Yoga Instructor Certification: How to get the tools to teach yoga

When googling “Yoga instructor certification”, miles of links extend onto computer screen. You know you want to teach yoga but navigating the internet trying to find out how to land your dream job seems daunting and expensive. Yoga Alliance says we need 200 hours of training to teach yoga but then what?  Here are some tips to help you land your job and continue your career.

Set your intention

The best yoga instructors have a solid foundation of who they are and what they are trying to teach. Teaching yoga may seem like a dream job but it is still a job, find your true reason for teaching. By having a clear direction of what you would like to teach and why will help you find the best place for your new career. So perhaps you have a more therapeutic approach and want people to simply feel better. Your intention will create a compass helping you map out your path. If you are unsure or if it changes, that’s okay too but the key is to learn and what’s your grounded create an intention to set your roadmap.

Find your yoga teacher training program

We have another post specifically on finding the right yoga teacher training program but in short use your intention to find the right program. If you’re not sure, a hatha program will provide a strong foundation. While not required, programs that have a recognizable Yoga Alliance certificate will help potential instructors land more jobs. That being said, there are other great 200 hour programs that are not recognized by Yoga Alliance that are great as well. However, the key is to find a program that stimulates and expands your interest because of the format and focus. So by using your intention to create your map, the right yoga teacher training will present itself to you.

Practice, practice, practice

It’s easy to simply get so caught up in teaching others yoga, that a personal practice begins to suffer. Like many people who pursue what they love, the passion turns into a job. With yoga, it’s crucial to maintain your own practice. It will make you a better and more authentic yoga instructor. Regular yoga classes may be hard with a teaching schedule but a regular home practice even for just 30 minutes a day will help. You’ll be able to relate to students more and continue to be humble in your own practice.

Find a mentor

200 Hour Yoga Teacher certifications are great tools to learn the fundamentals from good programs. However, having a mentor to further your journey will keep you engaged and humble. The knowledge from an experienced instructor will make new instructors aware of how vast yoga is and how much there is to learn. Finding a more experienced teacher that is willing to help you grow is a true gift. To find a mentor, simply asking teachers you find are knowledgeable and relatable is your first step. Be prepared that some may say no, it’s not personal they may not have the time. If they do offer to help, understand that they are not a crutch and it’s a professional relationship. If they are providing their services pro bono be sure to offer something back in return.

Continue your training

200 hours of yoga teacher training is amazing. It’s life changing. It’s recommended to start teaching right away to put theory into practice. However, it’s not enough to simply teach. Yoga has been around for thousands of years. Like most people in the west, you don’t have hours and hours to devote to your practice. That’s why continuing your education is essential.

If you have your compass, you can find trainings to better serve your students. Your additional training isn’t limited to yoga training. Perhaps you get more training on sound therapy, somatics, personal training, MBSR techniques, no matter what continue to be a student and you will serve your students better.

Treat your new path like a career

Often, we hear yoga teachers who don’t make enough money to support themselves. However, we also find these same instructors don’t treat teaching yoga like a career. If teaching yoga is truly your path, be prepared to start at the bottom like any other career where your salary may not cover your tuition (just like college). It takes time, learning, and dedication to rise to the top. Be prepared to do things you don’t like doing, teaching a beautiful class isn’t enough. Learn other skills such as marketing, sales, advanced techniques, and so on. Learn to be patient while continuing to invest in yourself. Fortunately, for yoga teachers, they have the ability and time to take control of their own destiny.


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About Melissa Leger

After serving in the United States Army and having a successful career in finance, Melissa began to feel how the pressures work and other attachments were negatively affecting her life. After beginning to feel more detached from her own life, she found yoga was a way to stay present and avoid letting negative thoughts get out of control. She began teaching yoga in 2012.

Melissa also owns Ignite Your Bliss, a yoga and creative outlet retreat company that takes participants all over the world. She can be followed on Instagram @IgniteYourBliss

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