Never thought about it? Well, you should! Because it is a major factor in terms of the quality of yoga, you will experience.
Many love yoga so much that they think they’d love to teach it too, which is quite understandable. As it is still a largely unregulated field, that person can quite easily get a certificate and then start teaching without the support or guidance of a professional organisation. This surprises a lot of students!
Personally, I feel before you consider training to teach yoga, you first need to achieve and maintain a good foundation of practice. In Iyengar yoga, we believe this should be a minimum of 3 years of practice. And we check with teachers to confirm it! Some yoga schools will let you train without any minimum experience, and I find that quite concerning.
Then you’ll need to be accepted onto a training course. In Iyengar Yoga, we believe that not everyone has the necessary characteristics to teach yoga. We, therefore, interview applicants carefully. Some yoga schools accept all applicants, and it seems as if payment ensures acceptance.
In Iyengar Yoga, we then train for a minimum of two years. The hours of contact time with the trainer probably represent only a quarter of the hours you will need to actually put in outside of those sessions.
Some yoga schools will train you and give you a certificate to teach in 4 weeks, from start to finish!
In Iyengar Yoga, our assessments are organised centrally, so we have assessors and moderators to observe and mark students on written work, personal practice and teaching. Some yoga schools just give students a certificate at the end to prove they attended, and that’s it; they can then get insurance and start teaching.
In Iyengar yoga, not everybody passes the exams. Many have to resit exams. In some other schools, there is a 100% success rate every single year.
So, which do you think is preferable? How would you like your yoga teacher to be trained?