This past Friday, the New York Times released an article about the state of Yoga Teacher Trainings, specifically about Corepower. Being someone who recently just went through YTT (not through Corepower) I had mixed feelings about this discussion. So, I wanted to open up the conversation with all of you. Specifically discussing the popularity of those going through training and the recruitment studios are doing to hold these training programs. I will not be touching on pay.
The article states that “for every current yoga teacher, there are two trainees.” I personally think this is amazing! The more we can spread the love of yoga the better. But the article spins this point to state that studios are having the discussion that students need to take training to take their practice to the next level. Signing up for YTT is your own choice, just like how you choose to use your time in any other situation. You wouldn’t go to a Crossfit class if that doesn’t fill your cup and vice versa for Yoga classes and training programs. YTT is a significant investment of not only money but time. I think the pressure needed to force someone into training would also be pretty significant since it is not a decision you make on the fly. If you feel you’re being pressured at a studio to sign up for their YTT program, then maybe it is time to consider another studio.
Another argument is that training programs are being held at studios that aren’t actively hiring teachers. When you sign up for training, you’re signing up for exactly that. The rest of the work after training is on you. Continued teaching practicing, networking, marketing yourself, educating yourself, etc. One opinion I came across on this topic was comparing YTT to College. After college graduation, some individuals have guidance with a job placement but not everyone does. After YTT, some individuals might have connections for teaching opportunities but not everyone does.
We don’t expect to get our degree and then walk into a six-figure paying job the very next day. We need to put in the work to finesse our skillsets as well as determine “is the career path for me even?”
After training, we can’t expect the responsibility to lead students in a class where we’re instructing them on what to do with their bodies. Being an instructor myself, this responsibility is powerful and insanely scary. Students normally walk into a class fully trusting the instructor that they know what they are talking about. As a yogi or fitness student, you can probably remember instances where you realize the instructor is not as well informed as you believe they should be to be in their position. No amount of instructor insurance can justify not being educated enough to lead a class. This is why further education, training, and teaching practice is needed before being hired as a professional instructor.
Lastly, the article touched on the business decision studios make to hold these training programs. They may partially hold these training programs to bring in revenue but they are also putting on retreats, workshops, and events on top of classes. It is not their only means for revenue as a studio even if it good be a large portion of it. Hopefully, these studios are still holding educational training programs that provide their trainees the material and information they need to guide intelligent sequences and cueing. If their programs are merely to bring in revenue, then I would assume these programs will not last long. Also, if these programs are recognized through the Yoga Alliance, the process to be able to lead trainees is more rigorous than the YTT training itself. I would like to think someone wouldn’t go through the whole process for the revenue alone.
If you are interested in signing up for a training program, but you fear this might be the case with the studio you’re considering going through, do your research to make sure you are getting your money’s worth! There are plenty of different training opportunities out there that you do not need to limit your decision making.
If you have strong opinions on the NYT’s article or YTT, I’d love to hear them! You can share with me in the comment section or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.