New Yoga training certificate gives students a pathway to a teaching career
Story by Celina Baguiao. Photos by James Hill. | 3 comments
Phillip Brooks has always been an athlete. Growing up, he was a fencer and was a member of the 2008 national champion Arizona State University Club Team.
After 10 years of competing and training, the Hillsboro native stopped fencing and noticed the wear and tear on his body from being a competitive fencer.
“It’s a great sport, but it’s really one-sided,” Brooks mentioned. “It puts a lot of strain on your wrists, your knees, and hips and you get a lot of really imbalanced, muscular development.”
Searching for what to do next, the 31-year-old decided to go to Portland Community College. One of his courses was yoga, which fed his athletic spirit and helped him rebalance his overall fitness.
“After taking one yoga class, I fell in love,” Brooks admitted. “It sort of became something that I just replaced fencing with. Yoga was this wonderful, physical, mental practice that I could do and challenge myself. I was competing against myself, and I just felt so wonderful every time I finished a yoga practice.”
Yoga Teacher Certificate
Under PCC’s Exercise Science Program, the college is offering the Yoga Teachers Certificate. The new 12-credit certificate can be completed in two consecutive terms and costs roughly $1,000 per term. To go through similar training in the private sector, it could cost between $3,000 to $4,500.
For more information about the Yoga Teacher Certificate, please email Alma Eaton at firstname.lastname@example.org[opens in new window].
Brooks left the college to pursue other opportunities, but his passion for yoga and his education collided again last year. PCC’s Exercise Science Program began offering a two-term certificate in yoga teaching and he jumped on the chance to add it to his associate degree in exercise science. Exercise Science is a certificate and degree program offered at the Sylvania Campus that focuses on preparing fitness and wellness professionals for jobs in the industry.
“Yoga is a very popular movement right now,” said instructor Alma Eaton. “For our industry partners, if we’re able to graduate students with our associate in exercise science, but also have the specialized skills from a yoga teacher training certificate, this is a significant benefit for them.”
Together, exercise science instructors Eaton and Jill Tuleya worked on the curriculum and aligned it with Yoga Alliance as a 200-hour Registered Yoga School, the gold standard of teaching amongst the community.
“Our program is aligned with Yoga Alliance because it’s widely accepted by employers,” Eaton said. “It’s a really great benefit for the students that are graduating from the program because when they finish, they can register as a 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher through Yoga Alliance, which is recognized internationally.”
After two years of planning, the first classes for the certificate were offered in spring 2020 and then the pandemic moved all classes online in March. Both instructors have set up their homes as teaching spaces.
“Jill and Alma went above and beyond preparing for distance learning that was thrown at them last minute,” Brooks remarked. “I remember the first yoga teaching class and Alma put together this huge series of YouTube videos, detailing the muscle and anatomical skeletal movements, breaking it all down systematically for us and then giving us live demos.”
For Brooks, he is hoping his internship he recently secured will pan out into a full-time job. If it doesn’t, the Portland area yoga teaching industry has plenty of opportunities for him.
“The program took me completely by surprise, both at being offered and the depth and quality of it,” Brooks explained. “It’s been a really transformative experience.”