Both physical and mental health can improve through the practice of yoga. A yoga teacher’s job is to ensure that students experience this overall transformation in their lives whose rewards are long-lasting. If you want to pursue a career as a yoga instructor, you need to be equipped with in-depth theoretical and practical knowledge of this discipline.
Apart from teaching yoga techniques and postures in your class, you should be able to teach students about the philosophy underlying this practice. A holistic learning experience is necessary for students if they are to truly benefit from this practice. Yoga should empower them to live life in the best way possible. A healthy body and a peaceful mind are the two gifts that yoga can bestow. The responsibility of the yoga teacher is to ensure that students can enjoy them both.
Train to become a Yoga Teacher
If you wish to become a yoga teacher in India, you can begin by enrolling in a yoga teacher certification course. These are offered by reputed yoga schools or ashrams all over the country. This is the first step to ensure that you enjoy a long and successful career as a yoga instructor. It will take a considerable amount of time and research to finalize the school that will be most suitable for you. Let's explore the best way to do it.
Steps by Step Approach to Become a Certified Yoga Teacher
Certified yoga teachers are highly sought after for full-time teaching positions in yoga studios and fitness centers. For this, you need to enroll in a teacher training course to gain in-depth knowledge of the practice and also learn teaching techniques. Adopt a methodical approach to fulfill your goal. Here is some useful advice to help you get started:
- Extensive Research on the Subject: There are various forms of traditional and modern yoga that are taught in India. Find out which style you would want to specialize in.
- Learn the Basics: A basic level training is a prerequisite to enroll in an instructor training course in most schools. You can practice at a yoga studio near your home for at least 3 to 6 months under an expert trainer to meet this eligibility criterion.
- Join a Registered School: It’s recommended that you join a yoga school that is registered with Yoga Alliance (YA). Their certified yoga training programs are designed to meet the global standard of educational requirements as mandated by YA for yoga teachers. Choose from 200-hour, 300-hour, or 500-hour training programs depending upon your goals.
- Register as a Trainer: After completing the certified teacher training program, register as a teacher with Yoga Alliance. There is a huge demand for licensed yoga instructors. This will make you eligible not only for teaching positions in the country but abroad as well.
The Best Schools for Yoga Teacher Courses in India
India is the birthplace of yoga. You will find plenty of options when it comes to choosing a teacher training course in yoga. Such a course will offer theoretical and practical classes and also teach you instructional methods. In most of the yoga schools, the certified teacher training program that is offered is aligned to meet the mandatory educational requirement as defined by Yoga Alliance. A lot of the schools are also officially registered with Yoga Alliance or the Indian Yoga Association. There are also traditional yoga ashrams in India that are well known across the country and abroad. Yoga teacher certification offered by them is also recognized in most parts of the country.
Know About the Yoga Types
To begin with, it’s good to know the various yoga styles that are practiced. This will help you to understand your area of interest and finalize your choice of practice.
Traditional yoga styles include:
- Hatha Yoga
- Kundalini Yoga
- Ashtanga Yoga
- Iyengar Yoga
- Vinyasa Yoga
Contemporary yoga styles include:
- Hot Yoga
- Acro Yoga
- Yin Yoga
- Power Yoga
Select Yoga Teacher Training Centre
There will be scores of centers to choose from. You can look up the Yoga Alliance website to find out a registered training center near your home. Or you can choose to pursue a certified training program from a traditional school that has a rich legacy of its own. Institutes in places like Rishikesh, Mysore, Goa among others are popular for their certification courses. You can search online for details on their admission procedure. Some reputed schools offering yoga instructor training course are:
- Bihar School of Yoga, Munger, Bihar
- The Yoga Institute, Mumbai
- BKS Iyengar Yoga Institute, Pune
- Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram, KYM, Chennai
- Kailvalyadhama Health & Yoga Research Centre, Lonavla
- Sivananda Ashram, Neyyar dam, Kerala
- S-VYASA, Bangalore
Become a Yoga Teacher Without Training: Helpful Tips
While certified yoga instructors are preferred by employers, it is not a mandatory requirement to get a teaching job. To compensate for the lack of a training certificate, your resume needs to deliver on other significant parameters. There is plenty of scope for yoga teachers to earn a steady income. All you need is to pursue your goals with patience and dedication. Work on building a well-rounded profile that will open up opportunities for you. These are:
Ensure that you go through intensive training and practice for a couple of years at least. This will give you confidence and improve your yoga and meditation techniques. While there are ample ways to learn which could also include video tutorials on YouTube, training under a yoga expert is a must if you wish to pursue a career in teaching. You will get help to perfect your techniques and also receive timely feedback which will help you to improve.
You can enroll for short-term courses in specialized yoga styles too. For instance, if your core training is in Hatha Yoga, you can learn Vinyasa yoga as an add on to your core practice. This will add a lot of value to your resume.
Participation in Workshops & Yoga Retreats
Continuing education is important for yoga instructors. You must invest in keeping yourself up to date. Attending workshops or yoga retreats are a great way to learn new things and improve your techniques. Practicing together with peers induces positivity and enthusiasm. Also, prospective employers feel that you are keen on self-development and will be able to pass on the benefits to students.
Knowledge in Related Subjects
It is no longer enough to simply know postural and meditation techniques. While teaching yoga, you need to give students a comprehensive learning experience. Your classes should also incorporate lessons on yoga philosophy, alternate lifestyle choices, and other related topics to enrich their knowledge.
Ways to Build Your Career as a Yoga Teacher
For your yoga teaching career to finally take off after you have completed your training, you need to ensure that your resume can deliver on other important aspects as well. In general, certified yoga teachers are in demand for full-time teaching positions in yoga centers and schools, and other fitness facilities. But there’s no restriction against applying for teaching jobs even if you don’t have a certification. Whichever group you may belong to, the important thing is to ensure that your resume shows some kind of relevant experience in the area. These could be:
Community centers and NGOs often organize yoga training for elderly people, children, and adults as part of their welfare programs. They look for yoga instructors to volunteer for such jobs. Taking up this kind of work can work wonders for your resume.
If you are active on social media, use it to your advantage. Content marketing is the best way to build your brand. Share snippets of your daily practice, helpful yoga tips, content capsules on related areas like diet and lifestyle choices to make your feed interesting. You can end up being an influencer in this field and you might end up earning more than you would as a teacher in a yoga studio. And, hiring an influencer is the dream of every yoga studio owner!
There’s a need for private yoga instructors. Practicing in the studio with many people is not everyone’s cup of tea. There are many who want private classes. They need teachers who will come home 2 to 3 times a week or more to teach and help them with their practice. You can take up such jobs in your locality. Word-of-mouth marketing works best in this case. So, don’t be shy to spread the word and ask for recommendations.
With virtual classes becoming a part of the new normal set into motion by COVID 19 pandemic, more and more people are accepting online classes as a reliable medium for learning. It’s a good time to take advantage of this trend. You can enlist your service on portals like Superprof. Package your deliverables well. Chart out what you will teach in each class so that students can make the most of every hour they get to practice under your guidance.
The popularity of yoga worldwide has generated the need for qualified teachers who can help students learn the practice and enjoy the benefits it has to offer. The global pandemic has made health and well-being a top priority for all. If a career as a yoga teacher is what you want, take a step-by-step approach to reach your goal. Be rest assured, that you will find a lot of exciting opportunities coming your way and most importantly, you will be able to help people lead better lives.