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So you want to be a Yoga Teacher?

July 14, 2010

This is a post I wrote a couple of years ago for Examiner.com.  I want to say a bit more on this subject, and went to read this post to see how I felt back then.  I decided to post it again here for you to read if you are new to my blog… or me.  I will post more on this soon it just keeps coming up again and again.  Here’s the original link if you care: Examiner article

And here is the text:

Just recently on Twitter I had a debate with another yogi about the importance of a yoga teacher-training program being Yoga Alliance approved. “the other yogi” stated the advice seeker need not worry about such a thing since “yoga training is not at all similar of as good as it was less than 50 years ago”. My point was completely opposite. I believe since every yoga studio that is open seems to think they can raise their bottom line by cranking out teachers in a weekend – they are right! They can make good money but they are not making good teachers.

As a yoga teacher who has been highly trained and who was studied the various limbs of yoga for most of her life- I find this “quickie certification” highly offensive and ludicrous.

A yoga teacher needs knowledge. Yoga teachers must study the practice the philosophy and human anatomy to fully understand yoga. A teacher needs more than the ability to stand on their head or to be “bendy” to effectively and safely teach.

I have taken yoga classes over my city and found some great teachers. I have also found many more that were…bad. REALLY BAD. Specifically these teachers were “trained” at studios who hold weekend- 2 day “teacher training” courses. (or worse some “yoga teachers” do not claim any certification at all but simply list teachers they have taken regular classes from.) Oy!

As a result of this my practice has become mostly a home practice or when I do go to a studio I will only go if I know the teacher has been trained in a valid- teacher-training program. This saddens me deeply. Students are being ignored, instructed to do postures that are beyond their level or ability and worse- students are being injured.

So yoga students BEWARE! Research your yoga teacher. Find out who trained them, how long the training was and if it has any Yoga Alliance validation.

And yoga teachers listen up: Just because you can do advanced postures and practiced with a great teacher once or twice at a yoga conference or took a weekend workshop with Famous Yogi X does not make you qualified to be a yoga teacher. Oh, and if you took a weekend Teacher training course at Studio X and they call you “certified”- this means nothing, except that your wallet is little lighter and your ego a lot bigger.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 14, 2010 8:57 am

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I went through my 200YTT and still didnt learn everything that I wanted to. Im about to start my 500YTT with Cora Wen this year. I know that she will cover everything that I missed the first time.

    I had an experience with the local Y here last Saturday that was bad. The YT there was having students some of them had never even been to a class they were there to support the Y. Hop on one leg in Tree. My mouth feel open as she said this it wasn’t safe for me even to do. I think that training has to be done through somewhere that accredited. I have to have training cause I will be traveling to teach at some point since my husband is in the Army.

    ash

  2. July 19, 2010 2:07 pm

    I agree with you. As a new yoga student, I did a lot of research in my local yoga studios to find good, trained teachers. I was willing to even travel farther, if needed, to be able to be taught by a yoga alliance teacher. Luckily, the yoga studio right by me, met all of my ‘criteria’ for a teacher!

  3. Katie permalink
    July 20, 2010 9:58 am

    So glad you decided to (re)post this entry. I have taken yoga classes from “certified” teachers who did not seem to REALLY understand yoga — making it hard for poses to flow and difficult for me to understand. Also, the main reason why I stopped going to a particular yoga studio here in Houston is because they refused to tell students the teacher for each class. The student was supposed to just show up for class, sign in, pay dues and be gracious for whomever was teaching. The only problem I have with this system is that I think the student should be able choose a yoga teacher, one that makes sense to them and will help them grow.

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