By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, YACEP
Is meditation certification required to teach? In fact, a certification is not required to teach meditation. Naturally, one of the main reasons to get a certification as a meditation teacher is so that you can teach others. You can also think about getting certified because you are looking to change careers and this might be the best way for you to do so. Granted, the courses vary in length and they may have pre-requisites.
Debates Over Credentials
Sometimes, teachers of meditation are not certified, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Indeed, the instructor may have been teaching for years or decades. However, it’s important to note though that many teachers who aren’t certified leave students with a lot of questions. Surely, students worry about teachers who don’t have any previous experience with meditation or teaching meditation. Worse yet, students begin to think their teacher may not be qualified to teach the practice at all.
Professionalism in Teaching
Undoubtedly, there are more and more people that are looking for certified meditation teachers. Your students want a greater sense of assurance that the person teaching them is knowledgeable in their field. Some meditation teachers believe certification is necessary because it gives the student a sense of confidence in the teacher’s legitimacy. However, many people also claim that teaching meditation doesn’t require any specific credentials such as a certificate. Schools and therapists often serve as mentors to those pursuing certification but not all teachers agree with this approach.
Transparency in the Industry
When we look at liability, all teachers should have a meditation certification. If a student slips or falls; all of a sudden the teacher’s competence is under scrutiny. If you consult with an attorney, he or she will advise that you “cover all your bases.” In the court of public opinion, you should be certified to make sure that you know how to teach and maintain student safety standards. Additionally, certification leads to a higher level of accountability and transparency in the industry, which is always a good thing.
Which Style to Choose
There are many different types of meditation. Every type is designed to promote a different type of mindfulness and awareness. A common misconception about meditation is that you have to sit in a Lotus position with your legs crossed, close your eyes, and focus on breathing deeply. This type is commonly called sitting meditation, but Lotus Pose is not for everyone. Additionally, this could be breath awareness, mindfulness, or a combination of meditation styles. Another kind of meditation is walking meditation where you don’t close your eyes but keep them open and walk slowly while maintaining an awareness of the present moment and environment around you. One of the most popular forms of meditation is called mindfulness-based stress reduction or MBSR. This style focuses on bringing awareness to the present moment without judgment through self-awareness practices.
What is the Best?
The best meditation certification for you depends on what your goal is. If you want to teach students to focus on relaxation, then teaching guided meditation classes is for you. Guided meditation classes are usually set up with specific goals in mind, such as creativity or stress relief. If you want to become an expert in mindfulness and consciousness, then Vipassana or mindfulness meditation is the best option. Vipassana, an ancient form of mindfulness meditation, can also help train your mind to be more focused and present. A lot of people find mindfulness meditation helpful. To this end, mindfulness teaches us to be aware of the present moment without judgment or attachment. However, there are many forms of meditation and all of them calm the mind.
Is Yoga Nidra a Form of Meditation?
To me, Yoga Nidra is the twilight state between meditation and sleep. Sometimes, practitioners fall asleep and many times practitioners remain in this state throughout their practice session. Therefore, I would classify Yoga Nidra as a unique style within the family of meditation. Yoga Nidra is one of the most popular forms of meditation today. It is also referred to as yogic sleep or deep relaxation. Yoga Nidra is named after the two Sanskrit words “Yoga,” meaning union, and “Nidra” meaning sleep.
Some programs offer a certificate upon completion of the program and some offer a diploma to those who complete certain requirements of the course. Your credential is a symbol of how much time and effort you put into learning the material and gaining new skills. The world was a simple place where people would work on one job for life. Nevertheless, we live in a complex world where many careers require skills that are learned through training. At the same time, your credential is a good way to show that you’re qualified to teach meditation sessions. Of course, a meditation certification course teaches us how to safely and effectively lead a class.
© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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