The practice of Yoga has been growing in popularity over the years, and with this growth has come an increased demand for qualified and experienced Yoga instructors. However, despite the growing demand for Yoga teachers, only 1 out of 9 certified Yoga instructors actually go on to teach Yoga professionally. Why is this the case, and what can be done to address this issue?
Yoga is growing in popularity more than ever in the West, with recent findings suggesting the number of people practicing yoga growing by 65% from 2016 to 2020. In the US, 1 in every 3 adults has tried yoga. That has resulted in people seeking inspiration, health, wellbeing, support, friendship and much more in the yoga community, via the medium of yoga classes, studios, retreats, meetups. Of course, many people who seek to share their passion for yoga and mindful lifestyle with the world have been inspired to take a Yoga teacher training. Although some embark on that journey primarily for their own benefit, many are looking to find their purpose by stepping on the teacher’s mat. Yet, when looking at statistics, quite a small percentage of training graduates end up actually teaching yoga. Let’s explore why is that.
One of the main reasons why so few certified Yoga instructors actually go on to teach Yoga professionally is that many Yoga teacher training courses do not adequately prepare individuals for the challenges of teaching Yoga. In particular, many teacher training courses do not provide enough instruction on the key principles of anatomy, safety, and yoga pose sequencing. But most importantly, they lack enough practice teaching hours and offer little feedback on a teaching style that would help an individual feel confident to take a seat of the yoga teacher upon completing their certification. After all, even Yoga Alliance only requires 5hrs of Teaching practicum per 200hr Yoga Teacher training. Without a strong foundation in these areas, individuals who complete teacher training may feel unprepared to teach Yoga safely and effectively.
Anatomy is an essential component of Yoga instruction, as it helps instructors understand how the body works and how to create safe and effective sequences of poses. Without a solid understanding of anatomy, Yoga instructors may be putting their students at risk of injury and may be unable to create classes that are safe and effective.
Safety is another critical component of Yoga instruction, as it helps instructors understand how to create a safe and supportive environment for their students. Without a solid understanding of safety principles, Yoga instructors may be putting their students at risk of injury and may be unable to create a positive and supportive environment in their classes.
Yoga pose sequencing is an important component of Yoga instruction, as it helps instructors understand how to create effective and well-rounded classes. Without a solid understanding of yoga pose sequencing, Yoga instructors may be unable to create classes that are challenging, fun, creative, inspiring, safe, and effective for their students.
But most importantly, if they do not spend enough time practice teaching yoga (and especially sequences they wrote themselves), and do not receive guidance and direct live feedback on their teaching, newly minted yoga teachers will rarely feel confident enough to immediately get employed or begin their own classes and groups.
So, what can be done to address this issue and ensure that certified Yoga instructors are well-prepared to teach Yoga professionally? One solution is to provide Yoga teacher training courses that are more comprehensive and that include instruction on the key principles of anatomy, safety, yoga pose sequencing, and live teaching. By providing Yoga instructors with a strong foundation in these areas, they will be better equipped to teach Yoga safely and effectively.
Another solution is to provide ongoing training and professional development opportunities for Yoga instructors. By providing Yoga instructors with opportunities to continue learning and growing, they can continue to improve their skills and better serve their students. After all, there is only so much that a school can fit into a 200hr yoga teacher training program, and despite their best efforts, may fall short in providing all the important information.
Yoga itself teaches us that the process is never-ending, and to be a good teacher, one should first and foremost be a good student. Therefore, continuing to educate oneself, being dedicated to their own practice, and sharing one’s passion for yoga should be at the forefront of any inspiring and currently practicing yoga teacher.
Beyond just continuing to study yoga and its benefits, one can also educate themselves in the business portion of yoga (our 200 and 300 hour yoga teacher training includes a Wellness Entrepreneur course), as many practicing teachers will testify it isn’t the easiest fiend to find long-term, profitable, and secure employment. Teaching teachers how to be entrepreneurs who can be successful in their field is another important continuing education subject that is often overlooked.
In conclusion, the low number of certified Yoga instructors who go on to teach Yoga professionally is a concerning issue that must be addressed. By providing comprehensive teacher training courses and ongoing training and professional development opportunities, we can help ensure that certified Yoga instructors are well-prepared to teach Yoga safely and effectively. By doing so, we can help ensure that the practice of Yoga continues to grow and flourish and that individuals who practice Yoga receive the benefits of this ancient and transformative practice.