"The good teacher is the one who suggests rather than imposes, and who gives his pupil the urge to teach too" Edward Bulwer-Lytton
This quote summarizes the principle cycle in the spiritual discipline that is Yoga: to transmit, to move, to guide. But like any personal project (or professional retraining), becoming a yoga teacher is not for everyone.
In addition to the necessary training, the steps to be taken, or employability conditions, this postural art does not offer the same training and certification from one country to another: Yoga is not recognized in the US as an official discipline. However, it is India, its cultural birthplace.
If you are just curious or have a strong desire to become a yoga teacher, read the guide below!
Training to Become a Yoga Instructor
Yoga intensives, year-long training, workshops, recognized schools, yoga retreats abroad... there are thousands of yoga teacher training programs offered to become a yoga teacher, but all do not have the same professional value. How to choose which course is best for you? The question is becoming even more relevant because every year, hundreds of students begin a yoga teacher training course and never end up finishing it.
Which yoga training is the most suitable for you? Know that there are two main types:
- Long courses, which consist of obtaining a diploma or certification in teaching yoga
- Short courses, which focus on learning a specialty or type of Yoga.
A long yoga teacher training is highly recommended for those who wish to teach in a yoga center: demanding and engaging, it is an intensive advanced training that requires 100hrs to 500hrs of training... Long training programs are accessible from schools or from one of the many professional yoga associations
The courses offered last from 2 to 5 years, give you a professional certification from a recognized school and allows you access to the professional network of the association to help you find your first job. The course of studies is done over the years, in several stages, for example:
- A first-year dedicated to the acquisition of theoretical and practical knowledge
- A second-year focused on yoga practice
- Then another two to three years to train with practitioners in a yoga school, in parallel with writing a memoir.
Note: it is not a full-time course, your group classes are organized on weekends, and your individual courses take place on weekdays. Yoga instruction is spread over the entire schooling year, depending on the goal. Tuition fees can range from $2,000 to $8000 a year, depending on the type, of course, offered and the school's reputation.
Did you know that there are now many long training courses as well as short ones to be a yoga teacher in the US?
Those who already have a degree or who would not want to return to school, short courses or à la carte are ideal. They aim to deepen your knowledge or to perfect a technique, such as:
- Yoga therapy training
- Yoga training for children
- Prenatal yoga training or postnatal Yoga
- Integral yoga training
The training can take different forms, from the yoga retreat to the summer internship. It can also help you discover other types of Yoga. Let yourself be guided and inspired!
Teaching Yoga Without a Diploma?
Giving yoga classes without a diploma is possible: experience, originality, and motivation will be your greatest assets! (Source: Pixabay)
Since this is an unregulated profession, everyone is free to set the rules for teacher training: for example, some schools will not require you to take training, while for others, academic courses are just as important as the yoga experiences you will get along the way.
You might have wondered if it is possible to give yoga classes without a diploma? This is indeed possible, provided you can submit an impeccable resume, benefitting from several experiences:
- Practical internship with a confirmed yogi
- Yoga class in India, during a trip
- Regular practice of several types of Yoga (green Yoga, raja yoga)
Put yourself in the place of the practitioners: between a young graduate yoga teacher with serious experiences in school and a yoga teacher without a degree but with experiences from around the world- which will they be more likely to choose? The one that makes it enjoyable to learn!
Independent and complementary training can be followed. The training cycle can focus on a discipline in general or on specific techniques:
- Alternative medicine (including acupuncture)
- Breathing exercises mastery
You may decide to be a specialized yoga teacher only part-time and dedicate the rest of the time to personal development activities to help your students in the best possible way. For this, it is necessary to define your motivations for becoming a yoga teacher, which is one of the key steps to help create your dream.
My yoga teacher guided me along the way. It was only after a few weeks that I learned that he did not graduate from any school, but that he had received specific training in my field of interest. My practice would not have evolved so much without this teaching learned in the field, and I thank him for that!
The Steps to Take Before Being a Yoga Teacher
Becoming a yoga teacher can be a warrior's path: it's a real mountain to climb!
This is a question that will surely be asked to you: why do you want to become a yoga teacher? Because it's fashionable? Because it's trendy? Because you want to become a spiritual and emotional guide as a yoga teacher? If your answer is more along the latter, then every chance of fulfilling that dream and teaching yoga, having passed by a few important steps first.
The first of these is to take stock of your motivations to determine your strengths and weaknesses. You are about to embark upon a long and difficult path, where you will have to continually deepen your mantra, acquire new knowledge, make each of your students feel the spirituality of this ancestral art, and help them to reach their full potential.
Know that you will need to show knowledge, listening, and passion throughout your career: the steps to become a yoga teacher (it must be said) are difficult! In addition, it will be necessary to choose a specialty, and there are many choices to choose from:
- Kundalini yoga
- Hatha yoga
- Mantra yoga
- Vinyasa yoga
- Yoga sutra
- Yoga Iyengar
- Yoga Nidra
- Yoga shiva
- Laughter, Yoga, and more
In addition to defining a training which suits you, it is necessary to determine a style of teaching adapted to and in relation with your personality. For this, sign up for other courses where you can practice Yoga in other ways, try other asanas, listen to other teachers and feel for yourself your preferences in types and styles.
Other short courses can also introduce you to the Indian tradition as a whole for a better understanding of the benefits of Yoga.
After different rewarding professional experiences and courses, your certificate of training in your pocket (or your resume), and your motivation flowing, all you have to do now is to make yourself known! Platforms like Superprof make it possible to put teachers and yoga students in contact, on the basis of a geographical research if you want to practice as an independent instructor. But how can you make yourself known if you want to give classes in a yoga school in parallel or instead?
Fid out more about tutoring jobs here.
What Qualities Are Needed to Give Classes in a Yoga Studio?
Before giving yoga classes that you are passionate about, some importsnt steps are necessary... (Source: Pixabay)
First, there are specific conditions for teaching yoga in schools, including:
- Being over 18 years old
- Having at least two years of yoga practice
- Be motivated to teach your yoga classes holistically all day long
While the qualification of a yoga teacher training is not always mandatory, you will have a period of probation (or test) if you are recruited in a yoga school. This will determine if you can give yoga classes with concentration, professionalism, and philosophical awareness.
Most important, too, will be your yoga teacher status within the school, although they all have disadvantages:
- As an employee, you will be subject to a defined training program without the freedom to choose
- As a volunteer, you will not receive any compensation
- As a freelancer, you will not always have regular classes and will only be called upon occasionally
If the teaching conditions in schools do not suit you, you can always decide to set up your yoga center and build your reputation! You can also establish a yoga association if the demand in your area is high. Create opportunities to feel the joy of teaching your passion!
A thousand-year-old discipline, Yoga combines the mind and the body. That's why it can take time to prepare and ready yourself to teach, because the question is not so much how to become a yoga teacher but rather to know if you are ready to embark on this wonderful spiritual adventure. I hope this guide might have been helpful and perhaps enlightening!
Now consider tutor jobs as a yoga instructor; a situation wherein you may set your own hours and teach the type of Yoga you prefer!
Qualities Of A Credible Yoga Teacher
Most people will tell you that teaching yoga is one of the most challenging jobs out there. Although there might be some truth to this, it's mostly an exaggeration on the part of those who've never really experienced Yoga in its true sense.
Truth be told, teaching yoga can be incredibly gratifying and self-fulfilling.
But the best part about teaching yoga is tapping into your spiritual side and getting to experience the peace and tranquility that comes with this deep art form.
Yoga allows you to disconnect from the happenings of your daily life and delve into a deeper side of nature. As a teacher, you get to explore and push your boundaries constantly.
If you feel you have it in you to be a yoga teacher, here's what you need to know before you set off on the path to becoming a guru.
There isn't really a fixed standard to teach Yoga as a profession; anyone can become a tutor with enough hard work. However, there are a few qualities one must foster to become a better yoga instructor:
Developing A Connection With Students
Yoga teachers must connect with their students on a personal level. Since it's more than just a workout, it's crucial to create an emotional impact on your students and help them tap into their spiritual side.
Make your yoga class feel like a safe space where students can decouple from all stress and worries.
Presence Of Mind
A large part of becoming a yoga teacher means being attentive to your surrounding and being fully immersed in the moment.
During class, you need to be able to command attention. Your students will be watching every move and following what you do. Therefore, as you conduct your classes, you need to exhibit natural confidence, which your students will follow with complete diligence.
Yoga is a meditative process, and it can be hard to keep your students motivated throughout the course or even the session.
As a teacher, you need to be energetic and charismatic and should be able to imbibe these same qualities in your students. There's no one way to maintain an air of enthusiasm — try some subtle humor or invoke some spirituality, depending on the ambiance in your class. Either way, you should be able to transfer that zeal and passion to your students while teaching.
No one likes an unprepared, clueless teacher. You wouldn't want to be that kind of a teacher. It's no use researching how to become a yoga instructor if you can't put in the necessary work.
You must have a love for the subject and a burning desire to impart all your knowledge to your students.
The moment you enter class, you should switch into teacher mode and have a plan ready. The idea should be to always stay in control with no moment going to waste.
Teaching Yoga can be one of the most satisfying jobs as it's one of the most gratifying and spiritually fulfilling professions. This is because the routines involved require you to challenge yourself mentally, physically, and spiritually.
However, teaching yoga is not everyone's cup of tea. As a yoga instructor, you might have to face many obstacles in your teaching journey. It's not necessary to fit the mold of a conventional yoga teacher. You can set your path. But remember, you have to stay put while dealing with the ups and downs of this journey.
Once you've made up your mind, it's time you embark on your journey to becoming a yoga guru. Follow these steps to becoming a yoga teacher:
Are You Ready To Teach Yoga?
Before you start, ask yourself if you're really ready for this career path. Have you practiced enough? Do you have the physical as well as emotional capability required to teach the routines?
This can help you gain insight into whether you're interested in this job for the long haul and where you stand with your knowledge of Yoga. Apart from the steps involved, you should also be aware of Yoga's postures, philosophy, and history.
Yoga requires physical and emotional fortitude. Therefore, you need to see how centered you are emotionally and how well you can translate those meditative qualities to your students.
Researching For Yoga Program
It's essential to have some prior experience before signing up or working as a yoga teacher. Practicing Yoga by yourself daily can help you gain the required expertise before you take up training.
Start your yoga training career with a foundation, so it would be helpful to join a short training program to master all the key concepts and see things from a student's perspective.
Before you sign up for a training program, research well at your end. You will come across a multitude of programs and schools teaching Yoga, so it's important to choose the right kind.
Perhaps you might want to specialize in a specific kind of Yoga, such as Kundalini, or you might prefer to become a more generalized tutor who teaches different styles, from Hatha to Vinyasa.
Also, consider the logistics- are you looking for a yoga center close to you, or you're willing to travel to an institute that offers you a more authentic learning experience?
Factors To Consider Before Selecting A Program
Since you're choosing from different yoga programs and associations, you want to look for one that offers accreditation. Please select a program that provides the best mix when it comes to cost, expertise, duration, and intensity.
Also, factor in your budget, and choose a program that sits within it. After shortlisting, ask about the place and association in question. You might even want to talk to the teachers and get some basic info about what it's like working as a yoga instructor
Learning Yoga requires readings on history, anatomy, and philosophy. It's vastly different from other exercises as the workout is not just for your body but also for your mind. So prepare for homework and align your schedule with your training program before signing up
If you have a friend who would want to learn Yoga, that's even better to keep you motivated and maintain a strict schedule. Ask around in your social circle for experienced yoga practitioners and if they can help you select a program that would suit your style
Signing Up With A Program
The last step is to get registered. It's worthwhile registering with an accredited program for better employment prospects in the future — most employers want yoga instructors with credentials.
Once you've gotten affiliated with a yoga training program, you can meet the standards required for yoga teaching training. Besides this, you will also gain some valuable, hands-on experience of what teaching yoga is like in a professional setting.
Gaining Some Preliminary Experience
Probably, you will still need some teaching experience after training to work with any accredited yoga institute and get hired at the place of your choice. You must put your learning to use before you head out and start teaching officially.
You can volunteer to teach at different fitness events, like marathons, fundraisers, and charity walks. Many events offer free yoga sessions to attendees, where you can provide services for some experiences. This will allow you to build a name for yourself and gain recognition.
In addition, you can also volunteer to teach family, friends, and other acquaintances. Again, this won't cost you anything and help you gain self-confidence and valuable experience before starting teaching professionally.
Advertise your services in your neighborhood or local community center to those who might be interested. Start by conducting classes for interested yoga enthusiasts.
After you've gained some experience, you can consider working in a yoga studio as a teacher. First, make sure to research and shortlist the best possible places where you can offer your services. Find out the vacancies, the kind of instructors they hire, and the strength of the classes.
You are now at a point where you can start teaching Yoga professionally, be it your home, studio, or gym. Start by marketing your classes while also applying as an instructor at different establishments.
However, you can get the most liberty as a freelance yoga tutor. Advertising your services on a site like Superprof can help you make a name for yourself and build a niche. But, remember, there's tons of competition, and you want to set yourself apart from the riff-raff!
So what are you waiting for? Sign up with Superprof, find prospective clients and yoga enthusiasts, and fulfill your dream as a yoga guru!
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