Many trainings have five or more teachers, all with a range of expertise and from different backgrounds. The content of the program may be diffused and the methodologies inconsistent. Students will still get benefit but they will unknowingly miss out on the power of a more concentrated thread of teachings. How many instructors ought to be in a yoga teacher training?
When taught as an integrated system, the power of yoga practice is much greater than the sum of its parts. If you just want to know about asana, a singular thread of teaching is less important. However, if you want to study yoga as a holistic practice for physical, mental and spiritual well being, a focused approach helps greatly.
If you just want to know about asana,
a singular thread of teaching is less important.
Imagine that yoga is like a flower. Each petal represents a different aspect of practice, together the individual petals have a combined magic effect. Recall the serene image of a lotus….
Some programs have just a few petals (asana and student teaching). Other trainings have more petals but they are disjointed, with no common or integrated shape to the program. It’s a more “grab bag” approach with an amalgamation of teachers who have studied at various places.
Nonetheless, some people naturally feel more drawn to variety and a wide array of teachers may speak to them. It really comes back to what you want in a training – a more broad approach, a more focused approach, or something in between.
In my experience, two to three teachers should be more than enough to present an integrated training. Anymore than that and it can become diffused. Ideally, those teachers have studied under a similar master and have a similar philosophy. To go one step further, it helps if the staff has worked together for at least three years, and had time to hone their message and understanding of one another’s content.
To assess how many instructors ought to be in a yoga teacher training, reflect on what kind of experience you want to have and how deep you want to go.