Yoga Teacher Training, just a piece of paper?

In a world where we can Google almost anything, and Wikipedia has all the answers is it worth doing a yoga teacher training course ?  

Yoga has become more and more accessible with wonderful Yoga with Adriene on You tube and so much more.  You can find free yoga videos, free yoga blogs and lots of freely accessible yoga books at the library or on borrowbox.

So is your 200 hour yoga teacher training any more than just a piece of paper?

First of all most reputable yoga studios and training course will have accreditations with Yoga Alliance. This requires a basic teacher training course to be at least 200 hours.

To complicate things there are a few different yoga alliance organisations out there, with slightly different regulations and standards but I won’t go into that here, the general agreement is 200 hours as a minimum.

The best teachers aren’t always the ones who know the most or have done the most training, that much is true but there are certain things we learn on teacher training that we can’t get from a book or Youtube.

It’s always been a case that there’s a philosophy that comes with yoga and Eastern philosophy that includes a certain ethical code. 

Yoga traditionally was taught one one one and in the yogic tradition, yoga teachers apprenticed with their yoga guru before taking on the role of teaching, for a lot more than 200 hours. The main guiding principles of yoga are from Patanjali’s eight limbs of yoga and two of those limbs, are the yamas and niyamas. They give us the guiding principle of satya (truthfulness) and ahimsa, (compassion) and asteya (non stealing), aparigrapha, (non grasping) to name a few.  

Our yamas and niyamas that are the guidelines for how we work with yoga. That’s not to say every yoga teacher or guru stays true to these principles, of course there are those who don’t.  Yoga teachers are still all human beings and we aren’t perfect, but these principles are taught on every reputable 200 hour yoga teacher training course. Yoga is traditionally a spiritual practice. It is more than asana (poses).  A 200 hour course gives us a community of support.

When yoga come to the west, the teaching of more structured Yoga teacher training courses develops, with 200 hours as a guideline for a basic course to get people started. We see more formal anatomy and physiology being taught, yoga business modules and sometimes less of the traditional yoga philosophy, Sanskrit, mantra and meditation practices.  

But here’s the question is a 200 hour yoga teacher training, just a piece of paper at the end of the day, that certificate?

Yes, it is a piece of paper.

Important to note that in order to teach in many venues you need to be covered by insurance and without a recognised qualification that will be hard  to obtain.
And what does it give you? Beyond that piece of paper and your ability to get insurance?

A good teacher training will give you support and accountability to get your own self practice going and your classes.  

Your personal yoga practice, which is going to be the cornerstone on the basis for everything that you teach, and even if you never teach your whole well being is different when you have this self practice. Of course, you could do it by yourself. Roll out your mat and start today.

In my experience when we do invest in ourselves in a teacher training programme, and we make the commitment, we get support of expert tutors, and a group of our peers, we tend to show up a little bit more for ourselves.

For some people, that’s a real that’s a that’s a really big benefit of doing their yoga teacher training, that developing that personal practice becomes a habit rather than something that they’re struggling with.

Number two, the confidence and awareness that you know what you’re doing.
So sometimes ignorance is bliss, but often not knowing leaves us feeling insecure in ourselves.

If somebody asks you about something in the yoga class and you don’t know the answer, what do you do?

We don’t all know the answers to everything. But having done that due diligence have done you’re doing your teacher training, you’re gonna have a better answer than someone who’s never done any of it before. So you like to be able to say, I don’t know what I know where to point you or I don’t know, but I can find out. If you’ve done a good course you’ll have a support network so you can ask your peers or your tutors.

We go we have ongoing support after the course is so that people can always connect and ask questions.

I just imagine that if you if you haven’t got that training, or the sense of insecurity that might bring you and you’re bluffing, then you’re probably more than likely going to bluff the answer to it’s gonna be very hard for you to just say I don’t know. And then that can lead to problems.

For people who just want to get a cert, you know, that are cheap online courses that give videos and notes but don’t give you as much support.

The 200 hour yoga teacher training I did in 2009 was the best course I ever did. So I would really recommend anybody who who’s interested in teaching yoga, or even just interested in developing their own yoga, to go and find a good teacher training programme and do it.

I can personally recommend a few, Galway yoga teacher training, Barefoot Yoga and Yago yoga with Judy Watkin.

Our world is full of pieces of paper, receipts, Christmas wrapping paper, money, and Certificates, they all have significance and they are  

I’d like to just finish with a quote from one of the trainers on the Yago teacher training course,

‘It’s 200 hours and more, that you meet yourself on the mat.’

Mihaela, Yago

And that is really something.

Could you go it alone? Yes, you could, but why would you when you can get the support and the qualification in just 200 hours.

Plus you get into the practice, make life long friends and have a network of support. So you’ll be unstoppable and in the words of Sia,  “Unstoppable today!”

Related Posts

Leave a Reply