Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
cheyb

Leading a yoga session without certification

7 posts in this topic

Good morning, everyone! I have a question about leading a yoga session without having your teacher cert.

 

***Disclaimer: I am coming here with this question because I absolutely do not want to be irresponsible or put someone at risk for injury! I just love yoga and want to get my feet wet teaching to see if it is something I would enjoy.

 

The area I live in has not quite jumped on the yoga bandwagon. Most of the classes available are offered in gyms and are multi-level inclusive (not that that's a bad thing, but classes on specific types of yoga, workshops, etc. are in short supply). So, I have always practiced yoga on my own, using supplemental materials such as the YBC blog, videos, and now, Namaslay. I've been thinking about getting my teacher cert., to make yoga more accessible in my area, but am currently a stay at home mom with a small child, so that's not in the cards for me at this point in my life.

Lately, I've been toying with the idea of perhaps leading a small group in informal sessions such as at the park on the weekends (I would make it clear that I am not certified). There would be no charge for the sessions, and it would mainly be a way for a small group of people to come together and experience a "basic" yoga flow. However, without my certification, I don't want to be irresponsible and I also don't want to be held liable on the off chance that an injury takes place (I saw some posts on yoga teacher insurance.) I guess what I am basically asking is this: 1. Is it irresponsible to lead a session (I don't want to call it a class since I'm not certified) without certification? and 2. Could I be held liable for any potential injury?

 

I appreciate any thoughts/comments. Thanks, and enjoy your day!

YogaByCandace and YogiAshley like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good question.

I've been practicing for a couple of years, taking two classes on the weekend and working out on my own during the week at my office complex' gym. Last year, I invited a couple of co-workers to join me. They were less experienced than me (or is it I...I hate those two...I always get confused which one it is) and neither took formal classes, so I was the teacher.

I weighed the question you are asking. They clearly understood that I was not a formal teacher. I worried about liability, to the point of printing out a standard exercise disclaimer...but didn't do anything with it.

As long as you're not charging them, disclose your level of expertise and you have a relationship with them so you both understand the full nature of your lessons...I don't think it's irresponsible. It's no worse than going for a run and advising them to hold their arms in a way that there's not excessive swinging, etc.

But you have to know your trainees. I wouldn't engage with complete strangers as you might trip across someone litigious. 

Others will chime in, but when I asked @YogaByCandace the very same question and she was okay with how I handled it.

On the plus side...it was a lot of fun and they benefited greatly.

YogaByCandace, YogiAshley and cheyb like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I posted my code of ethics here. You can have a look and see if you find some guidance from that.

 1.01 Scope of Practice
(a) Yoga teachers/therapists provide services, teach, train student teachers/therapists, consult and conduct research with populations and in areas only within the boundaries of their competence, based on their education, training, supervised experience, consultation, study or professional experience.

Supervised experience kind of stands out there.

cheyb and YogaByCandace like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi cheyb!

First of all, the simple fact you ask the question (in the forum and to yourself) means you aren't not irresponsible.

I think if you do it with friends just to see if you like to teach before doing a teacher training, it's ok. You know we also do that when we are in a teacher training. When I was in my training, I was teaching a private class to one of my friends every week. I was not paid and she knew I had no certification but I needed to train myself and to be in teaching conditions to learn to explain the postures in English (which is not my mother tongue). Another girl in the training was doing the same with her boyfriend. If this is with people who know you and trust you and you need it to make sure you really wanna become a yoga teacher it's not bad.

But if you want to teach a regular session, even with a small group, I think it's better to get a certificate. Because the basics of yoga are the most difficult to teach like adho mukha svanasana or Utthita trikonasana or virabhadrasana, etc. These are some poses you find in every yoga class for beginners but these are some of the most difficult to explain (more difficult than crow pose for example). Most of all, being a teacher is more than teaching, a teacher is kind of a therapist for some students who come with an injury or a cancer or different personal issues.

Do you know it is possible to do teacher training by correspondance courses ? I don't know how it works but it does exist. Maybe it would be a good option for you if you really want your diploma but you can't leave your kid (which is understandable). If you really want to get this diploma, you will find a way, I'm sure. Maybe ask some help to Universe, during your meditation ? Also, if you have some doubts, let me tell you the teacher training will motivate you more and more to become a teacher. You'll go deeper and deeper into yoga so it's really amazing and you want to share all of this with the entire world haha.

So, in my opinion, it's fine if you teach yoga to relatives, friends, maybe workmates (without being paid) to make sure you enjoy to teach. But I would advice you to get a diploma if you want to promote your class/session and teach to groups and strangers.

I hope my answer helped ?

cheyb, YogaByCandace and YogiAshley like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep, I think it's ok provided you don't teach what you don't know, you make it really clear you're not certified, and do it with friends rather than promote it as a class. <3 

 

@LarryD517 - Somewhat unrelated, but I always wondered about me vs I and my cousin explained it really well. If you can chop off the other person from the sentence and your pronoun you're using for yourself makes sense, then it's right. For example - Jenny and me are going to the store. That's wrong because if I say "Me is going to the store" it doesn't make sense. So it has to be Jenny and I are going to the store. If I say, The teacher demonstrated crow pose to Jenny and I, it wouldn't work because "The teacher demonstrated crow pose to I" doesn't make sense. So in that case, it would have to be The teacher demonstrated crow pose to Jenny and me. :) The more ya know!

YogiAshley and cheyb like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, YogaByCandace said:

...

@LarryD517 - Somewhat unrelated, but I always wondered about me vs I and my cousin explained it really well. If you can chop off the other person from the sentence and your pronoun you're using for yourself makes sense, then it's right. For example - Jenny and me are going to the store. That's wrong because if I say "Me is going to the store" it doesn't make sense. So it has to be Jenny and I are going to the store. If I say, The teacher demonstrated crow pose to Jenny and I, it wouldn't work because "The teacher demonstrated crow pose to I" doesn't make sense. So in that case, it would have to be The teacher demonstrated crow pose to Jenny and me. :) The more ya know!

Hmmm...okay, let me see if me got it right (LOL)... if I said "I went to an incredibly amazing workshop lead by @YogaByCandace this weekend, which I learned a lot of new stuff and had a wonderful time. I can't wait for the next workshop!!"

that would be correct, right??

YogaByCandace and YogiAshley like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all so much for your input! All of you gave such great advice. I may check into correspondence classes like YogiKris suggested, and in the meantime, perhaps I can manipulate my husband into letting me work with him ;) Thanks again, to all of you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0