get a certificate of participation or one of completion. 

2) What kind of tests do you have to take for the teacher training?
In addition to monthly homework assignments, at the end of the teacher training there is a final test.  This test covers all the content reviewed during the program and is open-book and open-notes.  Students are permitted to talk and discuss the answers during the testing day. There is no pressure and no grade; the test allows you to apply all that you’ve learned to paper in your own words. 

3) Onyx has a very successful hot yoga studio. Do you have to teach hot yoga to complete the program or do you have to choose any specific style of yoga that you will teach? 
You have the freedom to choose what you teach. You will learn how to teach a vinyasa-based class with a great focus on alignment. Where and how you do that, is up to you. We will discuss different styles of yoga as well as some of the business aspects of teaching yoga for those who plan to teach and/or volunteer. The goal of our program is to give you a well-rounded foundational ability to teach a variety of populations in a range of settings.  Whether it’s a large studio class or showing a loved one a few poses to better their health, you will learn what is needed to give your students a safe and meaningful class experience. In essence, you are getting “whole package yoga,” however, that comes through you in your voice.

4) When will we be studying physical asanas versus the philosophy of yoga?
The sessions are planned to ensure a balance of seated class discussions and asana movement, with breaks to stretch and eat and socialize.  The aim is to avoid six straight hours of asana or philosophy in a row. We may go from a philosophy lesson to the physical breakdown of certain poses to more philosophy and end with asana. We won’t be sitting or moving for too long. Often times the day moves organically as the readings carry over into physical practice and discussions overlap from philosophy to asana to life lessons.  You will be expanding your physical limitations in your yoga practice and learning how to bring the philosophy of yoga into your everyday life.

5) Will we practice teach in training?
In a safe and supportive environment, all students will have the opportunity to hear their voice and lead the class for a portion of a sequence.  Onyx also offers bi-weekly community classes free to the public as a service to the community.  The community classes are led by teacher trainees both during the program and on a volunteer basis after graduation.   

6) What is the size of group who will be taking the teacher training? 
Space is limited to ensure the proper amount of individual interaction and guidanc. We find this allows students to better know each other, create new and lasting relationships, and share the journey together.

7) How long will the program take? What will the schedule be like?
The teacher training begins in September and ends in May, approximately nine months.  We meet one weekend a month, with a few exceptions in which we meet 2 weekends in a month. We meet Friday evenings from 5pm to 9pm (Don’t worry if you can’t make it at exactly 5pm because of your job!), Saturday all day from 10am to 6pm, and Sunday from 12am to 6:30pm.  The program is a commitment and is challenging in order to get a big outcome. This level of immersion will help you drop into yourself and examine your life in a way that we simply can’t achieve on our own.

8) How hard are the physical asanas (a.k.a. poses) that we will be going over in the teacher training? Do you need to be able to do a headstand or advanced poses in order to become a teacher? If I can’t do a pose, how can I teach it?
Our program certifies you to teach a basic and mixed level class (i.e. more of a level 1/2 than level 2/3). You do NOT need to be able to do advanced poses in order to teach them safely. How you come to the training is exactly the perfect place to be. Everyone’s body is different and your body changes over time.  You need not perfect a pose yourself to teach it safely.  The asana portion of the training focuses on alignment principles enabling you to look at a person’s body and practice, and evaluate them using five points of alignment. If all of these five points are in place, you know that they can come into the pose safely and you will learn to guide them into the posture without demonstration.  For your own practice, as we learn more challenging poses, you will see that it is not about getting into the pose but about changing the experience of a pose even if you haven’t “gotten” it.  It is a tremendous opportunity to learn about your tendencies and explore what holds you back – on and off the mat.

9) Will there be outside teachers teaching us? 
Yes will have guest teachers for specialties such as prenatal yoga basics, Sanskrit, and anatomy. 

10) What happens if you miss a session of the teacher training?
The training is a commitment to yourself.  You should take the training seriously and make a commitment to the schedule provided. To get the most out of the training, you should be truly invested and really serious about transforming your life.  However, we do understand that there are certain times in which you might have to miss a session. We utilize buddy study in which you buddy up with someone who provides you with notes and teaches you what you missed.  To be Yoga Alliance Certified, there are a standard amount of hours that you must complete and this will be outlined the first meeting of the teacher training.

11) Is there an over-arching yoga body that will certify us?
You will be certified by Onyx. The Yoga Alliance is a company that regulates yoga training programs and registration of yoga teachers.  If you plan to become a registered teacher, it is important that you complete a teacher training program at a Registered Yoga School (RYS), of which Onyx is one.  To become a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT), you must register with the Yoga Alliance after you complete the Onyx training.  To read more about YA, please go to their website at: www.yogaalliance.org.  

12) Can you still maintain your normal yoga practice during training? 
Yes, we encourage it! During your training you are offered a 25% discount on all classes you purchase at Onyx.

13) How much is the tuition and do you offer a payment plan if I cannot pay the entire amount in full?
The tuition is $3,495.  Early bird pricing if you purchase by July 1 is $2,995. We ask for a nonrefundable $500 deposit to hold your spot.  Once confirmed into the program, we are happy to work with you on a payment plan for tuition.  

14) Where are students coming from, are they all Onyx regulars?
Students come from all different locations and levels of practice. No, not everyone is a regular yoga practitioner at Onyx. 

15) What materials will we be studying in the teacher training? 
You will be given a complete list of books that you will need once you commit to the training. Some of these books may include: The Living Gita (commentary by Swami Satchidananda), Yoga Sutras (translation and commentary by Swami Satchidananda), Light on Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar, The Key Muscles of Yoga by Ray Long, and more. 

16) What can I hope to gain from taking this program?
Immersing yourself in yoga teacher training will transform your body and mind and give you a life-changing experience, regardless of whether you plan to teach. You could go to classes for years and not get a shift in consciousness that is possible through the training.

“This is a journey and even if you don't plan on teaching, you will gain so much from this experience. It is so much more than facts and guidelines and readings and philosophy. It's learning more about who you are and where you fit in the world. It’s a way to help cope with life and a deeper understanding of the world and yoga itself.”  Graduate 2016

Transform Your Body and Mind

There are many reasons why a yoga practitioner may decide to enroll in a yoga teacher training. It could be to deepen their own practice, or to learn more about the philosophy, or to become a teacher. If this is what you want as you enter a teacher training, the question is: What then do you leave a teacher training with? It will most likely be very different from the reason you enrolled initially. For example, you may enter a training to learn advanced asanas, but end up getting the most out of the philosophical side of the training.

A good and complete yoga teacher training will leave you transformed in both body and mind. Here are many of the things that you will graduate with:

A Stronger Physical Yoga Practice: This is one of the main reasons yogis enter a teacher training. Of course with breaking down poses and alignment there is a huge opportunity to learn and grow your practice, becoming stronger and more flexible and perfecting your body’s alignment.

Body Awareness: To go along with that, you will get to know your body more than you ever have before. By gaining body awareness you will take that into your everyday life, injuring yourself less and becoming more sensitive to when something is out of sorts in your body.

Focus: In your teacher training, as you explore the philosophy of yoga you will be able to focus on what you need most in your life and in your physical asana practice.

Perspective: A yoga teacher training can make you see your life for what it is and remind you of how we are connected to the universe. This perspective is enlightening and can be life changing.

Community: You will network with a group of people who share common interests and who can possibly become lasting friends. You will learn and teach each other which is extremely valuable.

Public Speaking and Leadership Skills: This set of skills is essential to any job or career that you may have. Being able to speak in front of others, lead a group of people, and communicate a lesson is invaluable.

Tone Your Body: You will gain the outward benefit of looking more toned as you build strength.

Find Your True Calling: A teacher training will teach you about who you are. In many cases, you will come to realizations about yourself and who you want to become that will clarify where you want to be now and in the future.

A New Career: If you chose to become a teacher, even as a part time job or for a private client, you have a new way to make money, and it’s a way that is both fulfilling and rewarding.

These are just some of the main benefits you can gain during your yoga teacher training. As you put all of these together you will begin to see a transformed self in body and mind. A yoga education, like any education enriches your life, but unlike every education, it also becomes your life. You learn it. You live it. You are it. We all are.


Am I Good Enough To Take a Yoga Teacher Training?


You’re on your mat in your yoga class, moving through the asanas and wondering how there was ever a time that you didn’t do yoga. You think, how can I do this more? You know you want to take it to the next level and spread yoga throughout your life, for yourself and maybe as a teacher.  The class moves along and eventually it’s time to do headstand. You come onto the forearms, prepping your body but something is stopping you from coming up. Strength? Fear? You don’t know what, but you start second guessing yourself. You ask, could I really become a teacher if I can’t do a headstand?

Quite often, people who have been practicing yoga for some time have this very question. They decide that they want to deepen their practice and maybe even become a teacher themselves, but before jumping in and making the commitment they ask themselves: Am I good enough? The answer is YES. If you have a passion and a love for yoga so much that you want to immerse yourself, educate yourself and evolve as a person, then yes, you are good enough. It is not about how far you can take the physical asanas. And bear in mind that  chances are that many of the other yogis who commit to taking a teacher training feel just as you do.

We all have fear of certain poses, maybe it’s a fear of injury, maybe it’s a fear of failure, but nevertheless it exists. If this fear is what is stopping you from attempting to practice a certain pose or poses, this should not stop you from wanting to deepen your practice or immerse yourself in a teacher training program; it should make you want to do it more! In teacher training you will work through and learn to overcome your fear.  You will strengthen the body and learn to take your body and mind to places you never knew existed. And if your body simply doesn’t allow you to do certain poses, you will learn acceptance and nonjudgement.

Remember that is what yoga is about: not judging. And in order to not judge others, you first have to not judge yourself. So rest assured on and off the mat, you are good enough! Don’t let the opportunity pass you by. Now is the time to change your life!

Toni Porrello


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