As I understand it, there was once a time where a student would practice for years with a realized yoga master. When and only when that master felt the student was ready did that student become a teacher.
These days people are getting certified over the internet, during weekend retreats, during 7 day pina colada intensives, after 200 hours, and so forth. The once strong foundation and lineage that made up yoga has crumbled. As such, finding a yoga teacher who is more than a good dance choreographer with a nice voice can be an exercise in frustration. And people are getting hurt. A lot. People that often sought out yoga in an effort to heal in the first place.
Before I continue, let me say I have a lot of personal bias and traumas from the past that no doubt influence my feelings on this matter. I have been harmed by doctors. A lot. So when I experience more harm or see others being harmed, I get very upset because, well, I understand.
My question to this forum is: what makes a yoga teacher exactly that? Can we police ourselves? Can we create some sort of means of separating the wheat from the chaff? Does 200 hours of instruction give you enough knowledge and wisdom to teach people in dire need of healing? 500 hours? 1000?
I feel VERY strongly that something needs to change. We need to first do no harm. We need to ensure that teachers are in fact teachers so that ahimsa is being embodied.