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Become a Certified Yoga Instructor: Training Options

Paul M. Jerard Jr.
Jan 30, 2008
Alyssa began dealing with chronic back problems after the birth of her daughter. Because her pain was so intense, she was unable to embark on a post-baby weight loss program as she'd planned. Subsequently, she was unable to return to her pre-pregnancy weight. Within months, Alyssa had gained five more pounds.

More weight put more stress on her back. Her worsening back problems prevented her from exercising. Alyssa began to feel depressed and anxious. In desperation, she visited a chiropractor who began treatments to alleviate her pain. He also suggested that Alyssa would benefit from doing regular yoga.

To her delight, Alyssa's health improved dramatically after she began yoga classes. Not only did her physical symptoms diminish, her mental health experienced a tremendous boost. Within a year, Alyssa had not only returned to her normal weight, her back pain was gone.

Alyssa was excited about the changes in her life brought about by yoga. So much so that she began to contemplate becoming a certified yoga instructor. Before having her daughter, Alyssa had felt that her current career had reached a dead end.

After returning from maternity leave, she felt more than ever that a change was in order. She had gained so much from her yoga classes that she wanted to share that experience with others. However, since she'd only been back at work a few months, Alyssa knew that taking time off to take a yoga instructor's course would be impossible. But unwilling to give up on her new dream, she began to investigate alternative plans.

She soon discovered that she could become a certified yoga instructor through a home-study course. Though studying yoga at home sounded unusual at first, she knew that was her only alternative. She wondered if she would be able to get the same quality of instruction in a home study as she would in a classroom. She worried that not having a live teacher to demonstrate things like the yoga positions would make it harder to learn the material.

However, Alyssa was still determined not to give up on her dream. So she began comparing home study courses for yoga instructors. She realized that there were more home study training options than she had expected. In fact, the number of courses available was almost overwhelming. How would she choose the right one? She asked herself what was most important to her in an instructor training course. Once she developed her criteria, she hoped it would be easier to narrow down her choices. Alyssa looked for qualities such as:

* Comprehensive written material that is easy to understand. It should include the principles of yoga, as well as anatomy and kinesiology training.

* DVD's with clear, simple to follow demonstrations of positions and techniques.

* Information on how to teach yoga, not just how to do yoga.

* Affordability. Having a baby meant more expenses than ever before, and her money had to stretch as far as possible.

* Flexibility in completing assignments. With a new baby and a job, she would need it!

She knew that it was important to find a program with access to an instructor. After all, there would be times when she would need to clarify things that she didn't understand. She also knew that having an instructor would help motivate her to complete the course.

She was baffled to find that many home study courses did not include access to an instructor at all. Others offered only limited access. Feeling that support was critical to her success, Alyssa decided she wouldn't settle on a course unless it offered unhindered access to an instructor.

Her determination paid off. She was able to find a yoga teacher training course that met all of her criteria. In fact, it offered more than she'd been seeking. The home study course that she settled on covered business training, something that most others she'd looked into did not. Not only would Alyssa become a certified yoga instructor, she would have the ability to run her own yoga business.

One year later, Alyssa had quit her old job and was teaching yoga at a local fitness center. She was working closer to home and able to spend more time with her daughter. Instead of coming home from work tired and stressed out, Alyssa came home calm and relaxed.

Her new job was better than she'd ever dreamed. Plus, she knew she was a better mother because of it. She even hoped to start her own fitness business one day. Grateful that she had been choosy when searching for a home study course, she knew she had made the right decision in becoming a certified yoga instructor.

Copyright 2008 - Paul Jerard / Aura Publications
About the Author
Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, is a co-owner and the director of Yoga teacher training at: Aura Wellness Center in, Attleboro, MA. He is an author of many books on the subject of Yoga and has been a certified Master Yoga teacher since 1995.

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