Did you know that for every yoga teacher that already exists, there are two more in yoga teacher training?
Trust me, I get it. You started yoga. Fell in love. The timing was right. The stars aligned. Now you're gonna start teaching.
I feel like I'm about to say a bunch of things I probably shouldn't say. Please note these are my personal thoughts on the industry as a whole, and that these assumptions* do not apply in all cases. These things I say are light-hearted and out of compassion. I love teaching yoga. I know it is a privilege, for someone like me, to be able to do this. I do not ever take that privilege for granted. And I love helping other teachers. With that said, I think we need less yoga teachers and more yoga do-ers.
I've taught in several studios and I can see how the allure of being a yoga teacher can be appealing. For some reason teachers tend to get placed on pedestals and deemed # more enlightened. Then of course there are the perks like wearing cool clothes and making playlist and becoming a staple of wellness for your community.
I've watched the industry closely for the last 5 years. I've seen how social media changed everything completely. Teaching yoga has turned into a popularity contest that only the most hashtag authentic could join. The indoctrination of becoming a teacher in this age boils down to being a petite, smiley and bubbly, trendy outfit wearing type (ya know, matching bra and leggings of course?!) What used to take years of dedication and practice, now was reduced to $5000 and a two week trip to Bali
The problem, in my opinion, is that we stopped creating yoga teachers and started creating yoga performers. Some schools of yoga could be likened to that of ballet or theater, with the strict choreography and rehearsed lines. It has become all about profit and making money. Get as many people in and out of the programs, as quickly as possible. Sell them merchandise and other crap they don't need. Yes, there may have been good intentions, love and light, but that doesn't always cut it.
Svadhyaya, or self study, is such an important part of the yoga practice. We have to constantly look within, examine and ask ourselves the hard questions. Why am I doing this? Why do I need to teach yoga? Is it to feed my ego? If so... probably time to get back on the mat.
“If you want to change the world, start with yourself.”
As admirable as it may be to want to teach yoga to help others, is it really necessary? Could you be of greater good by just being consistent in your own practice?