How to Be a Yoga Teacher

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One of the most noble and rewarding career’s one can have is that of a yoga teacher.  This is because, as a yoga teacher you can not just help people with their personal development, but can also help them with their spiritual growth and spiritual evolution.  In addition, you can bring the widespread benefits of yoga to the students, which include health, healing, joy, peace, clarity, confidence and more.  But, given that you are visiting this page, you probably know all that :-) .  You have probably already decided to consider becoming a yoga teacher and are here to find out how to accomplish this.  So let’s discuss what is takes to become a yoga teacher.

This guide on How to Become a Yoga Teacher is divided into 2 sections.  The first section deals with the decision aspect of becoming a yoga instructor and whether or not you are suitable to succeed as a yoga teacher.  The second sections outlines the various types of training you can take, in order to get certified as a yoga teacher and discusses the pros and cons of each of these methods.

Should You Be a Yoga Teacher?

Here are 3 questions you need to ask yourself, which  will go a long way in determining if you are destined to be a great yoga teacher.  Now, just because you might not answer these questions perfectly, does not mean you should not follow through on your intention to become a teacher, its just that these questions will give you some insight into what it means to be a yoga teacher and what are the typical qualities such teacher’s possess.

1. Do You Love Yoga, Fitness or Spirituality?

If you are going to enjoy being a yoga teacher, it is probably important that you really enjoy one of these things.  If you love yoga, then of course you are set.  But, what about if you like yoga, but are not over zealous about it?  What about then?  Should you still be a yoga teacher?  The answer is yes, if…

If you enjoy fitness and working out, then too you would love being a yoga teacher and that is also true for those, who love spirituality, but not yoga per se.

This is because yoga encompasses fitness, health and well-being, and also incorporates spirituality and consciousness.  So if you an enthusiast of these aspects of yoga, then sharing and teaching yoga will be fun and meaningful for you as well.

2. Are You a Good Communicator?

Teaching is all about communicating and teaching yoga is no different.   The advantage you have with yoga, is that you can communicate both verbally as well as visually, by demonstrating the poses and postures, but in general the better your communication skills are, the better teacher you are going to be.

In addition to “normal” communication, if you want to be a really good yoga teacher, you will also have to develop the art of communicating at the level of your student, and learning the art of communicating that which needs to be communicated most.

In other words, a good teacher knows which student needs to hear what and how he or she needs to hear it in order to be most effective.  Of course, once you start to teach, this skill will be honed more and more, so don’t worry if it is still raw for you.  As we say in yoga, the teacher is also the student, so you will have the opportunity to grow, even as you help others do the same.

3. Do You Like to Teach?

This may sound obvious, but those who love to teach know that they love to teach quite clearly.  In fact, those destined to teach have probably been teaching in one way or another all their life.

If you fall into this category great, you know you are cut out to teach, and merging that passion with your passion for yoga will certainly make you great teacher, but if you don’t all is not lost yet.

Perhaps you have tried teaching yet, or perhaps other obstacles, such as fear or shyness have been holding you back.  If so, you may wish to try your hand at teaching an informal yoga class to some friends or family to see how well it suits you.  You may be surprised as how much fun it can really be to be a teacher.

So feel free to experiment and explore this dimension of life.  The only way to sometimes find things out is to jump in and give it a try.

How to Become a Yoga Teacher:

Once you have mulled over the above questions and have concluded that yes, your heart tells you it is time to become a yoga teacher, then the next step is to decide what route to take in order to accomplish this goal.

There are typically 3 choices you have in getting certified, and all have their advantages and disadvantages.  These 3 choices are an ashram based yoga certification program,  in-person yoga certification program or an online yoga teacher’s training and certification course.  Lets discuss these 3 categories and see which one might work best for you.

A. Ashram Based:

An ashram based training is when you do your yoga training on location at a yoga center or yoga school.  Here are the pros and cons of such an approach.

Pros of Ashram Based Yoga Teacher’s Training:

1. Comprehensive Training:

As long as you have researched well the school you plan to attend, the chances are that the training you will receive will be quite comprehensive in nature.  Due to the time you can spend on the training and the general length of such programs, there is plenty of time to provide deep and extensive studies and practices.

2. Authentic Yoga Training:

Another advantage of Ashram based training is that you will likely select the mother school for the type of yoga you wish to learn and thus, your training will be quite authentic and genuine.  You will learn for students or teachers who are closely related to the leniage of the type of yoga you are keen on learning, thus providing you training that is more pure in nature.

3. Memorable Experience:

Traveling to an exotic land, staying in an ashram and learning from authentic yoga instructors will no doubt be a great experience.  This will probably be one of those experiences you will tell your grandchildren about.

4. Recognized Yoga Certification:

Another advantage of an ashram based certification is that the certificate you will receive certainly be credible and carry weight.  In addition, such yoga schools have masters level certification and other advanced yoga training as well, so you can further your yoga expertise at these center’s as well.

Cons of Ashram Yoga Certification:

1. Expensive:

Without a doubt such a training program is going to be quite expensive.  At the least it will cost you $5,000 – $10,000, and depending on your length of stay, etc, it could cost a lot more.  So before jumping into such a program, be sure you want to become a yoga teacher and be sure you select the school carefully.

2. Time Consuming:

In addition to being expensive, you will also of course have to make a considerable commitment in terms of time in order to participate in and complete such a course.  Such programs generally run for several months, and during that time you need to be 100% dedicated to the course.

3. Travel and Health:

Finally, although staying at an ashram and studying under gurus and yoga teachers is quite an adventurous and romantic idea, it also includes the health hazards that come with traveling abroad, as well the demands of travel and leaving your life behind while you participate in the training.

B. Yoga Teacher’s Training in a Yoga Studio:

This probably has been the most common approach to obtaining a yoga teacher’s training certificate, and it is how I received my qualification as well.  The pros and cons of an in-studio teacher’s certification program and quite similar to the ashram based model, so I wont repeat that list in detail again.

Essentially, such a program give you a solid training, with live instruction from qualified teachers.  The resulting certification should be well recognized, but the disadvantages are that you will have to pay quite a lot of money, commit quite a bit of time and be ready to complete the program during the alloted time.

All in all, this is not a bad option and can certainly be a good answer to the question, “How to be a yoga teacher?” but there are alternatives as well.  The best alternative being in the form of an online yoga teacher’s training course and I will discuss details of that below.

C. Online Yoga Teacher’s Training and Certification Course:

You may not have previously considered on online training the answer to your dream of becoming a yoga teacher, but you will surprised by how many yoga instructors are now certified by online programs and have gone on to become successful teachers.

Cons of an Online Yoga Certification Course:

1. No In Person Training:

Although in the past this would have been a great disadvantage of an online program, today with the technology available on the internet, this issue is no longer as problematic.  The availability of online videos, webinars. MP3 audios, DVDs, live chat and skype, now make it entirely possible to adequately substitute a live teacher.  Of course, the online course you select should have such audio and visual tools available to you, and if so you will not feel the absence of a live yoga instructor as much.

2. Self Motivation Required:

As with any self study program, you will need to be self motivated in order to succeed.  While in an in studio class you would have to attend the classes and have the teacher pushing you, for a at home program, you will to have self discipline and sufficient willpower in order to do and complete the training.

3. Internet and Computer Skills Required:

In order to become a yoga teacher, you certainly should not need to become a computer wiz, but to participate in many online programs and courses, you will generally need at least some basic computer skills and might even need to have internet access.

Most sophisticated online courses will give you multiple methods to access the training material, such as via download or online, but to get started you will certainly need to be access this material and to study it, you will certainly need to have access to a computer.

4. Delay in Questions Answered:

How to be a yoga teacher? is certainly not going to be last question you have on this journey to getting certified.  You are going to have lots of questions along the way, and in a live class environment you can going to get near instant answers.  For this reason you must make sure that any online program or school you select, has good support for the entire course of your training.  This way you will have a chance to get your questions addressed in a timely manner.

Pros of an Online Yoga Instructor Training Course:

1. Huge Savings:

If you have some research already then you already know how expensive an in person yoga teacher’s training can be.  It can easily be several thousand dollars.  On the other hand, an online yoga training program can be less that a hundred dollars and in the case of the Mastery of Yoga Certification Program I offer, the complete program is just $47.

Yes, this is really low I know, and you wont find other programs that are this affordable.  I am passionate about yoga and meditation and my life purpose is spread this wisdom, which is why I have made my course so reasonable, but you will find other online courses that are quite cheap as well.

2. Immense Flexibility:

Without a doubt if you are looking into becoming a yoga teacher, you will find this aspect of an online yoga teachers training program invaluable.  Especially if you already have a busy life.

An online course gives you the flexibility to do your studies and practice at a time of your choosing and as most courses are self-study programs, you can also pace yourself to suit your level of expertise.  This is where an online course really start to set itself apart from an in studio one.

Being able to fit in the certification program in the midst of a very busy life, is a great benefit.  Many people who   dream of teaching yoga, but just don’t have the time to complete a on location, regimented, full time program, a flexible online self-study program can certainly be the answer.

3. Superb Training Materials:

Although the first step to teaching yoga professionally is becoming certified, you will find that when you first start teaching, you will be relying quite a bit on the material you learned during your training.  This is perhaps when you will really appreciate the training material from your online course.  You see the training material from an online course has to be very detailed and comprehensive, as it has to take the place of a live teacher.

In an in person program the audio and visual is provided by the live teacher obviously, but in an online program the videos, DVDs, MP3s, podcasts, etc., have to take the place of the teacher, and so must be very good.  The advantage to having all this training material is that it is yours to keep even after you complete your training, and so is like having your teacher with you for reference even after you complete your training.

4. Train with Loved Ones:

If you have friends or family who are also interested in being yoga teachers then you can all sign up together for the online course and arrange to practice together at times that suit you.  This kind of flexibility is only available from an online program.

5. Stop and Start the Course:

In addition to being able to do the training at your own pace, another great advantage of an online yoga course is that you can stop and restart the course if needed.  Often we start projects with the very best of intentions, but life throws us a curve ball and can disrupt our best laid plans.  If you were taking an in-studio certification program, you would have a very hard time stopping the course and restarting it at a later date, but with an online course, given it is self paced, this is very easy to do.

Such flexibility is often the difference between completing the course and becoming a successful yoga teacher versus partially completing your training, and being neither here nor there.

How to Be a Yoga Teacher Summary:

Well I hope this guide gives you insight into the various methods you can use to get certified and become a yoga teacher.  Being a yoga teacher is a great path to take in life and if you have this calling, then I urge you to follow your heart and jump in.

If you are interested in an online program, then you are most welcome to join my yoga certification course.  You can enroll by clicking the image or link below.

Online Yoga Instructor Training Program

ONLINE YOGA TEACHER’S TRAINING COURSE