How to Become a Yoga Instructor

Madilyn W., December 22, 2021

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Say you love yoga and want to make a career out of it. You enjoy yoga quite a bit and feel you have benefited from it, and you want to share it with more people. You tried getting your friends to come along to a class, but they don’t share the same interest as you. Still, you know you want to become a yoga instructor and share your passion with others. What do you do? How difficult is it to become a yoga instructor? How do you become a yoga instructor? What all needs to be done? Where do you start?

These are probably the questions running through your head. There may be even some more. Before you make any final decisions, it’s important to think all things through. Yoga is a great and rewarding career, but only so if you are fully committed to it and want to help people.

Becoming a Yoga Instructor Requires Planning

There are many different kinds of yoga, so the first step is deciding what yoga style is your favorite. It is good to consider what kind of yoga is popular, as there are some that people love to do more than others. Or you could consider what kind of yoga fits in well with your community. For instance, hot yoga continues to grow on the popularity charts. Whereas if your community has a lot of older residents, maybe gentle yoga is more of the correct pace. The important thing to remember is to make sure that whatever form of yoga you choose is something you find a passion for.

Once you find your passion, figure out why it speaks to you and why you want to explore the path of yoga as an instructor. Where do you want to see the most growth? Do you want to help people find the same connection and joy from yoga? Or do you just want people to find a way to relax?

After finding the form of yoga that speaks to you and your decision to help people; then the next step is to look into how you want to teach yoga. Lately, online yoga is becoming increasingly popular. You can teach yoga online and reach people all across the world. Or you can teach a class in person. Or you can do both by teaching a class online and having people in the room. However, before any of that happens, school and certificates are needed.

School and Certificates

Before finishing any kind of school or certification, it is important to remember that yoga is not regulated by the state or any national level. Later on, you might want to explore the option of Registered Yoga Training, or RYT. This will be mentioned more later on. But if this program seems to stand out to you, it is important to mention that you must register and pay Yoga Alliance for permission to use RYT after your name. Though this is just for the company and not the state or national level.

There are not many legal requirements for certifications anywhere in the world. Meaning, the only thing you need to do is find the program that stands out to you. It is best to find a program that is acknowledged by Yoga Alliance, as this is an internationally recognized education and accreditation organization. Yoga certifications are widely available worldwide with certification in various yoga styles and traditions. But you have to find the certification for you to be a yoga instructor.

Finding the Right Training Program

The first start of the journey is attending a 200-hour Registered Yoga School or RYS. Once you get there, you can find the specific program that works for you. Find one that is the style or tradition of yoga you’re looking for. You can figure out the logistics like if you want part-time, full-time, whether you want it to be intensive, local, or abroad. You can also find classes based on cost. The 200-hour programs all focus on teaching yoga to the general public. This means:

  • Asana and Alignment
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Philosophy and Mediation

You will also be able to learn quite a bit more through the 200-hour training. You’ll be taught everything you need to know and help you become a successful teacher. It is great to continue to perform more research throughout the process. 

It is common for yoga schools to focus on the original form of yoga called vinyasa yoga, but it’s always possible to find a class and instructor that focuses on the yoga and mediation that you find the most joy in. This is why 200-hour training is a good choice because it has a lot of different options.

One way the 200-hour training can happen is in a month-long, in-person intensive class that takes place on the weekends. Or you can even take it online. All types of yoga training depend on the style or form of yoga. However, if you do choose to do online training, make sure it is interactive, and you get direct feedback from a teacher via video conference.

Practice and Cost

The only way to see how well you are teaching yoga is to teach it. Once you complete your certification, you can explore the classes in your area and see if any instructors want or could use you as an assistant. This way you can explore the other kinds of yoga and see which ones are the most popular in your area.

The best part of exploring your area and becoming an assistant to somebody’s yoga class is that you get to build your schedule. You can pick up a few here and there to see how it works. Or you can pick up one each week to have a consistent schedule. 

Becoming a yoga instructor can be expensive. There are costs throughout the process. The cost of school and certification comes from various logistics in the program. It takes into account the duration, location, and accommodation. The latter is if you are looking for an overseas program. If you chose to do a program locally, then you won’t have to pay for accommodation or airfare.

An online Yoga Teacher Training or YTT could cost as little as $375, however, an onsite program could range from $1,500 or up to $20,000. It all depends on the type of training teacher cost. 

The website called Book Retreats has a chart where they sort the type of training course (TTC), the price range, and the duration. For example, the 200-hour TTC can range from $999-$4,000 and can run from 3 weeks to four weeks.

Abroad Locations

Like most things in the world, becoming a yoga instructor can be a cheaper and more logical decision. India is the birthplace of yoga. You might want to explore this path. A 200-hour TTC can run from $1,200 to $1,600, about half what most traditional programs in the United States cost.

India might have the most glamor, but it will help you gain the most comprehensive and authentic YTT experience. Rishikesh is one of the most popular destinations in the world for yoga teacher training, and it also has one of the most popular yoga schools in the world, Rishikesh Yoga Peeth.

In Rishikesh, you will find a variety of yoga styles practiced from vinyasa flow yoga to traditional hatha yoga. You will also learn more about yoga than just styles here. You can learn the yogic lifestyle, study Ayurveda to learn daily meditation. It is important to learn all aspects of the yoga life and styles of yoga.

A few more things to consider

You might ask yourself, I completed all the school, what else is needed. How do I become a yoga instructor? As mentioned above, it is important to learn all aspects of yoga life. It is more than just finding a style of yoga and stretching your body in different poses. To be a great yoga instructor, you have to earn it. You have to put in the work and go the extra mile.

School only teaches you so much. Some people are shocked when they realize they need to learn more. School only teaches the tip of the iceberg, it only teaches you the basics of what you need to learn. 

It may be difficult but it will be worth every step. To be a great teacher, you have to continue to dedicate and explore yoga in various formats. There are workshops you can attend, you can conduct your research, and read books. But ultimately, you will learn through your own experience. There is the realism of spiritual and philosophical paths to accomplish. It is something that you do on your own. An organization will not sign a certification of your spiritual evolution, meaning there is no correct way for this to look. Just do your best and fall in love with everything yoga has to offer. If you’d like to learn more about how to get yoga clients, we wrote an article about that too.

Assuming becoming a yoga instructor is something you want to do, and you’re a little lost on finding the steps, there are ways to find answers. If you’re looking for a platform to manage all of your business and financial aspects. Persona is a great choice because every tool you need is centralized in one place, and it is there to help you every step of the way.

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