Continuing on the questions that came in around getting certified as a kids yoga teacher.
When it comes to getting certified to teach kids yoga the ideal would be to have Yoga Teacher certification. I could write pages on what this means and there are many commentaries on what this means so I’ll keep my opinions about it as brief, well – as brief as possible.
We’re in a new era. The thousand year old tradition of Yoga used to be study with a Yoga Teacher/Master/Guru, the passing on of technique, and the transmitting of Universal truths, the timeless wisdom of the Ages. In this way teachings were established, lost, and sometimes misinterpreted.
Old School Teacher Training
For some students it would take years before their Guru told them teach, for others it would happen in a day. There were no set number of hours for certification and in those remote caves and monasteries, forests and farms, the Guru sculptured the student until they were ready.
Then yoga came to the west and people began to question how this system could ever translate here. Some people were holding yoga teacher certifications in a weekend and some took years. Is this fair? How do we know if they are good or not?
The Movement for Regulations in Yoga Teacher Training
Then, a movement began to create a standard for yoga teachers. I remember hearing about it at the Kundalini Yoga retreats while it was happening, and it didn’t sound like an easy process. It involved many lineages of yoga coming together and agreeing on a number of hours (200 for level 1), a curriculum (see here), and a structure. In September 1999 Yoga Alliance began registering teachers based on standardized training. These standards are spreading all over the world.
It can be hard to get a yoga teaching job if you aren’t certified, unless you offer yoga in your home to people who just want to learn from you.
Kids Yoga Has No Special Requirements for Yoga Teachers
As far as I know, there are no extra standards for teaching kids yoga. And I’m not going to suggest it to anyone!
The Cost of Getting Certified and Becoming a Teacher Trainer
When I was certified (1998) by KRI, before the registry was in place, my teacher training course cost about $1200. Now, a 200 Hour course costs between $3,000 – $5,000. On top of that your Yoga Alliance registration costs $110 the first year and $55 – $400 (if you want to train others as a registered school) to renew each year. (I have never bothered to register with Yoga Alliance, but have looked into it as more people are asking about it).
My Kundalini Yoga Teacher’s Association dues in 2009 were $68 (US) per year (at least I get a profile page on this site).
If you want to meet the standards to become a teacher trainer registered with Yoga Alliance, you have to have advanced training at the 500 level. In Kundalini yoga it could cost you another $5,000 – 8,000 in tuition. But that doesn’t automatically allow you to be a yoga teacher trainer. There is a whole other apprenticing process on top of it.
I think other styles of yoga may be less/more costly and regulated. If you know leave a comment.
Become a Certified Yoga Teacher, But if you can’t…
Of course I recommend that everyone who wants to teach children’s yoga become a certified yoga teacher. But if you are making $10 an hour working at a daycare and want to introduce children’s yoga for fifteen minutes during your circle, or a school teacher who wants to do yoga for a break in the classroom, or a parent meditating to help kids build their concentration and reduce their stress, there are safe ways to do kids yoga until you have the opportunity to become certified.
For me, the important thing is to introduce kids to yoga in a safe and fun way, so they grow up enjoying exercise and meditation which in turn can lead to greater joy in life. I don’t think certification can guarantee this, it is up to the teacher to teach what they know and to be safe and have fun doing it.