We all know how good it feels to wake up from a blissful savasana after a sweaty practice on the yoga mat. This feeling can begin to permeate your life to the point you realize you want to share this beautiful gift with others.
Everyone deserves to feel good, right?
There are many reasons to become a yoga teacher in the modern world of the 21st century. In fact, teaching yoga is a career of choice for many people. Not only do you get to help other people, but it can also be a rewarding and enjoyable career or side income.
To become a yoga teacher, it is important to undergo some kind of formal training. There are many elements that comprise a regular studio yoga class, plus deeper aspects that need more addition to detail, such as philosophy, anatomy, or adjustments that are often overlooked in typical classes.
It is also important from a safety viewpoint to become educated about the physical body to learn the ins and outs of postures and sequencing to avoid injury. Teacher training courses also give you the time to deepen and expand your own practice for a dedicated period of time, which should always serve as the foundation for your teaching.
But where do you start to look for your first yoga teacher training course?
There are hundreds of options and thousands of teachers to choose from today worldwide.
If you have a studio or teacher you regularly practice with, the first thing you can do is ask them if they have a course coming up. This is beneficial if you wish to continue practicing and teaching in a method or style you are already familiar with.
Additionally, many modern studios filter their teacher training graduates into their classes as well, if teaching after you graduate is your number one priority.
However, maybe you want to expand your horizon and study something outside the box! Here are some questions you can ask yourself, along with some tips, to help you find the perfect course that fits your needs.
What style do I want to study?
In today’s business-driven world, it is a valuable asset to be certified in more than one style of yoga. Many teacher training programs today offer training in at least two styles of yoga. Often this is a combination of Vinyasa and Yin, or Hatha and Restorative.
Additionally, it can be a good opportunity to get outside your comfort zone and try a new style of yoga- maybe even one you’re not so good at or don’t like. Maybe you find Yin uncomfortable or dread going to an Ashtanga class.
When you regularly practice something uncomfortable for you, you may find over time the discomfort changes. Growth, after all, happens at the end of our comfort zone.
Do I want an intensive or weekend program?
Many yoga teacher trainings are offered in 21-day to one-month long formats as destination immersion retreats all over the world. Maybe you want to study in India or on the beach in Bali.
They can offer life changing experiences to be immersed in the practice and education daily in a condensed period of time without any other distractions from work or life. However, some things to consider are weather, culture, being far from friends and family, as well as different food and diet.
Intensive programs are great for people who want to complete their training quickly, and a great deal of transformation can happen in a short period of time.
For some, though, it is not possible or accessible to take that amount of time off of work or family life. In this case, nonresidential weekend programs over a longer duration are a great option.
Weekend programs can also be intense in working the extra time into your schedule. It may also feel nice to have the practices integrated into your daily life as you go. Additionally, the information and course content is spread over a longer period so you have more time to retain and understand what you are learning.
What credentials do I need?
The standard worldwide is a minimum of 200 hours of yoga training to become a yoga teacher. There are multiple organizations that work to uphold the standards and quality of yoga education.
Traditionally, yoga was passed down from teacher to student over a long period of extended study. Some schools still operate this way and stand on their own, independent of any credentialing organization. Examples of such schools include the Bihar School of Yoga, Isha Foundation, as well as the Iyengar style and Ashtanga vinyasa authorizations.
Check the Curriculum
The study and practice of yoga entail a great deal beyond asana or body postures. Learning about the history and philosophy of yoga can make great inspirational content for future classes and deepen your own understanding.
Here is a list of topics to look for to ensure you get the best well-rounded yoga education:
- Philosophy and history covering the Yoga Sutras and Bhagavad Gita
- Asana Study Lab
- Hands-on Adjustments
- Practice Teaching
- Subtle energy body
- Special seminars, such as Business of Yoga
Find Out What to Expect on a Yoga Course
If you plan on taking your yoga teaching career seriously after you graduate from training, it is vital that your program includes a Business of Yoga class. Some yogis don’t like to market themselves, but if you have a gift to share with the world, don’t hide it! It is important to learn marketing techniques as well as other ways you can generate income besides teaching at your local studio.
Find out if there is support for you after you complete the course from your school. Once you have finished, find every opportunity you can to teach and practice- keep the momentum up to become the best teacher you can be!
Remember that your practice is a journey and becoming a yoga teacher won't happen overnight.
Learning to teach yoga is an art that takes time just like all the time you spend on your own mat. When you open yourself up to share your teachings, the world becomes a little bit brighter.