The Toronto Yoga Show Young Yoga Masters on Stage

What does it mean to be a Certified Teacher?
This post goes out to all those who are interested in becoming kids yoga teachers and also those who are looking for a kids yoga teacher. Both should remember: If you are wondering what to look for in a good course or teacher, start by looking at their reputation.

Just Because It’s Called Yoga Doesn’t Mean It Is
Here’s a little story that explains why: Every year at the Yoga Show in Toronto I’ve been part of A Childrens Yoga Network booth. And every year I’ve had at least one person come to vent about a person not actually authorized by IKYTA to train KY teachers but who managed to get registered with Yoga Alliance.
Every year I hear of how this “teacher trainer” has ripped people off in various ways. Now, I don’t actually know this person, but I have a couple of close friends who are among the disgruntled customers.Every year new people come with the same story of being scammed.Yes scamming is horrible and inexcusable and unethical. I heard this teacher was “under investigation” with Yoga Alliance, but somehow is still listed there now. He’s even moved to another part of the city and opened up under a new studio name. But his name has not changed.My question is: How can people put down thousands of dollars on yoga teacher training without doing any research?

Nothing Replaces Experience – So Use It
Yoga teachers
are being turned out by the thousands all over the place. Some are good teachers, some are great teachers, and some are under investigation. Whether you are looking for a course for yourself or hiring a kids yoga teacher don’t let yourself get pressured into something. Find out what you are getting in to.

What My Certificate of Kids Yoga Training Means
When I give a twelve hour kids yoga training course the certificate says that they have completed 12 hours of kids yoga training. If they follow the training they will have an effective curriculum with six weeks of kids yoga to teach and expand upon.

What My Certificate Does NOT Say
The certificate does not say whether the bearer is now a good yoga teacher. Nor does it say the bearer is of good character, has a clear criminal record, always treats kids with respect, or will follow the program. Find these things out. Most places that hire people to work with kids do a criminal reference check with the police. It is just standard procedure and is done by the organization so the results are sent to them – untampered.

 

Then evaluate the teacher’s abilities. Even with a great teacher, not every teacher fits with every studio, daycare or school. Not every student fits with every training course. Each has their own personality and philosophy.

 

Hiring a Yoga Teacher
If you are hiring a kids yoga teacher, you can start by doing a trial run of a few weeks. You’ll know, sometimes after one class, if you want to keep this teacher on board.

If you are thinking of taking a course, do your homework. The more time, money, and commitment it is, the more homework you will want to do.

One of the reason’s I started blogging was so people could get to know me through my posts. It helps me connect with others interested in kids yoga and helps them get to know what I stand for.

What do you know about your Teacher?
A website will show you the Teacher’s philosophy at its best and this is a starting point. Read their work and listen to what they have to say. Is there a connection? If so, then do some other investigation. If you’re going to invest a few thousand dollars, ask around about the course and check them out on-line. If it’s a 3 hour course you’re not risking much, but for a 300 hour course – you don’t want to waste your time.

Be Smart – Invest Wisely
I’m sure there are many who have had great experiences with the teacher I mentioned earlier and have no complaints at all. In the end we live and learn with the choices we’ve made and often they propel us to learn something so deeply we grow with all the fertilizer we’ve acquired!

And sometimes we can save ourselves hassle by learning from others mistakes.

Check out my upcoming course on Teaching Kids Yoga and join us if you want.

Upcoming Dates

Toronto Weekend Certifications: 2018-2019

Location: Dovercourt House, Toronto Canada

  • Sat. - Sun. Oct. 26-27, 2019 - Family Yoga (4 Hours), Teaching Yoga to Kids (School Age) (8 Hours), Chakras for Children (4 Hours)

12 Day Summer Intensive Certification July 14-26, 2019

Location: Art Gallery of Burlington, Ontario, Canada

  • July 16-17, 2019 Kids Yoga, Family Yoga, and Chakras for Children (16 Hour Certificate)

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4 Comments
  1. FYI – I have noticed that they are now holding classes in Windsor as well. Same outfit as in Toronto.

  2. This comment got me thinking about the times I’ve been “duped.” I realize sometimes it happens regardless of how much “research” you do. Sometimes there is no way to prevent it, there are battles we have to fight, no matter what.

    So – here’s to facing our battlefields – an homage to the Bhagavad Gita!

  3. Dear Kar – your experiences are an eye opener for others.

    Another friend of mine also lost lots of money too. He calls it the “tuition for the lesson I learned.”

    I’m glad it didn’t deter you from becoming a teacher in the end.

    Way to perservere! That is truly yoga.

    Aruna

  4. I just wanted to comment on this post regarding Certification, etc.
    I am one of the former students of the other school mentioned in your post. I have to agree about the scam going on there. “Buyer Beware” is a definate, which I didn’t heed, unfortuantely. I lost LOTS of money with that school, but I did learn some valuable lessons along the way.

    I would like to speak to why I chose to go to that school. I called a few different schools to get information on their classes, etc. This was the ONLY one that returned my calls, and the person on the phone made the program sound very convincing. Also, when I didn’t want to sign up right away, they would call back a couple of weeks later to see if I was still interested. The person was extremely patient, informative and convincing. Also, a big point here, is that the school was relatively close geographically to me, which made it seem like a good choice. Unfortunately, I didn’t do my due diligence and check them out online like I should have. If I did, I would have found the complaints about this place.

    I took a trip to Toronto to visit the school about a month before I was to begin classes, and the place seemed to be fine…nice sized rooms, clean, the staff that showed me around seemed friendly. But, there was one thing that I should have picked up on more than I did, and that was that the “very nice” person that I’d previously spoken to on the phone wasn’t so nice at all when I met her in person. Ok, maybe she was having a bad day. After attending the school for some time, I understood much better what was going on.
    So, I, as MANY others, too, was somehow convinced to spend my money at this school. Let me say that they are ALL EXTREMELY good salespersons there.

    I don’t know of anyone that I took classes there with who has graduated with a certificate of any type. And I do keep in contact with several of the students.

    What I have taken from that experience is that I need to do research before spending my money on any yoga schooling. Also, if it doesn’t feel right, trust my gut feelings (which, ironically, is one thing that this school stressed…and then told us that it was our fault and that we were wrong, when anything was questioned by us about the school, etc.)

    I did learn some valuable teachings of Kundalini, but it wasn’t stressed much about Yogi Bhajan, considering the teachings were handed down from him. I learned some valuable philosophy, but it was mainly from outside instructors who were not Kundalini practicioners.

    I did get my 200 hour certification, but it was not from this school and it is not in Kundalini. It is in a Vinyasa style. I now teach (incorporating some Kundalini into my classes as well) and I enjoy it and so do my students. I feel that I am a good teacher, but there is always room for more learning to become better at what I do.

    All in all, I have to agree, do your homework, figure out what style of yoga you are interested in teaching and pursue that. Go with your gut. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t get caught up in it. Getting certified is great, but you need to know how to present the teachings so that you can help people and not injure them, while keeping them interested.

    Be awake and aware as you do your searching. It will pay off if you do!

    Kar