Does a Heap of Certificates Make a Yoga Practice?
There’s a marked difference between yoga and the predominantly urban and consumerist culture that has developed around yoga. That difference is evident in cases when certain characteristics of yoga are reframed to fit the “fast food mentality” of instant gratification that is prevalent nowadays.
One example: people who are fixated on the mythical “Perfect Yoga Body” who miss the point of loving and respecting your body through yoga.
Another example: people who take a two or three (sometimes even one!) month instructor certification program for bragging rights instead of working and growing with time and experience to discover the wisdom within your body through yoga.
Here’s a little food for thought: would you trust a doctor or a lawyer who finished their training and became licensed between one and three months? Probably not, and likewise, there are subtleties that take time for your mind and muscle memory to absorb when practicing yoga, as well as the teachings and principles that go with the Yogic path.
Practice, Not Privilege
As anyone who has pulled an all-nighter during university years before an exam can tell you, not a lot can be retained in a short time, and just because one has a certificate or passes an exam, the proof is in the proverbial pudding, that is to say, the skills of the one practicing yoga.
If anything, at times, getting a yoga certificate isn’t a sign of prestige, but rather of privilege to be able to pay several thousand U.S. dollars for a piece of paper. Some of the most talented yoga instructors you will meet throughout India, Bali, Indonesia, and Siem Reap, Cambodia are all proudly self-taught from books and DVDs. But your mileage may vary, because many of them utilize the resource of time to hone and practice on their own and have learned to be in harmony with their bodies.
Consistency and Standards
One path for the student of yoga is to indeed use books and videos for your own learning, which is one of the benefits of using Yogasync. Whether you use it to teach yourself or as a way to supplement your practice by engagement with people in the community through recipes that are part of the Pranic diet, alternate sequences to popular sets, you’ll have heaps of interaction that simply does not happen in a fast food-like model for yoga instructor certification environments. Best of all, there is more consistency than what you would get looking through YouTube videos of varying quality of instruction.
So whether a teacher has a certificate in yoga or you are learning from videos, ultimately, you should discern based off of how skilled an instructor is and how good you feel energetically around a teacher, in person or online. The certificate does not indicate someone is a great teacher, how well they know their yoga and how well they are able to help you better understand yoga are what is important.
Listen to The Real Authority: Your Body
So as always, the ultimate deciding factor shouldn’t be who is certified or where they are certified, but your own body—your body knows what it can handle, and we’re not just talking about your physical body, but your mental body, which can separate the nonsense from the wisdom.
Yogasync Me! Confused about all this talk of Body and Mind Wisdom? Check out this free video from Yoga.org.nz founder Al Hall and Yogasync model Sarsha Hope