Posted by: birdmaddgirl | 13 May 2011

teacher training trend

apparently my dear friend Rox and my friend Tara and i are trendy because we are in yoga teacher training. it’s trendy enough to warrant this article from a couple weeks ago in U.S. News & World Report. way interesting. the summary is that yoga is becoming big business and lots more people are interested in teacher training than ever before. i tend to think it’s a good thing for people to invest in something that makes them feel healthy and positive. but talking about the business of yoga raises hackles.

am i in yoga teacher training to be a yoga teacher? i finish my 200 hour program in about a month, and i honestly still don’t know. when i spoke with my teacher Mimi about joining her training, i only wanted to do it for myself. it’s HARD work to be a yoga teacher. i watch enough people try to do it. they are shuttling all over creation, teaching their butts off, and barely making ends meet. and i know enough about myself to know that i am not a great self-promoter, which is important when you need to constantly impress employers and students. and now apparently i have more competition out there!

i am getting more and more excited about the idea the more i learn. but i like the stability of a real job. am i going to be one of those part-time yoga teachers? and if so, how do i feel about being a part-time poet and a part-time yoga teacher? do i back away from what i love because i don’t know how to face the idea that it might not work out? survey says…



  1. Ha, ha. Me?! Trendy? That’s funny, and very hard to believe, because I’ve NEVER been trendy, lol. I still don’t see myself teaching. I definitely love it, and I actually find the lifestyle to be super appealing; but I still don’t see it as something I’ll do. But, I’ll never write it off completely, we’ll just see what happens 😉

    • well, you’re trendy now! 🙂

      i know, never say never. i told my mom i’d never need to know anatomy. joke’s on me.

  2. Hey Heather,

    Here’s my 5 cents:

    1: Yoga isn’t becoming big business… It already IS big business.

    2: This is from the USN article-

    “I would not say that becoming a yoga teacher is a path to instant riches,” says Stephanie Brail, 41, who earned her certification in 2008. “The training can be very expensive, [and] it can be challenging to get classes at first.”

    My answer: It’s challenging to make a living or become “rich” because 110% of the time was spent on becoming certified as a teacher. If you and the other yogis in the teacher training program dedicate as little as 20% of your time on marketing, you’ll have so much work you won’t know what to do with it. If you spend 50% of your time on marketing, you’ll become a Yoga General Contractor “Pimp Mama” and dish out work to your subs. 🙂

    What’s wrong with that?

    Anytime you want to talk about how important it is to self promote, chu let me know. Self promotion and marketing don’t have to be sleazy. Being yourself and communicating that to your peeps is the purest and most honest form of marketing I know.

    3: Lastly, you and USN mentioned “competition” in finding yoga gigs. How can you and another yoga teacher compete for a job? With such unique and diverse backgrounds, where’s the competition? Your teaching styles are indicative of a myriad of factors that will attract a very specific crowd. The yogis that like your classes may hate mine and vice versa. We can’t compete. The only way I can think of competing is to count how much moolah you’re making at the end of the week versus your poor yogi colleagues. That’s of course if you want/need to compete.


    Hold the phone, I have 10 more cents to add…

    Chu said, “do i back away from what i love because i don’t know how to face the idea that it might not work out?”

    If chu truly loved it, you’d work your ass off to get it. No? Fail fast, fail hard. You’ll get up again and be even stronger. AND what if it WORKS? Hmmmm? What if?

    peace mama.

    • Thanks for the 15 cents, Jeff. 🙂

      I agree that yoga has been big business in the US for a while now. It’s just that the news media is finally starting to realize it!

      I’m totally aware of the marketing element. Not that you’re biased or anything, but it’s true. It’s something I’ve been giving quite a bit of thought to & that plays into my questions about my future as a yoga teacher. If I don’t want to spend time on self-promotion, I can always teach as a volunteer; if I want it to be something I make money at, I’d need to hustle my yoga “pimp mama” self. Nothing wrong with that at all, but it’s something to be aware of – and it’s something that doesn’t come naturally to me, so it feels a bit daunting. I think part of why I use fb is because it helps me feel more comfortable with self-promotion.

      If/when I need to get my name out there, you will be the first to know! 😉

      I think of competition in terms of market saturation, which I think Boston is getting pretty close to. How many yoga teachers will the market support? I agree 100% that there’s no direct competition since each teacher is unique.

      What if it works can be just as scary as what if it doesn’t! I’m all about questioning myself.

      (big hugs) from bosstown.

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