how to become a certified yoga teacherBy Faye Martins

Yoga practitioners, who are interested in taking a hatha yoga certification course, can find online programs designed to meet various qualifications in pursuit of training. Yoga is often said to be a total body fitness program; but more accurately, it is a life-long commitment to mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual evolution. Students, who are interested in attaining a teaching certification, go through a process of self-discovery, personal growth, and accomplishment, unlike any other form of instruction.

Where do I start?

The first priority, before certification, is deciding which type of hatha yoga is appropriate for you and your students (that is, Restorative, Prenatal, Kids, Power, Hot, Vinyasa, etc.). Yoga styles are generally differentiated by philosophy and the particular emphasis. For example: some forms of yoga do not contain physical exercises at all. Look into what is the most compatible style with your own interest as a practitioner. Many yoga instructors have a diversified approach to teaching. Interns of yoga certification programs will find that the more time they put into training and networking, the more opportunities that will come to fruition.


The Next Step

Online and distance education programs attract busy people. Maybe you don’t have enough time to drop your life, job, or family, for a month or a year. That’s completely understandable, but you have to calculate how much time you have to train at home during the course of an average week. Once you have determined the amount of time you have to contribute to the study of hatha yoga, it will be easier to select an online certification credentialing program, based on the required steps to completion. A basic yoga certification intensive is 200 hours in training.

How it Was and How it Is

Yoga instructor courses were traditionally part of residential training, yoga studio or ashram activities. Yoga instructor diplomas were not common before the late 1900s. The traditional aspirant used to travel to India for the direct lineage with a Guru, an apprenticeship, and his blessing. It is still possible to enroll in courses in India, to advance your understanding of the philosophical underpinnings of yoga as a field of education, personal enlightenment, and holistic health. Today, organizations that handle yoga teacher credentialing courses, are generally defined as teacher training programs.


What’s Inside?

So, what is inside an online hatha yoga instructor course? Generally speaking, you should learn from the foundation up. Most students, who come to hatha classes, expect something physical, and some will expect to be challenged physically in your classes. With that in mind, you should learn to master asanas, pranayama, and sequencing.

Some of your students will want something that soothes the soul. For those students, you will want to learn mantras, mudras, meditation, and relaxation techniques. Emotional and mental benefits will attract students to you as much as training your students toward physical mastery.

Some of your students will want the entire experience. For this reason, you should learn something about yogic philosophy and its practical application in daily life. Whether it is in your course, or not, you should take the time to understand the universal principles within the Yoga Sutras, the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, and other classics.


Finally, a good online course teaches you how to design classes that attract all of these students. You may not attract them all to the same class. For this reason, you may want to teach gentle, power, therapeutic, hot, or vinyasa classes. Where can you learn all this? Find the best online yoga school and look into their courses.

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