"As for the future, it is not a question of predicting it but of making it possible" Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Becoming a yoga teacher is not for everyone as it is a very demanding profession: only 30% of aspiring yogis go to the end of their spiritual training...
Whether it's for retraining or for new professional ambitions, becoming a yoga teacher requires several major steps, which we're about to dive into now!
Would you like to master Pranayama, Sutra, or Ashram?
Motivations to Become a Yoga Teacher
Want to teach in a yoga center? Give yoga classes to the four corners of the US? Meet new yogis? There are many different personalized goals when it comes to wanting to teach yoga.
Becoming a private yoga teacher is not something you can improvise, and above all, you can't be trained overnight. Yoga is a mental, physical, and spiritual discipline based on techniques from the Indian cultural tradition, based on breathing, the breath, and self-awareness.
This emotional and spiritual journey can only be passed from a teacher (yoga teacher) to a student (budding or confirmed yogi). The goal of yoga instruction is to reach YOG, i.e., self-awareness and a state of deep well-being. Teaching the art of meditation with a desire to transmit knowledge: you must have a passion and the skills to teach during your yoga class!
You thought you knew all the yoga postures? Believe me; there are still more... 84 000! (Only Shiva would know them all)!
Before becoming a specialized yoga teacher, ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I willing to dedicate myself 100% to the practice of yoga?
- To master both traditional yoga and its variants in terms of methodology?
- Do I want to take continuing education throughout my life?
- Will I have time to prepare my group lessons and my individual classes in parallel with my own training?
If you answer yes to these four questions, then you can move to the next step on the list: the qualities needed to become a yoga teacher. They are simple but essential:
- Knowledge, as with any taught subject, to support students through transmitting and learning
- Adaptability, linking the sun salutation to the main asanas in the blink of an eye
- Listening, which goes hand in hand with spirituality and meditation
Feeling ready to climb mountains, like a Tibetan monk, to deepen your knowledge of yoga and yourself? It's a good start... But it's really only the beginning: the serious journey has just begun. Before going forward onto the next step, you'll need to figure out which employment status suits you (with their different responsibilities) when you become a specialized yoga teacher:
- Private individual teacher in a yoga federation
- Special volunteer teacher in professional associations
- Independent or private teacher on your own terms
Note: the salary is fixed for employees, but not for the self-employed, who can freely choose their own rates to offer.
Follow a Yoga Teacher Training Tailored to Your Needs
You have just reached the second stage, that of following a training course to get the coveted prize, yoga certification from an association or from the Yoga Alliance! Based on a holistic approach to the profession, most long certificate programs run for a period of 2 to 5 years.
Now you'll just have to choose a training option from those offered in the US:
- Initial training with a common base of theoretical and practical knowledge
- Specific training with a certificate of aptitude
- An à la carte training program to specialize or deepen your knowledge
The advantage of long formations is that they break down in several stages. Generally, the first year is an intensive knowledge program, while the second year is more about practice. The last years require the validation of a yoga workshop with confirmed teachers, then the issuance of certification following the writing of a dissertation. Sounds a bit like an obstacle course, you say?
Did you know? An experienced yoga teacher has, on average, between 7 and 14 years of training and no less than 20 workshops or yoga retreats to their credit. Which step are you at along the journey?
There are also continuing education solutions, with internships abroad (such as a yoga retreat in India or Australia), or short training courses, which usually focus on a specific type of yoga:
- Kundalini yoga
- Hatha yoga
- Mantra yoga
- Tantra yoga
- Nidra yoga
Is it possible to teach yoga without a degree? Of course! In the US, the profession is regulated. It is, of course, more helpful for your resume if you are certified...
At the end of the day, how much does all this cost? Training to teach yoga is as much a personal investment as it is financial: it takes on average $1000 per year of study, not to mention the additional expenses (travel, unpaid internships, investment in yoga equipment).
And to be at the forefront of the latest trends, don't forget to keep yourself informed of the latest yoga news, including consulting Yoga Magazine for the UK and USA!
Forge A Yoga Teaching Method For Yourself
After your stages of academic learning, it will be time to cross a new bridge, forging a teaching method just for you, in tune with your personality. Whether you decide to study or not, you'll need to have a main specialty of yoga to begin teaching. These are often global methods, such as:
- Iyengar yoga
- Green yoga
- Ashtanga yoga
- Vinyasa yoga
You can also specialize in prenatal yoga, postnatal yoga, or children's yoga, just to differentiate yourself from other specialized teachers: you will have a clientele just for you!
In life, "I never lose. Either I win, or I learn, "said Nelson Mandela. This is the kind of positive thinking to inject into your teaching methods!
The best way to improve your teaching technique is to compare and contrast! For this, you can:
- Take private lessons with other experienced teachers
- Train yourself in another discipline, such as meditation, to complete your teaching
- Ask for feedback from your students
A specialized yoga teacher should know that at least 10 major styles of yoga exist, namely: Hatha, Asthanga, Kundalini, Power, Vinyasa, Bikram, Nidra, Iyengar, Hot, and Fly. From technicality to flexibility, there is only one step between them (or posture)!
Be aware that a good teaching method involves continual learning and improving throughout your life: it takes several years to become a very good yoga teacher. With a hint of patience and a good dose of perseverance, I have no doubt you'll get there.
Last Step: Make Your Yoga Class Known!
So now that you have all the elements necessary to become a yoga instructor, where will you teach your private yoga classes? A potentially scary question for beginners, who often seek to secure a comfortable position in a yoga studio. But this is not the only option as there is also:
- Neighborhood associations or children's centers who recruit specialized teachers
- Private or public schools, where admin may seek to hire a young yoga teacher
- Setting up your own yoga studio, where you set your classes and schedule at your own pace
After choosing where you want to practice yoga with your students, you must make yourself known! Your approach must be proactive:
- Use word of mouth networking in your area
- Post classified ads or online
- Create a yoga blog to show who you are
- Start a YouTube channel with videos about yoga
- Write lifestyle articles about yoga
- Sign up for Superprof
Specialized yoga teachers find their first pupils thanks to word of mouth 80% of the time: so start passing out your business cards!
In effect, our Superprof platform geographically lists all the private teachers available. This gives you even more chances to be found by your new students when they do a geographic research by city in your area.
It is also by increasing the opportunities for visibility that some yoga teachers have made themselves known through their YouTube channels or social media networks (including Instagram).
Being a yoga teacher is a beautiful job, which must be practiced with passion. Ready to jump into this new world? Namaste!
Now follow these steps to becoming a yoga teacher...
Benefits Of Teaching Yoga
There are many benefits of doing yoga yourself, but there is also much good that can come from teaching it.
Teach Others, Become Better
There is no denying that teaching others your craft can make you better at it. For a long time, academics have raved about how the best way to master their subject is to teach it to their students.
As someone practicing yoga, you know a few poses and styles. However, when you become a teacher, you are pushed to learn more and more.
This makes you better at it, which allows you to spread your expertise to even more people.
By teaching others, you will be able to enhance your skillset because you now have more poses, philosophies, and methods of breathing that you know.
Yoga Makes You Stronger, Mentally, And Physically
It is no surprise that doing yoga is good for your mental and physical health. It is a discipline that has been practiced for thousands of years, helping billions of people improves the quality of their lives.
Physically, yoga can make you more flexible; it helps tone your muscles and increases your strength. In addition, you feel more energetic thanks to an improved cardiovascular state alongside a healthier metabolism.
Mentally, yoga helps you feel more self-aware. With each yoga session, you feel as if the stress in your body is going down, or you can at least deal with it better.
In school or at work, your attention span is enhanced, allowing you to study and work better. This will benefit you as a person, improving the quality of your life and making you feel happier.
By teaching yoga, you will be achieving these mental and physical gains more often. Therefore, it will not only help your students, but it will also allow you to live a better life compared to before.
It Fits In With Your Current Life
Most yoga instructors teach yoga as a 'side-hustle,' to put it plainly. They work other jobs and teach yoga as well. They either want to spread the knowledge that they have with yoga or stay in practice while making some money on the side.
With modern technology, teaching yoga has never been more accessible. You can host an online class where you can have any number of students tuned in.
They can see you do the pose and replicate it in their living rooms. This makes teaching yoga one of the most mobile jobs in the world.
For anyone searching for a flexible job opportunity that you can work around your existing schedule, teaching yoga is certainly right up there.
Yoga has always been about attaining peace or tranquility in your life that you didn't have before. Its very ethos is to make you feel better and discover what you are truly capable of.
There is no one type of yoga. In fact, there are different types of yoga for various things that you want to achieve.
Some forms of yoga are to make you more physically stronger or flexible, while others are so that you achieve a calmer and more collected frame of mind.
Regardless of your student's intention, if you are in a position where you can improve the quality of their life, there is little that can top that.
You can use your knowledge to guide someone back on track when they may instead be ready to give up.
Even if you don't immediately change their life, you can set them on the right track, which they will follow to get to a better place.
Practicing Yoga Can Help Build Social Skills And Confidence
It is one thing to practice yoga where you surrender yourself to the powers of movement and breathing. However, teaching is an entirely different ball game.
You have a room full of people who are watching you, mimicking your every move, all in hopes of attaining some level of peace.
Yoga can be very demanding at times which means that most people might struggle. However, what gives them strength is looking up to their teacher for motivation.
This makes you want to do better, which in turn makes you work harder.
Your Body Stays Healthy And Injury Free
Yoga is more than breathing and different poses. It involves knowing how the body works. Hence, one wrong move, and you could quite literally end up paralyzed.
However, when learning to become a yoga instructor, you understand more about how the body works. This includes information on what you should and shouldn't do so you can teach others the right way.
Apart from teaching others, you can try to implement your teachings into your own life – as they say, practice what you preach!
Along with yoga, you might even take up a new physical activity to improve a particular part of your body that you discovered was lacking behind others.
Any Time, Any Place
A park? Yes. At home? Yes. In a studio? Sure.
The beauty of yoga is that it can be done anywhere. All you need is a nice, clean, and level surface without too many distractions. This is quite literally all that you need; nothing more, nothing less.
The beauty of yoga is that its primary purpose is to improve your life. So you could be anyone from anywhere, and yoga would be able to help you.
If you're struggling physically, there are exercises for that. Moreover, if there is something weighing you down mentally, yoga has a solution for that as well.
Things To Keep In Mind When Teaching Yoga
While yoga does a lot of good for people, there are a few things that need to be considered:
Going From Student To Teacher
As a yoga student, you have room to make mistakes and get things wrong. No one is watching you, and an error here and there can be ignored.
However, when you are teaching yoga, there is no room for missteps. There will be an entire classroom of people watching and mimicking your every move.
This is not something to be taken lightly and requires you to know precisely what you are doing. As a result, several cities have regulations and certifications in place to only allow experts to teach.
Understandably, people can make mistakes, but these mistakes need to be as little and as rare as they can be. Imagine a student raising their hand and pointing out your error.
Also, if you are in it only for the money – you will be disappointed. Over the past few years, yoga has become extremely popular in the US.
Unfortunately, this means that there are now more yoga teachers than ever before. Hence, if someone comes to you to learn yoga and feels that you are charging too much, they will immediately find someone else at a lower price.
Commitment Is Key
There are so many types of yoga out there, making it almost impossible for someone to master it all, at least in one lifetime. However, this does not mean you can broaden your skillset as much as possible.
To be an ace at your game, you need to be committed to constantly learning. In addition, you need to regularly revitalize your practice to make sure you are always ahead of the herd. If not, there are chances that your students end up dissatisfied.
Many yoga instructors who have been practicing for years still claim that there are always new things that they learn all the time.
Therefore, there will always be more knowledge out there for you to learn; you need to be committed to getting it.
Teaching Is An Art
You could have all the skills in the world, but if you do not know how to teach, it won't matter. There is a much-defined difference between knowing how to do something and teaching others how to do it.
As a teacher, you need to understand that not everyone is the same as you. Some students might be like you, but others might not be.
The weaker students always need the most help because if they knew how to do it right, they wouldn't need your help. So if, as a teacher, you only focus on the students doing well, all of the others will suffer.
People who joined to get better will leave because, like many other things in their lives, they also managed to fail with this.
Learn How To Teach Yoga With The Help Of An Expert
A lot of people live busy lives, often not having time for themselves. So when you decide to practice yoga, make sure they do it properly, especially if you are the teacher.
However, if you're trying to get into teaching yoga, you may still be unsure of your skills. This will make you insecure about your ability to do well.
Fortunately, we have just the solution for you! Visit Superprof! Superprof compiles the best tutors in your area and presents them to you.
Go through their qualifications, experience, and ratings, and choose one within your budget and locality. What's more, you may even find one who gives the first session for free!
Hence, sign up today, and learn to air out your mistakes, becoming the best yoga instructor you can be.
The platform that connects tutors and students