Yoga Teacher Training Program

Yoga Teacher Training Program

Are you striving toward a future as a yoga instructor, someone who is equipped with the skills and confidence to effectively inspire and lead your own class and build a strong business? Minneapolis College’s Yoga Teacher Training Program is not only a certification course, but a journey toward personal growth and professional readiness that can be completed in as little as one semester.

Beginning in the Fall of 2024, Maria Toso, an E-RYT 500 certified yoga instructor, will bring her wealth of experience in yoga and meditation from her native Denmark and the United States to her new role leading the Yoga Teacher Training Program at Minneapolis College. Maria Toso's qualifications extend across Vinyasa, Therapeutic Soma Yoga, Yin, Restorative, Hatha Yoga, and meditation. She has also developed several unique programs, including the Yogic Program for Healing Emotional Triggers, The Heal What Hurts Process, and a breathwork technique for stress relief called Breathe Release it All.

“Early in my tenure as a yoga teacher trainer, I identified a significant gap in traditional training programs: the preparation for effectively leading a group,” said Toso. “Feedback from recent graduates highlighted a common shortfall in confidence, particularly in public speaking and class management.” The insights of Toso’s learnings will shape the program's dual focus going forward.

The Yoga Teacher Training Program creates a nurturing environment that fosters a supportive setting to allow students to practice and refine their teaching skills in a safe container with supportive peers. Students can build their confidence and competence in areas including:

  • Effective communication, ensuring clarity and audibility without shouting.
  • Dynamic classroom engagement, encouraging movement and interaction throughout the space.
  • Verbal cueing with precision as well as mirroring techniques that keep the instructor facing the class.
  • Strategic demonstration of poses without the common dependence on ‘doing yoga to teach yoga’. 
  • Intelligent sequencing to prepare the body comprehensively for each posture.
  • Meditation practices to cultivate mental clarity and reduce teaching anxiety.

The Program is grounded in practical mastery of yoga as defined by the Yoga Sutras—Yoga Citta Vritti Nirodaha, which translates to the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind. “Understanding and managing one's mental state is vital, as it reduces anxiety and enhances focus,” said Toso, who concurs both are crucial for effective teaching. “We aim to turn down or even silence the mental chatter, allowing students to harness their life force and align it with their personal and professional goals.”

While the program covers Sanskrit terminology, the primary emphasis is not on rote memorization, rather integrating yogic principles into daily life. The curriculum is designed to be transformative, addressing the holistic development of body, mind, and spirit.

The Yoga Teacher Training Program is flexible to meet the unique needs and lifestyle of the student. The 200 classroom hours can be completed in one semester for full-time students with the flexibility to extend over multiple semesters for students who prefer a slower paced approach.

Alongside her role as a faculty member, Maria continues to work as a spiritual coach and teacher in the Twin Cities. She is a mother to two adult children who are living and studying in Copenhagen, Denmark. She previously led the yoga teacher training program at Saint Paul College.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Yoga Teacher Training Program at Minneapolis College, contact Maria.toso@minneapolis.edu or 763.321.9174.  

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