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Can anyone can teach yoga without having a 200 hour certificate?

yoga teacher training Apr 27, 2018

I take the training of future yoga teachers seriously. I believe that without the initial 200 hours of foundational training you are unfit to teach yoga. A bold statement to make when the yoga industry is not regulated so theoretically with no knowledge of the practice anyone can start teaching yoga without having a 200 hour certificate of completion.

Here is why I do not recommend this

Yoga is a spiritual practice based on a set of very specific moral guidelines passed down from teacher to teacher we feel it is not within the yogic spirit to go out and teach without having spent at least 200 hours of your time learning from a mentor.  

I am often approached by applicants for my teacher training program who inform me that they are already teaching yoga unqualified and looking to deepen their knowledge of the practice. This is great and I am really happy to see that they are willing to increase their knowledge and as such be bound by the...

...spiritual and moral codes of conduct. 

What about the large numbers of non qualified teachers who are operating within the industry whose main goal is to make money.  These people are filling opportunities that could be given to qualified teachers who have invested their time and energy into their training. It is our responsibility as yogis and yoga teachers to protect the yoga industry. The practice of teaching yoga is not to be taken lightly. As teachers we are responsible for holding space for another human, this can only be done effectively with deep knowledge of the practice of yoga because... isn't just a set of exercises but a whole philosophy. 

So what should you do if you find out that someone is teaching a class and calling it yoga without having received any training? You can approach them, find out more about them and their background.  You can suggest that they need to work with a mentor before teaching yoga, perhaps requesting that they change the name of the classes that they are offering to something that reflects the class more honestly, for example "stretching." 

We aren't here to point the finger at people or make judgements about them however we are all responsible for making sure that yoga maintains it's moral code of conduct and in turn it's unique ability to heal. 

There is also the question of insurance. Most insurance companies will not offer professional liability insurance to teachers without a recognised qualification. 

Almost every country has at least one Yoga foundation claiming to be the benchmark for yoga standards. Some are very well respected such as the British Wheel of Yoga. In France there is a minefield of associations and foundations mainly run by regional yoga clubs and yoga teachers with non offering the guidance, support and international recognition achieved by  Yoga Alliance has achieved. Each country is different. Which ever teacher you wish to learn from do ensure that they are affiliated with a code of conduct that can represent you during your yoga teaching.  

My 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training Certificate Program is approved by Yoga Alliance and enables students to register with upon successful completion of the course.