The most common thing new teachers face is a lack of confidence. You may feel like you don’t understand enough about anatomy, alignment, meditation or the names of the poses. Maybe you’re not sure what it would even take to start teaching yoga classes, but don’t worry. Most people who may not feel ready, actually are! The most important thing is to have is an open mind and find the courage to take the first step.
What are the most important steps to become a yoga teacher?
Step 1. Love Yoga.
You have to have a passion for yoga. When you have begun to experience the transformational benefits of yoga in your own life you are ready to go to the next level.
The best yoga teachers have a strong desire to not only deepen their practice but to help others. Yoga is not about being the most flexible or skilled yogi. Yoga is about deep connection. Yoga means to connect or yoke. Yoga is the path of accepting ourselves where ever we’re at and seeing our true potential. As a teacher, you can learn to help empower others and support them no matter where they are at in their practice and lives.
Step 2. Decide if You Are Ready.
We all have doubts and questions. Don’t be afraid to reach out to different yoga training schools as soon as you are considering yoga teacher training. The best teacher trainings will take the time to talk with you personally and answer all of your questions. They may recommend classes you should take and offer you the chance to speak with the lead instructors or school directors as well as graduates of the program.
Step 3. Know You Are Ready.
Even if you don’t feel ready, know that you are ready. Trust that you can take the first step on your path. As a yoga teacher, you will be empowering others. Be ready to discover your own authentic voice and unique approach to offering yoga. The best teachers and programs will meet you wherever you are at in your practice and life. They will help you to find confidence through developing the skills to become a successful yoga teacher and guide you to experience the deeper levels of yoga.
Step 4. Discover Your ‘Style’.
Is there a specific style of yoga you want to teach? Traditionally most schools teach the same sequences of poses no matter what an students level of ability or mobility is in each class.
Some yoga teacher trainings offer many different styles of yoga. This approach can help you find a style you like, but if a school does not have a great deal of experience in education, this can be confusing. The best balance is a carefully planned holistic approach to yoga education.
Make sure your school has a good balance and offers foundational yoga teaching skills and strong core philosophy. Most successful teachers train with different yoga experts over their careers. Training with different experts will increase your level of skill and set you apart as a teacher. You will learn the adaptable approach to teaching to the unique individual. Look for a school that offers the deeper aspects of yoga, balanced with modern scientific understandings to support wellness and transformation.
Step 5. Find a School for Yoga Teacher Training That’s Right for You.
Almost every yoga studio has a yoga teacher training. The best trainings are typically Yoga Schools or programs that primarily focus on their students and yoga teacher trainings. You should learn from experts who offer a well-rounded education in yoga. Find a program that doesn’t focus on big numbers of students in their classes. Look at the experience of the instructors the training has on staff and the quality of the teachers they train.
Look for a school that is Yoga Alliance Certified for at least five years at the 200 and 300-hour level. Yoga Alliance sets the minimum standards for the quality of both teachers and Yoga Teacher Training Schools. Yoga Alliance is increasing the level of professional standards for Yoga Teachers and Yoga Teacher Trainings, so find out if your school meets the new standards or how they are addressing these standards.
Step 6. Learning How to Teach.
Unless you want to learn a single way or style of teaching, look for a school with experienced instructors in a variety of areas of expertise. Who you learn from and who your teachers learned from does matter. Like any college experience, you want established teachers who have the experience to provide you with the skills and knowledge you need to succeed. The best trainings will only include teachers who all have at least a 500-hour ERYT certification and have gone numerous trainings and have at least 10 years of experience teaching.
Step 7. Learn the Most Important Skills to Teach Yoga.
As a yoga teacher you don’t need to know Sanskrit words for poses or the names of each muscle, or even memorize the history of yoga. The skills for a successful modern yoga teacher include a basic understanding of anatomy and how the body should move safely using understandings of alignment and as well as the breath in yoga poses. You should also understand practical yogic philosophies and meditative practices for training and focusing the mind. You should learn the science and art of teaching, both to groups and connect to the individual. And you should find a training that teaches you to live your yoga in daily life.
Step 8. Know Your Students.
Yoga should be for everybody. Very few teachers succeed at just teaching advanced poses. The few advanced students usually have their favorite teachers or are teachers themselves. Who do you want to teach to? There are many kinds of students from kids to seniors or students with different health conditions. Most of your students will be relatively new to yoga and need to learn good foundations. Everyone is different physically, mentally and emotionally. Everyone has different learning styles and backgrounds. The most successful yoga teachers are able to teach to both groups and individual clients. To keep students safe you need to know what you should and should not do as a teacher. Your yoga teacher training should include a basic understanding of how to address common issues with students and as well as how to modify poses and use props to support the individual.
Step 9. Planning Your Schedule.
Most yoga teacher trainings are spread out over the course of 3-7 months. Research shows that the best education is a balance between regular weekly trainings that offer an immersive experience and flexibility with your schedule. The best training programs typically have schedules that have been refined over many years. The schedules are designed to accommodate students who are working adults and parents. At the same time it should also offer a truly immersive yoga teacher training experience that helps you stay focused and connected. Your training will go much faster than you think. If you commit and make your training a priority you will experience tremendous personal growth and surprise yourself at what you can accomplish.
Step 10. Graduation and Teaching!
Your school should offer guidance and support after graduation, whether it is through teaching public classes, opportunities to teach at different facilities, volunteering through a non-profit or continuing your education as a yoga professional. You will have plenty of opportunities to stay connected to other graduates and faculty and staff.
Most 200-hour yoga teachers from the majority of teacher trainings do not become full-time teachers. Many students simply do a training for their own growth and transformation. Often teachers will continue their education with additional advanced training. No matter what your aspirations look for teachers and programs that do it for the love of teaching yoga. Above all find a training with teachers who will support you to succeed on your own unique path.
Inbody Yoga Academy is known for expert instructors and a detailed educational yoga teacher training program. Inbody has graduated the highest amount of successful active teachers in the state of Utah. The Academy has won numerous awards recognized as the ‘Best Yoga Teacher Training program’ in the State for over 15 years. Inbody Academy offers regular in-person Yoga Teacher Trainings in Salt Lake City, Utah as well as online-programs.