A Guide to Becoming a Certified Yoga Teacher

    teaching yoga

Becoming a certified yoga instructor is a very novel career, especially so for people who are born with this instinct to help others grow mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. As a yoga teacher, one can help others achieve holistic well-being by helping them to be more flexible inside-out.

This is a very rewarding career – a sort of a service one does for the enlightenment of everyone around. It takes a lot for one to reach a stage where they can touch the lives of others in a positive way and help them attain peace with themselves.

A lot of people practicing yoga since several years have realized the benefits of this ancient Hindu science and they wish to take it forward by becoming certified yoga instructors. This guide aims at answering all sort of queries (from what all is required to do to how long is a yoga instructor course to general problems that occur and everything in between) potential yoga teachers may have in their minds.

Job Profile of a Yoga Instructor

A yoga instructor, simply put, helps students in their yoga practice. They guide students in learning various yoga-asanas (poses) and their significance. They lay emphasis on the practice of the correct form so the students can master the techniques of yoga.

Learned yoga instructors also provide guidance in yogic philosophy as well as areas complementary to yoga, such as nutrition and meditation.

They can conduct classes in various forms like group classes, workshops, or one-on-one classes at yoga studios, and fitness centers etc. Depending on how much time they wish to devote, they can opt to work full-time or part-time as a Yoga Instructor. A lot of instructors are also required to travel to far-away destinations to conduct seminars and workshops as part of their jobs.

Time for Introspection

Getting impressed just looking at the roles & responsibilities of a Yoga Instructor is not enough for this job, though. There are a lot of things one ought to consider before beginning a Yoga Teacher Training Course to become a Yoga Instructor. Below is a list of questions interested people should ask themselves:

1. Why do you want to be a yoga teacher? What are your reasons for wanting to teach?
2. What style do you want to train in?
3. How much can you afford to spend to become a certified teacher?
4. What type of time commitment is ideal for you, because there are long, intensive Courses?
5. What do you want to see included in the syllabus?

All It Takes to Become a Yoga Instructor

How to become a yoga teacher? Let’s take a look at the steps required to become a certified yoga instructor.

Step 1: Learn Yoga

Learn yoga

There are various types of yoga one needs to choose from, like Ashtanga, Hatha, Vinyasa, Raja, and Bikram etc. It is vital that one gains information about various yoga types and practice the one that works the best for them for several years.

After having gained mastery on the yoga type, comes the style of instruction. Style of instruction also varies from institution to institution. Pay close attention to these so you can pick a training style you can comfortably impart knowledge in.

Having the right mentor helps the aspiring Yoga Instructors a lot. They can guide not just about the yoga type one must choose but also about the training program they should enroll in. Choose the teacher wisely.

Step 2: Complete a Teacher Training Course

yoga teacher training certifications

After having had chosen a yoga type and the guru under who to learn comes the next step where one is required to delve deeper into the studies of Yoga. This includes learning more about yoga philosophy and certain workshops on anatomy and physiology.

Intensive 200-hour, 300-hour, and 500-hour Yoga Teacher Training Courses in registered yoga schools help students observe their teachers and their techniques and learn from them. They can also pursue a course in a specialized yoga type like Ashtanga Yoga course or Hatha Yoga course etc.

Also, one needs to understand that the Yoga market is becoming highly competitive. So to be able to make a market, they need to offer something unique in their practice.

Step 3: Get Registered


While this is completely optional, a registered yoga teacher is highly preferable in the employment market. Registered Yoga Teachers can easily land up a job in case they do not want to set up their own Yoga Studio.

Step 4: Available Career Options

teaching yoga

Once the yoga teacher training and certification gets completed and the person feels confident enough, they can start imparting the knowledge of yoga to others on the path. They can have their own studio set up or can register themselves with various retreat organizers who can then contact them as and when the need arises.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Yoga Instructor?

There are two widely recognized levels of yoga certification: 200-hour certification and 500-hour certification. There is a set timeline for these courses but that varies depending on the level of commitment shown by the potential Yoga Instructor.

The 200-hour certification is the most basic and it is mandatory for all instructors to have completed this. Yoga centers hire instructors you have completed at least a 200-hour certification course. It generally takes between three to five months for one to successfully complete this course.

For anyone who wishes to have a deeper understanding of the subject and are highly career-oriented, 500-hour certification is the way to go. 500-hour certification goes in detail about yoga philosophy, physiology of the human mind, and prepare one better for answering questions from aspiring yogis in the future. The average time to complete a 500-hour certification varies between six months to a year.

Staying Focused on the Goals

As a yoga instructor teaching yoga to batch after batch of students, there comes a moment when everything seems to be overwhelming. A yoga teacher may want to try the following if they feel the same:

  • Enjoy what you do. If full-time yoga is not your cup of tea, change the plans and join a program that’d need you for part-time services.
  • Stay positive. Take a break at regular intervals and don’t let yoga be a part of your thoughts or discussion during that break.

Things No One Tells You About Becoming a Yoga Instructor

Emotions Vent Out. A lot. Yoga is not just about bending the body in various asanas to make it more flexible. Yoga is a journey to the within. When one starts on this journey, the baggage of emotions starts to loosen up. This leads to a lot of crying. Be there for your students when they are undergoing this transformation.

Be Compassionate. Yoga is a union of mind, body, soul, and spirit. When someone comes to practice yoga, they give themselves completely in the hands of the instructor. To be able to help them heal completely and take them towards enlightenment, it is important for the yoga instructor to be highly compassionate with them.

Take Regular Breaks. When regular yoga classes start to take a toll on your wellbeing (it just happens!), take a break. Having a positive mind is key to be able to help the students get the best experience. This is possible on when you as a teacher have a clarity of mind.

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Author Details

Adrian Jones

Working as a photographer for a travelling industry, gave Adrian many chances to travel the places which anyone can only dream off. And the serendipity of travelling inspired him to share his alluring encounter with the quintessence of nature, not only by the portraying it in the camera but also by narrating his experiences to all the people around the world.

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