Many yoga enthusiasts want to take their enjoyment of yoga to the next level: sharing the joy by teaching others. However, there’s more to it than just showing others how to achieve those therapeutic stretches and sadly not many enthusiasts know how to become a yoga instructor, or what yoga teacher training involves, so here’s a quick set of questions to ask yourself, to see if you have what it takes to become a yoga instructor:
Skills and temperament
- Are you good with people? Being a yoga instructor isn’t just about the relaxation of quiet stretching, it’s also about engaging with people and being empathetic to their mood and physical requirements. As if that’s not enough, you’ll also need to be confident in front of people and comfortable in making connections with whole groups at a time.
- Can you be persistently positive? One of the main benefits of yoga is the positive effects it has on the well-being of both mind and body – and the yoga instructor is the facilitator of this. Can you be persistently positive and consistently deliver yoga as a positive experience, whilst also personalizing it to a whole group of people? Yoga instructor training will help guide you in delivering the technical information, but that crucial ability to engage people in a positive experience will be down to your personality alone!
- Are you a good role model? On top of personal qualities, a yoga instructor also needs to literally embody the yoga spirit, with an outward calm, glowing positivity and a body that clearly reflects the benefits of yoga. It’s not enough that you love yoga yourself and want to share it: yoga instructor training programs usually require a minimum of two years commitment to the practice of yoga, so that you don’t just come out the other side with a qualification, but also the mind and body of someone who’s an appropriate role model and advocate for all of those benefits of yoga itself.
Qualifications and training
- Can you commit to the training? The basic yoga teacher training involves 200 hours of ‘contact’ – that is learning about and practising yoga in a dedicated learning environment, so you’ll need to be confident that you’ll have the time to set aside for the training program.
- Are you prepared for what’s involved? Although many people want to be a yoga instructor because of their own enjoyment and fulfilment from practising it, a significant number do not complete their training because they do not fully understand the depth of study required. It’s important that you fully understand how to become a yoga instructor before embarking on the training itself. Many formal yoga teacher training programs involve a high level of study in: physiology; anatomy and the eight limbs of yoga, including types, concepts, postures and relaxation techniques.
Finding a job as a yoga instructor
- Are you skilled enough in business to set up on your own? Many would-be yoga instructors relish the idea of working for themselves and if you can manage this, it’s a great way to earn a living, doing what you love! However, the business side of things isn’t necessarily a component of yoga instructor training (unless you can find a really specialist course), so if you don’t have previous experience of running your own business, you’ll also need to skill up in that area too.
- Have you got local options for employment as a yoga instructor? If you don’t want to work for yourself, then it’s an idea to check your local area thoroughly to see what the potential employment market is like for yoga instructors. Are there enough health clubs, spas or holistic health centers within your ideal working radius for you to be confident about getting a job after passing your yoga teacher training?
Hopefully these questions will have raised more questions as to how to become a yoga instructor, so that you are well placed to follow the path to qualification in the relaxed and positive way that will make you the perfect instructor!