As yoga becomes more and more mainstream, you begin to see yoga teachers popping up all over the place. One question that people ask me a lot is "Is it important for a teacher to be certified?" Here is my take on certification.
As I write this, I can turn my head and see my Certificate hanging on the wall. I am very proud to display it. It was a major accomplishment in my life. But what does that piece of paper mean? Well, in this case it means that I completed 200+ hours of training in the area of therapeutic yoga, I took anatomy, I took notebooks full of notes, I observed, demonstrated, learned philosophy and history and passed both the anatomy and final exams. Does that make me a good teacher? NO!
For me it was very important to be certified in this particular style of yoga because of the demographic of student I wished to work with. I teach people who may have injuries, chronic pain, recovery, autoimmune disorders, mobility challenges etc. So I wanted to be completely prepared. I chose my school, The Yoga School of Therapeutics, because that was their specialty and Suzette Scholtes has been in business since the 80s and is well respected in this field. The certification I received is through the Yoga Alliance and is credited through the Kansas Board of Regents. Does this make me a good teacher? NO!
You can google what makes a good teacher and find 100s of articles. So what makes a good yoga teacher? I believe it is passion and a desire to help others. Since I can remember, I have been a helper. It is important to me to help others any way I can. As a teacher I am not here to be the master. I am here to walk this journey with each student. As each of us are completely different, I wish to always be learning more about my craft so that I can help my students on their path of self-discovery through yoga.
There are many wonderful teachers in our area and there are many certifications. I know several teachers who have recently completed their CYT all from different schools, all have been taught differently, just as they will all be different in their teaching. I am proud of each one of them for following through and committing to the training. This shows their commitment to you, the student!
So if you are looking for a yoga teacher, find one that resonates with you, in their style of teaching, in their dedication to learning and becoming their own teacher and most importantly, their commitment to a safe and peaceful practice for their students.