Do yoga teachers really need to be certified by Yoga Alliance to teach?
No. It is not necessary to have a Yoga Alliance certification.
WHO IS YOGA ALLIANCE?
Yoga Alliance is a known non-profit organization created in 1999. It is recognized around the world for their registry of studios and yoga teachers however it is not commonly used by students looking for yoga teachers or studios. Majority of people tend to use a typical online search engine like Google to find yoga teachers, studios or yoga teacher trainings near them.
WHAT DO THEY DO?
Instead of specifically training teachers, they provide educational teaching standards that they recommend to yoga studios and teachers. It is a voluntary system which means it is not mandatory. These outlines are also not regulated or enforced. It is an honor system. There is no one actually checking up on the yoga teachers that are Yoga Alliance stamped in order to make sure that they are continuing to adhere to the set standards. This means that just because a yoga teacher is Yoga Alliance certified, doesn’t mean they are any better (experience or quality wise) than the next who isn’t Yoga Alliance certified. Some of the most well-known yoga teachers are not recognized through Yoga Alliance.
If a yoga studio is Yoga Alliance certified, that does not automatically make their yoga teacher training better than another one that isn’t Yoga Alliance certified. The yoga studio does have to submit their yoga teacher training curriculum when applying to be Yoga Alliance certified however, no one continues to check in to see if they are continuing to put out the material that had been submitted. The quality of a yoga teacher training is completely determined by the quality of the studio and the experience of the yoga teachers involved as well as the layout of their curriculum.
YOGA ALLIANCE CERTIFICATIONS ARE BECOMING INCREASINGLY LESS IMPORTANT
In the west, the name Yoga Alliance has started to become more of a ‘brand name’ stamped on your certificate with little to no meaning. If you were to ask most students upon graduating their yoga teacher training, if they know who Yoga Alliance is and what they do, most don't actually know. Yoga studios will typically ask when hiring to see a certification of a yoga teacher training to ensure that the yoga teacher has a particular number of hours of experience (usually a minimum of 200 hours). They will hire yoga teachers based off of their experience, knowledge, quality of class and passion.
However, if you do want to be Yoga Alliance certified, you can choose to register with them (paying an annual fee) after graduating from a yoga teacher training.
DO I HAVE TO BE CERTIFIED TO TEACH YOGA?
To simply put it, no. However, you may find it very difficult to find a job or clients without one. Being a CYT (Certified Yoga Teacher) means you have completed a YTT (Yoga Teacher Training) and have the foundations for teaching. Most studios require you to have a yoga teacher training certification of a minimum of 200 hours. If you have a yoga teacher training certification and are an independent contractor, it will also make it easier to attract clients. It is highly recommended to go through a yoga teacher training certificate program if you plan on teaching yoga. Even if that is not your initial goal when taking a yoga teacher training, in case you change your mind down the road, you will save yourself the hassle if you have received a certificate.
LOOKING FOR A YOGA STUDIO TO TAKE A YOGA TEACHER TRAINING?
As you begin your search, keep in mind (from all of the above), they do not have to be Yoga Alliance certified. It is about the quality of the studio and the experience of the yoga teachers involved as well as the structure of their curriculum. If you are looking for a yoga teacher training to begin your yoga teaching career path or self growth journey, Use This Article to help you choose the right yoga teacher training for you.
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