How To Become a Yoga Instructor

By Jordan Fabel •  Updated: September 9, 2021  •  8 min read  •  Health
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If you want to become a yoga instructor, you will need to understand the steps. There are many steps you will need to take, starting with becoming skilled at yoga. Those just starting will need to learn different types of yoga. While you might not need to master all types of yoga, you should be familiar with multiple types.

Getting your yoga instructor certificate might help you enter into a rewarding career. Before you go down this career path, it’s important to understand the steps. You should also know why you want to become a yoga instructor. Let’s look at the steps for becoming a yoga instructor, along with some information about this career path.

How To Become a Yoga Instructor

How to Become a Yoga Instructor in 6 Steps

Step #1 – Understand What a Yoga Instructor is First

Before you go down this career path, you should know what a yoga instructor is and what you will be teaching. While yoga is a form of exercise, for many, it goes deeper than the physical. It’s important to gain a deep understanding of yoga before choosing to teach yoga as a career.

Yoga instructors often work at yoga studios, gyms, or fitness centers. It’s common to hold workshops or even to work for yourself. You will help students improve strength and flexibility.

As a yoga instructor, you will lead classes in different types of yoga. In addition, you will be responsible for preparing any equipment. It’s also important to recognize the different levels of advancement in your students.

As you teach yoga, your job will help students comprehend and understand the different postures and techniques. In addition, you should be well-versed in the poses and breathing techniques for the type of yoga you are teaching.

Understanding yoga philosophy is also rather crucial. You are providing more than just a physical course. Yoga is a spiritual, emotional, and mental type of fitness, and for some, it is part of their belief system. It’s important to understand the philosophy of yoga fully if you plan to become a yoga instructor.

It’s also necessary to make sure this career path will be worth it for you. While it will certainly provide daily exercise and many physical benefits, it may or may not be the right career for you. However, many people pursuing a career as a yoga instructor do so because of the freedom provided.

As a yoga instructor, you can work as little or as much as you want. It’s common to set your own class hours. However, many instructors work part-time for extra income. Some work full-time or even open up their own yoga studios.

Step #2 – Gain Physical Fitness

Most people don’t want any fitness instructor teaching them that’s not in great shape. However, if you want to become a yoga instructor, you should be physically fit. Along with physical fitness, you should know the type of yoga you plan to teach inside and out.

Students may do their own research online and have questions you will need to answer. Understanding advanced yoga techniques and the philosophy of yoga will complement your physical fitness. Of course, you will need to perform advanced yoga postures, as students will expect you to have a higher level of physical fitness than they do.

Step #3 – Gain the Right Education

You don’t need a degree to become a yoga instructor. However, the right degree can open up quite a few doors for your career. Some universities and colleges offer advanced degree programs to help you become a professional yoga instructor or even a yoga guide.

For example, Lesley University has a Master of Arts in Mindfulness Studies. You can complete a Bachelor of Arts in Yogic Studies from Naropa University, as well. In addition, Loyola Marymount University offers a Master of Arts in Yogic Studies, while the Maryland University of Integrative Health offers a Master in Science in Yoga Therapy.

There are several degree programs to choose from if you want to learn everything you need to know to become a professional in the yoga industry.

You can also use a certification program to become a yoga instructor. Many of these programs will meet the requirements of the Yoga Alliance and have become accredited. It’s common to complete a certificate program including the following:

The right certification program can provide the education you need to become a yoga instructor.

It’s best to choose a certification program offering the level you prefer. For example, some provide 200 hours of training, while others provide 500 hours of training.

If you choose a 200-hour program, it will be best suited for beginning instructors. A 300-hour program is more suited for the intermediate, while a 500-hour program is designed for the advanced teacher. Your physical ability will also determine the program you choose.

Step #4 – Get Registered

After completing your training, you want to get registered as an RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher). This credential will offer credibility and give you more job opportunities. It can offer visibility within the industry, as well. With yoga becoming more and more popular, this has become necessary if you want to become a yoga instructor.

Step #5 – Develop Your Own Teaching Style

Most yoga instructors will develop their own teaching style. This usually stems from the training they receive. It’s more than just the postures throughout the course, however. Your teaching style will have quite a bit to do with how you communicate mentally and physically.

Along with your teaching style, you might create classes based on themes, constellations, seasons, or a type of music. Yoga is something many instructors take upon themselves to get creative with. Your teaching style may include a large variety of options.

Step #6 – Be Capable of Demonstrating Your Skills

If you want to become a yoga instructor, you will need to show off your skills and abilities. Therefore, if you apply to become a Registered Yoga Teacher with the Yoga Alliance, you must have advanced abilities. This type of certification can go a long way to help you advance your career.

Along with your physical skills, you should have excellent communication skills. This includes the ability to be sensitive and gentle. Of course, a bit of humor can go a long way, as well.

Passion and enthusiasm are very important for yoga instructors, too. Unfortunately, it’s common to become bored after working any career for a few years. This won’t work well for yoga instructors. Usually, if you become a yoga instructor, you will have a deeper connection to yoga than just teaching it for fitness.

Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a Yoga Instructor

How much can I earn as a yoga instructor?

The average salary of a yoga instructor averages $40K per year. There is a very wide range when it comes to how much you can earn.

This doesn’t mean you cannot earn a nice living as a yoga instructor. You can earn a $60K or more salary, but it will likely take years of experience to get there. Most of the top earners in this field open their own studios, have an advanced degree, and have years of experience teaching yoga.

Many of the top earners lead yoga retreats and publish books. This can lead to a higher salary. It’s also common for yoga instructors to use social media to build a following and earn more money for sponsored posts.

Becoming a yoga instructor alone will likely not provide a very high salary at the beginning. It takes time to develop this type of career path into a high-earning position. Experience plays a huge factor, but most yoga instructors aren’t in it just for the money.

What is the cost of a yoga instructor certification program?

You can expect to spend between $1,000 and $10,000 to become a yoga instructor. It can cost even more if you choose to gain a college degree. The actual cost will depend on your level, the country you choose for training, and the yoga school you attend.

Do I have to go to another country to study yoga?

No, however, it can be very helpful. Many aspiring yoga instructors will go to Bali, Nepal, Thailand, or India for the top yoga programs. India is recognized as the place where yoga started, while Bali offers a rather exotic location.

How quickly can I complete my yoga instructor training?

You can complete your training in as little as 200 hours. Most will take one of two paths: full-time/short or part-time/long.

If you can complete your training full-time, you can be done in just one to three months. It will depend on the level you choose, from 200 hours to 500 hours. If you can only study part-time, you will likely need 6 to 7 months to complete your program.

Jordan Fabel

Jordan Fabel

Covering different 'paths' that people's lives can take. Creative, foster parent, ticket dismissal, you get the idea. Exploring the requirements, certifications, exams, and obviously, approved courses along each path.