The 5 HARD TRUTHS ABOUT IN-PERSON original hot yoga teacher trainings
1. YOGA STUDIOS AREN’T GOOD CLASSROOMS
Your yoga studio is a wonderful place to practice yoga but they don’t make for good classrooms. They can be loud. They might smell. You might be sitting in puddles of sweat on a hard floor all day for weeks so now your butt is permanently numb. When I was in school learning chemistry we didn’t have classroom sessions in the laboratory, we had them in the classroom. It’s the same reason doctors don’t go to medical school in the Emergency Room. All for good reason. Classrooms should be designed to take information in and make sure it stays there. Evidence shows the best classroom is one that is both A) quiet and B) comfortable. This can simply be a dedicated, quiet room in your own home. Once we learned the information in our chemistry classroom, we experimented with what we learned in the laboratory. And that is how you should think about your yoga studio. It’s your yoga laboratory. It is the place to go and practice everything you’ve learned in the classroom both in your teaching skills and in your personal practice. Treat it that way. You’re butt will thank me later.
2. DOING MORE YOGA WON’T MAKE YOU A BETTER TEACHER
This is outdated, horse-and-buggy thinking & frankly never really worked to begin with. The skillsets you need to be a good teacher are not the same as the ones for your personal practice. They are 2 different skillsets entirely. Singing a song in the shower & playing it on guitar on stage, in front of 50,000 people is NOT the same thing. The reason they are still doing them like this is simple. Because this is the way it was always done before! This is never a good reason to continue to do something, especially one that has a poor track record of producing high quality teachers right out of training. Teaching aptitudes aren’t focused on & NO educational principles were applied when it was created. Breaking you down physically, spending most of your time on practicing yoga, leaves little time to work on the important fundamentals of teaching yoga. Be cautious of trainings that highlight how much yoga you’ll be doing in training. If it’s just a yoga retreat, disguise as a training, you should be fore warned. Learning how to teach the postures correctly will help you significantly more than just doing yoga. You’re the COACH, not the PLAYER. You can do as much yoga as you like after training, but during training you should be focused on becoming a great teacher.
3. A LOT OF WHAT YOU “LEARN” MIGHT SIMPLY BE MADE UP
Famed Indian scholar and chemist, I. K. Taimni once wrote, “There is no subject which is so much wrapped up in mystery and on which one can write whatever one likes without any risk of being proved wrong”. Simply put, a lot of what is considered fact or truth in the yoga world simply isn’t based in fact or reality. Someone a long time ago just made it up and it kept getting passed down, over & over, year after year, until everyone just accepted it as fact. Just because you say something doesn’t mean there is evidence for the claim or that the statement is true. There is a lot of good evidence on the efficacy of yoga but it’s not always black & white, and certainly a claim isn’t true just because someone says it is. Where’s your proof? It can be hard to sift through all of the high quality, medical literature, so a lot of the original lies are still alive and well. It’s just easier to go with what people already believe. A good amount if it can be considered nonsense but is presented with a veneer of being informative. Explanations should be grounded in reality. If what they are saying is indeed true, then it should be able to hold up to scrutiny and the burden of proof. Be cautious of trainings that focus on yoga’s individual posture “medical benefits” or the “therapeutic benefits”. This is code for the stuff that got made up & because they like how it sounds, they’ll continue to spread it with no evidence for the claim. There is nothing empowering about spreading lies to your students ( who very well may know what your saying simply isn’t true!). The reality is, what has been uncovered about yoga, through controlled medical trials, is so much more interesting than the things that got made up.
4. YOU PROBABLY WON’T BE ABLE TO POOP
The reality is, in-person Teacher Trainings really aren’t that much fun. Not for the trainees & certainly not for the studio owners. Sure on the flyer they try to show you how fun it will be, but there’s really only 2 days in training that are fun. The first day & the last day. The rest are kind of a pain. You get up, hopefully you did laundry last night otherwise what are you gonna wear? All your yoga clothes are wet and stinky. Don’t have time to shower, make your snack bag for the day, get in the car, sit in traffic, rush to make the class. Shower. Take off the wet, put on the dry. Try to stay awake for the lecture but your butt is asleep & you keep falling asleep because they keep saying the same thing over and over. Not really learning what you thought you’d be learning? You finally get a break to eat, and maybe, look at your dialogue. Shoulder hurts. Knee hurts. Haven’t pooped in 3 days. Asking yourself what the heck did I get myself into? Take yet again, another yoga class. All you can think about is how hungry you are. Shower again. Still starving. Take off the wet, put on the dry. Get in the car, drive in rush hour home. Laundry? You’ll do it over the weekend. But you have nothing to wear for tomorrow. Damn it. Have a snack but still feeling a little queesy after class. Really dehydrated now. Way too much sweating. Look at your assignment for tomorrow. Work on it for 10 minutes. Pass out. Wake up at 3am with splitting headache. Repeat for 9 weeks. YAY!! After putting on many in-person Teacher Trainings & also training hundreds of students all around the globe virtually, creating their own experience, the verdict is in. There’s a better way.
5. THEY MIGHT JUST BE DOING IT FOR THE MONEY
How do we know? They tell us! And they aren’t shy about it either! Studios that were lucky enough to survive covid and keep the doors open are looking at tens of thousands of dollars in back rent. That’s not just going to go away. So it’s no surprise that seven thousand dollars per person teacher trainings are popping up literally everywhere! Someone has to pay for it & it surely won’t be from $199 a month auto debits. So they turn to the teacher trainings. Not because they are good, not because they are focused on your well being. They say “How hard can it be?” Even before covid there were studios that had 30+ attendees and NONE of them got hired at the host studio. Is that what you’re looking for? To bail studios out of their financial hole? Because of this there won’t be a performance expectation. They don’t care if you can teach the class, they got your money. We’ve had friends and colleagues in tears out thousands of dollars because they signed up for one of these. If you attend one of these types of trainings, you probably wont be able to teach the class by the end of training.