Too Many Yoga Teachers?

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I am a sucker for anything yoga related. I drink it up. I eat it up. It nourishes my soul, it satisfies my need to be continually learning. I like to believe; but I love to be proven. I find (probably too much) humor when journals, books, magazines and internet blog sites post contradictory articles. I don’t know why. It’s almost as if I have missed my calling to be an editor. Ask my husband. I would be hard pressed to find a menu at a restaurant where I didn’t find an error. But I digress, as I usually do.

Back to contradictory articles. One day it is “why alignment is king”, the next day, “focus on how you feel and alignment comes into play secondary”. In the world of yogic blogs on the internet, there is a plethora of information coming at us at lightning speed, and if you’re anything like me…you eat it all up. You soak it. Become a die hard believer. Until someone else writes a completely contradictory article the next day. And our brains are swayed again.

So now I circle back to my purpose. Here is my “playing devils advocate” thought of the day. I’ve seen, read, been sucked into countless “we need to stop churning out yoga teacher” articles. And I do absolutely see some validity in their points. Studios who are barely open are offering yoga teacher trainings, “become certified in 21 days”, we see it everywhere (rats, isn’t that what I did? But I’m different, right? Insert sarcasm). Are fresh newbie teachers safe leading a class? It made me begin to really look at why I did a training.

The answer was simple. I love yoga, and I wanted to learn more. Isn’t that what people do when they are interested in a subject? They read about it, take classes, practice it. So what is with all the yogis blogging about how we need to return to an at home practice…we need to stop churning out teachers and start reconnecting with our students. The list goes on and it resonated with me FOR SURE for quite a while. I was almost embarrassed I had taken a training. And then I stopped to think. Is this the “big sibling getting mad at the younger sibling for wanting to be involved in the game at the playground?” Hmmm.

Is it honest and true fear of poorly trained teachers taking on students and potentially hurting them? Or is this…something else. Do more teachers create more competition for seasoned yogis? Are more seasoned teachers playing the “we had to walk to school…both ways…in the snow..” card? I don’t know. But…Here is a hint for the seasoned teachers. You are the reason we (us newbies) took a teacher training: you’ve inspired us. You’ve made us want to step out of our personal box of comfort and take a leap. So don’t hate us out of fear. Teach us more. We show up at your classes. Know that you see us in your room…because we look up to you. Because we want to learn from you. Because you have that “thing” that we are so looking to have. And we want to impart on others. So don’t be threatened by new teachers. Welcome them (us!!). Pass on your knowledge. Learn from each other. And know that YOU are the only you in the world, and regardless of how many new teachers there are…no one else is you. And your students show up to learn from you.

And furthermore, couldn’t it be worse? A world, a society that we live in when TOO MANY people want to be a yoga teacher? Think back to what you learned in your training. Think back to how your judgements, for self and others, softened as a result. Think about the sense of community you built and the love you felt for others during and after training.

So rather than writing articles about why we need to stop cranking out teachers in teacher trainings…write articles about how us new teachers can benefit our students. Compliment us in class. Remember that we are still your student and we want to learn from you. So rather than making us feel lesser by reminding us we are new, or that “teacher training used to be different”, take a moment to remember when you were us and then let it all go.

–Stephanie

Here are some of the articles related to too many yoga teachers

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2015/06/the-world-does-not-need-more-yoga-teachers/

http://www.noplacelikeom.com/stop-the-madness/

http://lindasyoga.blogspot.com/2009/03/yoga-teachers-are-new-waiters.html

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