Check out our interview with Routes of Yoga founders, Daphne Charles (DC) & Anton Jager (AJ)
YNON: So tell me, what is Routes of Yoga all about?
(AJ) Routes of Yoga was created to provide offerings that go beyond the typical class format in your local yoga studio. We take people out of their daily routine and into conducive, inspiring environments and create a platform for them to go deeper into their practice.
(DC) The surge of modern fast-paced lifestyles is reflected in the demand for compact class formats within the modern yoga studio nowadays. Much of the practice of yoga is reduced down to a 60 or even 45 min timeslot of mainly physical asanas. ROY is a response to that. We want to create more diverse opportunities to study and experience yoga.
Our name reflects our general approach. In yoga there are many ways or routes and we are not bound by any dogmatic view. It’s an inclusive approach that allows people to choose what is best for their individual situation.
YNON: What makes ROY work?
(AJ): Daphne and I have very different personalities! But we are very much on the same page with our values and ideals. This means that our teaching styles are different but complimentary to each other’s. We use a different approach but guide our students towards the same direction. People seem to have picked up on this synergy as it is one of the most common feedbacks we get.
(DC): Its also important to us that each course has offerings to both new and existing students alike - continual education is very much a part of learning with us, even on shorter-term events like retreats we modify to suit who is in front of us. We’ve had beginners through to yoga teachers in our courses.
(AJ) Daphne’s background is in architecture and we really make it a point to handpick our locations carefully. Each of our events are unique and in powerful settings that offer their own lessons. These themes get embedded into our teachings.
YNON:You have an exotic portfolio of destinations from Nepal to Sri Lanka & Bali, what do you think people can learn from being in other cultures?
(DC) Oh, I could go on with this one! Cross-cultural experiences get people out of their boxes and into an alternate point of view from your own. You have to accept someone else’s mode of thinking and behavior and this encourages openness and acceptance.
YNON: What should we expect from your teacher training in Bali?
(AJ) Our training comprises of 3 parts that people can attend as a whole or as individual modules to become a yoga teacher or simply for self-study. We start with the physical body as that’s most people’s familiar ground. The 2nd part then ventures out to the more subtle aspects of yoga and its history and philosophy. In the 3rd module, participants then learn how to teach.
(DC) The idea here is to first build a strong foundation and background knowledge to support a yoga practice on an individual level. In the Teaching Module participants then use this as a base to fuel what they externalize out to others. All this is done in a very supportive environment and the course is built up very progressively.
YNON: What do you hope your participants get out of the training?
(AJ) The goal is simple. Upon graduation, we want people to be able to immediately walk into a studio and teach a multi-level class competently and with confidence.
(DC) Another aim is to simultaneously leave enough space for the yoga itself to happen during trainings. This is a challenge as well. Trainings are often overloaded with information, which is counterproductive. You have to lead by example though so the same way we don’t overload our yoga classes, the same way we look to hold space in our trainings. This way people have time to ease into their practice, go deeper and reflect.