I am a group fitness coordinator and my yoga and pilates instructors all have different certifications. Many say they do not have to renew. However, these are seasoned instructors. What do most fitness centers require?
There are SO many different types of classes. For example, what is an instructor just wants to teach TRX or Zumba or a barre type class. What is required for each?
OK, where to start? There are 2 basic types. There are some short ones that can be done in a weekend, but usually assume that you already have knowledge as a fitness instructor and yoga is just an add-on specialty to your existing knowledge base.
Yoga, short certification. The current industry standard for yoga is either a short training (i.e. Yoga fit, which is 16 hours for their level 1, BUTI which is 16 hours for their introductory, AFAA which if they are still running their program is 16 hours for their course) or a 200-hour course. The short courses usually qualify someone to teach fitness yoga, meaning that they must stay within their scope of practice as a fitness instructor, so if they have a fitness yoga certification, then they would also need a group-ex certification by ACE, AFAA or ACSM in order to have learned the basics about fitness safety. For example, I took a 16 hour fitness yoga certification from SAFAX years ago when they were still in business. SAFAX only taught yoga poses that were very simple and safe in a gym, and they assumed that the person teaching also had a group-ex cert. SAFAX didn’t teach the basics of group exercise, just the specialty of yoga to lay on top of what we already knew from group-ex.
Yoga – 200 hour certification. Currently, for every teacher who has completed a 200 hour yoga training, there are 3 students in a 200-hour program! The market is abound with yoga teachers!!! The first thing you need to know is, not all 200 hour programs are actually 200 hours! Some are 200 hours plus homework. Some count as many as 60 hours of homework and only take 140 hours of curriculum. And not all schools have an equal emphasis on anatomy / alignment / safety, so you might want to learn a little more about what your instructors are teaching. Let’s say your instructor has a 200 hour training. The next thing to ask is if they’re registered with the Yoga Alliance. Although a 200 hour training by itself does not expire, if someone registers with the Yoga Alliance (the only way they can call themselves an RYT-200 or an ERYT-200 or an RYT-500 or an ERYT-500), then they have to pay to stay registered with the Yoga Alliance. The Yoga Alliance requires its members to have continuing education every year. No continuing education and no fees to the Yoga Alliance = you can still call yourself a yoga instructor, but you can’t use the RYT designation. Clear as mud?
More later, I’ve got to go teach 2 classes tonight.