The truth is that there is an expansive depth of intelligence to this ancient practice that requires more than 200 hours of study. It is a life long learning practice and a 200hr YTT (Yoga Teacher Training) is very basic and only the beginning of a successful yoga teachers journey. Sanskrit, anatomy, poses, philosophy, history, sequencing, meditation, breath work, mythology, mantra, self inquiry, and much, much, more!
The truth is that a 200 hr YTT is a huge investment or your money, energy, and time so do your research and ask a lot of questions about the studio owner, the program, and the lead teachers before you sign up. Know that YTT’s bring in the bulk of a studios revenue so keep in mind that not all yoga schools are created equally, even if they are approved by Yoga Alliance. Remember, that a yoga studio is a business first and when a studio is financially unstable the sacred nature of yoga can easily be driven by greed resulting in a turn style, money making shit show! Compare prices because it should not cost a basic mortgage on a house to get certified. If a studio is charging thousands of dollars, they are probably in financial trouble. Most importantly, make sure the studio owner at the very least, is emotionally mature, financially sound, has mastered their own shadow self, and have fundamental integrity in line with the Yama’s and Niyamas (the foundational guidelines offered in the Yoga Sutras.) Look it up!
The truth is that not all Yoga Alliance certified studio owners or Lead Teachers have the foundational knowledge to lead others required by Yoga Alliance to teach in a YTT. Visit the Yoga Alliance Website for all of the standards a YTT has to be in compliance with before signing up. Then, ask questions about the program you are interested in. Who are the Lead Teachers and what are their qualifications? Attend their classes to see if you like what they have to offer as a teacher. What is the curriculum? Should be posted on their website unless they are flying by the seat of their money making pants! Who wrote the curriculum? What is the schedule? How much does it cost? What is your refund policy? Make sure they have one before you sign a contract! Make sure to interview previous graduates about their experience. And finally, be very suspicious of any studio owner who is trying to talk you into doing their YTT to “deepen your practice.” Trust me, there are better and less expensive ways to “deepen your practice” like attending workshops, going on a Retreat, self study, online classes, or private instruction.
The truth about teaching yoga is that being a successful yoga teacher is very difficult. You will have to bring something unique and authentic to have any success. You will have to know what you’re doing and do it well. You will have to promote yourself on social media at nauseam. You have to be creative. You have to be a good speaker and a strong leader. You will have to audition with the studio owner and if you get hired you will be under a lot of pressure to produce big numbers or your class will be taken off the schedule. You are expected to grow your class which makes a lot of money for the studio, not the teacher. Most studios pay $20-$35 per class up to ten students and for every student over ten you get $2 or $3 a head. Not to mention the additional couple of hours it takes you to plan a class, playlist, travel to and fro, greet students, and clean up the studio after class. Don’t quit your day job!
The truth is that there are hundreds of YTT’s to choose from. This is your journey, for you, about you. Be picky! You can study with the best teachers in the world on Retreat or in a different city or country which would be the most amazing option. Unfortunately, most of us can’t leave our daily lives to do so. The truth is that you should go to India or Bali and study with amazing, famous, fucking Guru’s if you can, but if you can’t….be warned by a former YTT Lead Teacher that things are not always as they seem.
Mallory Dillion, E-RYT 200, RYT 500, Yoga Teacher Trainer
Mallorydillion.com for upcoming classes, Retreats, Workshops, and YTT’s
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