My current certifications to teach are all through group fitness organizations. Even my yoga certification is through a company called YogaFit, which is geared toward fitness clubs. I didn’t pursue my 200-hr Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) certification through YogaFit, however, because I couldn’t get behind them 100%.
There’s nothing wrong with YogaFit. I just want to stress that. It’s a fantastic certification program, and it’s created a path for many yoga teachers to be trained to teach safe, effective yoga classes. My problem with YogaFit has nothing to do with the company’s quality. They’re great.
So what’s my problem, you ask? It’s that I can’t get past the idea that if I get my RYT through YogaFit, I’m always going to be committed to being a YogaFit teacher. I don’t want to be that committed to a brand when it comes to yoga. I don’t want to always do mountain pose with my feet hip-width apart, or Warrior I without looking up to raised hands. I don’t want every class I teach to follow their branded Mountain and Valley structure (though I admit I’ve found it very handy in learning how to structure an hour-long class). I don’t want to always say “we” and “our.” Sometimes it just sounds right to say, “Bring your foot forward,” I tell you. (Yes, you!)
I want to study lots of different styles, learn challenging poses and variations, and create class structures based on the needs of my students. I want to have the freedom to teach a vinyasa class one day, a hatha class the next, and a yin yoga or restorative class on weekends. I want to use language that sounds natural and that comes naturally.
So I ruled out YogaFit (and YogaWorks, for similar reasons), and now that I’ve been thinking about getting serious about my 200-hr RYT, I realize I’m being pretty judgmental. Not just about YogaFit, but about all the different styles I encounter. There are many, many yoga schools out there, and I find something I don’t quite like about almost all of them. In one, I think the guru is a bit of a narcissist. In another, I worry about the cult-like feel and how they go into Shoulderstand without much warm-up.
At some point, I’m going to have to pick one, or keep getting by on my low-level YogaFit cert. (And all that I learn from BodyFlow, which is a wealth of information, especially in technique.) I will have to practice a key part of yoga: acceptance. I’ll have to accept that I won’t agree with everything my teachers offer me, but that their experience is still far wider and deeper than my own. I will have to accept a little humility, and enter on to a path even if I’m not sure where it will end up.
I will have to accept that the journey may well be worth undertaking, even if I really, really hate some parts of said journey.
And isn’t that just life?