Friday, January 06, 2006

Yoga Teacher Certification or Registration - Part 2

By Paul Jerard

What about established Yoga teachers who don’t have a diploma?

Yoga teaching credentials are a relatively new concept. Many “seasoned” Yoga teachers have suddenly found themselves in need of credentials.

Most of the certified Yoga teachers are from Hatha Yoga, one of Hatha Yoga’s many sub-styles, or Kundalini Yoga. This may be due to the physical aspect of these Yoga styles. Yoga teachers, who are without credentials, should contact a certifying body to inquire about recognition or credit for past experience.

What is the “right’’ Yoga credential to have?

There really is no right or wrong Yoga credential. A Yoga teacher should have a minimum of 200 hours of study. The Yoga teacher course selected should cover all the facets of Yoga, but when considering liability, anatomy, kinesiology, physiology, safety, modifications, props, and contraindications are of prime importance.
When I hire a Yoga teacher; safety, communication, and knowledge override any credentials. The teaching performance within a Yoga class is more important than any other factor. This is why some Yoga studios do an evaluation of a new Yoga teacher on a trial basis.

When should I become a Registered Yoga teacher?

The fact is you don’t have to join a Yoga teacher’s association or become a registered Yoga teacher, to teach Yoga in any country. In Great Britain, you have a choice to register with the British Wheel of Yoga (BWY) or The Independent Yoga Network. Until recently, I thought BWY was the sole regulator of Yoga within the UK. Apparently this is a myth.

Some studios may require you to be a registered Yoga teacher, but most will not. In North America, South America, Australia, Asia, and most of Europe, Yoga teachers are not required to be registered. However, certification may be required.

Who regulates Yoga?

There is no government backed regulator of Yoga. If you are in doubt, contact a local Yoga teachers association to be assured of local laws and regulations.

It is a wise practice to network with local Yoga teachers and Yoga teacher associations. This will keep you informed and educated about the changes within Yoga. You will also learn about workshops, seminars, retreats, and Yoga camps that are coming to your area.

Lastly, Yoga teachers should stay on top of information concerning sports medicine, anatomy, kinesiology, physiology, safety, modifications, and contraindications. The safety of every Yoga student is the single most important factor involved in teaching Yoga.

© Copyright 2006 by Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

Paul Jerard is a co-owner and the director of Yoga teacher training at: Aura Wellness Center, in North Providence, RI. He has been a certified Master Yoga teacher since 1995. He is a master instructor of martial arts, with multiple Black Belts, four martial arts teaching credentials, and was recently inducted into the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame.

He teaches Yoga, martial arts, and fitness to children, adults, and seniors in the greater Providence area. Recently he wrote: Is Running a Yoga Business Right for You? For Yoga students, who may be considering a new career as a Yoga teacher.

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