What You Need to Do to Be a Perfect Yoga Teacher
Many people start taking yoga classes as a way to reduce stress, get in better shape, or to find a mind-body connection. You had your reasons for taking your first class, and you kept going back.
The more you put into your practice, the more you got out of it. And now you’ve decided you want to help others find the same passion for yoga that you have found. If this is where you are with your practice, it may be time to consider teacher training.
Becoming a yoga instructor requires a financial and time commitment. The cost can be anywhere from $2,000 to $3,000, though some training programs cost much more. Most yoga schools require you to take a200-hour teacher training course before you can become a certified teacher.
Yoga Alliance is a U.S.-based non-profit membership trade and professional organization that has created an internationally recognized credentialing system for registered yoga schools offering yoga teacher training.
Although there is no licensing or certification for yoga instructors, the Yoga Alliance’s recommendations act as the unofficial standards for training courses.
Per their standards, a certain number of training hours must be spent covering each of five areas of study:
- Techniques, training and Practice—100 hours
- Teaching methodology—25 hours
- Anatomy andphysiology—20 hours with a minimum of five hours spent applying anatomy and physiology principles to yoga
- Yoga philosophy/ethics/lifestyle—30 hours
- Practicum—10 hours
These five areas total 185 hours of study. The remaining 15 hours of study must be relevant to these categories, but can be focused on the school’s particular emphasis.Many schools have a particular focus and this should be considered when choosing a school.
For example, maybe you enjoy working with children and want to teach yoga for kids. In that case, it would be beneficial for you to find a school that specializes in your desired niche.
In order to earn the credential of a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT), you must complete 200 hours of training at a certified school and then register with the Yoga Alliance.
Most yoga studios require this as the minimum for their teachers. You may choose to continue your studies by taking a 500-hour training program after several years working as a yoga instructor.
Once you have your certification, you are eligible to begin teaching, but being a good yoga instructor goes beyond just classroom training and practice. Teaching yoga isn’t about trying to be the best instructor among instructors, it’s about being the best instructor you can be and that begins with being present and teaching in the moment.
Know the purpose
A good yoga teacher wants to share knowledge and be of service to students.You must come from a place of authenticity. When you are teaching yoga because that is what you feel called to do, your energy and passion will be imparted to those around you.
You have the knowledge you need from your teacher’s training, but that must be infused with your own grace and wisdom as you teach.
Remember that each student will have different needs and intentions for practice, requiring you to sometime adjust what and how you teach. Some students will want you to help them with language terms or into their poses, while others are uncomfortable being touched.
At times, you will have students that want you to share divine inspirations, while other times, your class will be about playing on the mat and having fun. A great teacher can read the different needs of each student and adjust accordingly. Be open to the energy of your class and teach for them, not yourself.
Learn about your students
Good teachers are also open minded and creative. They don’t repeat the same flow and poses in every class, day after day. They change things up to prevent boredom and to expose students to different yoga styles and poses. Beginners and advanced yogis can benefit from challenging their practice. Try to design your classes to include a variety of themes.
If you’re dreaming of turning your yoga into a career, teacher training is the first step to start down that path. Be sure to investigate the different schools and training options before investing your time and money.
A good training program should increase your knowledge of anatomy, philosophy, sequencing, and alignment. Once you complete your training, get ready to enjoy life being your own boss with a flexible schedule and living in your yoga pants!
Yoga teacher training will give you the tools you need to be able to teach yoga, but in the end, there is no set of standards for being the perfect yoga teacher. You can only strive to be your perfect self and in that, you will be the perfect yoga teacher.
Szymon is the founder of Love Meditating, a meditation-yoga blog dedicated to provide honest advice and information. He aspires to help his readers achieve inner peace and tranquility, sharing personal tips learned through both years of experience and thorough research.
Check out lovemeditating.com to learn…