Most of us western yoga teachers have a similar path that looks something like this:
- We realize we are suffering (from an illness, anxiety, watching family age poorly, etc.)
- We find yoga and it helps us
- We want to share this amazing helpful thing called yoga with others
- We see our local studio has a yoga teacher training “YTT” and we decide to do it
- We become a yoga teacher
This is a common trajectory because teaching yoga class is an amazing thing to do — creating community and bringing the basic teachings to so many.
Our yoga therapy school is made up of yoga teachers. They teach or have taught small or large classes to the general public. Some own yoga studios, often running YTT’s at various levels. We are in an ongoing conversation about the realities of being a yoga teacher and we thought that we would share this perspective with you.
A yoga teacher wants to offer and support others (see #3 above). We develop relationships with our students and they often look to us for guidance. They may come up to us after class with questions about pain in their bodies, illnesses they are working with, mental health concerns, etc. And as a yoga teacher, our intention is to be useful, however, we likely have not been trained to provide advice for specific conditions. We got into the business of yoga to help and now we aren’t able to serve the way we want. We need training and a delivery system that’s different than a general yoga class.
In addition, teaching general yoga classes does not create sustainable income for most people. Sure, a small percentage of teachers in big studios can make a living but with so many teachers and so many studios, opportunities are on the decline, especially for new yoga teachers with little experience. Not to mention the pandemic and what this means for the future of live group classes.
So what should one do if they love yoga, are looking to make an impact by helping others, and need to make a living?
Becoming a Yoga Therapist fits the bill. A Yoga Therapist is trained to deliver the healing aspects of yoga, sharing this knowledge by educating people suffering from conditions ranging from pain syndromes, PTSD, autoimmune disease, mental health issues, and the list goes on. Yoga therapy is on the rise and public awareness has shifted. 15 years ago hardly anyone had heard of yoga therapy. Now we see Yoga Therapists working in hospitals, addiction centers, private practice, mental health and integrated health settings of all kinds because the yoga therapy model is a flexible one that allows us to help people find practices that reduce symptoms and expand their ability to take more control of their health outcomes.
Yoga therapy is also a more viable profession. We often charge by the hour the same way other similar integrative health care professions do similar to therapists, acupuncturists, massage therapists. We are able to set ourselves up to share yoga and help others while still creating a sustainable living for ourselves.
The Breathing Deeply Yoga Therapy School offers training that moves yoga practitioners through all of the stages toward becoming a Yoga Therapist. We have a comprehensive program combining online content with live sessions, providing a flexible, cost-effective experience for learning.
If you are looking to help others with the power of yoga, we encourage you to look at what we have to offer. Our community of Yoga Therapists is strong, vibrant, and serving those in need all over the world.
Yoga is a gift. Sharing yoga is a joy. Being a Yoga Therapist is sharing your love of yoga with those in need. It is a privilege and a practice in itself.
Are you ready to begin your yoga therapy studies and deepen your own practice?
A new class will be starting soon! Learn more about our yoga therapy programs.