That’s right, people.
It’s a New Year and I’m a new Yoga Teacher.
In October I mentioned that I was beginning Yoga Teacher Training. I’m officially done now and I’m ready to share my experience.
Why didn’t I blog about the process of Yoga Teacher Training?
My program was very intense and honestly, I didn’t have a lot to give to blog writing.
CorePower Yoga Teacher Training Requirements:
- 8 weeks of classes: 3x/week (9 hours of in class lecture and practical instruction)
- OMwork (aka homework): Written essays, reading, studying and practice teaching time
- Journaling: Documentation after every YTT instruction and practice class
- 60 Yoga Classes: YTT’s need to complete (and journal about) 60 yoga classes
- Exam: A written and practical exam
I now know why so many 200 hr Yoga Teacher Training courses take place over many months and have full days worth of instruction!
(my hours in YTT class may have been few but the 200 hour Certification Requirements are the same no matter how long program runs)
In between my every day responsibilities, traveling to Florida for the holidays and attempting to be a human being outside of yoga for my family and friends, I struggled with feeling overwhelmed during YTT.
FYI – There’s definitely a difference between being a practicing student in a class and actually teaching a class.
Knowing poses and speaking words to cue a person (or a room full of people) into poses are not one and the same. The responsibilities of a yoga teacher are many: remembering an entire yoga flow sequence, using descriptive words while cueing, ensuring student safety in poses through physical or verbal adjustment/assists, being present in the room and moving through the yoga space throughout class while trying to stay within a specific time frame is no easy feat indeed.
All of the above is just during a class! There are a ton of things that need to be done before a class even begins. Personally, I couldn’t even imagine crafting a yoga class without having the perfect playlist accompaniment (but that’s for another post entirely).
The making of a Yoga Teacher is more than just schooling, it takes practice – physically, emotionally, mentally and verbally.
The self-care required during YTT is at a higher level than you might expect. Your stamina of body, mind and soul are both enriched and depleted during the teaching process. Recognizing that one has to learn not only how to replenish yourself for yourself while simultaneously building (or maintaining) the confidence to be a teacher/guide to others adds another dimension to the YTT experience.
My actual graduation from Yoga Teacher Training took place in December and it was a lovely ceremony.
When you go through an intense experience (with cosmic highs and some trench-like lows), you get very close to your fellow YTT’s and instructors. Knowing that your unique time together has come to an end is very bittersweet. Below are most of the wonderful humans I had the pleasure of studying with:
You may have seen this photo on Facebook or Instagram but I didn’t want to announce that I had officially graduated until I had my 200 hour certificate in my hand. On Christmas Day, I finished my 60 classes requirement and finally got this:
New Year, New Yoga Teacher.
(AKA – The 5+ Things You Need to Know After YTT)
1. Register with the Yoga Alliance:
If you want to utilize credential of RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher), you *need* to register with the Yoga Alliance (it’s $105 for your first year). The Yoga Alliance is a non-profit organization representing 72,000 yoga teachers and schools. When you register you get a profile on the Directory and access to other benefits. It’s voluntary to register but you must have your certification from a Registered Yoga School.
2. Get Certified in CPR/First Aid.
Many yoga studios or gyms require you to have a certification in CPR or First Aid to be able to provide assistance in a time of an emergency. It certainly doesn’t hurt to have this knowledge anyway. I did a 3 hour Basic Life Support CPR/AED class for Healthcare Providers to cover me as a Registered Dietitian as well (many hospitals require RD’s to be CPR certified as well). If you’re not sure what class to take, call a studio where you might want to work and ask or see the American Heart Association for class types and locations available.
3. Obtain Liability Insurance.
Many yoga studios require that instructors have a form of liability insurance to protect themselves if an accident or injury occurs. Determine whether you need General Liability Insurance and/or Professional Liability Insurance based on what kind of yoga instruction you plan to provide and where. Yoga Journal’s Teachers Plus Liability Insurance (for instructors and studio owners) is a well regarded. I went through HPSO because I have a dual Registered Dietitian and Yoga Instructor policy.
4. Create a Yoga Resume.
This was a shock to me. For some reason, I just envisioned filling out applications and utilizing my professional resume but adding my Yoga Instructor credentials to it but instead, a yoga focused resume is required. I’ve been on fire lately with getting my yoga act in gear but this particular step has me at a pause (right this second).
I’ll likely use some input from this article and highlight my Yoga Education, Teaching Experience (I have other professional experience that can apply here) and later add my Workshop and Continuing Education experience. I feel like I’m 21 again and have next to no experience doing anything of any value.
5. Get a teaching gig.
I won’t be teaching at CorePower Yoga. I love the mission, the people and working out at CPY but I’m not a fan of the teacher hiring process at this chain of corporate yoga studios.
In order to qualify for an audition at CPY (yes, the global yoga interview term is actually called an audition – it’s not just a Los Angeles thing), you are required to complete 6 weeks of another course called Extensions. After completing Extensions, you may audition and if chosen (there are no guarantees), you then must intern with CPY teaching 30 C1 level classes at minimum wage before actually being hired. FYI – the C1 class is a set 60 minute sequence without variation. C1 is the same class every single time. I just don’t think I could teach the same sequence over and over for that long. So, I’m looking elsewhere.
I’m currently putting together an audition sequence (I see a future post writing itself right now – What Is A Yoga Audition?) and scouting part-time opportunities.
6. Engage in further Study (Continuing Education, Practice and Teacher Development).
Technically, I can teach a class right now but getting more knowledge, experience and practice under my belt will only make me a stronger yoga teacher. Who doesn’t want to be a stronger anything in life, right? In addition to actually getting out there and teaching, I’m looking toward additional yoga workshop intensive classes, possible conferences (like Yoga Journal Live in New York City and/or San Diego) and reading some more books.
I know the kind of yoga teacher I aim to be – I can see people getting their sweat, soul and smiles on in a room filled with fun and great music (yes, a Duran Duran playlist is already in the works). I know that blending function, fitness and just plain fun is possible and I want to do it in the best way I can!
Thank you for reading this very long post!
Let me know if you want to hear more about the Evolution of a Yoga Teacher here in 2016 (and/or what else you might want to see here on thevalentineRD)!
Disclosure: Motivate Wraps for my fellow Yoga Teacher Instructors and YTT graduates were gifted by Momentum Jewelry. I have worked with Momentum many times and admire their support of the wellness community (and for working so closely with bloggers as influencers). I can’t thank Amy and the Momentum team enough for their continued generosity.