Finding the Best Yoga Teacher Training: A How-To
In a place like Vancouver, yoga is increasingly popular and the community is full of wonderful and experienced teachers to learn from. Teaching yoga is a an exciting prospect for many. Think retreats in exotic island locations, helping others improve their physical, mental and spiritual health, having a flexible schedule, and making connections with students and other yogis alike.
But teaching yoga doesn’t come easy, and not all teacher training programs are made of the same quality stuff. While there is an international regulating body, there are plenty of programs out there that amount to more a less a waste of time, energy and money.
If you search for teacher training programs online, there are endless options that come up and it can easily become overwhelming. So we thought we would come up with a gentle guide, offering advice on How To Find the best Yoga Teacher Training.
First, stop and think about what you want to get out of the training. Some people simply want to deepen their practice by doing an intensive program that will give them more knowledge and strength than they currently attain. In that case, you can be a little more lenient because you will not be putting others at risk if the teaching is sub par. However, if teaching students is your end goal, then you want to find a high quality, well defined program run by experienced professionals. Remember, students will be putting their well being into your hands so you want to be prepared to offer a safe experience for your future students.
You should also decide on the lineage or tradition that suits you and your goals. If this is your first attempt at learning how to teach, it might be good to start with something accessible for beginner students, like Hatha or Yin. Other styles like Ashtanga and Kundalini generally take many years of dedicated and committed study to become ready to pass the teachings on to other students, which might be more of a long term goal for you.
Once you have narrowed down some options, it’s time to take a close look at the curriculum, which should be available online or at your request. If it’s not, look elsewhere. Sadly there are scam schools out there and the more information there is available, the less likely you’ll lose out on your hard earned money.
Curriculums should offer a wide range of study on topics like asana (postures), anatomy, pranayama (breathing techniques), philosophy and history, meditation, how to do hands on corrections, how to build sequences and how to teach. They should prepare you to become a well-rounded teacher, not just an experienced practitioner.
Once you’ve come up with a list of things that you want out of your teacher training program, you can start looking out for thing to avoid. For example, you want to make sure that it is in a location that is accessible and safe. If you are traveling to a resort or retreat setting, ensure that there is a safe place to stay with access to good food options. Also watch out for hidden costs, especially with destination teacher training programs. By the time you add up the flights, food and accommodations, it can sometimes double the original investment in the program.
Also watch out for what can be called a “cult of personality.” The unfortunate truth is that many teachers use yoga as a platform to gain admirers and stroke their egos. Ask around or see if there are any online reviews of the teachers before you commit to giving them your money.
Basically, finding the best yoga teacher training takes patience and research. The general rule of thumb is the more information you have access to, the better prepared you will be to share the beautiful gift of yoga with others.