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Tools for Teachers

5 Tips For Choosing Continuing Education Credits

With yoga continually evolving, CE is crucial for teachers. Here, five tips for getting the most you can out of your time as a student.

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With yoga knowledge continually evolving, CE is crucial for committed yoga teachers. Here, five tips for getting the most you can out of your time as a student.

Like most professions, continuing education is a crucial part of being a yoga teacher. For starters, knowledge about the body and how it specifically applies to the practice of yoga is continually evolving. It is our responsibility as teachers to stay up to date with the current findings—as well as exploring, examining and learning from our own practice (and injuries)—in order to protect our students and teach healthy, sound biomechanics along with more well-rounded classes.

Secondly, continuing education is essential to staying inspired. Teaching 8, 10, 15, 20 classes a week, it’s easy to become burnt out and for classes to become monotonous. Whenever I attend a workshop, I’m always excited to share what I learned with my students. Taking a weekend off from teaching to become a student again is a fail-proof way to enliven your teaching as well as to re-inspire your commitment to self-study.

“There’s such a huge wealth of information on yoga and so many different paths to choose from it’s essential to continue to learn, even more so if you’re teaching yoga full-time,” says YJ LIVE! presenter and Yoga Medicine founder Tiffany Cruikshank.

5 Ways To Get More Out of Your Continuing Education Credits

1. Follow your passion.

First and foremost, choose a workshop that you’re interested in. We’re all better students when we’re curious about what we’re learning, and our excitement shows up in our teaching. “As yoga continues to evolve and grow, there is almost no way any of us will be able to learn and teach everything that comes under the category of yoga,” says YJ LIVE! presenter and Om Yoga founder Cyndi Lee. “What lights you up? If you follow this path, you will always love what you are teaching.”

2. Choose a specialty.

Whether it’s anatomical alignment, therapeutics, prenatal, meditation, advanced asanas, philosophy, Ayurveda, or any number of interesting topics, we have the opportunity to specialize our offerings and continue to hone our expertise.

Choose your specialty according to the current state of the market. Take a look at what types of classes are currently being offered and doing well, which ones have too many teachers, and where there might be a need to fill. Find CE classes that prepare you to do just that.

3. Pinpoint your weaknesses.

Another route to choosing CE workshops is to assess your current teaching skills and determine which ones could use a little improving. “Recognizing your weakness as a teacher is probably your greatest asset,” says Cruikshank. “It’s hard though because we don’t get to see ourselves from our students’ perspective.”

Lee offers some questions to help us take an honest look at our teaching:

  • Where do you get stuck?
  • Are you teaching the same thing over and over?
  • When students ask you questions, when do you and don’t you know the answers?

4. Be open to new teachers.

When it comes to choosing whom to study with, don’t pigeonhole yourself to one or two teachers. If you find a workshop that you’re interested but don’t know the teacher leading it, do your research. Check out their website and any other online offerings he or she might have. Read their articles. Potentially watch a few of their videos. Begin to get a sense of their teaching style.

Yoga conferences and events like YJ LIVE! are great opportunities to take classes with teachers who aren’t always available to you and to earn CE credits. Explore the CE workshops being offered at YJ LIVE! Colorado as an example. Spend an afternoon with a particular YJ LIVE! presenter and you may very well likely want to study more with them.

5. Once you choose, commit.

While attending a CE workshop or class, both presenters agree that taking notes is the way to get the most out of your learning experience. Show up 100 percent, be present, stay engaged, allow yourself to be challenged, and take notes. “Once you commit to a course, do it with whole-hearted enthusiasm—even if it turns out to be different than what you thought you wanted,” Lee adds. “You never know what you will learn from any course. It might not be what you wanted but it might be what you needed.”

See also Never Stop Learning

Meagan McCrary is a 500 E-RYT and writer with a passion for helping people find more comfort, clarity, compassion, and joy on the mat and in life. She’s the author of Pick Your Yoga Practice: Exploring and Understanding Different Styles of Yoga, an encyclopedia of modern yoga systems. You can find her teaching and retreat schedule, along with her latest offerings, as well as on Facebook Twitter and Instagram.