Yoga Teacher Training is a Joke & a Contradiction. There, I Said It.

Luann, our favorite countess once sang, "Money can't buy you class." But guess what it can buy you? The ability to teach yoga!
Publish date:
July 14, 2011
yoga, spin, trampoline, hater, yogawear

Jumping up and down on the trampoline in my bounce aerobics class last week, it occurred to me just how much fun I’ve had during each of the four classes I’ve taken. Sure, it's only been four classes, but that's all I needed to figure out I'm ready to take this whole jumping up super-high in the air thing to the next step: getting certified to be an Olympian High Jump coach.

Also, you know how much I love spin class? I go at least a couple times a week and last night my instructor said, “Daisy, I like what I see!” which made it *pretty* clear that with a little more training, I’ll probably qualify to be a race coach for next year’s Tour de France.

I also went on a hike a few months ago and I didn’t hate it. This, despite the fact that I got to the top and there wasn’t a bar or even a bottle of wine.

(Note to State Parks: I can solve your budget problems right now. Make sure every hike either has a waterfall or a bar at the end of it and the crowds will come flocking. Hell, put BOTH in and your park will be the most popular one probably in the whole entire world. You’re welcome.)

Anyway, I finished the hike without complaining or getting Poison Oak, which I think means going forward, I should get paid to guide large groups of rich people up Mount Everest. Am I right or am I right?


I’m NOT right?

Then please, for the love of God, explain to me why it seems like every single person I know who has ever taken a yoga class decides that golly gee, she likes it so much, the only plausible next step is getting certified to teach.

Yes, they couch it in things like “I want to deepen my practice” or “I want to show others how amazing and transformative yoga can be.” And OK, fine. Those are all valid points, but from what I can tell, most people aren't getting certified they actually want to teach, they’re getting certified simply because they can.

I asked my friend who is a certified instructor what his teacher training was like and he admitted that the only thing he had to do to be accepted to his program was shell out some cash -- $,3500 to be exact -- and be willing to do the training and required hours. No one even asked to see if he knew what downward dog was, much less required him to perform a headstand while on a paddle board.

Last I checked, you can't even drive a car without passing a test first.

And I guess that’s one thing that bothers me about it. I love football, but I can’t bribe my way into the NFL. I enjoy tennis, but no matter how many silver dollars I throw at their feet, I’m never going to get to show off my super cute tennis skirts at Wimbledon.

And I live to drink, but it’s not like I can just buy my way into full-fledged alcoholism. Oh wait. Nevermind. That’s just called “going to the bar on a Friday Monday night afternoon.” I TOTALLY do that!

But if you want to be a yogi, apparently all you need is some cold hard cash (and fine, the time and inclination blah blah blah whatever you get what I’m saying).

And don’t even get me started on what a contradiction it is that of all the things in the world to spend a ton of money on it’s YOGA. Over 3,000 dollars to “learn” a way of life? A way of life, mind you, that requires all of your voluntary and involuntary actions to be for the betterment of this universe. (Which, can I just say, sounds SO exhausting.)

Do you know what $3,500 can buy? It could provide seven cows that would help numerous communities move from poverty to self-reliance. It could deliver relief to thousands of hurricane and tsunami victims. I mean, do you know what a nice handbag you could buy for that kind of money? DO YOU!?

Plus, it’s not like potential yogis are only dropping cash on classes. No, no. Practicing yoga also requires the perfect wardrobe which includes things like $98 pants! And $108 jackets! and $100 yoga mats and $55 towels and, of course, a $50 tote to carry it all in.

So yeah, you might be buying it, but I’m not.

Oh, and one last teenie tiny thing. I know a few of you might want to go after me in the comments, which is fine. But please remember that a big part of yoga is being at peace not only with yourself, but with the world around you. I know. I'm the worst.

But if I ever make it to Everest, I'll totally send you a postcard.