This is suspicious because Aura Wellness tells us that "Dr. Paul Jerard" owns Aura Wellness. Who is Dr. Paul Jerard? Let Aura Wellness tell you who he is:
"Dr. Jerard" has been studying yoga since 1963, certified since 1987, has trained over 5,000 students and became a "Master Yoga Teacher" in 1995. (Is that the same thing as a 500 Hour Yoga Teacher?) He doesn't include in his bio where he trained, which is odd. We turn to Yoga Alliance to see (a) if he is registered and (b) where he trained.
He provides minimal information and registered in 2008, even though he has been doing this since 1963 and certified since 1987. This could even be the son, Paul Jerard Jr., age 37, who identifies himself as CEO of Aura Wellness. Although, Yoga Alliance used to allow yoga teachers to "grandfather in" which means they were not required to have attended a Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga School to register with Yoga Alliance. We decided to keep digging. Surely there were photos of "Dr. Jerard" with one of his 5,000 students that he trained. Nope. I bet we could find some pictures of his yoga classes. Nope. The only photo we found of "Dr. Jerard" is this lovely photo of him sitting on an exercise ball in sukhasana. This has been his profile picture on facebook since 2012, guys. However, we see him in videos with his wife. He does exist.
So who is Marie Jerard?
According to the website, she is an experienced 200 hour teacher who has taken 9 different 200 hour trainings over the years but only took one 300 hour training and that was less than two years ago. (It takes two years to get the "E" in front of your RYT for experienced). Sorry, folks. I'm not buying it. No way did this woman take 9 different 200 hour trainings prior to taking her first 300 hour training). Marie offers us nothing else. She is a verifiable person. Her facebook says that she is the bookkeeper for Aura Wellness.
Customer Support at Aura Wellness
We found the Better Business Bureau listing for Aura Wellness.
This person says that they were treated in an unkind way and they deemed the treatment unacceptable and unprofessional. I might not believe it, but I see the way that Aura Wellness has interacted with clients who review them on facebook:
Such an odd response...? I mean, this person was not slamming them by any means. She simply says she did not get the level of customer support she was expecting. I would think a more appropriate response might be, "We are sorry that you had a bad experience. Please call us..." This was immature, tacky and impolite. Worst yet, it was not at all yogic.
Now on to the training. According to Aura Wellness's website, they offer in person teacher training. As luck would have it, the training is sold out.
Doesn't matter. We are here to talk about the online training. So, Aura Wellness's original yoga teacher training was a distance learning package. They offered an "original yoga teacher training" and said it included "levels 1, 2 and 3." They offered a "power yoga teacher training," also including levels 1, 2 and 3. They also offered the "yin yoga teacher training" which had levels 1, 2 and 3. They literally call it yoga teacher training in a box. They snail mail it to you for over $2,000.
They have other options that include only levels 1 and 2 for any of the desired teacher training programs. This shakes out to $1,497. You can also take only level 1 for a bit over $600. While I give them an A for creativity, the issue I take with this is that in the yoga world, there are 200 hour trainings, 300 hour trainings and 500 hour trainings. There are not level 1, 2 and 3 trainings. I don't necessarily have a problem with this and admittedly have no reason to question the quality of material taught, I don't know how that translates in the yoga community in terms of gaining employment.
We've had mixed reviews. They aren't the only show in town anymore and some of the newer trainings seem to be preferred.