So maybe you have practiced yoga for years, or maybe you’ve only unrolled your mat a couple of times, yet something is calling you to consider yoga teacher training.
I still remember the first time I considered Yoga Teacher Training. I had been practicing for about 3 years at the time. I was reading The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Great book by the way that you should definitely read. Anyway, the book has exercises to get you more in touch with your creative side.
One of the questions was to name 5 “ideal occupations”. You know the ones, the ones that kindergartners dream of. The ones that you would do if money, status, or education weren’t an issue.
Towards the top of my list was “yoga teacher”. At the time I could have rattled off 50 reasons why that wasn’t realistic, or why I couldn’t do it because I didn’t have fill in the blank. Instead, that dream, and my love of yoga began to percolate.
Now, over 8 yoga teacher trainings later, I can say I know a thing or two about participating in yoga teacher training programs. Initially I thought I would complete a yoga teacher training program and walk out confident and completely ready to teach a yoga class. Unfortunately, that was not the case.
There is actually very little “teaching yoga” in most yoga teacher training programs.
For me, the deciding factors boiled down to, who were the most experienced teachers I could access and which trainings fit into my schedule. My first teacher training was with one of the best known ashtanga yoga teachers, Beryl Bender Birch and her husband Thom. Shortly after finishing that program, I studied with Manju Jois, son of the founder of ashtanga yoga, Pattabhi Jois. One month later, I found myself writing a letter to Pattabhi Jois asking permission to come study with him in India. In all of those experiences, not one teacher asked me to actually “teach” yoga. Don’t get me wrong, I learned a lot, but I didn’t feel ready to teach.
When I began designing the EPIC YOGA Teacher Training Program, I felt that a student should be able to teach at the completion of the program. That is my commitment. I carefully review each and every application before accepting a student into the program. I make sure that I feel they are a good fit for the program and that they are coachable. It is a big commitment, for both parties. One I don’t take lightly.
I don’t try to push or persuade anyone to do teacher training. Honestly, if someone isn’t in 100%, it’s too much work for me to try to carry them through the program. Their energy will drag down the entire group.
Yoga teacher training is work! We will ask you to dive deep and think about things you maybe haven’t thought about. There is even some memorization. Maybe you haven’t done that since 3rd grade spelling tests. Regardless, we will expect that you show up and put in to this program as much as we do, which is an awful lot.
This program isn’t for everyone. If you take a look at the program and you or I decide it’s not a good fit, no hard feelings.
But if you do want to consider the EPIC YOGA Teacher Training Program, I promise:
… you will grow more than you ever expected;
… you will deepen your knowledge of yoga;
… you will deepen your physical yoga practice;
… you will develop friendships with a terrific tribe;
… you will overcome fear and move closer to your dreams;
… you will learn to use your voice to speak your truth;
… you will be able to teach a powerful, effective yoga class;
… and so much more!
Regardless of which program you consider, there are a few things you should keep in mind when reviewing any yoga teacher training programs.
- How long has the main instructor been teaching yoga. You want to make sure that the lead instructor has been immersed in the practices for some amount of time. How long have they been teaching? When did they do their teacher training?
- When was the yoga school established. This gives you an idea of the track record of the school.
- How are the reviews of the program from past participants. If possible, ask to talk with students who have actually been through the program. Ask them what are the specific results they created out of the program.
- Ask how many of the past participants are actually teaching yoga and find out where. If you want to teach yoga after completing a program, it’s a good idea to see if teachers from the school you are considering are in demand in the marketplace.
- Ask how much personal attention and coaching you will get.
- Is the program registered with Yoga Alliance? You can check the Yoga Alliance website at https://www.yogaalliance.org.
- Ask if there are payment plans and make sure you understand the costs and refund policies.
- Make sure you understand what the policy is for missed sessions.
I am super excited to kick off the 5th EPIC YOGA Teacher Training program next month. This year I have Gina Garcia co-facilitating several sessions. Gina is a 500hr Certified Baptiste teacher who has been practicing for close to 20 years. She started a non-profit (Yoga Across America) and has shared yoga with diverse populations. She is masterful at creating partnerships for sharing yoga and has worked with Dr. Oz and Health Corps to bring yoga to thousands of high schools across the country. She has taught at yoga festivals and assisted many Baptiste Teacher Training programs. She is a great addition to the program and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion.
Click for more information about the EPIC YOGA Teacher Training Program. Feel free to ask any of our teachers, or past participants about their experience. I am also happy to set up a brief meeting or call to discuss with you too.
Whatever you decide, I hope you find a program that lights up your soul. Then go out and share yoga, whether it’s with your kids, an organization, or in a packed class.
If you’re looking for an outstanding program this is it. Not only the skills to become a great yoga teacher but life skills to better yourself. I don’t know who I’d be today if I hadn’t done this program. -Dana Taft