Recently graduated? Overwhelmed by the number of yoga membership bodies out there?
Read Yoga Alliance Professionals’ handy guide on how to choose the best yoga membership body for you!
Here are FIVE key factors to take into account:
1. ETHICS: What is the ethos of the membership body you are considering? Are they focused on raising the standards of yoga? Do they build strong partnerships with their Trainers? What other Teachers/Trainers are members?
This is probably one of the harder, but more significant, factors to consider for a new Teacher.
Approaching your mentor and asking for advice can be a great place to start. Quite often they will recommend a membership body to you, which can be useful, but remember to do your own research. See what peers are saying in social media, what grumbles they have, and how this has been acknowledged. Also, try to understand what members have already joined. Take a look at their directories of Senior Yoga Teachers, and Trainers, to see what associations they have.
TOP TIP: Try reading the about us/mission page of any membership body you are considering as that should tell you about their ethics and values
2. COMMUNICATION: What communication do they make public, and how often? Do they have blogs, magazines, social media? How do they interact with their members? What is their customer service like?
Getting a feel for how membership bodies interact with their members is a great indicator of how they will interact with YOU, once you join.
Look at offline and online communication. As well as calling or emailing them, for instance, if the membership body has a magazine, try and get your hands on a back copy. This can be a good representation of who they are and is a great way to become familiar with the ethos of the company.
Online, check their social media pages. What posts are public? How do they respond to members? This should give you an idea of how active the membership body is with its members, and how it interacts with them. For instance, does it acknowledge comments and feedback left on social media?
TOP TIP: Contact the different membership bodies you are thinking of joining, and see which ones are easiest to deal with
3. VALUE: What exactly is included in the membership? Do you get insurance as standard? What further training is encouraged? What exposure does being a member give you?
Being part of a membership body involves more than just paying an annual fee to be part of something, so it’s important to consider exactly what the benefits are of joining. In some cases insurance is included as standard, in others not. Some focus on creating high standards by delivering top-quality yoga events, others don’t.
Different membership bodies give members different exposure. Check out how effective and interactive the website is, and how easy it is for members to promote themselves. How inviting is the website? Is it dynamic – Well populated? Up-to-date?
TOP TIP: The best way to gauge value really is to understand your expectations from a membership body, and what’s important to you. It may help you to do a pros and cons list at this step to make it easier to compare the options.
4. PROGRESSION: What career progression is being offered? Is your dedication to yoga being recognised?
Becoming a newly qualified Yoga Teacher is a great first step in your career, but it should not be the last! Think about your career progression, and what you need to do to progress. Consider what further training is on offer, and how relevant it is to your future.
TOP TIP: Most membership bodies offer different career levels which have different badges, and have different connotations attached to them. Think about which one offers your career the strongest validation.
5. INVESTMENT: What is your membership fee being spent on? Do they pay their staff a decent wage?
Memberships can offer some great value for money, but it’s also important to think about the overall strategy and path of the membership body you choose. It may not always be immediately apparent where your fee is being invested, but you should be able to find out more on the membership body’s website. For instance, accessing their ‘about us’ page should give you an insight into their mission, values and staff.
Yoga Alliance Professionals is an independent membership body that works with its members to build an effective voice for quality yoga teaching. It is not a hierarchy, rather it is formed of a Partnership of teachers, trainers and studios. Membership fees are used to provide members with an increasingly sophisticated web presence and support, as well as invested in staff and apprentices.
Members can take advantage of a number of benefits being part of Yoga Alliance Professionals; including the world’s most effective career path. Members in the UK and Ireland can also benefit from our partnership with a major insurance broker, that can offer unrivalled protection.