How Do I Choose My Yoga Teacher Training Faculty?


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How Do I Choose My Yoga Teacher Training Faculty?


Inviting other teachers to participate in your training can be a great way to share expertise, entice a new population of students, and off-load some of your own work. However, there are some drawbacks to consider and you need to choose your partners wisely.

Let’s look at the pro’s and con’s.

Pro’s of Collaboration

  • Have an expert share their personal passion
  • Off-load work of content creation
  • Off-load work of facilitation/ teaching
  • Offer different points of view in your training
  • Different faculty may appeal to different students
  • Different faculty offers may widen your marketing funnel to new students

Con’s of Collaboration

  • They may have a difficult schedule / not be available when you need
  • You may not own the material they present (unless they use your material)
  • You may not own the rights to the handouts they provide
  • They may cancel and leave you in a bind
  • They may contradict your teaching ideology in the classroom/ confuse the students/ use different language or vocabulary then you do
  • You are paying another person (expense)
  • If you’re running a retreat, it’s more expensive to bring them with you

Avenues of Collaboration

When you’re running a yoga teacher training, there are several ways that you may choose to collaborate with another trainer. Let’s look at the options.

  • Training Partner: you’re in it together! The training is your shared love child. You both create and own the whole thing.
  • Trainer: you are hiring them to teach YOUR material. You create it, they teach it. 
  • Outside Faculty: experts in a subject. They come prepared to teach with their own material, and they own all the content. 

Let’s look more deeply at each of these and the implications.

Level of InvolvementImplications
Training PartnerA training partner is a full partner in creating the course with you understands and shares your course vision. They probably teach the course with you (or teach a significant portion) and they probably belongs to Yoga Alliance or your credentialing organization as an E-RYT (if you choose to register). You’re on the same page in terms of your teaching principles (values, how to cue, use of language, how to sequence, etc.) and you are okay spending a lot of time with them.A training partner will own the copyright for the course with you (unless you pay them for their work and have a legal contract otherwise).
You’re probably splitting the training profits with them rather than paying them an hourly fee.
You both “run” the training. You’ll have to figure out how to manage administration and registration duties (the behind the scene work that goes into creating a YTT)
They likely need to be involved from beginning so that the content is cohesive and makes sense.
You’re stuck with them long term as business partners.
You must be on same page and crystal clear in terms of how you teach and the ideology of your training so that your students aren’t confused and the training is consistent.
This is a good option if you have a business partner / very like minded yogi, you want to collaborate, and you’re in it for the long-haul.
TrainerA trainer is a skilled “gun for hire:” you pay them come in and teach your course content and use your material. They may belong to Yoga Alliance as an E-RYT (if you choose to register ~ or whatever your credentialing organization is), and you’re on the same page in terms of your teaching principles (values, how to cue, how to sequence).They do NOT own your content. You Do. They are teaching your material for you.
You’re probably paying them an hourly fee rather than splitting profits.
Unless you took your teacher training with them, you may have to train them to make sure they understand your course material, values, and your course concepts.
This is a good option if you already have a training and you want others to be able to teach it (for example, a studio with ambassadors), or, if you’re willing to do the legwork to create your training yourself.
Special FacultySpecialists in a subject area are a “gun for hire,” and you pay them to teach THEIR material they bring handouts, etc for students. They may not belong to Yoga Alliance.They own their own content likely paid by the hour great for diversifying your faculty roster and teaching their own material.
They are great for “niche” subjects such as philosophy, pranayama, ayurveda that don’t impact fundamental teaching methodology subjects like cuing and sequencing. 

Too Many Cooks

There’s a seductive gray area where you may think, “But Amanda is so good at sequencing…I’ll just have her come in and teach a section.”

You can have too many cooks in the kitchen. 

Remember, this training is about extending YOUR BRAND and YOUR VISION. And anyone who is teaching in your training must be totally on board with your teaching methodology. To deliver a consistent and effective training experience to your students, your teacher trainers must speak the same language, teach consistent ideas, and demonstrate the same teaching techniques.

Otherwise, you’re going to start to hear, “But Amanda said that we could teach handstand right before Savasana!” Or other such things that may conflict with your ideas of teaching.  It’s like parents contracting each other: it will confuse your students and undermine the training experience.

Best Practice: if you want to include additional “special faculty” in your training, outsource specialized topics that don’t impact your core teachings and training vision. Or be prepared to train your faculty to ensure that everyone is on board with the core ideas of your training methodology.

US Yoga Alliance and Faculty

If you want to register your course with YA (or another organization), then you – or a couple of your trainers – need the appropriate credentials. Before you choose faculty, it’s useful to ensure that they can meet these requirements.

Check with your organization’s requirements in advance to ensure that your trainers will meet their requirements.

Teacher Trainers: It’s More Than Just Teaching

Just because someone is a great yoga teacher, that does not necessarily mean that they are a great teacher trainer.

Let’s look at the qualities you will want in a teacher trainer:

  • Team Player: ability to be flexible, take direction, and work well with others ~ like your or their fellow faculty.
  • Emotional intelligence and positivity: ability to hold space as a leader for a group of students who may be emotional and vulnerable. They validate students’ experiences and support their learning rather than criticizing or diminishing. Ability to manage group dynamics.
  • Responsible and organized, good time management: ability to show up early, manage a space, deal with handouts and some administrative duties like attendance, and organize assessments. Ability to manage their time and stay on task.
  • Committed to continuing education: someone who is interested and passionate about learning and sharing.
  • Ability to put the students’ experience first (rather than needing to position themselves as experts).
  • Clear communication: ability to relay complex ideas clearly and simply so that students can learn.
  • Marketing: will this faculty help you promote your training?

Your primary faculty will need to act like den mama’s and papa’s; in addition to having a clear understanding of the content, they must be able to help to manage the emotional rollercoaster ride of a yoga teacher training. For many teacher trainee’s, teaching is scary! Your faculty should be positive and supportive forces for the trainees growth.

Final Thoughts

When you are creating your yoga teacher training, it can sometimes be easy to partner with someone early…and regret it later. Before you agree to collaborate, think practically about the future of your business. Who owns the training? What does it look like if this other person goes away? What does it look like if there is a divergence or a falling out?

There are many ways to partner with others, but you want to be savvy and bullet proof your business. Creating a teacher training is a big investment and time and money. Some patient forethought about your faculty can help ensure that you create a training that is not only an amazing experience for your students, but a lucrative long-term offering for your business.


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