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  • Kathy Ran

What you should know before signing up to a programme- we tick all the boxes

1. Who is the main Teacher and are they fully qualified?

How long has he/she they been teaching? They should be seasoned professionals.

Kathy Ran has been teaching yoga for over 22 years and is a senior yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance and is highly respected in her field. Certifications in 200 hour Vinyasa Yoga, 200 hour Anusara Inspired teacher, She holds a masters degree in Physical Science and a BA in Education. She has done trainings in the US before moving here to the UK and holds her own Teacher Training School- Yoga Training Unlimited

2. How much of the programme is actually being taught by the main teacher?

Some programmes do not have the main teacher teaching a substantial part of the course.

Kathy Teaches 70% of the course as required by Yoga Alliance

3. How long has the programme existed? How many students have already been trained?

The longer a programme has been around and the more students who have graduated the better.

Our yoga training school has been around since 2005.

4. Who is teaching the anatomy section and what experience do they have?

Often times the anatomy section can be poor, boring or not really relevant to yoga. Make sure the person teaching the anatomy section is a yoga teacher so that they can teach you to apply your anatomy learning in the context of a yoga class.

Kathy now teaches the Yoga Anatomy section with her background in pyhsical science and yoga she make it all very comprehensive and practicle for all students on the course.

5. How many teachers are on staff?

A ratio of one teacher for every 10 students is good. Make sure the main teacher will be available to give personal attention and to guide you through the experience.

We only have an intake of 10 students so you get individualised attention and quality teaching experience.

6. Will you be ready to teach by the end of the programme?

Good programms should give you many opportunities to teach during the training and require you to teach classes outside of the training prior to the practicum.

Each student must teach to classmates weekly as well as host their own instagram class giving them extended experience.

7. Will you have taught one or more full classes to your classmates by the end of the training? Make sure that you will have this experience, as this will give you the faith in yourself to go out and start teaching.


8. Does the teacher offer any mentorship after the training?

If you need help or advice is there someone you can talk to after the programme?

Kathy is so helpful and always offers her time at no extra charge for all of those who seek guidance.

9. Is it possible to speak to graduates of the program?

Sometimes it is helpful to be able to contact a few graduates of the program to ask them directly about their experience.

We are happy to share all contact information of our past graduates.

10. What style of Yoga is being taught?

Make sure you are familiar and comfortable with the style of yoga that is on offer in the training.

We offer extensive training in Vinyasa Yoga and a taste of Rocket and Hot Yoga- Leaving each teacher highly employable and competent teachers.

11. How long is the program? If it is the basic 200 hours and it is an intensive it should not be taught in less than three weeks.

Our programme is 9 weekends over 5 months to allow time to absorb the material and practice. It is our pleasure each year to welcome eager studnets into amazing yoga teachers!

All Details on Kathy Ran's teacher training are located on:

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  • Kathy Ran

Let’s talk about the importance of a good yoga mat. Even though we use them everyday in our yoga classes and workshops. I have always looked for a good yoga mat and I have tried plenty and sliped and slid my way around my mat – until now. That’s why I want to share with you the importance of a good yoga mat. And trust me, once you have a good mat, you’ll know it. It took me many years and a lot of money that made me realise the fidderence a good quality yoga mat could make.

Best Grippy Mat made of PU
Black Lotus Yoga Mat

Feel secure in any position

Another feature of a good mat is having a good anti-slip material. If you practice yoga you’ll know a slippy mat when practicing is not only frustrating but highly distracting. Having a good anti-slip mat will help you to focus on the more important parts of your practice. With a good mat you will feel securely in place in any pose you are taking including moving through your vinyasa.

Kind to you and kind to the planet

Did you know that normal PVC yoga mats can take over a hundred years to biodegrade and are often made out of materials with lots of chemicals? When we know better, we can all do better and that is why buying a A PVC free mat is essential and will biodegrade in just 1-2yrs. A good quality mat will be made with non-toxic, planet friendly material which means they are both kind to you, and to the planet.

Why we made our own mats

So the more I read and the more knowledge I gained around yoga mats, the more passionate I felt about Black Lotus Yoga developing our own mats out of PU. What is PU? Pu is the natural rubber- Pu yoga mat meaning is polyurethane material. This material is an excellent material for making mats. It is non-toxic, tasteless, and non-slip, not easy to rot, there is an environment-friendly material and with it, we were be able to create a perfect yoga experience for our teachers and students. These mats really help to reduce the impact on the joints such as knees, shoulders and writs. We now stock BLY PU mats in our studio and want our community to reap the rewards that these mats have to offer.

We understand that buying one of these mats is a big commitment, and I wouldn’t take it lightly. So if you are wanting to make a genuine, long-term commitment to yoga, then a BLY mat could be a great investment for you. These mats last for many years and have great wearability and is worth every penny when balancing with your yoga practice.

Find the right mat for you

We also want to say that there are other great mats out there if these don’t fit your budget. We’ve tried many over the years so why not have a chat with us about what you are looking for in a mat and we will try to find the best one for you! However, if you do decide that a BLY mat is for you we have them in stock in the studio, so let us know and we’ll keep one aside for you. There is an amazing range of colours on offer including: green, pink, black and slate blue. They have an amazing design with a lotus flower in the middle and alignment dots to help throughout your practice. All mats are priced at £89 and come with a beautiful carry bag. *payment plans are available.

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  • May Tan

Updated: Sep 10, 2020

Chanda is our lovely resident yoga teacher, you will often find her in the studio on Thursdays and Fridays teaching dharma yoga, and a chilled flow to usher in the weekend. She is currently undertaking her 500hr Dharma Yoga Teacher Training and the entire process requires determination, hard work and plenty dedication. Chanda very kindly shared with us an insight into her thoughts, what goes on as part of her daily routine and also some advice if you’re planning to undergo dharma yoga training.

Chanda doing lotus headstand

By Chanda Patel

Dharma yoga training is so much more than just a typical asana practise. The strict schedule was designed to show sadhaka – a person who is learning to follow a particular practise – the importance of routine and dedication.

What does a typical day of practising dharma yoga look like?

A typical day starts at 6 am and finishes at 10 pm. At 6 am, we perform Karma Yoga. Karma Yoga is one of Sri Dharma Mittra’s’ fundamental teachings and requirement, inspiring the sadhaka to understand the importance of selfless action. The goal of Dharma yoga is to become one with the supreme source. Our actions, good or bad – otherwise known as Karma – tie us into the bondage of Maya, the illusion of this world that we live in. Through Karma yoga or selfless action, we begin to develop a humble heart and an understanding of what is truly important. With this knowledge, we are able to cut the ties that bind us to this material world, ultimately leading us to liberation. Karma Yoga and Bhakti Yoga is the fastest way to reach the ultimate goal.

Moving on, at 7 am we then perform 2 hours of Pranayama, otherwise more commonly known as a breathing exercise. Pranayama is something that should be done daily and as part of the training, we are required to perform daily breathing exercises and reflect on how it makes us feel, and if we notice any subtle changes in our body, mind or breath. The pranayama kosha is the second subtle body or sheath. It is the invisible force behind every atom, cell and organ in the body. Any imbalances within this sheath affect the physical body arising in various illness or disease. It also directly affects the third sheath, manomaya kosha influencing the state of mind. This is why a daily practice of pranayama is obligatory and must be practised under the supervision of a trained practitioner.

Dharma mittra explaining

Sri Dharma Mittra explaining to us the values and teachings on dharma yoga

…and then comes spiritual discourse.

What is spiritual discourse? Spiritual Discourse is where Sri Dharma Mittra dissects and delves into the philosophy of yoga and meaning of life through spiritual scriptures. His way of explaining complex esoteric topics in a simple, humour and thought-provoking way had the whole group enraptured. Being able to ask questions to a living yoga master was an amazing and humbling experience.

How many hours of asanas did I practice daily?

There were roughly 9 hours of asana that I practised daily. Sri Dharma would say “You must take your practice seriously…”. To say I was physically exhausted was an understatement, but Dharma had one of the best-kept secrets up his sleeves to combat this. Yoga Nidra.

Yoga Nidra is a powerful deep healing meditative practice. It is said that 1 hour of yoga nidra is equivalent to 4 hours of sleep! The sadhaka lays in savasana as they are guided into a deep relaxation – the mind transcends the body, entering the astral world. This is a mixture of dharana – one-pointed concentration (6th limb in yoga) and dhyana – meditation (7th limb in yoga). The energy you receive after a yoga nidra is unexplainable, you’d just have to try it and experience it yourself. There was no way to put how I felt into words that could justify how at peace I was.

Dharma Mittra advanced headstand

Sri Dharma Mittra demonstrating a more advanced version of a headstand

Are there any other factors I must take into consideration if I want to undergo dharma training?

Diet was another one of the major factors that encapsulates Dharma yoga. The first Yama on the 8 limbs of yoga is Ahimsa – which practically means non-violence. This can be literal; no killing to more subtle; no negative thoughts. The word ahimsa covers a large spectrum. It encourages love and compassion for all things, all beings everywhere. Sri Dharma insists that all sadhakas should be vegetarian leading into veganism. This was a favourite line that stuck with me throughout the training, ‘Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu’. – May all beings everywhere be happy and free from suffering.

However, just being a vegan isn’t enough…

In the Hatha Pradipika and Gheranda Samhitia, there are guidelines on how to purify the body and the mind through dhauti and kriyas. Though times have changed, and these may seem quite extreme, we still are required to ‘cleanse’ the body depending on what we eat. During the internship we were given a strict Sattvic Diet; this consisted of morning warm water and lemon, followed by a green juice. No artificial sugar and no fried foods. Lots of fresh fruit and vegetables are encouraged and last but by certainly no means, no solid food after 6 pm.

There is more to the training such as mantras, spiritual scriptures, colouring and journaling, so stay tuned for a part 2.

partner yoga

If you’re looking to undergo dharma yoga training with SDM, just know…

that it is truly a life of a yogi training. You will be fully immersed in a study that goes deeper beyond the physical poses. It's for that person who has been coming to yoga regularly and is thinking about what is beyond the asana.

I’d really urge you to have an open mind and be prepared to take on a mental and physical challenge.

Push your body and mind beyond what you think is possible and last but definitely not least…eat when you can sleep as much as you can and pack lots of China gel and Epsom salt because your body will ache!!! 😂🙈

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