How to Become a Yoga Instructor: A Step-By-Step Guide
Looking to take the next step on your yoga journey? Follow this quick step-by-step guide to become a certified yoga instructor!
So, you caught the yoga bug, and now you want to deepen your practice by becoming a yoga instructor.
Well, I’ve got good news and bad news for you…
The bad news is, there’s no cure. Once you catch the yoga bug, you’ve got it for life — which is actually a good thing when you think about it! ;)
And the good news?
Becoming a certified yoga instructor is a simple, straightforward process that can change your life and help you change others’ lives too!
So, follow along as I guide you through the process step-by-step. By the end, you’ll have all the information you need to start the next chapter on your yoga journey.
Step 1: Ask Yourself, “What Style Do I Want to Teach?”
If you’ve got the itch to become a yoga instructor, chances are you’ve gravitated towards a style that resonates with you.
Whether it’s Hatha, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Bikram, or another practice, the style you want to teach will determine what you specialize in after your initial yoga training course.
So, if you’ve already narrowed that down, great!
If not, do some soul searching, explore as many different practices as you can, and find the one that you’re most passionate about.
Step 2: Research Yoga Training Courses
Before signing up for a yoga training course, do some research online for one that best suits you.
These days, you can either complete your training online or find a local studio that’s certified to train aspiring yoga instructors…
But before you make your decision, make sure whatever course you choose is registered by the Yoga Alliance (YA) — the largest organization that represents the yoga community in the US.
The stamp of approval from the YA ensures your yoga training course lives up to a standard of quality, ethics, safety, and equity.
If in-person training is more your style, you can search the YA Directory for registered schools near you.
Step 3: Complete Your Yoga Training Course
The next step is the most challenging, but also the most rewarding!
Regardless of which yoga training course you choose, you’ll need to complete a minimum of 200 hours of coursework to get your certification.
The curriculum includes everything you need to know about yoga history, philosophy, the sutras, forms, modified forms, anatomy and physiology, what muscles you’re using and why, the benefits of yoga, and much more.
So basically, it’s really fun!
I remember feeling a much deeper connection to my yoga practice after completing my training.
You’re not just learning about the forms and techniques. You’re discovering the heart and soul of yoga and how it came to be all those years ago.
200 hours may sound like a lot, but it’s a powerful investment that will strengthen your passion for the practice, and it’s worth every second.
Typically, yoga training courses take anywhere from three to five months. So make sure you block out enough time in your schedule so you can focus on the process.
Once you’ve finished your 200-hours, you have the option of going further and specializing in the style of your choice. These advanced training programs usually include another 100 hours of coursework to complete.
Step 4: If Necessary, Get Your RYT Certification
Congratulations! You completed your yoga training course!
Now, depending on where you want to work as a yoga instructor, you may need to get an RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher) certification from YA.
An RYT certification is proof that you’ve finished your yoga training course, and it’s also a promise to your clients that you’ll uphold the YA Code of Conduct.
Whenever you’re ready to register, head over to the Yoga Alliance’s RYT registration page to start the application process.
Many studios and facilities require an RYT to teach classes, but if you’re opening up your own yoga business, you may not need one.
It all depends on the path you take.
Also, keep in mind that some facilities may require a CPR certification to teach yoga, so be on the lookout for that when searching for positions!
Step 5: Practice, Practice, Practice!
In reality, getting your yoga instructor certification is just the beginning.
If you’re new to teaching, you’ll need to spend a lot of time in the driver’s seat to get the hang of things.
The good news is, there are plenty of ways to get your practice in!
If you have a studio you love to practice in, ask if you can shadow one of the instructors there or run a class once a week.
You can teach free community yoga classes in the park, lead online sessions over zoom, and even set up fun practice sessions with close friends and family.
The more time you spend at the front of the class, the better you’ll get at controlling the pace of your sessions, clearly communicating poses and modifications, and being a strong guiding light for your clients.
Step 6: Keep Up With Your Certifications
To maintain your RYT status, the YA asks that all certified yoga instructors submit continuing education hours every three years.
According to their website, you’ll need to report at least 45 hours of teaching and 30 hours of training to meet the education requirements.
These extra hours are a way to remind us that there’s always more to learn, and they’re also a valuable opportunity to expand our practice not just for ourselves, but for everyone that comes to our classes.
Step 7: Share Your Passion With the World!
The best part about being a yoga instructor is sharing each moment with your clients, breathing in with the knowledge that you’re healing your body, mind, and spirit with each pose.
You deserve to share that experience with the world.
Wherever you are on your yoga journey, I wish you the best of luck, and I’m sending my love and support.
Please come back and reference this article whenever you need it, and if you have any questions you’d like me to answer, feel free to leave them in the comments below.
With the holidays right around the corner, now’s the perfect time to pick out a gift for the yogi in your life!
Head over to my shop to find yoga-themed shirts, scented candles, online yoga class packages, and more.
Wishing you and yours a happy and cozy holiday season!