I'm in the process of applying for another teaching gig at a new "wellness center" that has opened in the Stateline area. It's affiliated with Beloit Memorial Hospital and has a whole wing with doctors' offices and physical therapy, in addition to a very swank gym, pool and studios (Pilates and yoga have separate rooms). There will be some overlap from my students at the Y, but also a lot of new folks from Northern Illinois.
I've hit a snag. Because of the medical aspect, they want to make sure all the instructors are well-trained and certified. The certified part works well for the aerobics teaching and trainers, because of the rigor with which ACE, etc. keeps track of their teachers. They are having some trouble with the yoga teachers' credentials, tho--especially me.
I had a very intense training period with my teacher in DC and spent every other Saturday for a year at her house studying poses--how to teach, how to modify, how to sequence them. I also did some (not a lot) of student teaching at her studio and she observed some of my teaching. So, I think I had a good grounding (ha) in the basics and have tried to stay current with various workshops, etc. when I can get to Madison or other yoga conferences. For what it's worth, my students seem to be happy with my teaching. But none of this is work towards a specific Certification...and none of it is with Yoga Alliance members (altho I have studied with Iyengar, Kripalu, Ashtanga, etc. teachers), so I can't count towards a R.Y.T. designation. There are 5 YA-approved schools in Wisconsin and the nearest one to me is in Milwaukee (80 min. drive each way), so I can't really start over from scratch.
It's made me think about yoga teacher training in this country and how to organize (if that's possible) all the different styles and approaches so that outsiders can measure how qualified a teacher is. This is a huge debate in the yoga community--and while the Yoga Alliance has the right idea--I'm not sure it's possible to gather all of us under one governing body. And maybe we don't want one governing body, but how to assess the quality of different trainings? And is teaching yoga in a multi-purpose facility, such as a gym, less legitimate than in a studio? And consider the possibility of including yoga in a wellness plan that insurance companies would be willing to support, how would they measure its effectiveness? How about those of us who practice and teach in communities without a large yoga network?
I'm not sure how it will go with North Pointe (the aforementioned wellness center). I hope I can cobble together a resume that they approve of, but we'll see. In the mean time, what do all of you think of this subject and how have you dealt with the issue of multiple trainings/quality of trainings/lack of certification/etc? Any ideas?
How do you herd a group of cats and keep them in the corral...