Friday, December 16, 2005

What to Look for When Hiring a Yoga Teacher (Part 1)


By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

How can you tell which Yoga teacher is the best fit for your health club, ashram, spa, or wellness studio? Does it depend on a particular diploma, style of Yoga, or who their Guru was? Let’s go over a bit of credential history and a checklist for finding the ideal Yoga teacher.

Lately, there has been a scramble amongst Yoga teachers to gain higher credentials. This is understandable because Yoga became much more of a mainstream pursuit. As Yoga became more and more popular, many experienced Yoga teachers found themselves “out of the loop.”

Some Yoga teachers, with decades of Yoga teaching experience, had no credentials, diploma, or “paper trail.” The “paper chase” was on, and when it came to credentials, a new “playing field” had been created.

With all the liability suits out there, credentials have become very important, even in Yoga. Credentials make liability insurance much easier to get. Therefore, all Yoga teachers have to jump through the new “flaming hoops.”

What Guru or Yoga Master trains the best teachers? Competence has little to do with who a Yoga teacher’s Guru - is or was. The Guru is not teaching this Yoga teacher’s class. The real question is: How will this Yoga teacher perform within your facility?

Have you ever met a graduate from an “elite” college who was an under achiever? Of course, and we have all seen over achievers from colleges, which are not as prestigious. You might also want to think about the many over achievers who never went to college.

Is there a particular style that trains Yoga teachers the best? Not really, most Yoga teacher training programs, of all styles, produce competent Yoga teachers. To credit one particular style, would take away the credibility of the rest. However, if, for example, you are looking to establish a Yoga class that is vigorous, you might seek out teachers from particularly vigorous Yoga styles.

Most Yoga teachers do a very good job of teaching, but students of any subject will always think more fondly of a particular teacher. This is human nature to make comparisons, but there are much larger issues when it comes to teaching skills and making your best selection.

The real issues, and skills, that count when hiring a Yoga teacher, are safety, compassion, communication, assisting, alignment, listening, modifications, ethics and continuing education.

© Copyright – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

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