Who they hire: For selective yoga centers like Go Yoga in Brooklyn, hand picking teachers comes down to experience: “I look for alignment, breath and physical prowess in an instructor’s own practice,” says Go’s founder, Lilia Mead. “I also look for how long they’ve been teaching and where they were certified—The longer the training, the more in-depth.”
The gold standards: OM Yoga and Alison West have great reputations for training teachers, though their in-house programs. Jivamukti and Yoga Works are arguably the most HIGHLY REGARDED. While Jivamukti’s three-week residency is held at the breathtaking Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York, it’s far from a relaxing getaway. “It’s definitely NOT for the DILETTANTE,” says cofounder Sharon Gannon, who explains that yogis must study from 7am–11pm daily to complete a curriculum covering everything from twisting and hands-on assisting to Sanskrit and political activism. 841 Broadway between 13th and 14th Sts, second floor (212-353-0214, jivamuktiyoga.com ). 300 hours; $6,150 plus housing fees.
With 14 studios scattered across the country, Yoga Works has helped establish yoga instruction as a bona fide career (their employees actually get a 401K plan). Their 200-hour teacher-training program in NYC is just as official, covering asanas, anatomy and meditation in a course that, according to senior teacher Chrissy Carter, “instills trainees with the skills they need to GUIDE students safely through postures and design INTELLIGENT sequences for their classes.” 138 Fifth Ave between 18th and 19th Sts (212-647-9642, yogaworks.com ). 12-week format or one-month intensive; $2,950.
The "GOLD STANDARD" rating is valid , most especially the focus on yogic tradition. It blows me away when I encounter a "teacher" ( more like an "instructor" ) who is not cognizant with Sanskrit terminology for asana.
And "DILETTANTE" is another valid term : "If it's Tuesday then I am @ my Yoga for Newbies class in the Valley , Wednesday is my Kirtan in English day , etc." , heh heh . Develop a relationship with a teacher! That is yoga -