Yoga Teacher Training

Want to Grow as a Yogi?
Consider Yoga Certification

The Morningside teacher training concept is based, in part, on the following observation:

The two year AA Degree is the entry level training requirement for the medical professions.  Respiratory Therapists, X-Ray Technicians and Physical Therapists, for example, may begin to practice under supervised conditions with a two-year degree.  To enter private practice would require an MD, Nurse Practitioner Degree, a Masters in Physical Therapy, or equivalent training.

We believe that for Yoga to be in a position to truly serve the health and happiness of society, the Yoga profession in the United States must advance in the direction of requiring the same of a Yoga teacher as we would a physician, lawyer, airline pilot or college professor.  "New Age" philosophical platitudes, ('You have all the wisdom you need inside you!'), casual anecdotal medical claims, ('Tones your nervous system!'), and a weak superficial asana practice are a poor substitute for genuine transmission of a great tradition.

A serious Yoga teacher should have graduate level training in history and philosophy, a solid grounding in medical and energy sciences, and have an ongoing practice in the arts of physical culture (asana, pranayama and other forms of movement art) and meditation.  Ten years of training would be required to reasonably master any one of these areas of study.  Therefore, it is reasonable to suggest that thirty years of training will be required to produce a senior teacher of Hatha-yoga.  It is time to abandon the one-month training paradigm for entry level Yoga professionals in favor of the two-year degree for an independent teacher, and ensure that representatives of the senior class truly measure up to that standard.  

A reasonable question is:  what do we mean by "senior teacher" and "independent teacher"?  We will add two more designations, "apprentice teacher" and "master teacher", and define each one in an effort to stimulate a new dialogue among Yoga professionals regarding the shape of teacher training in the future.

The hierarchy of Yoga professionals we propose:

 Master Teacher
Senior Teacher
 Independent Teacher
Apprentice Teacher

The apprentice teacher may teach in the public arena for money or in exchange for training under supervision of a "senior" or "master teacher".  He or she shall be considered provisionally qualified to face the public only with the sanction of the senior who supervises execution of the lesson plan and takes full responsibility for the apprentice's actions.  The apprentice will be placed into or removed from teaching positions solely at the discretion of the senior.  

The independent teacher may represent his or herself to the public as an entry level professional with completion of a two-year training equivalent under a senior within an accredited/recognized program. Transcripts may be constructed through a combination of programs. The two-year Associates in New York State requires 960 contact hours and home study at the ratio of two-to-one. Even with a more conservative ratio of one hour of home study for each contact hour, the total would be 2000 logable hours of training.  This is equivalent to a full-time job for one year.  The entry level independent will be expected to continue his or her education through Bachelors and Masters training levels if he or she intends to teach full-time.

The senior Yoga teacher shall be considered to have the equivalent of a PhD in demonstrable hours of training and education.  Such a teacher may actually have a PhD in Philosophy, Psychology or perhaps have an RN or Masters in Dance Arts.  Regardless of the composition of the resume peculiar to a given teacher, one should expect a combination of dynamite practice and legitimate scholarship.  A senior teacher should be expected to exhibit leadership in the field.  We invite consideration of the principle that fame, outrageous flexibility, or being well-connected do not in-and-of-themselves constitute "seniority".  

The master teacher is not easy to define but we should hesitate to place anyone in this category lightly.  It is easier to site examples than to describe the peculiar combination of knowledge, wisdom, compassion and prowess that places someone in the master category.  We can probably all agree that Paramahansa Yogananda was a master.  I never met the late Yogi Budjan, founder of 3HO, but I believe he is in the master category.  Neither have I met Chidvilasananda, Guru Mae, heir to Muktananda; perhaps she is a master.  Genuine American masters may be beginning to emerge.  I am curious to take a seminar with Dharma Mittra; he certainly appears to be the real thing.  I will let you know!  It  would be hard not to include BKS Iyengar in a discussion of Yoga masters.  I have trained in Zen under an incredible teacher, Eido Shimano Roshi.  The terror of inadequecy I feel in private session (Dokusan) with the Roshi tells me I am in the presence of a master.

When you fully appreciate the physical and spiritual benefits of yoga, it's natural to become inspired to share your enthusiasm for the practice with other people. From students who are first starting out in yoga practice to yogis who have many years under their belts, you can touch many people in Syracuse and beyond by getting certified in yoga instruction at Morningside Yoga.

Once you've decided to become a yoga teacher, there are many yoga teacher trainings to choose from, including the 200 hour and 500 hour certifications. At Morningside Yoga, we believe in staying up to date with the most current techniques and methods.

There are a number of reasons to get your yoga certification in Syracuse. For one, there are a number of health benefits associated with yoga, such as lowering your blood pressure, strengthening the body, and even lowering body fat. You will also be able to stretch your muscles which can keep you fit and also aid in the recovery from injury. Teacher training helps you pass on these physical benefits to each student in your classes.

In addition to the wonderful health benefits, yoga at Morningside Yoga or any studio provides a number of emotional and spiritual benefits. Any yogi who loves to practice would be a great candidate for yoga certification. Yogis tend to be very dedicated to the practice already, so the extra hours required for certification time will not seem too daunting. These hours will be spent in a studio, practicing yoga, something that won't feel like work at all.

Current instructors for other physical activities, like Pilates or group exercise, are also great candidates for yoga teacher training. Instructors tend to be physically fit and usually enjoy learning new fitness regimens. If you're a personal trainer, you might also want to look into getting certified to teach yoga -- it will allow you to expand your areas of expertise, attract more clients, and allow you to assist your Syracuse clients in new ways.

Morningside Yoga always recommends continuing education after a yogi gets his or her yoga certification and becomes a teacher. Typically, this additional education is provided through workshops; if you want to maintain a current certification with the Yoga Alliance you will be required to attend 75 hours of continued education every three years.

Workshops are given regularly, and can even take place at your own studio. So, share your love of yoga with others in Syracuse by getting your certification to become an instructor. By sharing your enthusiasm for the practice with others, they too can learn of the health benefits, as well as the emotional and spiritual benefits, and come to love yoga as much as you do.