In the past, I’ve considered signing up for various one-weekend-a-month teacher training programs, or two-week residencies. I loved the idea – still do – but it always seemed like a huge commitment of time and money for something I might not enjoy.
And I’m not looking for a change of career. Although I can see myself teaching yoga in retirement, this is really an interest that I want to develop, rather than a life calling.
I always overcomplicate things. After analyzing and researching and thinking for over a year, I asked my yoga teacher, and she recommended trying a Yogafit class.
About the program
Yogafit offers the same 200-hour certification as the other programs, and classes are located all across the U.S. You can sign up one class at a time, and take them at your own pace – there’s no ongoing commitment to the program or to a particular class location. Each class takes place over a weekend. Although you aren’t a Yoga Alliance RYT-200 until you’ve completed the whole course, students can and do teach after only one or two classes.
I am an experienced yogini (measured in years) but not necessarily an advanced one, so I was worried about keeping up. I shouldn’t have been – there were all levels in the class, from fitness club instructors with no yoga experience, to young inexperienced bendy girls planning to teach yoga classes at college, to older women looking for a second career, to “retrains” completing their 200-hour certification by retaking the introductory course as a capstone. The course instructor was skilled at leading us all through the principles of teaching yoga.
They taught us three main principles. First was effective group communication. This part of the course was wonderful for me as a leader and a human being, not just a yoga instructor. The second part was a very formulaic yoga practice, using the Yogafit “three mountain” format with a limited number of poses. Third was alignment.
I was relieved about the alignment part, because one of the criticisms I’ve read about Yogafit is that it’s aimed at fitness clubs and all about exercise. I really do not like fitness yoga, and one of the things I do not like about it is the lack of emphasis on breathing and alignment. Although the Yogafit curriculum offers an entire class on Anatomy and Alignment, they do a good job laying the foundations in Level 1.
I came out of the class with a much stronger personal practice, mostly due to Yogafit’s formulaic system. I was also provided with tools – music and a video – that have enhanced my practice. And since my teacher is Yogafit trained, I understand my yoga classes better, too.
What comes next
In order to get my level 1 certificate and be eligible to teach, I have to complete 8 hours of volunteer service, which I haven’t done yet. I’m also still considering whether to commit to a once-per-month class through a different program, now that I’ve gotten my feet wet with Yogafit Level 1. I do see some advantages to a ‘committed’ program, including a more structured apprenticeship and developing relationships with my classmates as we progress through the program together. I also suspect there is some ongoing yoga snobbery towards Yogafit, although I am not sure I care.
I can warmly recommend a Level 1 class to anyone who is considering becoming a yoga teacher, soon or someday. It’s a great way to explore teaching yoga, especially if it’s something on your bucket list but you’re not ready to make a big commitment. If you’re interested, you can visit their website, find a class, or check out their book which describes the “three mountains” program.
As for me, depending on my schedule next year and my ability to commit to a 10-month program, I may continue on with the Yogafit program when I can find the time. After all, I’m working on my bucket list. It doesn’t have to get done all in one year.
I’d love to know: Have you ever taken a yoga teacher training, or other yoga seminar? What were your experiences?