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Deciding to become a professional yoga instructor is a big decision. After all, you might be changing careers, jumping into a new industry, and committing a lot of time. Not to mention the cost. Therefore, once you decide this is the right step for you it is important to make sure you choose the right course that will fulfil your needs. To make sure the training you are researching is right for you, be sure to ask these five questions.
1. What style or lineage of yoga will you learn?
There are many different styles of yoga, with their roots in many different lineages. Of course, you would probably want to teach the style that you have been practicing and that excites you the most. However, it is important to keep in mind that you want to be flexible as an instructor, i.e. able to work more. You need to know and understand what you will be able to teach at the end of the training.
Also, believe it or not, some instructors don’t even know the roots of the lineage they teach! If you ask the instructor or school this question and they can’t give you a clear answer then this is a big red flag…run the other direction!
2. What makes this school different or unique?
Every school is different, which is wonderful! Yoga is a living, breathing science and thus, it is always evolving. Asking perspective studios what makes their courses different or unique, will help you to understand the difference between the schools you are researching. Some differences that you might find would be the school’s emphasis on personal development, a stronger fitness element, strong alignment focus, one-on-one attention etc.
3. Is the school registered with Yoga Alliance (YA)?
Most studios and gyms, anywhere in the world, want your training to come from a Yoga Alliance registered school. This ensures a minimum level of knowledge and training. If you attend a school that is not register with YA, then there is a chance you won’t be able to teach at certain locations and you may not be able to get insurance.
4. How many hours are spent with the faculty, without the general public?
Unfortunately, many schools try to leverage their hours by having you attend workshops or classes that are open to the general public. They piece together your training by attending workshops based on different themes. Not only will you not get the one-on-one attention that you need to really grow your practice, but you will not be able to ask questions. Your training will be fragmented and thus so will your teaching. Several different classes or workshops do not teach you how to teach. Make sure you get your money's worth by getting all of the hours required. Yoga Alliance requires 180 contact hours with a Register Yoga Teacher.
5. Who is teaching the course? What are their credentials and experience?
This is very important. First off, you want to ensure that your instructor(s) have the necessary education to teach you properly. Secondly, they should have many, many years of experience. Some Yoga Teacher Training instructors have only been certified for 2 years. Please ask your potential teachers to explain their level of education and experience to make sure you will be learning from the best. You also want to make sure you respect and admire your teacher and their teaching style. Lastly, I don’t know about you, but I like to connect with my instructors. The more you connect, the more you learn. You want someone who will not only teach you, but guide you on this all-important journey. If the school doesn’t know who will be teaching you or you can not contact the instructor then I would also see this as a red flag.