As the popularity of Yoga continues to grow, so does the need for qualified yoga instructors. The most recent entrant in the teacher training field: the Kingston-based spa, Onsen for All, which has started a yoga school registered with the Yoga Alliance.

The school’s inaugural program, which will run between Thursday, March 29, and August 31, and offers a total of 220 hours of training, which exceeds the standards set by the Yoga Alliance to become a registered yoga teacher.

The Yoga Alliance, a national education and support organization established in 1999, promotes yoga and works to ensure the quality and consistency of instruction. The organization has established a national Yoga Teachers’ Registry to recognize and promote teachers with training that meets minimum standards. Teachers who meet the standards are eligible to become Registered Yoga Teachers.

The Alliance also maintains a Registry of Yoga Schools to recognize yoga teacher training programs that meet its 200-hour and 500-hour standards. Denyse D’Ottavio Thedinga — Onsen’s general manager and one of the school’s two teachers — says accreditation by the Yoga Alliance is the gold standard for yoga teachers and schools worldwide.

“This new program is designed to give new prospective teachers all of the tools that they need to excel in the rapidly growing yoga teaching field. It is also appropriate for individuals who may not want to teach but are seeking a way to deepen their understanding of yoga principles and practice,” she says.

Thedinga and the school’s other lead instructor, Brian Critchley, are both Experienced Registered Yoga Teachers — instructors with more than 500 hours of training. Thedinga will teach classes on prenatal and restorative Yoga. The South Brunswick resident has teaching experience in Hatha and Vinyasa styles.

Critchley — a massage therapist at Onsen — will lead classes on anatomy and physiology, the business of yoga teaching, teaching methodology, yoga for seniors, and teaching private yoga sessions. A 2000 graduate of Princeton University with a degree in English, he has more than 1,000 hours of yoga teaching experience. The Hightstown resident is influenced by Anusara, Iyengar, and Kundalini yoga styles.

“The program has been crafted to include all of the aspects of yoga practice and teaching that were missing from other trainings we’d experienced,” Critchley and Thedinga say. “We wanted to give people tools for teaching special populations such as seniors and expectant mothers. It was also important to us that the curriculum be strongly rooted in anatomy, since we both have experience as massage therapists and yoga teachers. We understand how important it is for teachers and serious practitioners of yoga to fully understand what is going on beneath the skin when practicing the physical aspect of yoga.”

The class will also offer insights into starting a yoga business, marketing, creating a niche, and business ethics.

The program, limited to eight students, was put together by the two instructors, with Critchley writing most of it, says Thedinga. “We capped at eight because we wanted it to be an intimate group,” Thedinga says. “We felt things would get lost in a huge class.

Registrations are still open for the program, with four of the eight slots having been filled. For more information on the programand pricing, contact Onsen at 609-924-4800 or e-mail the instructors at denyset@onsenforall.com or bcritchley@onsenforall.com.

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