Student case studies
Being on this course reminded me that Yoga is always inspiring. It helps with all aspects of our lives. If someone asked me about doing the course I would say definitely do it - but don’t rush it!
Stephanie Thompson on the Yoga Foundation Course
Yoga has been an almost life-long passion. My sister and I started Yoga classes in the 60s, at the time of Flower Power and the Beatles in India and all things hippy. We are still doing it and I am a trained Yoga teacher. Having done a particular type of Yoga for many years I wanted to do a course to widen my knowledge, deepen my understanding and compare my form of Yoga to others. My Yoga is very practical and does not cover a lot of the concepts. We do think about Mindfulness and non-worry, but not the more complicated practises. What I discovered by doing the course was that however you practise Yoga there isn’t a conflict of the basic teachings.
This course was very reflective and it was important to me to be able to take as much time as necessary with assignments. The course tutor was very helpful and the constructive and encouraging feedback meant I could go back and rethink things and reflect. The flexibility of the course was also important to me. The assignments were challenging (in a good way!) and some aspects needed practise before it was possible to proceed. The anatomy and the nutrition units also gave practical insights which were helpful. The nutrition unit made me think about my diet and how to improve it. For me the unit on the physical sequence was the most challenging part of the course (as all Yoga sequences are different) but all the guidelines were there and it didn’t make me change anything but showed me that all the fundamental elements of Yoga were represented.
Being on this course reminded me that Yoga is always inspiring. It helps with all aspects of our lives. Even as we age we can have as much vitality and contentment as ever. It is not necessary to be stressed to get things done. In fact if you are happy, contented and at peace you will get so much more done and not be depleted of energy and this is what practising Yoga teaches you. Apart from teaching classes I also find it useful in my work as a massage therapist and aromatherapist. And I teach massage to staff in Special Schools but of course the fundamentals of Yoga are in everything I do- even with my grandchildren.
If someone asked me about doing the course I would say definitely do it - but don’t rush it!
I would highly recommend this course to others who want a home-study course. The course has made me look more closely at myself and my lifestyle and it has also had an impact on the way I behave. It has definitely made me change things for the better!
Dee Barrett on the Yoga Foundation Course
Now that I am semi-retired with a little more time to spare it seemed like a good time to take up this course. I have practised yoga in weekly classes for about 14 years and I wanted to learn more about the history and philosophy behind it in order to improve my own practice. I am also interested in healthy living and eating and as I get older realise more and more the importance of looking after myself, both physically and mentally. So this course has been perfect for that and I now practise yoga daily and have made changes to my diet so that I feel calmer and understand my body better.
My career has mostly been medical-based in hospitals or in a GP surgery and I now work just three afternoons so I can spend quality time practising yoga, studying and walking my dog in the countryside. The correspondence course has suited me very well in that I didn’t have to travel regularly and I could be flexible and take the time I needed for each unit.
I liked that there was theory and practical work in each unit and I could take what I was learning to my weekly class as well as incorporating it into my daily practice. In fact the real bonus was actually making the time for daily practise and reaping the benefits. The unit on nutrition was particularly interesting in that we were asked to keep a food diary - not only of the foods we were eating but how they affected us and how we felt after eating. It became obvious which foods were enlivening for me and which made me sluggish and lethargic - and the same with drinks and consequently I have made changes to my eating habits.
The unit on breathing was, again, very helpful as we studied different aspects of the breath through the various forms of yoga and then observed the effect on ourselves in a practical exercise. The unit incorporating aspects of Anatomy and Physiology and then understanding the various yoga postures meant that devising a yoga sequence that worked for me by using postures and counter-postures and felt good was very useful for my practise.
I think it would be important to have done yoga prior to starting the course so that you could get the maximum benefit from the work. I can’t imagine learning the theory, history and philosophy without doing a yoga sequence alongside it to put the theory into practise. My tutor was a great support by providing help along the way when needed and giving prompt, useful and constructive feedback on written assignments. I really did the course to increase my knowledge of yoga and to help establish my daily yoga routine but now I feel I would like to learn even more of the philosophy and examine some of the ancient yoga texts.
I would highly recommend this course to others who want a home-study course. As long as you are prepared to devote the time needed to study, as well as being prepared to look at yourself with an open mind, you will certainly reap the benefits. The course has made me look more closely at myself and my lifestyle and it has also had an impact on the way I behave. It has definitely made me change things for the better!
Like many people I first came to yoga as a result of back problems. In my 20’s and early 30’s my main form of exercise was at the gym, alongside classes such as circuit training and kick-boxing. Although I enjoyed these forms of exercise they led to back problems in the form of a prolapsed disc. This was when I decided to give yoga a try, mainly to help with my back, and I really enjoyed it both as a form of exercise and also for the benefits I felt from the relaxation and meditation side. I also no longer suffer from back problems.