How To Become a Yoga Instructor
Have you been practicing yoga for years and feel like you would be a great yoga instructor?
Remember a few simple rules before jumping in and you should be great at teaching others what you love and have been practicing.
1. Remember that there are 8 limbs to yoga as well as the holistic view of what yoga encompasses. Yoga is more than asanas and teaches the following lessons:
- Yama (universal morality);
- Niyama (personal observances);
- Asanas (body postures)
- Pranayama (breathing exercises and control of prana or life force energy)
- Pratyahara (control of the senses)
- Dharana (Concentration and cultivating inner perceptual awareness)
- Dhyana (devotion or meditation of the Divine)
- Samadhi (union with the Divine)
2. To become a yoga teacher, you must practice "yoga" in and out of the studio. What do we mean by that? You have to have your head in the right space all the time. You can't be a yoga teacher inside the studio and then someone else after you walk out the door. Remember the old saying, walk the walk and talk the talk? That applies here because of what yoga means overall not just while you are in the studio.
3. Don't try to be the all-knowing, all-seeing yoga instructor. By that we mean don't try to do it all. There are so many different styles and types of yoga that you really want to just concentrate on one. There is everything from Bhakti to Kundalini to Power Flow so you need to pick one and stick with it. You won't be doing yourself or your students any favors by trying to teach too many different types. Master one that fits you and your lifestyle and teach that to your students. Before you sign up for school, do some research or try out the different types to see which one is a fit for you.
4. Just as your students are going to see if you are a fit for them, you will also want to seek the right yoga teacher. Again, go to different instructors and see if what they are teaching fits with what you want to accomplish and what you believe. Take the time to understand what you are getting yourself into before you have invested too much time and money. Follow your heart and the right instructor will present themselves.
5. Be leery of anyone who will just take your money. You want the best training and certification so do your homework. Ask others, do some research on the internet, check with the Better Business Bureau. And remember, even though you are going to be certified, be cautious if you are thinking about opening your own yoga studio. If you possess business skills and are great at both yoga and running a business, go for it! If not, think long and hard before jumping in. When you open a business you are responsible for everything because you are the CEO. Do you know how to get students? Do you know social media, internet marketing, finance, etc. It's a lot to handle and if you are not prepared we wouldn't suggest jumping in. Wait until you can be the instructor and then hire someone to run the business. You love yoga, you don't love running the business side of it!
6. Yoga certification will cost you @$3,000 (as of this writing). Be prepared to work this into your budget when you go to a studio and apply to be an instructor. All studios are not the same so ask how they pay. Is it a flat rate per class? Is your pay based on the number of students or is it donation based? Does the studio advertise for you and assign students to each instructor as they sign up and pay? Do they offer health insurance or do you need to find your own? These are all things to consider when you are starting to think about being a yoga instructor.
7. After settling the above questions, you are on your way to doing what you love! You are going to be a yoga instructor! Have fun and be yourself. You want your students to keep coming back and recommending you to their friends. Tap into your own creative consciousness and develop your own style of teaching. You will attract and keep others coming back for more :)
8. Be a sponge. What does that mean? Take in and absorb all you can from other instructors or the owner of the studio. You were hired now learn how things are done in your particular setting. Don't come on the scene like a bull and try to change things. Everyone there is your ally and not your enemy. You are now an instructor but at the same time you are still a student of the universe!
Make friends and have fun remembering that becoming a yoga instructor can be an exciting and fun journey for not only you but your students, friends and family as well.