If you are keeping on eye on us you may have noticed that we went from promoting the idea of a 300 hr Advanced Yoga Teacher Training (step 2, if you will), to instead offering a 50 hr advanced yoga teacher training. Do we not believe in further education? Yes we do. But yes, we did have a change of hearts. Here is why.
Quality Problem. On the foundational level, the Yoga Alliance 200 hour format has to follow certain guidelines and a certain curriculum. But there is also a lot of freedom to shape your training. The 200 hour course can be an online course, a weekend modular course or an intensive format. It can be of any lineage or style of yoga – a known one or a made up one. It can be hosted by a yoga teacher training novice who'll never do it again, it can be hosted by a big corporation or an experienced celebrity teacher and everything in-between. The methodology can be an authoritarian one of absolutes, or one that encourages critical thinking. It can be in a group of 80 or a group of 5. These are so many variables. Add to it the fact that an advanced 300 hour training for business reason will probably have to welcome teachers with any level of actual teaching experience, and you have a few more things to consider.
All this combined means that most Advanced Teacher Trainings out there spend a lot of time simply aligning everyone with THIS training's methodology. Ensuring that everyone has the foundational knowledge deemed important by THIS teacher. Content-wise, an Advanced Yoga Teacher Training is often very similar to a Foundational Yoga Teacher Training. In fact, it's not uncommon that 200 hour YTT students are in the same group as 300 hour YTT students. This may work for some, but it doesn't align well with True North Vinyasa's mission. It becomes a quality issue. We want to raise the bar and professionalism for yoga teachers. We just couldn't make it work in this format.
Accessibility Problem. We believe in the immersion format. Not modules, not in front of a screen. We love the idea of checking out from the world and fully dive into practice and professional growth. It's life changing. We've seen it work for many years in our 200 hr trainings, and we want to work in this way. For a 300 hour training, this gives you the option to do 10 hours per day for 30 days straight, or two modules of about 2 weeks (which we were planning on). Either way, it's a huge commitment in time and money. Too big for most people, meaning not accessible. We couldn't see it happening. We started to question the idea.
Solution. We went back to the drawing board and asked ourselves: Yoga Alliance format aside, what is it we want? What are yoga teachers longing for? We went back the survey we did with our graduates. Some wanted that Advanced Certificate. Some wanted to be able to write 500 hr teacher on their website. But most just wanted to learn, to practice and to evolve. Most had figured out that to be a skilled yoga teacher doesn't stand in direct relation to the amount of training hours. Once we were able to free ourselves from the format, it was fairly easy to come up with an amazing course. Immersion format in a beautiful place. Under one week. Focusing on the areas that we consider our strengths. Not worrying about what "should" be on the curriculum. Putting together something that we know we can guarantee at a super high quality. So here we have it, a 5 day Advanced Yoga Teacher Training focused on sequencing vinyasa, theming classes, defining your brand and creating business in the world of yoga, and 50 hours of YACEP credits. In the Swiss Alps, September 24–29 2023.
We (and many others) are hoping that Yoga Alliance in the near future will allow you to create your own 300 hour certificate by combining shorter trainings from different accredited specialists. That would make sense. This way you could take 6 wonderful one-week trainings from experts in their field and become exactly the authentic teacher you deserve to be.
Articles about the world of teaching and living Vinyasa Flow Yoga by Elin Jensen and Lisa Andersson Rhodiner