Is becoming a yoga instructor right for me?

The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursuing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re new here, you should read about:

What do yoga instructors do?

Still unsure if becoming a yoga instructor is the right career path? to find out if this career is right for you. Perhaps you are well-suited to become a yoga instructor or another similar career!

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How to become a Yoga Instructor

Determine your focus
Determine the type of yoga you enjoy the most and choose a specialty. Some yoga instructor training programs offer a combination of practices. Should you have the means to travel, the best place in the world to learn how to become a yoga instructor is India, the birthplace of yoga.

Find a registered yoga school (RYS)
Yoga teacher training (YTT) courses are accredited by Yoga Alliance, an internationally recognized education organization with an established system of requirements for teachers and schools. After completing a registered YTT program, graduates can teach anywhere in the world, providing they have the proper work visa.

Yoga Alliance requires that accredited yoga schools follow a set of categories, known as the common core curriculum. Here is an overview of the RYS 200-Hour Core Curriculum:

  • Techniques, Training, and Practice – Asana, Pranayama and Subtle Body, Meditation
  • Anatomy and Physiology – Anatomy, Physiology, Biomechanics
  • Yoga Humanities – History, Philosophy, Ethics
  • Professional Essentials – Teaching Methodology, Professional Development, Prascticum

The training includes:

  • Lessons in yoga history and philosophy – studying texts and listening to lectures
  • Hands-on practice with asanas – learning how to guide students through salutations, standing postures, seated postures, invertive postures, and restorative postures
  • How to create a welcoming class environment, provide instructional techniques, structure and sequence a flow, execute the poses correctly, and give proper adjustments to correct alignment
  • In-depth coursework on skeletal anatomy and physiology; understanding the way the body moves is critical to keeping your students safe while they’re taking your yoga classes
  • Programs on mindfulness, which may cover meditation, conscious communication, and listening skills

CPR and first aid certification are also often incorporated into education for aspiring yoga instructors.

Yoga teacher trainings are categorized by the number of hours they take to complete. It is common to start with a 200-hour program, which is the minimum requirement to be certified as a yoga teacher by Yoga Alliance. Many 200-hour programs can be completed within a month and hold classes up to six days a week. For students who cannot commit to such an intense training schedule, there are schools which offer programs that conduct classes on weekends, several times a week, or once a month. Yoga Alliance offers more in-depth courses as well: RYS 300-Hour Advanced Training and RYS 500-Hour Advanced Training.

Get certified as a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT)
Once completing their YTT, graduates are allowed to teach, and have the option of becoming a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) with Yoga Alliance. The alliance charges a fee for this registration. RYT certification is not required to teach, but some yoga studios may only work with credentialed instructors for insurance purposes. Individuals who pay to become an RYT with Yoga Alliance also receive insurance for their yoga classes. Those who opt out of RYT credentialing should still consider getting yoga insurance from another accredited organization such as beYogi.