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How do I Become a Yoga Instructor?

Article Details
  • Written By: Di L.
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 19 November 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2017
    Conjecture Corporation
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It is not uncommon for someone new to yoga to begin practicing and become hooked after a few months. Sometimes, it may even be tempting for the newcomer to drop their unfulfilling day job and open up a yoga studio. While it is certainly not difficult to become a yoga instructor, there are a few basic guidelines that should be followed to ensure that you are fully qualified for the job.

First, you must practice yoga on a regular basis. It does not have to be every day, but you should try to incorporate it into your life at least several times a week. At the same time, you must ask yourself why you are practicing yoga. Is it for the physical exercise alone? Or do you feel enriched by the meditation, chanting, and other spiritual aspects of yoga as well? Once you have discovered where your own interests in yoga lie, you can make a better decision about what type of yoga you wish to teach.

To become a yoga instructor, you should specialize in one or two systems of yoga, ideally the same one that you practice. Your own practice is where you will discover the intricacies and subtleties of each posture, and you will be better prepared to answer student questions regarding any problems they may encounter in their practice.

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Before you may actually become a yoga instructor, you will need to have a wide repertoire of postures at your disposal, as you may be called upon to teach to students of various levels and experience. You should also be very familiar with all the possible modifications on these postures that will make them less strenuous for beginners. Furthermore, you may want to study some of the yoga sutras, to gain some insight into the spiritual and historical aspects of yoga. You should also study human anatomy to better understand the physical implications of each posture as well as the limitations that may be placed on the body by certain injuries.

Ideally, to become a yoga instructor, you should be registered and certified with an internationally recognized association of yoga teachers. Most of these programs will require that you complete a training program. These may range from 100 to 500 hours, depending on the level of certification you wish to obtain. Although it is usually not a requirement for teachers to be registered, it does increase your job prospects, particularly in more renowned fitness centers. Aside from this training, you should also have a teacher with whom you regularly consult. Yoga is a traditional practice that has been passed down from teacher to student over the ages, and just because you have become a yoga instructor does not mean that you cannot benefit from external guidance.

There are people who believe that yoga instructors should adopt the lifestyle of the practice that they teach. This may include adopting a vegetarian diet, being in touch with your spiritual self, and maintaining a calm and enlightened attitude toward life. Although these are not strict guidelines, they will certainly propel your career as a yoga instructor further along its path.

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