How To Become a Yoga Instructor: A Comprehensive Guide

How to become a yoga instructor

As people today are starting to focus on their health and wellness more than ever, the demand for professional yoga instructors is on the rise. 

Especially as remote working looks like it will be the new standard over the coming years, there is no better time if you are thinking about how to become a yoga instructor

Teaching yoga can be incredibly rewarding, as it can have a positive impact on people’s mental strength as well as physical health. Even better, you can teach yoga both online and offline. 

Additionally, yoga can support the overall wellbeing of individuals by helping them manage their stress after a long, hard day of work and allow them to relax and unwind. So if you already have a passion for helping others, why wouldn’t you want to become a yoga instructor?

Whether you’re already a seasoned yogi with years of practice behind you, or you’re just beginning to explore the world of yoga, this article is for you.

We’ll explain all the essential things you need to understand before beginning your journey to becoming a yoga instructor.

You will learn:

3 Things To Know Before Learning To Teach Yoga

Things to know before learning to teach yoga

Before you begin your journey as a yoga teacher, familiarize yourself with the various responsibilities that come along with it. 

You’ll need to ask yourself some key questions like: Why do you want to teach yoga? What style of yoga would you like to specialize in?

Why do you want to be a yoga teacher?

Ask yourself if you are passionate and have a genuine motivation for teaching yoga.

If you are enthusiastic about yoga and want to share the amazing benefits of yoga with others, then it could be your perfect fit. 

It’s important to know what motivates you to teach yoga because although the process might seem daunting and rigorous, if you’re passionate about yoga, you will be working toward your dream job, and it will be truly rewarding in the end.

Deciding on the style of yoga

Before learning to become a yoga teacher, choose a style that speaks to you. 

Yoga has various styles—Kundalini Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Hot Yoga, Yin Yoga, Power Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, and many others

It’s important to know which type of yoga you want to venture into because the teaching approach you utilize will vary depending on the style. 

You can choose to specialize in one or two of these styles and plan your path toward becoming a yoga instructor accordingly. 

For example, Ashtanga Yoga is beneficial for a strong, physical practice, and Kundalini Yoga is helpful for those drawn to yoga’s spiritual teachings, meditation, and mindfulness practice.

Remember that the type of students will vary depending on the yoga style you choose; for instance, if you want to appeal to a more youthful crowd that loves to exercise, then you may opt for Vinyasa or Power Yoga. 

So choose a style based on who you want to teach and resonate with.

Responsibilities of being a yoga instructor

The primary responsibility of the yoga teacher is to create a safe, supportive environment so the students can practice without fear or discomfort and remain engaged. The poses, which are called asanas, should be clearly communicated with verbal instruction and physical demonstration where appropriate.

Apart from that, a yoga instructor will have other duties, such as developing and adapting the class content based on the students’ skill level.

A yoga teacher will also have to possess solid time management, be comfortable taking the lead, and be continuously evolving their own knowledge and understanding.

Additionally, it’s important to remember that you will be one among several passionate yoga instructors. So keep in mind that you’re responsible for advertising yourself, your brand, and your classes. 

A tip would be to ask yourself the following questions: Are you fully committed to your practice? What makes your classes special and sets you apart from the others?

How To Become a Yoga Instructor in 5 Steps

How to become a yoga instructor

There are several things to take into account when you want to become a yoga instructor, which range from choosing the right training program to deepening your asana practice. 

Below are five steps you should know that can guide you on your journey to becoming a yoga instructor.

Complete a yoga teacher training course

Now that you’ve chosen the style you love and want to teach, it’s time to choose a suitable training course. 

Make a list of things you wish to learn before you sign up for the course of your choice and compare your list to the school’s syllabus. This will help you find your perfect school.  

There are a couple of programs to consider. 

The first is a 200-hour Registered Yoga School (RYS) teacher training course. This is the most common format of training, where you cover everything you need to know about yoga; from anatomy and physiology to philosophy, meditation, and asanas. 

Once you have completed your 200-hour training and have several years of teaching behind you, you can work towards becoming a senior yoga teacher with your 500-hour Registered Yoga Training (RYT), where you go on to specialize in a specific area of yoga.

Teachers with a 500-hour yoga teaching certification can offer workshops, classes, and trainings to yoga instructors and practitioners of all levels.

You can complete your training locally or even overseas in places such as Bali, Thailand, and India. If neither of these options is suitable for you, you can opt to complete your training online as well.

When it comes to yoga teacher training courses, there are three major options to consider:

An intensive one-month course where you immerse yourself in yoga completely during that period. It might help you understand the field better but requires you to take time off from other commitments. 

If you’re a busy person then there is another option; a course that is weekend-only and spans anywhere from three months to a year. This also allows you to maintain your existing work commitments and is good if you like time to digest your learnings between sessions.

There are also online courses where you can set your own hours and study at your own pace. If you end up choosing the online option, make sure your courses are interactive and that your instructor is providing direct feedback.

Get certified

Depending on where you teach, a yoga certification is not mandatory for you to be a yoga instructor. However, most mainstream yoga centers and studios in the US ask for an RYT certificate before hiring you as a yoga teacher. 

After completing your selected course, you will be eligible for a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) accreditation. You can apply for it through the Yoga Alliance

There is no legal requirement for certification, but anyone who has completed their yoga training in a Registered Yoga School (RYS) is eligible for an RYT certificate. The certificate will vary based on the hours of training completed; for instance, if you’ve opted for the 200-hour program, you will have a 200-hour RYT certificate

The certificate has multiple benefits, which include the internationally valued credentials and access to free online workshops. After you’ve obtained the certificate, you’ll be added to the RYT directory, where you’ll be given a public profile to promote your classes.

Get some practice teaching yoga

You will have several opportunities to teach yoga as part of your yoga teacher training program. However, if you believe you could benefit from extra practice after graduation, you can shadow a yoga instructor or provide some free lessons to gain more expertise

You can also teach your friends or family members and apply what you have learned in the training courses. 

Gain as much experience as you can and log your teaching hours. Learn how to make your students feel comfortable and instruct them clearly. 

This step is crucial for you to develop your teaching methods before you start charging for your classes.

Begin charging for classes

As a yoga instructor, there are multiple ways you can find work. 

You can teach basic poses to beginners in yoga studios, yoga centers, or gyms in your city, or you could conduct classes in retreat centers and large chain hotels.

Organizing private classes and being a one-on-one yoga teacher or even teaching online by creating a website or a YouTube channel are other options for conducting classes. 

Additionally, you might be surprised to know that today, yoga has become so mainstream that corporations are creating their own after-work yoga hours by working with local yoga instructors in the city. 

If you want corporations and businesses to seek you out, make sure that your online presence is unique and sets you apart from other yoga teachers.

Fostering a growing community will make you visible when people are looking for an instructor. If you’d like to know more about this, continue reading our next section.

Manage your brand

The rising popularity of yoga has led to an uptick in yoga teachers, so ensure that your classes stand out. 

Find a niche that distinguishes your classes from the rest. Get creative with your classes—you can start a website, an Instagram page, or a YouTube channel. Reach a larger audience by live-streaming your classes. 

Know that several yoga teachers received the same training as you, so be sure to bring something new to the table. This can mean that you grow a following online and remain engaged with them.

Keep pushing out content for your audience, so they understand and get to know your brand and your technique of teaching yoga.

Maintain an internet presence and showcase your uniqueness as a yoga teacher. Create a mailing list to keep your students engaged and updated.

How To Become a Yoga Instructor: Frequently Asked Questions

how to become a yoga instructor

How much does yoga teacher training and certification cost?

The cost of training is entirely dependent on the type of training you opt for. 

Several factors influence the cost of yoga teacher training, such as the style of yoga taught, where the course is held (online or in-person), and the length of the course that you choose.

Learning to teach yoga can cost anywhere from $200 to $7,000, depending on where you complete your training and how advanced it is.

How much does a yoga instructor make?

The money you make as a yoga teacher also depends on the kind of classes you conduct and where you teach.

If you’re a beginner teaching in a yoga studio, you might earn up to $20 per class. As you become more experienced, you can earn around $80-$100. 

Teaching private yoga classes can earn you $50-$150 per class, depending on your skill level. After gaining significant experience, many teachers end up opening their own yoga studios. You can even teach online through a website or platforms like YouTube.

How long does yoga certification take?

This depends on the length of the course that you choose to take. 

A 200-hour course can take anywhere from one month to a year. It also varies depending on the time you dedicate to your training. 

Remember that you don’t need to get certified to work as a yoga instructor, but you will be eligible for a certificate if you complete your training in a Registered Yoga School.

Can you get a yoga certification online?

Yes, you can. Due to COVID-19, Yoga Alliance has approved online yoga teacher training programs as a viable option to become a certified yoga instructor. 

Again, it is not mandatory to train from a Yoga Alliance certified online school, but it provides many perks, including your addition to the Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) directory, which allows recruiters to discover you.

Is teaching yoga for you?

Learning to teach yoga can be incredibly rewarding for both you and your students. It helps many people manage stress and anxiety and curbs overthinking in these trying times. 

However, if you want to be a yoga instructor because you desire a profession that helps people, there are other career options you can explore that can fulfill that need to transform lives.

For example, why not consider checking out our guide for Careers in Alternative Medicines, or have a look at our top 15 suggested jobs for Moms? There are several more job opportunities that you can choose from, including counseling and therapy. To find a job that suits your life purpose, download the RTT® program prospectus, or have a look at Marisa Peer’s popular Career Change webinar, where you can find out all you need to know about making the leap into a meaningful, rewarding career. Start living your life’s purpose and keep your options open. If you want to have a one-on-one discussion about how to have a fulfilling career, book a call with our team once you’ve browsed the prospectus.


Marisa Peer

Marisa Peer

Marisa shares over 30 years of experience as a multi-award-winning therapist to top athletes, celebrities and even royalty. She is the pioneer of RTT®, the cutting-edge method that can deliver incredible transformations
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Marisa Peer has been helping people build exciting careers in hypnotherapy with RTT®. No previous experience is necessary to start training, so download the free prospectus today.