I completed my 200 hour course a few years ago, but did not complete a small portion of the post-course work. It was a requirement to assist in several classes for the instructor who led the training and to lead our own classes independently while incorporating assists. For several reasons, I did not and still do not plan to use hands on assists. Because I don’t have contact with this teacher anymore, I can’t get a Yoga Alliance certificate. Am I supposed to just suck it up and do it if I ever want to really teach? Is a Yoga Alliance certification really necessary? I feel I am very capable of giving effective verbal assists or giving demonstrations that could be helpful. I don’t know if it makes sense to do another 200 hour course. What would you recommend to someone in this position?
Sort of Certified
Dear Sort of Certified,
Hands on assists are important and very much necessary for you to learn. As a teacher, advanced verbal cues and self-modification cues are my bread and butter. But, every once in a while I absolutely need to use a hands on assist when my words and demonstrations fail. Also, you don’t have to register with Yoga Alliance to teach yoga. However, some studios and almost every yoga festival requires that you do. Most of the time, a signed and completed certificate does the job.
Yoga Alliance aside, let’s get to the bigger question at hand: why are you no longer in contact with your teacher, and why are you considering another 200 hr course?
Was your experience with said teacher/course not beneficial for you? Do you feel as though something was missing? These are important questions for you to dive into, because they will dictate how you show up in the seat of the teacher.
If you had a negative experience, and that is what prevented you from finishing your certificate requirements, then I would strongly suggest researching a different program, with a teacher who inspires you to show up and learn. If, however, you just hate the idea of giving/receiving adjustments and you feel that it is unnecessary for you to learn them, I would suggest you inquire as to whether another 200 hr is that important for you.
Hands on assists are a delicate subject. As a teacher, it is important to learn them in a safe, informative environment so that we may create a safe space in which to empower our students. Even if we choose not to give adjustments in our classes, learning them is not only relevant, but necessary. Being a teacher within this practice means that we have to jump through all of the hoops--even the ones that we least prefer--in order to show up responsibly for our students.
Just because you give good verbal cues, does not give you a free pass to skip out on a crucial part of said responsibility. Likewise, you must study with an experienced teacher who resonates with you in order to put your best foot forward on this path.
I hope this puts things into perspective for you, and I hope that you do embrace the obstacles ahead rather than shy away from them.
All the best,