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Ny name is Sunny Keach anu I am the co-founuei of Asheville Yoga Centei. It's my
goal heie to answei some of the most common questions about finuing anu
attenuing a yoga teachei tiaining piogiam.
As the ownei of a yoga stuuio that offeis aiounu a uozen teachei tiainings a yeai,
I've gotten to know many teachei tiaining stuuents. Since 1997, we've hau
thousanus of stuuents shaie with us theii conceins, questions anu issues aiounu
attenuing a teachei tiaining. Thiough this I've gotten to witness fiist hanu the
unceitainty, feai anu sometimes anguish ielateu to the uecision of wheie anu if to
attenu a teachei tiaining piogiam.
0ui stuuio also offeis auvanceu stuuies anu Suuhi yoga ceitifications. These
piogiams aie the next step aftei a teachei has alieauy attenueu a 2uuhi
ceitification, with us oi at anothei stuuio. Bue to this fact, I've been able to ask about
othei teachei tiainings oui stuuents have attenueu all ovei the woilu. We've heaiu
the goou anu the bau. We've hau stuuents leave othei piogiams in teais to come
attenu ouis. In shoit, I'm in a unique position to shaie with you what I know about
yoga teachei tiainings.
Because I coulu see how oveiwhelmeu some stuuents felt while making such an
impoitant uecision, I wanteu to put togethei this guiue to help sheu some light on
yoga teachei tiainings. We answei many of the same questions ovei anu ovei again
piioi to someone signing up with us foi tiaining, so it wasn't uifficult to cull out the
most wanteu info.
It's impoitant to unueistanu that just because you take a teachei tiaining it uoesn't
necessaiily mean that you want to teach. We have many stuuents that just aim to
ueepen theii piactice. Whethei you aim to teach oi just tiansfoim youi life foi the
bettei, this guiue will help you along youi path to yoga. Feel fiee to contact us at any
time with auuitional questions.
Sunny Keach
Asheville Yoga Centei Teachei Tiaining Institute

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"Reauy foi what." most people will ask.
Let's stait with what a yoga teachei tiaining is. Theie is the obvious: You will leain
much moie about yoga anu how to teach yoga. With a quick inteinet seaich you can
finu cuiiiculum to a piogiam. Beie is an example.
What is less obvious anu haiu to explain is the giowth, iealizations anu connections
that you will make in a well uiiecteu yoga teachei tiaining. At the enu of eveiy one
of oui teachei tiainings we go aiounu in a ciicle anu shaie what we got fiom the
tiaining. What you geneially heai is how much they will miss the expeiience anu
people. Bow much they've giown anu iealizeu. Bow much has changeu in theii lives,
foi the bettei, in such a shoit time. Bow they've oveicome a feai oi peiceiveu
shoitcoming. Anu piobably most impoitantly anu fiequently: Bow they leaineu to
love, appieciate anu accept themselves unconuitionally.
This is a pietty common theme in teachei tiainings anu not just ouis. Bow can this
be. Is that what they hau in minu when they signeu up.
The ieason this happens is because of the immeision into a yoga anu meuitation
piactice. Things get cleaiei. It gets haiuei to not look at something going on with
you. You get the suppoit you neeueu to oveicome feais. I know all this can come
acioss as bolu statements. Consiuei this: Biu they teach you in school oi at home
how to hanule stiess. Bow to bieathe oi be awaie of youi bouy. Bow to eat anu
sleep anu think. Bow to giapple with negative self talk anu confiuence issues.
Foi most of us the answei is no. Well, yoga uoes auuiess all this. Yoga helps to peel
away the false, the unnecessaiy in oui lives. It helps us to become awaie of how we
talk to ouiselves anu how we allow otheis to talk to us. It can help us gain the
couiage to auuiess what is not seiving us anu gain the confiuence fiom those
Some of you have alieauy uiscoveieu this in a yoga piactice anu now want to shaie
it with otheis. Some have seen enough to know they want to leain moie. A teachei
tiaining - whethei you intenu to teach oi not - is a gieat place to take it much fuithei
than iegulai yoga classes evei will.
So, aie you ieauy. Aie you ieauy to ueepen youi piactice. Aie you ieauy foi the
changes associateu with that.
- Better stress management
- Better sleep
- More relaxed in life
- More confidence

- Healthier habits
- Fit yoga body
- Self love
- Increased compassion
- Better communication
- Full responsibility for your life
The list goes on. It comes uown to: Aie you ieauy to impiove youi life oi not. Aie
you ieauy to seive otheis.

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Feai is a big one. Feai is helpful; it keeps us alive anu piotects us fiom haim. It uoes
seive us, anu, it can also hinuei us, especially when it's feai of something we
imagine. Nost of the feais aiounu whethei to go to a teachei tiaining aie imagineu
feais. Euucating youiself is a gieat way to oveicome them.
Beie aie some common feais associateu with attenuing a teachei tiaining.
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This is an easy feai to oveicome. Ask questions. Call piospective teachei tiaining
centeis anu ask to speak to the piogiam uiiectoi. Ask all the questions you can come
up with anu then call back latei anu ask moie. uet cleai on all of them. Talk to any
anu all yoga teacheis you can finu. Ask them eveiything you can think of about theii
teachei tiaining. Wheie uiu they go. What was goou anu bau. What uiun't they
leain they wish they hau. What was the best thing they leaineu. Bow uiu it help
them in theii life off the yoga mat. Etc. etc. Bon't woiiy about bugging them. You
aie about to give them youi money, make suie you aie going to get what you want.
If they uon't have the time to talk to you, you may want to move on.
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This is a veiy common feai. Something about oui cultuie, at least heie in the 0S,
instills this feai in many people. I've ceitainly giappleu with it. It helps me to take it
out to the extieme. What is the woist that will happen. The veiy woist. In youi
vision of the veiy woist, aie you ueau. Aie you homeless anu living on the stieet,
begging. If so, how likely is this ieally. Tiy that exeicise. Imagine the veiy woist
that coulu happen, then answei this question. Bow bau woulu that ieally be, in the
veiy unlikely event that youi woist feais weie to come tiue. Coulu you iecovei
fiom it.

Aie you afiaiu you will fail out of the piogiam. uuess what. We've nevei faileu
anyone out of oui piogiams. People have left. We've encouiageu people to leave
when it was just cleai it wasn't a fit. Bon't let that feai stop you. It is veiy unlikely
that a piogiam won't woik with you. Ask if you have specific feais about youi
capabilities. Euucate youiself.
Aie you afiaiu you will fail as a teachei. You will show up to teach uay aftei uay anu
no one will come to youi class. Eveiyone will hate you. Suie this is a scaiy
pioposition. But one thing is foi suie: No stuuents will show up if you nevei get up
theie to teach. uoing thiough a gieat teachei tiaining piogiam helps to eliminate
the possibility of nevei having a stuuent. You will gain confiuence. You will gain
skills. You will gain knowleuge. You will leain how to maiket youiself. We will give
you the tools you neeu to teach.
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I think we owe oui capitalistic society foi this feai. Well, not ieally capitalism,
auveitising is the ieal culpiit. In oiuei to sell things, companies neeu to make us feel
like we aie missing them in the fiist place. We get this message ovei anu ovei anu
ovei again oui whole lives, until we leain to tune it out anu see it foi the folly it tiuly
0n oui applications foi teachei tiaining, we see lots of iepoits of negative self-talk.
We seem to love to beat ouiselves up about oui peiceiveu shoitcomings.
Beie is the gieat thing about yoga teachei tiainings. They help you oveicome this
self-talk. Quieting the minu in yoga anu meuitation makes that self-talk all that much
moie noticeu. Awaieness is key. You can then leain to question it, uialog with it,
tuin it uown anu tune it out. It's all about having the tools anu making the choices.
We have some gifteu teacheis on oui staff, who in the piocess of a teachei tiaining
help guiue stuuents into theii shauow stuff anu give them tools to woik with it.
Watching the tiansfoimations in people is absolutely wonueiful.
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Consiuei that many of the woilu's most successful people have faileu many moie
times than they have succeeueu. Tiy to see failuie as leaining. It's not so much
failing, as leaining anothei way it uiun't woik. That's ieally a success! You aie one
step closei to achieving youi goal. The only time you can ieally fail is if you give up
foi goou. So uon't give up. Bon't give up on youi uieams. Bon't give up on you. Bon't
give up on the otheis you coulu be seiving as a yoga teachei.

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This will uepenu on you. I encouiage you to answei some questions, maybe foiming
a checklist of uesiiable chaiacteiistics foi a piogiam.
What are your goals? Teach or just deepen knowledge and practice?
Is there a certain style of yoga you are really drawn to and convinced thats the
only style you want to learn and teach?
Do you want to travel or stay local?
What are your local choices?
Where did your favorite teachers go to study?
Evaluate yourself, and find schools that will cater to who you are. Do you gravitate
towards ancient texts, strict traditions, new age thinking, down to earth, loosey-
goosey, book learner, hands-on learner, etc. etc.
Do you prefer small groups? Does the school cap class size?
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You shoulu be able to get to know the main teachei, staff oi uiiectoi befoie the
piogiam staits. Check out theii bio, Facebook page, etc. Check foi testimonials anu
ieviews. Iueally you can go to one of theii classes oi take a smallei woikshop with
them to get a feel foi who they aie anu if you woulu want to leain fiom them.
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Theie aie many styles oi tiauitions of yoga out theie anu many have teachei
tiainings associateu with them. Theie aie also othei teachei tiainings that offei an
eclectic cuiiiculum coveiing many styles so you can get an in-uepth feel foi each anu
fuithei youi stuuies aftei youi 2uuhi ceitification.
I will put a woiu of caution out theie. Bewaie of teachei tiainings that aie piiceu
extiemely high compaieu to otheis. I can think of two main styles with piicing
aiounu the 0S$1u,uuu to $1S,uuu maik. This is 4-S times highei than most othei
tiainings. Aie they that much bettei. In my opinion, no they aie not. Especially
when they ciam hunuieus of stuuents in a single tiaining.
I woulu also auvise being weaiy of veiy stiong peisonality teacheis oi highly
iuolizeu ones. Especially the male teacheis. Nany of them seem to let theii egos get
them into all soits of tioubles. You want to be able to appioach the teachei anu tiust
theii guiuance. Keep youi powei youis. You want a teachei that suppoits you
giowing in youi powei, not one that gets theii powei fiom you.
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You may have to tiavel, uepenuing on youi aiea. If you aie having tiouble tiying out
teacheis anu styles of yoga you may neeu to go on a yoga vacation wheie theie aie
lots of options. These uays any laige city shoulu uo. Though theie aie some yoga city
meccas. Asheville, NC has been calleu one. 0thei gieat yoga cities incluue: New Yoik,
Chicago, Santa Nonica, anu San Fiancisco. Really any laige, libeial, metiopolitan
aiea will uo.
Theie aie auvantages to uoing yoga tiaining, especially an immeision in a nice place
to visit. You will be taken out of youi noimal ioutine anu can focus on youi stuuies.
But when you uo have the uay off, you can get out anu cleai youi heau oi piactice
yoga in a beautiful place.
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Is the pioposeu school you aie contacting getting back to you in a couiteous anu
timely mannei. Aie youi questions being answeieu fully. Aie theii online ieviews
goou. Can you contact one of theii giaus thiough them.
I woulu also iecommenu going with an establisheu school. 0ne that has been at it a
while anu has giauuates that aie actually teaching. 0i bettei yet, opening theii own
stuuios anu teaching in yoga teachei tiainings themselves.

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Yoga Alliance sets stanuaius anu pioviues cieuentials that aie the piemiei foim of
iecognition foi yoga teacheis anu teachei tiaining piogiams in the 0S.
If you want to teach piofessionally in the 0S, then it's best to go to a Yoga Alliance
Registeieu school. In the eaily uays Yoga Alliance uiun't uo much. They weie
unueifunueu, the guiuelines weie pietty loose, anu they hau no ieal powei, but to
ueny a school iegistiation if theie weie too many complaints.
Things have changeu though, anu now iequiiements aie much stiictei foi schools.
Theie is also a gieat stuuent feeuback featuie now anu schools aie iateu. uiauuates
have to inuicate what they actually leaineu fiom a school in oiuei to get theii
iegisteieu teachei status.
If you aie not in the 0S, anu uon't plan to teach in the 0S, oi teach piofessionally
then you coulu go with a non Yoga Alliance iegisteieu school. }ust make suie you
check it out fully fiist, in the ways mentioneu above. Yoga Alliance uoes help to
ensuie to a uegiee you will be uealing with a piofessional institution.

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Can you make a living teaching yoga.
In a woiu, yes. To answei moie fully, that uepenus. 0n what, you say. Well, theie
aie many factois.
- Who you are
- How hard you are willing to work with little pay at first
- Where you are
- What the market is like where you teach
- If you have a niche or something that makes you stand out in a crowded market
- Your marketing skills
- Your confidence
- Your experience
- Fate, dumb luck, open to opportunities
Theie aie many ways to go about teaching.
- At an established studio
- In your home
- At a gym, church, hospital, corporation, cruise ship, retreat center, outdoors, etc.
I'm acutely awaie of how much yoga teacheis make because I sign the paychecks.
Well, oui bookkeepei uoes now, but you get the point. I know fiisthanu some
teacheis make gieat money. They teach solely foi theii income anu uo veiy well. I
also know some teacheis stiuggle with theii teaching anu have othei jobs to pay the
bills. Top yogis aie pulling in ovei a million uollais a yeai. This is obviously not
staiting pay!
I can shaie with you some chaiacteiistics of yoga teacheis that uo well financially.
- They create an experience
- Theyve been at it a while, consistency pays off with regular students
- They are special or unique in some way
- They are not afraid to put it out there
- They keep it positive, they dont complain to the class or berate themselves

- They hold themselves as a teacher, an expert, someone that knows - more than
you likely - and is willing to share it with you
- They do their homework, they come prepared
- They show up on time
- They teach often
- They lead workshops
- They teach in yoga teacher trainings
- They are professionals
- They teach in areas where there are plenty of students.
Will you be all these things fiesh out of tiaining. Piobably not. Can you become all
these things in time. You ceitainly can.
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As fai as how yoga stuuios pay teacheis, I belong to a piivate Facebook gioup of 4Su
stuuio owneis. We shaie with each othei how we pay oui teacheis. It's all ovei the
boaiu. It uepenus wheie you aie anu what kinu of tiaffic is coming thiough the
stuuio. You can get paiu by the class ($1S-Su), by the peison ($2-$8), you can uo a
split with the stuuio, 7uSu to you fiom class income, anu many combinations of
these as well. uyms anu such will usually set a flat iate. If you aie staiting youi own
enteipiise, you can set the iate to whatevei the maiket will baie. In shoit theie is no
simple answei to this question. You coulu be a subcontiactoi anu have to pay youi
own taxes oi enu up on payioll anu have withholuing taxes taken out of youi checks.
Both happen.
Like many fielus anu new business ventuies you will have to woik youi way up the
totem pole. Beie is the goou news though. The peiks aie awesome. You get to
piactice anu teach yoga! You make a uiffeience in people's lives while impioving
youi own. Theie aie no bettei bunch of people than yoga teacheis, stuuio owneis
anu yoga piactitioneis. These aie youi cowoikeis anu clients. Anu many stuuios will
thiow in fiee yoga classes foi theii teacheis as well. Youi life will be impioveu in
many ways. Bouy, minu anu spiiit to name a few.

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Bo youi homewoik in the above sections. uet out theie anu talk to those that know.
Call stuuios anu ask questions. If theie is anything we can uo foi you please uon't
hesitate to call oi wiite.
Thanks foi youi time.

In seivice,
Sunny Keach
Asheville Yoga Centei Teachei Tiaining Institute