How do I pick a training & get a yoga teaching job? Is accreditation and alliance affiliation important?
This is a great question. The short answer is, if you want to work
1) Be great at what you do, and keep improving
2) Put yourself where you can help people.
If you’re great, helpful, and in the right place, there’s work for you.
First, if you have a favorite yoga studio, you want to lead classes there, and they have a training . . . you should take their training!
Of course, things aren’t always so straightforward. Maybe you want to lead in more than one location, or reach many different kinds of people. Or you’re an explorer, and like to add new knowledge and skills. So questions about portability and affiliation with various alliances come up.
At Strala, our certification is our own, and we have an affiliation with the Yoga Alliance UK (known for more stringent standards than their American counterpart). Strala training is very hands-on practical, and this is working well for people professionally. Our program is grounded in our founder Tara Stiles’ success with reaching and helping people around the world. This is different from most Yoga Alliance (YA) programs, which focus on the mythology, ancient languages and texts of yoga, with relatively little practical work on reaching people and leading today. Of course if you want to work, practical hands-on experience is needed. It’s helpful to get this going before you ask for a job.
It’s worth diving a bit into alliances and what they mean. Various alliances aim to establish a common set of topics for teacher certification. That said, it’s important for people to know (and sorry if I’m making obvious points!) that certification isn’t the same as qualification. In general, certification is not what leads to a job, or even to advanced capability. Qualification is what’s important here. Strala is helping people become extremely qualified! But unlike medicine, there’s not a standard test across all of yoga for this.
This is a challenge faced by any alliance, as well as better-known independent programs like Baron Baptiste and Strala. While we’re associated with YA, what Strala does is very different – and connects with a much wider audience – than other studios and schools. Our focus at Strala is very practicable and straightforward for helping people in their lives today. There is a broad comment about alliances that has gained some volume in recent years: certification doesn’t mean people are ready to work or help. While it’s also an obvious point – spending 200 hours covering a common set of topics doesn’t create qualification. Everyone knows you get a different education if you go to Stanford than if you go to Brookdale Community. It’s the same with yoga schools.
At the end, it’s not a typical alliance affiliation – which treats all schools and hours as the same – that leads people to get jobs or create a capable life. It’s you! It’s always you. The training gives you the building blocks to create what you have to create. Some trainings are better than others, so that becomes your choice. At Strala, our work has created something that is very widely useful to people around the world. We’re happy to be here now!
Back to picking a training and getting work, here’s another way to look at this one.
What you have yourself is what you have to give. Styles of yoga and their trainings reflect the leaders who create them. So you get to choose leaders and styles you see creating exemplary, inspiring lives. Then create your own exemplary, inspiring life. You’ll have a lot to give, and you’ll be lucky enough to call that work.