It’s summer, which means most yoga studios are gearing up to begin their summer sessions of yoga teacher trainings. However, throughout the past few years I’ve started to hear from more yoga studios and clients that they are struggling to fill their trainings. If this sounds like you, it might be time to take your yoga teacher training to the next level.
The past five years of offering yoga teacher trainings globally, conducting trainings audits, and working with teachers and studios to design well-rounded teacher trainings, are just a few things you can do to level up your yoga teacher training this summer.
Alright, this first tip is probably the hardest, but also the most effective. If you really want to level up your yoga teacher trainings you might have to be vulnerable.
Reach out to all of your former graduates and ask them to take five to ten minutes to share their honest experience about training with you. Ask them real and open ended questions. You can do this a few ways, either by having them fill out an anonymous survey, you can talk to them on the phone, or in person.
People will be more than willing to share their honest feedback, you just have to ask. Will it be hard? It sure will! Will it give you insight into how to level up your training? Absolutely!
Another way to look objectively at your course, is to hire someone to do an audit of your course. This person should be an extremely experienced yoga instructor that has a strong track record for offering incredible and well-filled trainings.
Have this person look at your entire course, and I mean everything, and have them do an audit and come back with a report on what they think you should be doing differently, and have tangible action steps for you to take to improve on your training, and grow your enrollment.
There are many business coaches out there that will offer this service, and would be willing to run an audit on your course, just make sure you do your research and you find someone that is reputable.
Having a training that primarily focuses on the physical poses, alignment, and learning Sanskrit terms for the poses is one of the biggest mistakes that I see in 200-hour trainings.
Yes, asanas and the physical aspect of yoga is extremely important, and without a comprehensive knowledge of the physical practice, alignment, cues, and sequencing it is nearly impossible to teach a yoga class, but the issue appears when that is all we are teaching. I have had students come to me with a 200-hour training already under their belt that had never heard of the 8 Limbs of Yoga.
They thought it was just asana and that was it. When I hear students tell me this it honestly makes me more sad than anything, because for many the true magic of yoga resides in the other seven limbs and the asana is simply a vehicle for the body, and if we don’t share this with teachers how can they share it with students?
Going back to the roots of yoga, and remember what made it special for you will give you insight into what you need to add to your training. Remember, all eight limbs and that they all equally make up the practice of yoga. Incorporating these limbs and infusing your classes and trainings with elements of breath, meditation, even the Yamas and Niyamas creates more depth and understanding of the practice, and it takes teaching to a whole new level.
Focusing too fully on one limb creates unbalanced trainings and one that does not truly teach how to practice yoga in it’s entirety. If we do not learn all eight limbs we will never truly learn how yoga can be a way of living life and not just moving your body.
If you’re a studio owner, chances are this one will be easy because you probably already have teachers on staff that are proficient in different styles. One of the first things that I do when I’m working with a studio on their training or with a teacher that is trying to expand their offerings I ask them about other styles they teach or are offered at their studio. Even if your yoga teacher training is one specific style, like Vinyasa, it’s not the only style that exists.
Offer style highlights or even electives in your teacher trainings in other styles such as Restorative, Yin, Meditation, Ashtanga or even kids. Reach out to your staff that you know have been trained in other styles and ask if they would be willing to come and share that style with your trainees one afternoon, incorporating knowledge of different styles will enrich your training, inspire your trainees, and make you stand apart.
There is also the potential that these elective could turn into stand-alone weekend trainings, where you can grow your teacher knowledge and your business revenue.
I personally have had dozens of students that have reached out to me specifically because they are looking for an accredited program or they already took a training that was not accredited and now they can’t find a job because their program isn’t recognized.
I am the first to admit that going through the registration and accreditation process is somewhat time consuming, and it feels like just another hoop to jump through, but in the end it will better serve you and your students. The accreditation process will also give you ideas on where you might have gaps in your training or where you’re spending too much time in your curriculum.
I have also found that offering specialty trainings has been one of the best ways to grow my teacher audience and grow my business revenue, and be able to share what I love with fellow teachers. Of course something that makes your training unique and unlike any other is because it is taught by you. That is something that cannot be recreated, or taught, but simply is part of the magic of your training.
So, no matter how you choose to level up your teacher training don’t forget why you started running trainings in the first place, and keep the parts of the training that are uniquely you there because that’s something no one else can offer.