Green fields and blue skies

Why we need group mentoring

As yoga teachers and people training to teach yoga, we are often faced with challenges of isolation and individualism. Questions arise and we can be uncertain about who we can ask for advice. There can be issues arising in relationships within the class setting that leave us feeling unclear. And sometimes the pressures of juggling different balls can simply feel too much: the struggle to find work, the balance between practice and teaching, teaching and life.

It is a requirement for psychotherapists that they regularly see a supervisor and the same is true for many other fields. I believe there is a pressing need for a similar form of supervision or mentoring within the yoga field. So often after our teaching trainings, we are thrown out into the wider world with little backup. This belief has led me to develop a mentoring group specifically tailored to the needs and challenges of people teaching yoga.

The aim of this group is to provide support – to enable a growing clarity about how we are teaching and to encourage open discussion about the difficulties (and joys) that we all face as yoga teachers. This is about sharing and mutual aid. From participating in this group, I hope you can get advice, practical assistance, emotional support, aids for teaching and insights about practice and people.

For more details read the article ‘Helping Hands’.

How the mentoring works

The structure of the group is a two-hour meeting once a month. The group has five participants and there are six sessions. The cost is £180. Two time slots are available: Sunday evening and Monday afternoon. The meetings are held at my home studio in Turnpike Lane, N22.

I am available for 1:1 sessions (£60 hour). I do class observations - a wonderful way of getting appropriate and detailed feedback on your teaching.

I attend your class and then immediately afterwards spend 30-60 minutes giving you feedback. This offers a very practical way of evaluating the way we teach, thus deepening our abilities as teachers (£120). 

This is about working together — where we share, with guidance and advice from an experienced teacher.

About myself...

Norman Blair

I have been teaching yoga since 2001 and my first yoga class was more than twenty years ago. I have studied deeply with teachers such as Sarah Powers, Hamish Hendry, Richard Freeman, Judith Lasater and Alaric Newcombe. Since 2006 I have been mentoring yoga trainee teachers and yoga teachers through Yogacampus, the mentor groups that I facilitate and individual 1:1 sessions. I have written extensively on yoga and related matters of personal transformation.

After being introduced to meditation in 1998, with my first meditation retreat in December 2000, I have had an established meditation practice for the last ten years. From 2003 to 2012, I was in therapy and this has significantly aided my teaching. I regularly see a supervisor who gives me support and guidance in doing this work.

Please feel free to contact me by email or ring me at 07900 027 291 for more details and information or to discuss this further.

What people say about this mentoring practice

From participants

"I just wanted to let you know how helpful and supportive I am finding the sessions. I've also met some teachers I'd not usually have met so a very positive experience."

"Excellent session yesterday. I am very grateful for it and took much away from it."

From teachers

“Norman inspired my practice of Ashtanga, introduced me to my teacher Hamish, let me assist his classes and propelled me into the world of teaching yoga. He has mentored me throughout this process both formally (he was my Mentor when I did the Life Centre Teacher Training) and informally over countless coffees over many years. I have found his support and friendship invaluable. The Group Supervision Practice sounds like a valuable tool for committed yoga teachers. It formalises and gives space to explore difficulties and share expertise. It should help to shift us out of our individual ego-silos. I would recommend this project and Norman most highly.”

Ruth Westoby -

“This was a wonderful, supportive experience for me. I'm so grateful to Norman for providing the framework to help build confidence and reflection in my teaching.”

Elaine Collins

“I have known Norman to be a genuinely sincere practitioner, ravenous reader of the wisdom traditions and dedicated Ashtanga and Yin teacher. I would definitely recommend seeking him out.”

Sarah Powers -

“I am so pleased to learn that Norman Blair is offering this unique group setting for yoga teachers. In this time of turmoil in the yoga world, it is imperative that we support each other in becoming the best teachers we can be. I wish all yoga teachers had the opportunity to gather and discuss the art of teaching in such a group. Thank you, Norman, for sharing your wisdom and devotion to yoga.”

Judith Hanson Lasater
PhD, physical therapist and yoga teacher since 1971