By Faye Martins
Following your dreams to become a yoga teacher can seem like a daunting task. Whether you’re looking for the information you need to teach part-time, before you quit your day job, or you’re fresh out of school and looking for your first career, it’s important to know the requirements and time investment becoming a yoga teacher requires. In addition, it’s helpful to sort out your goals and examine the ins-and-outs of the job to know if it’s truly for you or simply something you’ll want to keep in the hobby bin.
To become a yoga instructor requires, first and foremost, a dedication and passion for the practice. Beyond even that, a desire to share the discipline with the world and help others grow physically, mentally and spiritually through yoga will provide the motivation and engagement such a hands-on career demands. Unless you have enough students and sessions to keep you employed full time most yoga teachers work part time. As such, a large number of yoga teachers take it as a second job. To make it full time requires the kind of dedication, business knowledge, and the passion of someone truly in love with the practice of yoga.
If you’ve decided a career in yoga is in your future, then it’s time to start training. Generally, before you start this process you will want to have at least a few years background in practicing yoga and a general knowledge of proper form. In order to become a yoga instructor, you must acquire a certification from a yoga school, which trains instructors. While it is technically possible to teach yoga without certification, it makes it very difficult to get hired, get insurance, get a loan for a studio or attract students. Earning a yoga certification from a reputable school allows you to claim the title of CYT, or Certified Yoga Teacher, enabling you to get recognized for your talent.
Most yoga teacher training programs offer two levels of classes: a 200 hour class and a 500 hour class. The 200 hour class is the basic course that all yoga instructors must pass, while the 500 hour class is available for ambitious, passionate and studious instructors looking to launch their careers to the next level. There are also distance learning or online yoga courses available, and these are completed at the pace of the student. Training programs with physical class locations will necessarily have stricter schedules. The average time to complete the 200 hour class is between three and five months, while the 500 hour class may take from six months to a year.
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