In order to become a yoga instructor, the desire starts with passion. Passion for yoga will take you on your journey from being a student, to a certified yoga professional . There are many different types of yoga, some with more emphasis on meditation, some where the postures are held for longer periods of time, and some where the goal is to control your breath and relax the mind. The rest comes with education, a lot of practice and the will to be vulnerable.
How To Become a Yoga Instructor
Before one becomes a yoga instructor, it is recommended they show a dedication to their own yoga practice. They are a role model to the practice, and within time, one’s personal practice will give a deeper understanding of the poses, to the body’s anatomy and leading a class with a structured, organic flow. Teaching yoga classes are rewarding, but there are initial challenges to a new yoga instructor that will test your will to teach. By having a strong foundation of love for yoga, the challenges will easily be overcome, and the groove to lead a class will come naturally.
It is important to pick the right yoga studio or association to be educated. The websites that may help search for great yoga teacher trainings are www.yogafinder.com or www.yogatrail.com. These websites are for anyone around the world and will help you find more information about teacher training retreats and studios offering training in your area. Most programs range from 200 hour, 300 hour and 500 hour certifications, and they all offer unique versions of yoga including pre-natal, restorative, yoga for athletes, yoga for back pain, hot yoga, and Vinyasa flow. The list is endless and the techniques have been specified for certain populations of people, including all ages and all sizes. If there is a yoga studio in your community with talented instructors who hold yoga teacher trainings, see if their program works for you. Prices are set by the studio to cover instructor fees, materials for the students, and time for the studio use. On average in the US, yoga teacher trainings range from about $2,000 – $4,000 depending on the studio. There are also yoga teacher training retreats in different countries, including India, which cost about average $2,000. These prices can be justified if a yogi plans to dedicate a deeper commitment to their practice or if teaching will be part of their career. There are courses that span from over a year, to 30 day intensive programs. You can even choose a yoga training with a celebrity yogi, who are infamous for their influence and experience in the yoga world. Each yoga training program has their perks but make sure the type of yoga, the instructor and the studio compliments your goals because you will be immersed in the training and will want the most out of the experience. Extensively research and make sure the training is in line with your expectations.
Occasionally if the tuition is out of range, check with the owner or lead instructor for potential acception to work for trade as you become certified. Choosing a course that is verified by the Yoga Alliance standards, or RYS – registered yoga school will be sufficient to teach yoga safely and competently. This usually consists of five educational categories, face to face instruction recorded by hours trained, and trainer and faculty requirements. Registering with a course that is approved by the Yoga Alliance will be easier in the future when teaching yoga at any studio, as it is widely accepted worldwide.
Once a program is chosen and the syllabus is distributed, the student goes through the certification process. Some days will be long, especially for the 30-day intensive programs. There is a lot of information that may be new to learn including meditation, anatomy, teaching methodology and basic lecture. Be prepared to also practice a full yoga class, sometimes even two in the same day. It is important to stay focused and attentive throughout the course to gain the full benefits. Asking questions and taking notes are key, as you will refer to your manual frequently when you begin to teach. Your learning does not stop after class is finished. Research yoga online, watch videos, take classes at local studios. Immerse yourself in the art of teaching. After all of the material and courses have been taught, it is imperative to start practicing teaching! A student will overcome their stage fright, and will be forced to jump into talking in front of students, explaining the poses and maintaining the overall flow of the class. With practice, patience and dedication, the art of teaching yoga becomes easier.
Once the yoga instructing course is finished and the final test out is completed, you can begin to put the new knowledge to work. It is recommended that you begin to teach at the studio you received your certification at, but not always the case. Begin to teach classes to family and friends, maintaining the routine of class as one practices all of the vocal cues. It is common for one to not take the plunge to start teaching right away, and possibly losing some of the newly gained knowledge. Practice makes perfect, so teach and get the practice hours in, the confidence will improve especially when applying to different yoga studios to instruct.
Every yoga instructor has a different path to their teaching. Some require more studies, while others require natural intuition. While it is important to keep students safe as they gently contort their bodies, it is equally important to recognize that one does not need a certificate to roll out a mat, and lead a person through slow stretching yoga poses. Yoga is liberating, conscious movement and should be shared with everyone. Education on yoga is ever evolving, and to learn in an open, encouraging environment will benefit not only individual teachers, but all those students who are new to yoga as well.
I have been a seeker and I still am, but I stopped asking the books and the stars. I started listening to the teaching of my Soul.