Some of you know that for a while now, I've been interested in pursuing a yoga teacher training course. Not because I want to quit my job and become a full-time yoga teacher, but because I'm interested in learning more about my practice, more about yoga, and more about myself. A bead artist friend of mine recently completed her yoga teacher training and inspired me to do the same.
Now, there are a few things you should know about yoga teacher training programs. Yoga Alliance (YA), a non-profit organization that represents yoga teachers, studios, and schools throughout the United States, has created a set of minimum standards for educating yoga teachers. Pretty much every yoga teacher training program you'll find in the U.S. mentions Yoga Alliance and this set of standards.
Of course, once you finish your YA-approved teacher training program, you can register as a certified yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance for a $25 application fee, and a $55 annual registration fee. To maintain your credentials, you need to complete 45 hours of teaching and 30 hours of continuing education (CE) every year, just like any professional organization.
A general search of yoga teacher training programs reveals that most of them are prohibitive to everyone except Trust Fund Kids: they require on-site attendance of classes for up to 6 weeks, plus housing fees, hanging out in the $4,000-6,000 range.
For those of us with budgets and jobs and families, it may sound nice to take off a whole month of your life to do nothing but immerse yourself in yoga, but, really - is that practical? Plus, the cost. Yeesh. Short of taking out a second mortgage, I have no idea how long it would take me to save up $4,000 (plus living expenses for a month) to pay for this kind of program.
A little more digging around revealed some do-it-at-home teacher training programs, and a couple of yoga teacher training-in-a-box programs, but neither of them were recognized by YA. Not that recognition by YA is the be all and end all for yoga teachers: I'm sure there are many, many talented yoga teachers out there who are NOT registered with YA.
While I've always considered myself a do-it-yourselfer and pretty good at the whole distance education thing (I did complete half a Master's degree through distance education at University of Colorado before I decided that I hated my chosen field), there's something about yoga that just tells me I need to learn from someone else. From someone REAL. My experiences with Robin and my first yoga teacher, Emily, have taught me that.
I remembered something my son's preschool teacher said to me about starting in your own backyard. So, okay, Vermont - there must be some kind of teacher training in Vermont, right? I found a few, mostly in Burlington, a couple further south down near Stowe, and they are weekend programs, but again - the traveling time and the cost of staying overnight and leaving my husband alone with our five-year old every weekend just seemed wrong for me.
This morning, after discovering yet another North Country yoga studio up in Malone around the corner from one of our favorite clothing stores, I decided to look at the website of True North Yoga down in Schroon Lake. Schroon Lake is only about 90 minutes from here, and I've been meaning to check it out.
And what do you know? They have a 200 hour yoga teacher training program.
It seems perfect for me, for my lifestyle: very affordable (payments spread out over the 6 months of the course), one weekend a month, plus one weekend workshop/class per month, and the next program starts in October.
So, I don't have to wait a year to get in on the next program. It's a style of yoga that I love. It's affordable. And since it's so close to home, there are no overnight stays required.
Mailed off my registration form. We'll see what happens next!