Becoming a Yoga Instructor: What to Consider Before You Sign Up for a YTT
Yoga is a practice that helps individuals develop emotional, spiritual, physical, and mental well-being. If you are dedicated to practicing yoga as a regular part of your life, you may have wondered how to become a yoga instructor. A yoga instructor certification requires dedication and personal and financial commitment to achieve, so it is important to consider the circumstances before committing yourself to this path.
1. Why Do You Want to Become a Yoga Instructor?
Before deciding anything else, it is important to be clear about why you want to become a yoga instructor. Becoming a yoga instructor will require a significant commitment, it is vital to pinpoint what your desire stems from and consider whether or not upon further reflection it is the right choice for you.
- Do you want to share the practice of yoga with others and help them grow in their yoga practice?
- Do you want to expand your own practice and deepen your connection with yoga?
- Do you want to find a way to make doing something you love into a career?
Enjoying your yoga practice does not always translate into a love of teaching, so it is important to explore what you are looking to gain from becoming a yoga instructor.
For example, if you are looking to deepen your personal practice, is pursuing a yoga certification the right way to do that or would it be better suited to increase how frequently you are practicing yoga? If you are looking to make a career out of teaching yoga, what if you complete your yoga instructor certification only to find that you don’t love teaching, would you then consider it a mistake?
2. What Type of Time Commitment Can You Make?
Obtaining a yoga instructor certification requires a significant amount of time to complete, typically beginning with a 200-hour program in a one- to four-month program. If you have decided that you would like to pursue becoming a yoga instructor, it is important to determine exactly how much time you can commit to pursuing certification while being able to meet your other commitments. If you have a flexible schedule, an intensive, full-immersion program may be the best fit for you. Under this type of program, you would meet and train every day to obtain your certification.
However, if you work full-time or have other commitments that take up your time, then it may be necessary to enroll in a slower-paced course that is spread out over more time. In addition to the time you will spend physically present in training, it is also vital to account for the other time you will need to commit to the course such as homework, commuting time, and additional time spent practicing yoga at home.
3. What Is Your Budget?
Becoming a yoga instructor can be expensive to achieve, which can be prohibitive for some individuals. Will enrolling in a training program require any type of financing or other monetary consideration?
A yoga instructor certification program can cost several thousand dollars. In addition to the cost of instruction, it is also important to consider all of the ancillary costs that will come into play. Examples of ancillary costs you may encounter include the cost of books, gas, food, parking, public transportation, etc.
You may wish to explore the various types of financial aid that may be offered in some yoga instructor certification programs such as work-study, scholarship, or other forms of discounted registration.
4. What Style of Yoga Do You Want to Train in?
As a yoga practitioner, you have the freedom to explore any and all varieties you are drawn to and then continue or cease your practice as you deem fit. However, as an instructor, it is important to find a training that aligns with the style of yoga that you most enjoy practicing and are drawn to. For example, do you enjoy practicing vinyasa yoga the most? Or are you a big fan of restorative yoga?
5. What Size of Training Environment Are You Looking for?
Everyone learns differently and one of the keys to being successful in learning is identifying what type of environment best suits your learning style so that you can learn effectively. In searching for the right yoga instructor certification training, you will need to determine what the ideal setting is for you to learn in. Are you looking for a large class of 20 to 30 individuals so that you can learn from those around you and feel the sense of belonging to a large group? Or would a smaller, more intimate training environment be a better fit for you so that you get more dedicated attention?
6. Have You Spoken with Others Who Have Completed a Yoga Instructor Certification Course?
Choosing the right path for your life can be challenging and one way to navigate these challenges is to talk through your questions and hesitancies about a scenario with someone who has been through them before. Every individual will have a unique experience on their journey to becoming a yoga instructor and listening to their thoughts and feelings can better prepare you for, and enlighten you about, what to expect during the course of the teacher training program and whether it is the right choice for you in your life.
Upon speaking with others, you may find that you are even more drawn to growing your practice and sharing the powerful benefits of yoga with others.
If you complete all of these steps and still feel like becoming a yoga instructor is the right choice for you, then the next step is to determine the right yoga instructor certification program for you and to enroll.
What Happens After Yoga Teacher Training
Once you have made the leap and committed to pursuing a yoga instructor certification, you may be asking yourself, “What next?” While each yoga instruction certification will have its own coursework and requirements, the following are a handful of elements you can expect to encounter following your yoga instructor certification course.
Complete Teacher Training Course
Yoga instructor certification courses can have varying requirements, but the majority will require you to complete a teacher training course that provides you with groundwork on yoga philosophy, instructional techniques, and knowledge about anatomy and physiology. As a part of your yoga teaching training course, you will also likely gain hands-on experience through teaching yoga classes and/or observing other teachers through in-person training.
Often, teacher training courses are offered in a 200-hour course or 500-hour course, though there are more specialized and rigorous courses available. Some yoga instructor training programs may also include certification in CPR to prepare you to deal with a health emergency.
Register as a Yoga Instructor
Once you have completed the yoga instructor certification course, it may be necessary to register as a yoga teacher with the Yoga Alliance to show that you are credentialed. While not required, employers may prefer a certified yoga instructor.
Participate in Continuing Education
You may be required to complete a designated number of hours of continuing education within a mandated timeline to maintain your certification. This helps ensure that the instructor keeps their knowledge up-to-date and their skills honed.
If you love yoga and want to teach at a yoga studio in order to share your practice with students, then becoming a registered yoga teacher may be the ideal choice for you.
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