How to Become a Yoga Instructor
You love doing yoga and you know how relaxing it can be. You know that it has so many benefits because you feel them every single day that you do yoga. Your mind and life is consumed with yoga and it seems to be all that you can talk about.
Then you realize that your love of yoga and your passion for yoga could actually turn into a great career path for you. You want to become a yoga instructor, but you aren’t really sure how to get started. This short guide can help answer some of your questions and can show you what it takes to become a yoga instructor.
Do You Have What it Takes to Teach Yoga?
You love yoga. It has become your passion. You want to share everything you know about yoga with others so they can feel just as great as you do! But, are you cut out to teach it?
People think that when you start really teaching yoga – not just a couple of times a week, but several days or every day – that they have it made because they can make their own schedule. This is true in many ways, but the real truth is that you have to factor in travel time, marketing you and your business, and teaching the class itself. You may be out of the cubicle but you might have more work than you realized before you started.
That is not to say that you can’t schedule things the way you want them, but sometimes there is a false sense going in that it will be much less work. I mean, all you have to do is teach a few classes here and there to make a living, right? Don’t fool yourself into thinking it’s going to be easy, because it’s not.
Know how much money you need to make in order to maintain the lifestyle you want. Just like any other “job” in life it has to pay off for it to make a difference for you to be doing it – no matter how much you love it. It still has to pay the bills. Find out what studios pay – this will vary – and make sure you can live on what you’ll make.
Decide if you need to pick up clients of your own to maintain a livable income. Most yoga instructors do. There are only so many classes that you can teach each day per week and if it doesn’t pay off you might want to consider doing it part-time at first. Particularly if you know you’ll have to go out and find your own clients to do one-on-one with. It can be hard so don’t leave your bread and butter job just yet.
Don’t limit your choices of jobs to only yoga studios. There are an abundance of opportunities out there for yoga instructors if you look hard enough, or better yet, create them yourself. You can go to community centers, churches, schools, private homes, or offices. Anywhere that there are people you should jump in and find out what the need is and fulfil that need for them.
If you have room in your own home, you might want to think about opening your own studio. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just comfortable and set up with some basic equipment. A lot of people work out of their own home and it’s easy for you to do it there. This has two of the best benefits ever – you never have to leave your home and you get to keep ALL of the money that comes in. Find a price point, stick to it and then shout it out to everyone that you know that you offer yoga from your home. Chances are you will get some takers.
Those are just some things you need to think about before you decide that a career as a yoga instructor is the end all and be all. When you make the decision to teach yoga, hopefully some of the tips above will help you make a more educated decision.
What Qualifications do You Need to Teach Yoga?
Believe it or not there is actually no law right now that keeps anyone who wants to from hanging out a “yoga classes” shingle and them teaching. But, yoga isn’t just a class, it’s a discipline and if taught wrong, there could be injuries that might occur if you aren’t with an instructor who doesn’t have the right qualifications.
Today, there is such a thing as The Yoga Alliance. While they can’t keep just anyone from becoming a yoga instructor they do realize the importance of maintaining safety and integrity in the yoga world. The minimum standards for the Alliance are 200 and 500 hour yoga instructor training programs. However, you don’t have to register with them at all because many still don’t feel like any mandates should be put on a program that promotes self-development of any kind.
If you do register with them you can then tout yourself as a Registered Yoga Teacher and not simply a yoga teacher. More and more students are looking for instructors who are registered with the Alliance. It gives them peace of mind to know that you do have training and that you spent time to actually learn to care for their needs.
Certification is not required if you want to teach yoga, but it is advisable to get some type of certification – particularly if you want to teach in a studio. There aren’t many, if any, studios who will hire someone who hasn’t completed some type of certification or training. There are many people out there looking for jobs as yoga instructors so if they see one with certification and one without chances are good the one with certification will be chosen for the job.
The same is true that many students will not even consider going to a yoga instructor who hasn’t had any type of training to reach their certification. There are too many risks involved and to a lot of people it just sounds better to hear, “certified yoga instructor.”
Currently there are no states that require any type of license for a person to teach yoga. Some are working to have that changed, but it may or may not ever happen. With yoga growing so much in popularity states may have no choice but to step in at some point and require anyone who teaches yoga to be licensed.
Just like with every career path we choose there are pros and cons. Consider them all before you decide that teaching yoga is something you want to do. Get some certification and some teaching hours under your belt and then do it on the side for a while. Move on to full-time if you get a good enough following. Either way you decide, enjoy life and continue to do yoga no matter what!