So what qualifications do I have to teach Yoga?
I am a British Wheel of Yoga Diploma holder. I qualified in 2009 and have been teaching ever since!
What is the Diploma and how much training is involved?
The British Wheel of Yoga Diploma is a recognised teaching qualification and is on the NVQ framework at level 3/4. It equates to a level 3 Teaching Certificate in the Adult Education sector .
To be accepted on to the teacher training course students must have been practising Yoga for at least 2 years (I had been practicing for 10!) and must also complete the British Wheel of Yoga Foundation Course first. That‘s nine months of study before you even begin! The Diploma course last 3 years and covers techniques such as asana, breathing and relaxation as well as the study of anatomy and physiology, general teaching techniques and Yoga philosophy . Written work and live teaching practices are continually assessed throughout and the student must also provide evidence of regular attendance at Yoga classes . Once the course is complete the work is externally verified and the student is then classed as a qualified teacher. As you can see I’ve spent a long time and a great deal of effort training to teach Yoga safely and effectively!
Once qualified, teachers often go on to specialise and I've done further training as a Gentle Somatic Yoga Teacher and have just completed my level 2 qualification . I am registered as a student teacher for "Yoga for Healthy Backs" - a qualification based on clinical trials which evidenced the efficacy of Yoga in handling back pain and approved by "Arthritis UK" . I'm hoping to run a course sometime soon to complete my qualification.
I’ve also completed the Yoga in Healthcare Alliance training programme which is an evidence based protocol evaluated by the University of Westminster for people with a variety of health conditions. I’m hoping to set that course up soon and will be approaching GP’s and Clinical Commissioning Groups for referrals. Please see the Yoga 4 Healthcare tab for more details,.
I recently made the decision to switch my main teaching membership to Independent Yoga Network (IYN) a Yoga organisation made up teachers from a variety of different backgrounds and “schools” which support the ethics of Ahimsa (non harming) Satya (truthfulness ) and Swadhyaya (Self reflection) . It also promotes high standards of training , co-operation and diversity. I still remain an “ordinary” member of the British Wheel.
While there are also other reputable organisations offering in depth Yoga teacher training programmes there is actually no legal requirement in the UK for Yoga teachers to do any formal qualifications at all . So in theory anyone can set up a class and there are things out there like 20 hour on line courses or fitness instructor "add ons" for people who have never actually practised Yoga at all ! Would you put yourself in the hands of someone with so little experience or training?
So even if you go to someone else's classes please don't be shy - ask the teacher about their background and qualifications. Anyone worth their salt will be more than happy to tell you!
NB I am also DBS checked and hold a current Level 3 Safeguarding Adults certificate