How to Become a Certified Yoga Instructor

You are genuinely passionate about yoga – it helps you feel centered, keeps you healthy, and it has built your confidence. Now, you feel a calling to teach others and help them experience the same benefits you have while deepening your own knowledge, experience, and understanding. You feel ready to become a Certified Yoga Instructor.

Now that you know what you want, it’s time to put your plan into action. To help you, our yoga studio in Smithfield, NC is walking you through how to become a certified yoga instructor.

Why Become a Certified Yoga Instructor?

As a yoga teacher, not only do you have the privilege to serve and teach others, but there’s a lot of freedom, too. Instructors can choose to work:

  • Part-time or full-time
  • Start your own studio
  • Work for an existing studio
  • Offer private lessons and concierge service where you visit clients at their home

You can even incorporate yoga into an existing career path, whether you’re a therapist, health coach, or nutritionist. Yoga teacher certification is the key because that shows clients (if you choose to go into business for yourself) or employers that you have the proper education and training.

What Is the 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training?

In order to get certified, you need to take a 200-hour yoga teacher training course that is accredited through The Yoga Alliance. According to the most recent standards for Registered Yoga Schools (RYS), all accredited programs must follow a core curriculum that includes:

  • Techniques and Practice: A minimum of 75 in-person classroom hours must be spent on the three core competencies of Asana, Pranayama & Subtle Body, and Meditation.
  • Anatomy and Physiology: 30 hours (20 hours of these may be online) learning anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics.
  • Yoga Humanities: 30 hours must be spent on the history, philosophy and ethics of yoga.
  • Professional Essentials: 50 classroom hours must be devoted to teaching methodology, professional development, and a minimum of 10 hours of the 50 must be spent practice teaching.
  • Electives: An additional 15 hours must be spent supporting any of the other 12 competencies.

This is a total of 200 classroom hours and doesn’t include volunteer work (seva), practicing yoga outside of class, and doing any reading assignments. The goal is that once you have completed the program, you will be able to properly guide and instruct others in:

  • The different types of yoga, including Ashtanga, Hatha, and Vinyasa
  • Teaching methodology and how to create sequences;
  • Yogic philosophy
  • Ethics in teaching and running a yoga practice
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Mindfulness and meditation techniques
  • Working with different populations and learning how to adapt poses for them.

300-hour Yoga Techer Training

While the 200-hour training is more common, for those who want to work with more challenging populations, such as pregnant women, children, or people who are elderly or disabled, a 300-hour yoga teacher training may be more beneficial. In this program, you’ll go to the next level, learning principles and techniques that are more advanced and detailed.

In this program, more time is devoted to philosophy, ethics, and lifestyle, practicum, and technical training.

Finding the Right Yoga Teacher Training Program

While all accredited programs must align with the guidelines, there’s also a wide variety of classes available, and it’s important to consider what you want before signing up for the first class you see.

  • Time: Some classes are brief, lasting only a few weeks, but they’re very intensive with long class times. Others are spaced out over several months to fit in with your schedule and allow you a better opportunity to absorb what you learn and gain confidence in your knowledge.
  • Cost: It’s important to factor your budget into choosing a program. However, this is an investment in your future, so if you feel a more expensive program will be a better fit, that may be worth it.
  • Online or in-person: Some programs have moved to an online model which can work for some students, though others prefer a more structured, interactive setting of in-person classes.

Volunteer Teach to Gain Practice

After you have your 200-hour teaching certification, you have the knowledge and experience to teach, but you may not have your methods set in stone. That’s okay! Before diving in to a career or opening your own studio before you’re ready, teach on a volunteer basis. Offer to hold a class at your local library, teach a church group, or even get family and friends together. As you do this, log your hours and use this to build your resume as well as your confidence and skills.

Once you feel confident and are ready to take the next step, you can decide the best course of action, whether that’s to work for a studio, open your own, or teach privately. There are all kinds of options available to you.

Learn More About 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training

If you do want to be a certified yoga instructor, we can help! We offer a 200-hour yoga teacher training that is accredited through The Yoga Alliance and are dedicated to helping people share their gifts and abilities with others. To learn more about our programs, call us today at  919-971-1431 or fill out our contact form.