Yoga is one of the most popular forms of exercise, with millions of people participating in it each week. Yoga is so beneficial that many students become teachers, as they enjoy it so much.
If you’re interested in helping other people improve their minds and bodies and get fitter, becoming an instructor could be the best career decision you’ll ever make.
In this guide, we’ll share with you everything you need to know about becoming a yoga teacher, so you can decide whether it’s right for you.
What is yoga, and where does it come from?
Yoga is a form of exercise that came from India around 5,000 years ago. It began as a way for people to become more spiritual and is heavily associated with Hinduism, but people from all cultures use yoga.
The exercise relies on mindfulness and breath control principles, and people of all ages and fitness levels can practise it.
Many doctors and physiotherapists recommend yoga to clients with arthritis as it can improve flexibility and help people manage pain more effectively.
It’s also beneficial for people with mental health conditions because yoga reduces stress and enhances their ability to relax.
Next, we’ll look at the skills you need to be a successful yoga instructor.
The skills every yoga teacher needs to be successful
Anyone can learn yoga, but there are specific skills you’ll need to teach to classes.
With a bit of time and commitment, you can adapt to those skills. Nevertheless, it’s essential to consider whether you’re willing to dedicate yourself to professional development before choosing yoga as your preferred career.
Let’s look at the skills and qualities a yoga instructor should have.
An understanding of the yoga philosophy
Yoga is more than just a workout routine–it’s a philosophy that dates back thousands of years. The term is related to the Sanskrit term of “yuj” meaning unity.
The philosophy is a belief that the individual self is part of the universal self, and the main goal is to find inner peace, which allows people to connect with nature and find satisfaction.
There’s also a strong emphasis on the relationship between mind and body, so when people learn yoga, they find they can deal with the stresses of daily life and enjoy a holistic lifestyle.
As you’ll be teaching yoga classes, you should have an in-depth understanding of yoga principles, as it will make your lessons more effective.
Be at a high standard with your own training
Every yoga teacher should have a deep understanding of the various exercises and poses it involves. Students will expect their teacher to have a high standard of yoga and be able to identify any issues with poses and breathing techniques.
While many yoga teachers stick to offering beginner lessons, more advanced learners will expect more demanding sessions where the poses are tailored to their needs.
Adaptability for each student
Teaching yoga is like leading a dance class: cueing, adjustments, and being in the moment are key. But while dancers follow predetermined choreography, each yoga class is unique. The teacher must be able to read the energy of the room and adapt the practice accordingly.
For example, you might need to modify postures for students with injuries or choose restorative poses to help everyone relax.
Many yoga instructors would agree that each class is different, and the challenge of identifying the restrictions and potential of each student is what makes it so rewarding.
Confident and personable
All personal trainers must be confident in their abilities and ready and willing to support their clients. Yoga teachers should possess these qualities but also have a degree of personability to facilitate group classes.
Students should feel comfortable in your presence and confident in your ability to guide them through the class. You might have to adapt your teaching style to suit the needs of each student.
Comfortable working alone
It’s rare to find a yoga class that two instructors run, so you should be able to work alone and deal with any issues should they arise.
Most people who teach yoga enjoy the independence the job provides, and there’s more flexibility as you plan your lessons.
Have a good business head
Understanding yoga’s teaching methodology and meditation techniques is one thing – but you’ll also need a good business head. In today’s competitive market, instructors need to be able to market themselves and their classes effectively.
Everyday duties that yoga trainers often forget about include:
Setting reasonable rates for classes.
Keeping track of your finances.
Marketing your courses to potential clients.
Constant reflection on your yoga teaching skills and make improvements.
Understand health and safety legislation.
People who can master the business side often find that their classes are in high demand and their schedule is fully booked.
So, if you’re considering becoming a yoga instructor, make sure you’re prepared to wear many hats – including that of a business owner.
How to become a yoga teacher
If you think that yoga teaching could be the perfect career for you, there are plenty of things to consider.
While it’s a rewarding career with plenty of opportunities, you’ll need to consider whether you want to specialise in yoga exclusively or incorporate it into your personal training classes.
Different routes are available for teaching yoga, and the right one for you depends on what you want to achieve with your career.
Invest in yoga teacher training
If you’re interested in teaching yoga full-time or want to offer advanced classes, you could invest in a yoga teacher certification. Plenty of courses are available at different levels, requiring a minimum of 200 hours for the learning process.
Most specialist instructors will start with a level three qualification and then invest in advanced yoga teacher training programs.
Things to consider before investing in a yoga teacher training program
While many people choose to become certified yoga instructors, it’s not the right choice for everyone – and there are other options available. Here’s what you need to consider.
Do you want to invest in intensive yoga teacher training?
We estimate that the average specialist yoga training course costs between £1000 to £3000, depending on the provider and level you choose. The courses are a significant investment, so it’s important to consider whether yoga is the right path for you.
Are you interested in other types of training?
When you become a registered yoga teacher, you can teach gym and private clients classes. But is that all you want from your career? Teaching yoga full-time means you really have to love it and feel enthusiastic with every lesson.
Some people prefer to incorporate yoga into their continuing education courses, while others might enjoy being self-employed and teaching workshops for yoga.
Ultimately, it depends on what you want to achieve from your career and if teaching yoga exclusively suits you.
Combining gym instructing with teaching yoga
One question we always get is can a qualified personal trainer teach yoga? The answer in its most basic form is yes; they can. Yoga is relatively unregulated, so there’s no trademarked qualification – unlike other classes – such as Zumba.
Many yoga instructors in gyms and health clubs don’t have a specific qualification from a registered yoga school and instead offer a range of classes in different disciplines.
Here’s how to teach yoga without investing thousands in yoga instructor training.
Become a certified gym instructor
Anyone who wants to work in gyms or health clubs should have a Level 2 Gym Instructor qualification. It prepares students for working with clients and teaches them the principles of providing a safe and proactive training experience.
The Fitness Circle offers a comprehensive Level 2 Fitness Instructing certificate that covers everything you need to know about providing instruction to clients.
The modules include:
The principles of fitness, physiology and anatomy.
Conducting client consultations.
Understanding health and safety in fitness environments.
Planning and instructing gym exercise sessions.
Professionalism and customer service as a fitness instructor.
The course is entirely online, so you can study at your own pace and receive support from a team of tutors. All gyms require their employees to hold a Level 2 Gym Instructor certificate as a minimum, so this course will give you access to employment and further professional development.
Teach yoga with a Level 2 Group Training certificate
If you’d rather teach numerous classes to groups, then group training courses are better than a yoga certification. Our online certificate gives learners everything they need to plan and execute group training sessions for various exercises.
Upon completing this course, you’ll be able to incorporate yoga postures and breathing exercises into your classes and teach other disciplines.
The modules include:
The principles of physiology, anatomy and fitness.
Understanding health and safety in group training sessions.
Professionalism in group training.
Supporting clients to change their behaviours and adopt a healthy lifestyle.
If you’d like a varied career where no day is the same, our group training course will be perfect for your needs.
Is a yoga instructor certification or studying with The Fitness Circle best for you?
So, now you know how to become a yoga instructor, it’s time to decide which is best for you, and while the decision might seem like a hard one – it doesn’t have to be.
The biggest consideration is whether you want to become a yoga teacher full-time or prefer some variety in your career.
Of course, there are plenty of opportunities later in your career to develop your yoga skills by taking continuing education courses.
Doing this gives you the best of both worlds because you have the necessary skills to offer classes that gyms will advertise, but you can then develop your yogic philosophy from basic knowledge to advanced.
A specialist yoga therapist or yoga studio instructor will need in-depth knowledge of the discipline. Starting off running general classes can help you decide if you’d like to focus solely on yoga later in your career.
Why study with The Fitness Circle?
You’ve probably seen plenty of in-house or part-time courses for personal training, but we offer complete flexibility with an online certificate that you can complete in your spare time.
Many of our students have successful careers in the fitness industry. Our CIMSPA-certified courses are a perfect launchpad for a rewarding career as a gym instructor.
Access to fitness industry tutors
All of our tutors have fitness and teaching experience, so you can be assured that you’re getting the best support possible.
You’ll have unlimited access to your tutor and feedback on each assignment so you can grow professionally while learning new techniques for fitness training.
In-depth learning materials
We spent a long time developing our course materials and ensuring they’re comprehensive but easy to understand. You’ll also be able to take mock exams to test your knowledge and receive templates for any case study assignments.
Our students also have the choice of paying in full or splitting the cost of their course into manageable payments. We do this so nothing can stand in the way of a better career, and many learners choose flexible payments as they allow them to begin studying immediately.
Endless career opportunities
We’re proud to say that a lot of our students found employment in top gyms after completing their studies, including Pure Gym, Virgin Active and Anytime Fitness. Others chose to continue their studies and now work as self-employed personal trainers.
Get the ball rolling on your future today
If you’d like to learn more about our entry-level courses, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team of tutors.
We can help you decide whether yoga teacher training is the right decision for your needs at this time or get you enrolled in the gym instructor or group instructor courses today.
The future’s bright for fitness industry professionals, so don’t delay booking your course.
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