How to Become a Yoga Teacher

This article was contributed by yogaclassplan.com, a service dedicated to helping yoga teachers plan, create and manage their yoga lessons. Contact us to contribute articles.

You love to down dog. Youíve learned how to stand on your hands instead of your feet. And you love explaining the yogic principles of non-violence, contentment and truth to your fellow yoga classmates. You might just be ready to start teaching. Make sure you have already taken many classes and workshops and done some reading or research into yoga to ensure that this is the path you want to follow.

If you are ready to turn your passion for yoga into a part-time job or a full-time career, your interest is the first step in becoming a yoga teacher; youíll also need to determine what type or style of yoga youíd like to teach. Step two is finding a good teacher training program.

While there are a few gyms or community education programs that might hire you without specific teacher training, most reputable yoga studios, health clubs and corporate locations will require a 200-hour teacher training certification at a minimum. Teacher training will help you learn more about postures, adjustments, safety, teaching to different populations, modifications, the history of yoga and more.

If you are scouting out programs, start with local options. If there are yoga centers or visiting programs that offer teacher training in your city, these might be a great fit, since theyíre in your own backyard and donít involve the expense and time associated with travel. As you evaluate programs, you should consider things such as cost, time, focus and the overall requirements. Some people prefer programs that are very intensive but finish in a short period of time, where others would rather spread the training out over a year.

Another option is to travel to take your teacher training: The benefit of this option is that you can focus all of your time and energy on learning how to become a yoga teacher without any of the demands of home life. Again, look for programs that focus on the type of yoga you are interested in teaching and that suit your schedule and budget as well.

During the training itself, your job is to soak up as much information as possible. You might not enjoy every minute or agree with everything you hear, but the more knowledge you have, the better the teacher you will be. The process can be long and challenging, but thatís what creates good, skilled and intelligent teachers who can offer creative classes, safe modifications and inspiration to their students.

After youíve graduated from teacher training, you will probably need to be certified by the Yoga Alliance (www.yogaalliance.org) in order to teach at most studios. This certification shows that you have completed a 200-hour or 500-hour program and needs to be updated each year. You will also need CPR certification and liability insurance in many cases.

With all of that in hand, itís time to apply for teaching jobs! Be creative. With more teacher training programs available than ever, there are many people vying for yoga teacher openings. If you arenít hired on the spot at your favorite studio, consider teaching classes for your family and friends in your basement or at a local park to gain more experience. Community education, health clubs and gyms, massage and chiropractic centers, schools, sports teams and local businesses may also have opportunities. Private lessons offer another way to teach in a one-on-one or small group setting. If you have a website and business cards, even better Ė you need to learn how to market yourself.

Regardless, even as a teacher, you should always be a student. This means that you continue to take classes and workshops from others, continue to read and learn, continue to be open to new ideas, new ways of teaching and new ways of expressing your passion for yoga.