So you want to become a Yoga Therapist?

Of all the things you could do with your life, this is a great choice.   Yoga, as a profession, offers fulfillment,  a wonderful lifestyle, and can also provide a reasonable income once you have established yourself. 130423-140xTo get started though, you will need to find a training program that will give you all that you need.

There are many different approaches to yoga .  Most of us know that.   What many of us may not know is that there is also a huge difference in the quality of the education that is offered under the title “Yoga Teacher Training Program” or “Yoga Therapy Training”.

Some programs focus on fulfilling the requirements of organizations like Yoga Alliance and IAYT and making sure you get the prescribed number of hours in each area of study.   This is a good thing and why we join those organizations and follow their accreditation rules.   But accreditation can also be limiting if you don’t look beyond it.  Look for a quality education based on other important criteria as well as the fulfillment of requirements. Hours in a classroom alone, do not produce effective teachers or therapists.  Much more is required.

For example if the program you take is just focused on you completing certain “hours” but doesn’t really address your skills as an educator and your capacity to inspire and relate to your students then it will fall short of the mark. If  you don’t feel confident and comfortable and have clarity around your role as a teach or therapist,  you will be reluctant to promote yourself and your work .

You may end up with a piece of paper but be unable to attract students to your classes because the personal aspects of becoming a teacher were not adequately addressed in your training or you were not provided with expert feedback from experienced and successful teachers who could help you fine tune your work.

Also do you want to be an “instructor” or an “educator” in yoga?  There is a big difference and a quality program will make that distinction.  Its teachers will be able to explain it to you and tell you how a different kind of training is required for each aspect of being a teacher.  Different processes are involved.  Show and tell is only the beginning.

If you take yoga teacher training or yoga therapy training with Phoenix Rising you will become an “educator” and a “facilitator” first and an “instructor” second.

Sure you will need to know how to instruct and how to get people in and out of a variety of hatha yoga postures and assisted postures.  But can you also facilitate a group discussion after a class or session, can you dialogue with a student using a client centered approach without giving answers?  Can you really support someone in their transformational process by how you “be” rather than by what you “do”?   Can you really empower someone to embrace their own transformational journey or do you create students who become dependent upon you to tell them what to do including how to live their lives?  Do you want to just tell people what to do or do you really want to be able to facilitate their awareness and enable them to choose more effectively what works uniquely for them in their lives?

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One of the best ways to judge a program is by taking a look at its graduates and seeing how effective they are in their community.   What do their students and clients think of them as teachers or therapists?  What do they say about their training and how well it has equipped them for the job they are doing?

Ask for references before you enroll.    See if there is a listing of teachers who have been trained by the organization you are considering and contact a few of them.   Ask them to tell you what they got from the program and how they are now doing with their work.

At Phoenix Rising we don’t “sell” our programs to students.  Instead we look for a good match.  Does what we offer match what you are looking for?  If it does then we are both on the right track.

Give us a call and let us help you explore your needs.   You might enroll with us or we might help you find another place that better serves your particular need if we can’t provide a “match”.  Either way, we’ll wish you well and hope you enjoy a fulfilling career as a yoga professional.

 Michael Lee, MA founded Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy in 1986.  He is the author of “Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy – Bridge from Body to Soul”, and “Turn Stress Into Bliss”.   Since its inception,  Phoenix Rising has trained over 1500 yoga professionals worldwide and is well known as a quality provider of educational programs in yoga with an integrated and empowering mind-body focus. Michael continues to teach, write, lead, and inspire.

To explore if you want to become a yoga therapist using the Phoenix Rising Approach call 800-288 9642 and we’ll help –  with no obligation.