It’s not that all yoga instructors are yoga therapists but the reverse tend to be the case… All yoga therapists are yoga instructors because of the more extensive training required for the therapist certifications.
Yoga instructor certifications start at minimum level of 200 hours – it’s a start -some lucky ones may just do such an immersion over a vacation in Bali, Costa Rica, Hawaii … it’s a great learn and vacay option, I always envied but did not have the time or the means to do. So, for some, it may just stop there – 200 hrs. and realize that it’s enough. Then the more serious will go onto 500 hours certification to delve deeper because …she/he’s …hooked.
Then, there are the yoga nerds, lol, those who get a bit nutty into it and still go deeper – okay, yoga geeky was me, that’s right, 500 hours was not enough for my curiosity so I went further to become a yoga therapist then … Covid struck, what a stroke of luck in timing:
Yoga Therapist certification is at the minimum … 800 hours. Why the difference? I can go over that through a lesson we set up that focuses on you. Often, it’s where yoga instructors who seek more in the healthcare arena to seek out the more advanced training. The training will encompass more than the physical and go deeper in the layers – “Koshas” to find the distilled yoga practice that’s individualized to meet your unique needs. Mini-group, semi-privates are lovely way to start with trusted instructor/therapist who will provide customized “just for you” instructions over time that you can do at home for privacy but then join the group for connections, comraderie and community.
For example, what I feel called to specialize in are:
- Pre-post and during menopausal symptoms
- Prenatal and post natal recovery
- Exessive anxieties & negative thought patterns
- Burn-outs, stress management
- Nervous system haywires – shingles, sun&all strokes, surgery recovery
- Trauma & Grief recovery
Why did I get into it when I already taught just fine for 10 years at private and corporate gyms as a yoga instructor ? Why not remain that way? It’s fun to hold space – really enjoyed the lesson plan, the playlist making, the props placements … just lovely time. But why walk away? (You can do both – yes, many do – I’m just an idiot)
It’s because the students you meet in your class – students who showed up without any marketing on your part – those souls are lit with luminous light – and those souls are your ultimate Teacher in the collective.
Gratitude for the teachers in your life. They are the students. And if you are a parent, you get it. Your child is your ultimate Master Teacher.
Whatever the numbers and advance degrees/certifications, in the end, what ultimately matters is:
reflected by the efforts and genuine care that the teacher has. In the end, it does not matter if you have thousand hours or few hundreds … it’s the passion that matters most. And that passion may have flows and ebbs like ocean waves. Currently mine is ebbing in order to really care for others. But, surprised myself that I still have that “passion” only on low setting – when I’m ready to turn up the heat:
I will be back !