How To Become A Yoga Instructor in 10 Easy Steps

how to become a yoga instructor

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Teacher Training To Become A Certified Yoga Instructor

So, you have discovered Yoga and you love it. 

You might already be well-seasoned, or perhaps you’re more of a novice, but your passion for yoga means you want to learn and grow.

This is a strong foundation to begin your yoga instructing journey.

Imagine laying out your yoga mat, taking a seat, breathing in deeply, finding peace and getting ready for your first Asana.

This time though you are the teacher.

Not sure where to start though? Want to know how to become a yoga instructor?

Here  we have put together everything you’ll need to know – including some top tips to help you take your first steps on learning how to become a Yoga instructor and beyond.

How to become a yoga instructor
How to Become A Yoga Instructor. Anupam Mahapatra, Unsplash

How To become a yoga instructor in 10 Steps

Follow this 10-step flow to pursue your new dream and become a yoga instructor…

1. Which Yoga Training Provider To Use?

Practicing as a certified yoga instructor generally starts with a basic yoga certification program or a RYT 200, (Registered Yoga Teacher with 200 Hours of coaching). 

You will often find that your local gym or studio will offer programs to teach the principles of yoga, however normally yoga studios are the best places to go for yoga teacher training courses.

In saying that, do not overlook online courses. These have come on leaps and bounds in recent times and there are some quality programs out there. 

As you go through the stages you will find yourself learning the various components needed to teach yoga. Not just the yoga itself but also important areas like how to lead a group and postures that do not lead to injury.

A great place to start is to research some of the top online yoga teacher training options out there. 

Here’s our Top 10 recommendations, many of which are yoga alliance approved.

Understand yoga philosophy and have an idea on which yoga style you want to teach. 

It is useful to have a think about how you would like to deepen your own personal yoga practice and where you would like to see the most growth in your own style.

How to become a yoga instructor
How To Become A Yoga Instructor. Anupam Mahapatra, Unsplash

2. How Do I Get Certified?

Firstly, you want to know about and look for the internationally recognized gold standard in yoga teacher training, the Yoga Alliance. 

Founded in 1997 it works as a non-profit organization that has set out the minimum standards for yoga certification programs.

It is important to realize early on that many studios and gyms require instructors to be certified by a yoga alliance approved program.

Sometimes it is OK just to register with the Alliance, but you should know what’s required before going in.

Next, you are going to need to enrol in a 200-hour yoga teacher training program. Some schools offer courses that take less time however the Yoga Alliance requires you to have received 200 hours of training as a minimum to achieve the certification.

Once you have done all that you are one step closer to being a great yoga teacher.

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3. Know The Requirements

So, you need to complete a 200-hour training program through coursework to work as a certified yoga instructor that’s approved by the yoga alliance.

This will typically consist of practical hands-on work, class evaluations and mentoring. 

200-hour courses typically take a month if you have face to face lessons. Online may be slightly longer if your availability is a bit sporadic.

Local gyms and studios may offer courses that are slightly longer if it’s only during weekends. These can take anywhere up to 6 months to complete.

You can then choose to take it to the next level and embark on 300-hour yoga teacher training and 500-hour yoga teacher training. This sounds a lot and is optional but in doing so you will learn to work with pregnant women, the seriously ill and children and adults with special needs.

 As your confidence grows and you start thinking about trying to get your first clients booked in, do not forget you will need insurance. Make sure you get yourself a comprehensive liability insurance package which plenty of companies offer both in the U.S but also across Europe.

Just look online and once you have the statement of cover, put it in your certification folder.

How to become a yoga instructor
How To Become A Yoga Instructor, Annie Spratt, Unsplash

4. What About The Other Stuff?

As well as loving yoga and getting all the technical certificates, what other skills are recommended?

6 Top Skills For Yoga Instructors:

  1. You are a people person. Someone who is easily approachable, knows how to drive others and is generally an understanding individual
  2. You can motivate and inspire
  3. You are willing to build on your training and continue to learn
  4. You know your clients’ individual needs and know how to get the best out of them
  5. You are a good listener
  6. You have some business skills or are willing to learn if you want to go it alone

It would also be useful to get a qualification in first aid. Yoga asks a lot of the human body and it will give your clients confidence in you as a teacher if they know you are able to carry out some basic first aid.

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How to become a yoga instructor
Instructor-led Beach Yoga. Inspiredhorizonsmarketing.com, Unsplash

5. Completing Your Yoga Instructor Training Program

Whether you choose to do the training online or in person you will not be spoiled for choice.

We have already given you the top 10 online courses but if you prefer face to face learning have a search online in your local area for registered yoga teachers.

Something that is often not mentioned at this stage is that during or after training, watch some other classes. Observe and make notes on the teachers’ style and teaching method, making your style of instructing more rounded.

In doing so you will pick up valuable tips and gain valuable knowledge on how to lead a class and will move you on in leaps and bounds as you begin your journey.

A great teacher will not mind sharing advice.
Remember to look for a school that focuses on your own personal interests.

Most yoga studios will look at Vinyasa yoga or Vinyasa flow in any certification program if that is not for you then do not be scared of looking around.

There are many different types of yoga, here are 4 to take a closer look at:

How to become a yoga instructor
Practice, practice, practice! Carl Barcelo, Unsplash

6. Can I Learn To Teach Yoga Online?

The simple answer is – Yes! 

If you feel you cannot commit the time to be fully available for face-to-face teaching, then the online training offers a handy solution for those moments when distance or time is against you. 

As mentioned before, many of the online courses are Yoga Alliance approved and offer as good a service as an in-person lesson. Look at our top 10 list for examples of online learning.

Be aware though that only during the Covid 19 pandemic would the yoga alliance allow certificates to be given for those who learned how to become a yoga instructor online.

Traditionally they only certified those who had undertaken face to face training. So always check before starting any online course.

If you do learn how to become a yoga instructor online make sure that it is interactive and that you get plenty of direct feedback and support from your teacher.

Ultimately online learning gives you more freedom to learn around your own schedule and needs, so it’s very useful for anyone learning how to become a yoga instructor that can’t commit to set times or who is not able to get to a yoga studio or gym for lessons. 

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How to become a yoga instructor
Learning how to become a Yoga teacher online, has become even more popular during The COVID-19 pandemic. Kraken Images, Unsplash.

7. Practice Makes Perfect

Once you have done 200 hours plus of training you are not going to naturally feel confident to teach straight off the bat. It takes serious time to get to a level where your teaching style becomes natural.

So, practice as much as you can. It doesn’t matter who or how you do it. Practice with relations, friends or even your pets if you have to! 

You may just want to do some personal practice in front of a mirror, so you can see yourself teach. Video yourself and watch it back so that you can pick up on the little details.

The more teaching hours you get in, the better the end product will be.

The courses will obviously give you skills to teach but you need to fine tune your style to suit you and allow the confidence to flow, and that will be a much easier process if you build your hours of teaching experience.

How to become a yoga instructor
Refining your Yoga teaching style with friends and family, will really help you instruct classes. Antonika Chanel, Unsplash

8. Where To Pitch Yourself?

Yoga instructors typically work a range of shifts from full time to part time. Your earning capacity really comes down to experience more than anything else. Expect to start on around $8 an hour but as you gain more and more experience and reviews begin to flow in, you can look to charge more. 

In the United States the average is $30.91 an hour with some instructors charging $70+ but obviously they are top of the top.

Pitch your services at where you feel your experience and time are worth. Remember though cost must reflect quality, so it is always better to start lower and build a client base. Then start charging more as the level of experience offered increases.

Also consider where or how you want to teach. Do you want to teach online or perhaps you would rather go into businesses and do tailored yoga sessions for 3 or 4 staff per session?

Teaching online will always be the most profitable method but if you prefer to offer a more personal service this may not be for you.

The possibilities are vast so getting a good idea of where you see yourself will help you build a better business idea as you learn how to become a yoga instructor.

9. Email Addresses Are King

You want to start building a mailing list as quickly as possible.

This allows you to stay in touch regularly with those who come and enjoy your lessons. 

Tailored information sent regularly to clients helps keep you top of their minds when they want a yoga class.

A good way to capture data on a website is to offer a “my top tips for free” e-brochure, in exchange for an email. This gives the customer something for free and is a great way of getting your expertise out there.

However you do it, prioritize email capture as quickly as possible. It’s a fantastic, low-cost marketing strategy that will pay dividends as you make your way through learning how to become a yoga instructor.

10. The Sky's The Limit

So, you have gained your certification after 200 hours of lessons and you are now a registered yoga teacher.

What is the next step?

Well now it is up to you. Put together a comprehensive program of lessons ready for your first customers. Think about personal experiences you have had. What worked and what would you improve?

You could approach a local yoga studio or gym and see if they are hiring. You could start small and offer Yoga classes in the local community centers. Maybe you have a space at hoe that you could use as a private room for lessons.

If you are looking at the big leagues, then opening your own yoga studio would certainly rank as top-level aspiration.

In doing so you could start a yoga business, small and maybe on the side to begin but as the business grows it could become your main source of income.

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What Next?

Becoming a yoga teacher is a rewarding choice whether you decide to start a business or if you want to practice providing more of a secondary income.

It requires a lot of determination and time to get there but the tips above on how to become a yoga instructor will certainly get you moving in the right direction and ultimately help you realize your dream.

Thoroughly research any course of yoga teacher that you are thinking of using and if possible, see if there are any reviews left on google or the website.

Make sure you know that what you are going to use to learn how to become a yoga instructor is high quality and delivers a certified qualification at the end.

Good luck on your journey…

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