Dad-Owned Yoga Studio to Offer 10,000-Hour Teacher Training Course
Downward Facing Dads, a local yoga studio run by a two fathers, announced this week that it would begin offering a 10,000-hour yoga teacher training course.
Though most yoga studios offer the standard 200- and 500-hour certification courses, the dads at DFD have read and been deeply moved by Outliers, the Malcolm Gladwell book that popularized the idea that mastery is achieved after 10,000 hours of practice.
“It takes 10,000 hours to get good at something,” Downward Facing Dad co-founder Jim Murphy, father of three adult women who have have worked in nonprofits and at ski resorts and once tried to launch a startup that trained the homeless for jobs in social media, explains. “If you think you’re gonna be a good yoga teacher after 200 hours, you’re out of your freaking mind.”
“There’s a saying, ‘Those who can, do, and those who can’t, teach,’” adds his partner, Max Carlton. “Let’s be honest: a high percentage of yoga teachers are gonna be people who can’t. But we can at least help them become people who can’t, but maybe could have, if their parents hadn’t been successful architects.”
Murphy was introduced to yoga 2 years ago when his 28-year-old daughter Megan moved back into her childhood home, after her above-mentioned startup went bust. “I kept telling her, ‘Megan, you’re really bleeping talented, but you need to apply yourself. You’re the best bleep bleep graphic designer I know.”
In an attempt to help Megan figure out out how she was spending her time, Murphy shadowed Megan for a day, following her to a coffee shop in the morning, where she, “told herself she was applying for jobs, but in reality was spending a metric bleep bleep of time on this website called Pintrest, where a bunch of people with too much time on their hands post instructions on how to make crap you don’t need,” and then to Whole Foods, where she ate lunch and “spent 3 bleeping dollars on a bottle of water, despite the fact that she didn’t have a job, and that there’s perfectly good water coming out of the god-damn faucet for free,” and then to an afternoon Spanish language exchange with a tandem partner, a man who, “seemed to speak pretty bleeping good English, if you ask me, and let me tell you, if she wasn’t my daughter, I’d say the guys who sign up for that are pretty bleeping smart.”
As Murphy and his daughter pulled into the parking lot of an “outrageously expensive” yoga studio, Murphy turned to Megan. “I said, ‘Look, I wrote down how you spent your time, in 15-minute increments, and with the exception of one Gchat conversation with your friend Barb who might be able to get you a job at a medical supply company, which, by the way, you look down at, but you gotta start somewhere, you didn’t get one thing done today!’”
Because the adjacent Dunkin Donuts was closing soon, Murphy had two choices: go to the yoga class with his daughter, or wait in the car for 90 minutes. He chose the former, and was hooked. “Before that class, I thought yoga was a chick thing,” he says. “But I gotta say, afterwards, I was sore in places I had forgotten existed.”
The training includes not only basic yoga teaching skills, but also courses on how to start your own yoga studio, file your taxes, change the oil on your car, and other skills that Murphy says are applicable for both “yoga and life.” There will also be a silent meditation retreat, in which participants will remain silent, and Murphy will “give them some straight-talk on how they’re getting too old to be dating guys with a nose ring and a name like Chad.”
Megan, meanwhile, has since married a successful hedge fund manager, and currently stays at home with her 8-month old twins, Skylar and Lindsey.