When looking to hire a lawyer you find one that is certified by the American Bar Association, and when finding a yoga teacher it is likely that you will look for one certified by the Yoga Alliance. But who is the Yoga Alliance, and what do they do?
The Yoga Alliance is the national education and support organization for yoga in the United States, they have a registry of teachers and schools for yoga teacher trainings that are qualified, according to their standards to teach yoga and yoga teachers.
Most yoga studios recognize a Yoga Alliance certification as a trusted tool for gauging the amount of education and experience a teacher has. This certification is normally a minimum requirement for obtaining employment with most reputable yoga studios. Sample classes to determine the quality of skill and style of teaching will usually also be asked for before hiring.
When looking for a studio to practice at or if you are a teacher, to teach with, having Yoga Alliance certified teachers lends a certain level of credibility to the business. It is important to practice with and learn from yoga teachers who know what they are doing. Having proper education in the right areas and a certification from the Yoga Alliance can take some of the guess work out of finding a qualified teacher. Of course simply having a certificate from a program or any governing body does not ensure a great teacher, personality and energy factor in greatly, but certification is a nice first step.
Being a teacher registered with the Yoga Alliance is also great for networking opportunities. They have a registry of yoga professionals on their website so you can find qualified teachers to practice and learn with. Often times independent teachers can be quite isolated and this registry gives an opportunity to connect with independent teachers in your area.
On the Yoga Alliance website there is a section for student referrals. This is great for teachers to keep their contact information up to date so potential students can find teachers of the style of yoga they are looking for in their area. It is easy to simply type in your area and the style of yoga you are looking for and you get a list of qualified teachers in your area!
If you are looking to become a yoga teacher and are curious about what you need to do to become certified by the Yoga Alliance I would recommend taking a look at their website. There are many teacher training programs offered all over the world and it is very important to be sure that any programs you consider attending are recognized by the Yoga Alliance.
They require a certain number of hours to be taught in many different areas such as teaching techniques, methodology and anatomy to make sure that a comprehensive education is offered. Teaching yoga is more then just knowing the physical poses. There are many aspects to becoming a great yoga teacher and the requirements set forth by the Yoga Alliance help to ensure that those aspects are acknowledged and taught.
After obtaining an initial certification by the Yoga Alliance you must continue your education and keep your record up to date. It is expected and required to teach a certain number of hours and also to continue learning through reading books and attending seminars and workshops to keep your certificate current. This is essential to make sure that you as a teacher, or your teacher is always learning and keeping up to date on new developments in the yoga world.
The Yoga Alliance also holds seminars and other educational events to help bring the yoga community together and to advance the education of the yoga professional in the United States and abroad.