Recently, I’ve been coming across articles by zealous Yoga teachers stating that the world doesn’t need more freshly baked colleagues. There are already too many, and so many studios are being forced to close their doors, no one’s making any money, whine, whine, blah blah.
Honestly, I can’t hear it anymore. We very well do need more Yoga teachers to follow in the footsteps of those teaching now – what’s with the blasé attitude? Shouldn’t everyone have the chance to change themselves and the world through Yoga? If the desire is there to share the teachings mindfully? There are far too few truly good and heart-full teachers out there.
We live in a nicely manicured dream world. Take a look around, especially here in Germany. We desperately need more Yoga teachers! When I’m travelling, which is frequently these days, I get a sense of how small the Yoga community is, and how ugly the world can be outside of the Yoga-cosmos (granted, it can be ugly within that cosmos as well). Hate, envy and resentment rule the world.
If every new Yoga teacher can help to raise awareness for Yoga, peace, meditation and mindfulness in her local community – my gosh, how wonderful!
However, we need Yoga teachers who elevate their mission in this way – not ones who are just out to grace the cover of the next issue of Yoga Journal.
It’s the responsibility of Yoga teacher-trainers to clearly transmit this difference in intention. They should take great care not to unleash a horde of idiots on the Yoga students of the world. Maybe the occasional aspiring Yoga teacher should flunk the test. And maybe practicing teachers should be re-tested regularly. After all, not every moron passes the naturopathy test. It’s a big responsibility.
Yoga teacher trainings have changed substantially in the past 20 years, with a significant increase in quality along the way – with some exceptions of course. Generally, I’m surprised and impressed by what the young teachers I meet can deliver. We shouldn’t discourage anyone who wants to embark on this journey. And a fear of competition is a terrible companion along the way – all Yoga teachers should remind themselves of this.
Still, maybe it’s better not to throw the baby out with the bathwater, and to keep the day job in the beginning. Teach Yoga 1-2 times a week. That way we work to avoid the oversaturation of Yoga teachers out there. It all takes some time and patience. Only very few teachers can live off of their teaching salary alone without burning out. Still, not a reason to skip out on becoming a Yoga teacher. If you’re smart about it, you’ll be a happy teacher with even happier students.
So, if the calling is there to take the journey towards becoming a Yoga teacher, first give a listen – is it just about you? Or are you truly interested in creating positive change? And then take mindful steps to follow your calling.