Becoming a yoga teacher is a rewarding step with a large number of job opportunities. Yoga is currently very popular, due in large part to its low-impact yet surprisingly challenging workout. Deciding to become a yoga teacher will certainly improve your employment opportunities.
If you've decided to become a yoga teacher, chances are good that you've been taking yoga classes for quite some time. If you haven't, you will certainly want to make a weekly class part of your routine, and make a personal yoga practice part of your daily schedule. Most people who practice yoga also employ a well-rounded approach -- this means meditating daily, eating healthy meals, practicing breath techniques and often doing volunteer work. While all of these aspects of yoga are not necessary, it can help you decide if this is truly the career path for you.
It may seem overwhelming at first, trying to decide where to start. To become a yoga teacher, you will need to receive a certification. Certifications are offered in the form of 200-hour and 500-hour programs. Each of these programs needs to be certified by the Yoga Alliance in order for you to be able to include the initials "RYT" after your name, which stands for Registered Yoga Teacher.
The best place to begin is with your favorite yoga studio or instructor. If you regularly take classes at a yoga studio, there is a possibility that the studio offers a certification program. If not, your instructor may be able to direct you to a location that does. Most yoga teacher training programs are offered at 200-hour and 500-hour increments. 200 hours must be completed before 500 hours; you cannot go directly to 500-hour programs.
200-hour programs, naturally, require 200 hours of instruction and are the first step in becoming a certified yoga teacher. 500-hour programs are the next step in deepening your practice and your knowledge as a certified trainer. If you are seeking employment with an established yoga studio, you will need to check and see if they require only a 200-hour or a 500-hour certification; if you are opening your own studio, however, it is your choice as to how far to pursue your education.
There are other issues to consider when embarking on a training program to become a yoga teacher. You will need to decide if you want to take part in an intensive program, which may require you to live on-site for a few weeks or months. Other programs offer weekend and evening instruction, while still others offer distance learning. Searching the Yoga Alliance website is the best way to find certified teacher training courses.
Programs to become a yoga teacher are also fairly expensive. Most range from around $2,000 US Dollars (USD) to $5,000 USD. Keep in mind that yoga teachers often do not make much money, especially if you are establishing your own business. Often, health benefits, vacation pay and a retirement plan are not included, as you are more likely to work as a contract employee with a yoga studio than a full-time staff member.
Some people choose to become a yoga teacher and then teach yoga in their spare time. There are many varieties of yoga to learn about and teach, and many ways to benefit other people. You may choose to donate your time teaching yoga classes for free, or you may work teaching yoga in a physical therapy program. The options are virtually endless once you are a certified yoga teacher.