While meditation has been part of Eastern practices for thousands of years, meditation has now become wildly popular over the past decade in Western cultures. As more people in the U.S. and Europe start to learn the benefits of meditation, they become interested in how to become a certified meditation teacher. There are many options out there and a lot of things to consider when choosing a meditation teacher training. It is really beautiful to see how meditation has grown globally and so many people are learning how to cultivate a meditation practice or lead others in meditation.
There are many benefits of meditation. Some of them include gaining a new perspective on stressful situations, building skills to manage your stress, increasing self-awareness, focusing on the present moment, reducing negative thoughts and decreasing negative emotions, increasing imagination and creativity and increasing patience and tolerance. Meditation can help people to slip into the parasympathetic nervous system and this can help to improve our stress response system.
It is one thing to establish your own meditation practice, and another thing altogether to learn to lead others into meditation. Meditation is part of the 8-limb path of yoga as laid out in Patanjali’s yoga sutras. There are stages to meditation, and there are many different traditions and styles of meditation. None are right or wrong, but they are all different and have different customs and practices. It is important to choose a style of meditation that works for you and choose a teacher that you trust to lead you through meditation until you’re able to have your own practice.
Some meditation teacher trainings are registered with Yoga Alliance so that you can get continuing education credits. This may or may not be important to you. Many meditation teachers are not yoga teachers, and therefore they would never need to register with Yoga Alliance. Also, many yoga teachers are not registered with Yoga Alliance. Yoga is an unregulated industry and registering with Yoga Alliance is optional and not required to teach yoga. For those who are registered with Yoga Alliance, it can be helpful to get the continuing education credits since this is a requirement to maintain registration.
Meditation teacher trainings may or may not be registered with Meditation Alliance International, an India-based organization that seeks to self-regulate the practice and teaching of meditation. Meditation certification programs may be online, or they may be in person. Some of them are hybrid, which is a combination of both in person training and online training. Different people are looking for different things, so it’s important to find out what platform the meditation teacher training you are considering uses so that you can make a good choice about the best meditation teacher training for you.
Not all meditation certification programs are created equally. They are all differing links. Some advertised meditation training programs are actually only 5 or 10 hours while others are a full 200 hours. Depending on what you intend to do with your meditation certification, you may choose to look for a more in depth program or you may choose to go with a simpler program.