Aerial Yoga Teacher Training Programs

“Certification programs benefit both individuals and organizations. They document a level of proficiency attained in a particular field of study. Whether the certificate recognizes academic, technological or vocational accomplishments, earning one can boost the market value of the person and the institution for which she works. Professional certifications also help organizations find qualified job candidates.”

~  quote from ehow.com

 

A certification is an excellent thing to desire as someone desiring to teach in a particular field such as aerial yoga. They are meant to show that you have obtained a particular knowledge. They are designed to be a way to document from a third party source that you have put in time and effort to be good at what you do. However, the first thing you should know is that technically speaking, there is no such thing as a certification in aerial yoga, and for that matter, yoga, ballet, or aerial dance of any sort!

 

The aerial industry, just like the rigging industry and many others in the arts, do not recognize any certification programs.  This is due to the fact that what is valued in the industry is experience. Instead, there are teacher training programs, where you might receive a certificate saying that you took such-and-such a program and are now qualified to teach aerial yoga of such-and-such type.

 

As far as the closet thing to certification in the traditional yoga industry is what is offered through Yoga Alliance. They have helped set industry standards. You can be registered as an yoga teacher or yoga studio through a credentialing program, and you can become credentialed after undergoing a program that is 200 hours. Their program has greatly influenced the expectation that an aerial yoga training program will be about that length or even shorter if you are just adding to a knowledge base already present.

 

This is why aerial yoga programs are generally very short in length. Often, to qualify for the training with programs such as Unnata Aerial Yoga, you must already be “certified” in yoga. (Often times, the word certified is loosely used to mean a credentialing program of some sort.) Many other programs highly recommend that you come into the teacher training with a background in some movement art form. Again, it comes back to the fundamental thing that qualifies a teacher is experience.

 

Here are the aerial yoga training programs that I am aware of with a few of their quick stats to help you get a comparison for what they offer. (Note that I am simplifying things for the sake of comparison.)

 

Aircat Aerial Arts

Length of Training Program: 4 days which include 20 hours of in-person training + 25 home practice hours for a 45 hour certificate

Cost: $695

Unit Cost: $15.44 if you count the training you do on your own.

Commitment to License: None

Listing of Teachers/Studios who Received Training: No

Support Group: Yes, through Facebook.

 

Anti-Gravity (programs approved by ACE and AFAA)

Length of Training Program: varies

Cost: Unknown. However, it comes with bonus fees such as a testing fee at the end of the course that is at least $225, and fees such those needed to re-certify yearly (minimum $300).

Commitment to License: Yes. Franchise required.

Listing of Teachers/Studios who Received Training: Yes

Support Group: Yes – through franchise.

 

Kaya (certification in VaihAsaya Aerial Yoga)

Length of Training Program: 8 days (number of hours unknown)

Cost: $1,298

Commitment to License: None

Listing of Teachers/Studios who Received Training: Yes.

Support Group: Unknown

 

Rasamaya

Length of Training Program: 2 days/month for 5 months for 100 hours certificate

Cost: 4 aerial modules at $250 each + 1 anatomy module at $250

Unit Cost: $12.50 per hour

Commitment to License: None

Listing of Teachers/Studios who Received Training: Yes.

Support Group: Unknown

 

Unnata Aerial Yoga

Length of Training Program: 8 days+ for 100 hours certificate

Cost: $1,700

Unite cost: $17.00 per hour

Commitment to License: Some. Limited License

Listing of Teachers/Studios who Received Training: Yes. They have the best listings on their website, which means that it will make it easy for potential customers to find you and/or check your credentials. Another bonus is that they train in a variety of locations such as NECCA and countries around the world.

Support Group: Yes. through Facebook.

 

 

Keep in mind that none of these programs will technically get you certified! These programs have different goals, and your choice on which program to undergo will have a lot to do with your own personal goals. Are you looking to piggyback on a successful franchise that has done a lot of advertising paving the way for automatic brand-recognition for your studio? Or are you looking for a program that will give you a good introduction to what aerial yoga is because you are thinking of incorporating it into your Pilates studio, gym, fitness center, yoga studio, etc? There are pros and cons to each. Hopefully, the end goal is the same in all: a qualified, well-trained instructor.

 

What makes a qualified, well-trained instructor is much more that what can be learned in a short teacher training program. It is just not possible to get everything you need to be a great instructor in less than 2 weeks. A lot of your choice should depend on what you are looking to get out of the training. For example, if you are interested in a program that emphasizes anatomy of the body, you may look into Rasamaya. They use a unique program called Anatomy in Clay, which allows movement artists–who tend to be kinesthetic learners–to get their hands on intestines, etc! (not real ones, silly!) Their training program includes 3 anatomy textbooks.

 

A quality, holistic training program would take a minimum of a year, and not everyone has that kind of time. My hope is that those people who seek a training program are those who already have an established self-practice, they have the gift of teaching, and can learn a lot in a short amount of time. Those are the ones who can benefit from a quick-style teacher training program.

 

The big benefits include being plugged into a community that supports you as you launch your first classes, a group to talk to about things that come up that first year, and a place to get ideas such as new sequences to teach beginning students. That’s what I see as the biggest benefits to a teacher training program, and many of the training programs offer just this advantage.

 

Michelle Dortignac, Founder of Unnata Aerial Yoga, has this to say about the advantages of the support group:

 

“Successful graduates of the Unnata Aerial Yoga teacher training program can join a Facebook group specifically for Unnata teachers.  In this forum I have seen posts of questions relating to teaching specific Aerial Asanas, how to work with different student sensitivities or injuries, sharing success stories, sharing innovations on the hammock, refreshers of Asanas learned during the course but forgotten since, business questions, Yoga philosophy questions (usually relating to the business questions), etc.  Unnata Yoga teachers from all over the world will chime in, and I contribute to the group regularly as well both through answering questions and also with videos and photos.”

 

It’s about the shared space, the community that forms, and the confidence that it instills to go out and do what you are most capable of doing. It is nice to say that you went through a teacher training to attest to the fact that you are doing everything you can to ensure you are a great instructor, know the best practices, etc. But, at the end of the day, the certificate of training doesn’t matter. What matters is how you grow as a person, and as a teacher through any program you choose to attend. What matters is that you plug into a network of professionals, who can help you be a great professional, and challenge you to quality work. But the majority of what you learn about how to teach will not be through any training, it will be through teaching.

5 thoughts on “Aerial Yoga Teacher Training Programs”

  1. Thank you so much for the time and effort you put into researching and explaining the aerial yoga teacher training programs. I am trying to figure out what training will be the best fit for me and this really helped a lot. Namaste Julia

  2. Are there any programs (other than Anti-Gravity) geared toward the Fitness trainer? I am not certified in yoga at all, but want to teach Aerial flexibility and conditioning classes for runners. Any advice?

    1. Rebecca –
      I highly recommend the Born to Fly Teacher Training Program. We are currently developing an Aerial Fitness track, but I’m not sure when it will be available. You can help pioneer it if you want by taking a private training! In the meantime, my recommendation is to get certified in Aerial Yoga. Aerial yoga is used my most people as a fitness class, and the theories behind it are focused on the same goals you have — increasing flexibility and conditioning. Places that focus more on the fitness side (such as Born to Fly) do not require a yoga certification. Places that focus more on the yoga side (like Unnata Aerial Yoga Teacher Training) will require a yoga certification. Hope that helps.

  3. Hello ,

    My name is Hellen Zabal , I am a certified Antigravity Instructor of 9 levels ( Fundamentals1-2 , aerial yoga 1-2, suspension 1-2 , Pilates1 ) I have been teaching for 3 years now. I am currently teaching all my sessions in Beirut Lebanon and I am interested in certifying few of my students to build my team in Lebanon. However the Antigravity school is not offering any Teacher Trainings I have been waiting for almost a year now and they still do not know when they will open the training. Please let me know if it’s possible to join Aerial Yoga Teacher Training
    Thank you
    Hellen Zabal

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