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How to Train to Become a Yoga Teacher

author image Denton Dean
Denton Dean has written about current events and lifestyle issues since 2005. He is a former reporter for "Politicker," a "New York Observer" publication. Dean earned his Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Texas at Austin and his Master of Public Policy from the University of Chicago, where he studied health care policy.
How to Train to Become a Yoga Teacher
Becoming a yoga teacher requires a large commitment of time, money and effort. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Just as yoga teaches different paths to self-discovery, you may choose from different paths to become a yoga teacher. Unlike some professions, states don’t mandate who can teach yoga. Many prospective teachers attend schools accredited by the Yoga Alliance, an industry association. You can also learn yoga from non-alliance accredited schools and teachers. Either path requires hundreds of hours of studying asanas, breathing, anatomy and teaching methods.

Understand Your Goals

Step 1

Decide what type of yoga you want to teach. Different training programs teach different yoga styles, from Ashtanga to Vinyasa. Choose a form of yoga you've practiced and would enjoy teaching.

Step 2

Know your target audience and where you want to teach. Perhaps you want to help seniors stay active or guide people on their spiritual journey. Do you dream of teaching at a local studio, or would you prefer giving private, on-site lessons? Know answers to these questions before you start training.

Step 3

Figure out how much time and money you can invest in training. Certified teacher training programs can cost $2,000 to $4,000, not to mention hundreds of hours of your time.

Select a School

Step 1

Find out if the school is a registered yoga school. To receive this accreditation, the Yoga Alliance requires that schools have an approved curriculum and a highly-trained faculty. Ask the school if it is a registered yoga school, or check the alliance's online directory.

Step 2

Decide if you want to be a registered yoga teacher. You don't have to attend a registered yoga school to teach yoga. It's an industry credential, but you don't have to have it.

Step 3

Research the school. Whether or not the school is alliance-accredited, talk to the teachers about their backgrounds, credentials and methods. Interview current and former students about their experiences, goals and teaching prospects.

Train to Teach

Step 1

Learn yoga fundamentals. Your coursework should teach you how to form poses, chant, breathe and meditate properly. You'll also need a basic understanding of human anatomy and yogic principles.

Step 2

Become an expert. You won't become an authoritative yoga teacher overnight. Registered yoga teachers, for instance, train for at least 100 hours. More advanced teachers train for 500 hours.

Step 3

Learn how to teach. It’s not enough to be an expert yoga practitioner. Your training should include opportunities for you to instruct other students, either in a classroom setting or one-on-one.

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