If it’s time to take your yoga practice to the next level, teacher training may be calling your name. Just what does it take to become a yoga teacher and where in the yoga-centric neighborhood of SoHo can you begin? It’s time to get schooled.
If you’ve been practicing yoga ardently, even for a short time, the idea of becoming a teacher may have crossed your mind, perhaps during Savasana. While the idea of bestowing calm and peace on your fellow man may be appealing, there are more than a few practical concerns. First, are you willing to “live your yoga” both on and off the mat? Second, do you have the time and dedication to tackle the standard 200-hour teacher-training program? And last, but not least, are you willing to fork over thousands of your hard-earned dollars to do so?
If the answers are yes, yes and yes, then the next step is to seek out a reputable teacher training program. According to Yoga Alliance, the largest nonprofit yoga trade association, a qualified school has a definite, pre-defined curriculum that meets the Yoga Alliance Standards, is taught by highly qualified yoga teacher trainers, and offers a consistent approach that focuses on depth rather than breadth.
Within the 200-hour program, Yoga Alliance recommends teaching be broken out by the following categories:
- Techniques, Training and Practice – 100 hours
- Teaching Methodology- 25 Hours
- Anatomy and Physiology – 20 Hours
- Yoga Philosophy, Lifestyle, and Ethics for Yoga Teachers – 30 hours
- Practicum – 10 Hours
- Elective Hours – 15 Hours
It’s important that 180 of the 200 hours should be contact hours, meaning under the direct supervision of a qualified teacher, while the remaining 20 hours can be reading or other self-guided learning.
253 Centre St. between Grand and Broome Streets
Kundalini yoga combines asanas (postures) with pranayama (breath) and the chanting of mantras. Known as an energy practice, Kundalini yoga is said to bestow well-being and a sense of awareness. Kundalini yoga studio Golden Bridge offers multiple teacher training tracks, including prenatal yoga teacher training. Taught by Yogi Bhajan, the Level 1 program includes coursework in Kundalini yoga postures, meditations, mantras, and mudras, the role of a Kundalini yoga teacher, yogic philosophy, and anatomy. This track fulfills the Yoga Alliance’s 200-hour national standard and the next session is set to begin September 2017.
474 Broadway between Grand and Broome Streets
The YogaWorks approach to yoga combines Vinyasa flow with an emphasis on alignment and sequencing, so it’s not surprising that their teacher training emphasizes these qualities along with coursework in hands-on adjustments, observation, cultivating your voice, and perhaps most importantly, the business of yoga. Their teacher training program started in 1990, boasts more than 10,000 alumni, and has earned top ratings from Yoga Alliance. The SoHo Teacher Training Center offers courses beginning nearly every month in intensive Monday-through-Friday and weekends-only formats. If you’d prefer to combine vacation with education, YogaWorks offers all-inclusive destination training programs in Indonesia and Greece.
481 Broadway between Grand and Broome Streets
In this intense yoga training program, students are asked to have at least three years of regular practice under their belts, plus six months’ experience with Kula Flow yoga specifically. The Yoga Alliance-certified program covers the usual anatomy, asana, and mantra instruction along with training in soundscapes, essential oils, and vocal technique. Be warned, according to the course materials, “This training is meant for students who have a desire to be on their feet teaching, not for students looking to deepen their practice but not use their voice.” Keep an eye on the website for details on upcoming trainings.