Why it’s important to have quality teachers at your studio, versus a large quantity of unqualified ones.
For Dora Gyarmati, the owner of Spira Power Yoga in West Seattle, it’s impossible to become a great yoga teacher in the span of just two or three months.
“There are so many teacher trainings out there that it is becoming corporate,” said Gyarmati. “ You push out as many trainings as possible, people want to get it done quickly, and I just disagree with that.”
To ensure the teachers at her studio have received the appropriate amount of training and education, Gyarmati offers a 200-Hour Teacher Training program that all teachers are required to take before making it onto the schedule. By doing things this way, the studio owner can ensure her teachers are quality instructors.
Spira Power Yoga’s 200 Hour Teacher Training program spans nine months and is registered with Yoga Alliance. Throughout those nine months, participants overview the history and psychology of yoga, sequences, and the program also includes 40 days of introspection.
“For me, what was really important is to read a lot of books in between,” said Gyarmati. “It is much more in depth because they have nine months of practice. They get to digest what it means to ‘live yoga.’ I think anyone can learn how to recite a sequence, but that is not the heart of yoga. The heart of yoga is developing an emotional intelligence with the life of what it means to be on a yoga path, and somehow be able to communicate that to your students — as well as being able to do a really good sequence.”
Gyarmati explained a benefit of the 200 Hour Teacher Training program is it provides her with peace of mind that she has the right teachers teaching within her studio. “I started my business hiring all over the place,” she said. “Then I eventually found that because forming community is so important and this is truly my family, I take it really to heart whom I hire. Human connection really matters. Our teachers get our community, and the best way to do that is to hire the people I train.”
Boasting quality teachers also has a marketing advantage. “If you look at our Yoga Alliance feedback and Yelp! feedback, we come up on all the reviews at the top,” said Gyarmati. “Even on Groupon, which is notorious for having hard reviews, we have 99 percent approval ratings. We have over 1,000 people who have reviewed us.”
Gyarmati cautioned the program does come with challenges, stating it is very energy and time consuming. But at the end of the day, it’s worth it for studio owners wishing to ensure they offer quality teachers.
“Because [the training] is nine months long, I really get to know them and figure out who I have that trust and chemistry with that would be a good long-term investment in to train as a teacher,” said Gyarmati.