If you’re a passionate yoga practitioner, you may wonder, “How can I become a yoga instructor?” It’s natural to want to share your passion for yoga with others, and potentially even turn it into a career. But before you can start teaching Tadasana or training people to bend into Bow Pose, you need to become an officially certified yoga instructor. Here are some important things to consider, as well as the basic requirements for how to become a certified yoga instructor.
Before anything else, make sure you can walk the walk—or, more accurately, wrap your body into Eagle Pose. In order to be a certified yoga instructor, you should be skilled and experienced in your own practice. Additionally, your commitment to your practice will help you determine the extent of your passion, and whether becoming a certified yoga instructor is indeed the right path for you.
Yoga may focus on relaxation, but there’s a lot of work to be done in terms of deciding which type of yoga you want to learn and where you want to study. Spend some time getting to know the many different styles of yoga in order to find which one is the best fit for you. Once you’ve identified the type of yoga you’re most passionate about, then it’s time to search for an appropriate school or training program to suit your needs.
Find Your Path
There are a wide variety of yoga instructor training programs available. There’s also a lot to consider on your path to becoming a certified yoga instructor. What is your budget for your education? Are you willing to travel to attend school? Are you looking for a two-week intensive program, or would you prefer to spread it out, studying on weekends over the course of several months? Maybe you’ll find a school locally. Maybe you’ll decide that a trip to Bali or India for an immersive course of study is more your style. Your best bet for finding a program and weighing your options is to join Yoga Alliance and search their database. Yoga Alliance is a non-profit association designed to serve the yoga community, and they’re widely considered the international governing body for yoga education. Most likely, any yoga studio you work for will insist that you’ve earned a Yoga Alliance-approved certification from one of their accredited schools.
Consider the Investment
You’re probably wondering what it will cost and how long it will take to become a certified yoga instructor. We wondered that, too! There’s no single answer, since the tuition and time commitment will vary depending on a number of factors. The minimum requirement to become a certified yoga instructor is 200 hours. But you can easily study more, and in fact most yoga teachers take continuing education courses throughout their careers. Many practitioners also choose to go beyond a general yoga practice and incorporate specific areas of study such as prenatal yoga or yoga for children. The total cost of your program will vary depending on the school, the instructor, the courses you choose, the location, and whether you’ll need to add in extras like travel, room, and board.
Go Beyond the Mat
In addition to mastering yoga’s physical practice, you’ll study comprehensive aspects such as anatomy and physiology, alignment, meditation and chanting, teaching language and techniques, yoga history and philosophy, and more. As with any healing profession, a good study program will also emphasize self care. As a certified yoga instructor, your students will often come to you looking for help and compassion. They may have physical or emotional pain and needs. It’s critical that you have a strong and healthy vantage point from which to aid and mentor others.
While yoga is about being in the now, it’s important to think about what you hope to achieve with your yoga teacher training down the road. You don’t necessarily need all the answers in advance, but there are some important questions to consider. Are you looking to make yoga instruction your full-time job, or is it simply something you want to do as an occasional side gig? Will you work at an established studio/gym or start your own? Are you prepared to market yourself and your classes? Even if you don’t know which path you want to take (and it can certainly evolve over time) it’s good to think about your goals. What you hope to achieve can impact how much time, energy, and money you want to invest in your certified yoga instructor career.
Another important aspect in your certified yoga instructor training is to figure out who you are as a teacher. What’s your teaching style? How will you communicate with your students? What kind of environment do you want to create in your studio? What will set you apart? Maybe you’re influenced by an instructor you’ve really enjoyed. Or maybe you have something to offer that you’ve found lacking in classes you’ve attended. This is your opportunity to forge your personality and approach as an instructor and mentor, so give some thought to what kind of teacher you hope to become.
With that, you should have a good understanding of how to become a certified yoga instructor, and how to decide if teaching yoga is right for you. If you do follow the teacher training path—or even if you decide you’d rather stick to doing yoga on your own—we’d love to be a part of your everyday practice. The BlenderBottle® Mantra™ shaker is a protein shaker/water bottle hybrid that’s become a top choice for staying hydrated in the yoga studio or in the great outdoors.