So You Wanna Be a “Good” Yoga Teacher

Every time I turn around, someone or some place is advertising their upcoming Yoga Teacher Training (YTT). Where I live, it happens a lot. If you are an aspiring Yoga Teacher contemplating all the schools, you are probably thinking this is awesome. Well… Maybe it is. Maybe it isn’t.

Why maybe?

I’ve been to a few trainings to include a couple of 200 hours worth. Don’t get me wrong, in every training I have ever attended I have definitely learned something. I’ve taken tons of continuing education and those are great because the subject is narrow in scope and thus I can easily digest it and apply to my own teachings. But what about the longer ones, like the 200 hours trainings that train you up to be a teacher? Sure you learn, but when you graduate will you be able to teach with confidence.

This is the real question. Will you feel capable and confident that you will be able to teach a great yoga class? The kind of class that people will want to attend. This is a critical consideration! Because if you say NO and you just dumped $3000 plus on a training, you might be a little pissed. I know I would be.

One of the 200 hours training I attended must of felt the same way because before I got my baseline certificate from the first module of training, they made me teach as a volunteer. I had to teach eight hours of a community service type of yoga. Basically, I had to bring yoga to my friends, family, co-workers, and anyone else I could gather up. I had to write about my experience and submit it to the school. They in turn, reviewed my package and if they felt I did my Karma Yoga as they called it, I earned my certificate and this was just for the first 20 hours of training.

Karma Yoga might sound a little intimidating to some of you, but it is actually a good thing. At the time, I thought, ugh, I gotta do what. In hindsight, those eight classes let me make mistakes and learn from them in a friendly environment. As I continued my learning journey, they would take me aside and provide feedback which had a big impact on who I am as a teacher today.

I have met tons of newbie instructors via social media and also face to face. Many graduate and evolve into wonderful instructors. These graduates usually came from a very supportive and mentoring schools. However, there are a few graduates out there that are questioning their confidence, their abilities, and even asking basic questions us veterans can’t believe they don’t know. The latter makes me sad.

My overall thought is that some schools or studios are just cranking out teachers like a factory. They are in it for the money not necessarily for the student. Think about it, if you attend a local studio’s training and it costs $3000 and then nine others are in your class, that’s 30,000 the studio just brought in! All in six weeks or 90 days. Wow!

My studio business partner and I were talking about this the other day because we often get questions by yoga instructors on topics like trauma and yoga. (We specialize in trauma-sensitive yoga). We have been amazed that some teachers didn’t learn squat about the nervous system, some are pretty weak on anatomy, some don’t feel comfortable about adjustments, some have no idea what to do if they trigger a client into a spiral, and some can’t comfortably put together a safe sequence. This breaks our hearts.

I’ll say this up front, we don’t have a Yoga Teacher Training. What we would like to do is offer a yoga internship or mentorship program to our Newbie Instructors out there. (We are located in Colorado Springs, Colorado). If you are in the local area and are going to or recently graduated from a Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) and are feeling less than confident, I invite you to give Lara and I call or to email us.

We know not all schools are created equal or that some of you just need a little more practice. This is where we can help and we want to help!

At our studio, we will make sure you know about the nervous system, anatomy, trauma, sequencing, how to safely do adjustments, teach to special populations, and even how to put together a safe yoga sequence. We bring in outstanding national trainers where you can earn your continuing education credits. Also, we will take your questions seriously. Don’t know something, our studio is a safe environment where you can comfortably learn. Or, if you just need a place to teach your Karma classes, we can offer you a space and the opportunity. We also know that places demand you have at least a year’s teaching under your belt and our place will help you towards those hours.

If this is something that interests you, our studio is called Eighteenth Element Yoga. Our address is 5050 Edison Ave Ste. 115 Colorado Springs, CO 80923. Phone is 719-597-0048. Email, Lara and I at Check out our website.

We will set you on a path towards success!



About kwarren1970

I am an avid hiker and yogi.
This entry was posted in Beginner yoga, Community, Community Yoga Practices, Exercise Foundations, Learning and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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