How To Become A Yoga Instructor

by Kahlia Meeuwsen, Lifestyle Columnist

Published in Lifestyle on 10th April, 2019

When yoga is a big part of your life, you may decide you want to make it your career.

Not everyone knows how to get there! There are some important steps you'll need to take if yoga is your passion and you want to teach it to others. Below, we'll cover those steps for you so that you can get headed in the right direction.

yoga instructor

Continue, and learn all about what you need to become a yoga instructor!

What Do Yoga Instructors Do?

Yoga instructors guide people through their yoga routines. This can include a wide variety of styles as well as teaching classes aimed at different levels. Naturally, the more styles and levels you're able to teach, the easier it will be for you to maintain stable work.

On top of that, you'll need to be able to guide your students, teaching them how to do yoga and ensuring they receive the support and motivation they need to keep practicing.

Don't forget that you can have preferences for the kinds of classes you want to teach, but having the ability to do more can be more beneficial, especially when you're a new instructor.

How Do You Become A Yoga Instructor?

Have A Firm Understanding Of Yoga

Not just anyone can teach yoga. You'll need to have a clear understanding of not just the poses and motions, but also the principles behind the practice as a whole.

This will also mean having a deep understanding of multiple types of yoga. There are many out there, and they contain different positions, levels of physical ability and principles.

Consequently, it's worth keeping in mind that the more knowledge you have, the more promise you'll have as a yoga instructor.

Practice Regularly

Dedication is key when it comes to teaching yoga. Like many other skills, you can get rusty if you don't practice regularly. It's also important to work towards mastering each posture, or maintaining that ability if you have already mastered them.

practice yoga

As a result, practicing yoga on your own daily is a great way to stay ahead of the game.

Seek Out Training

Not all studios will have the ability to provide the kind of training that can help you with your certification. Take some time to look around for a studio that can help you with that need. Make sure to look at websites like Yoga Alliance, which can provide important resources on your path.

You'll then need to get through the training, which often requires about 200 hours of actual yoga practice in classes. While completing this can take commitment, it will put you on a great path towards becoming a yoga instructor.

Gain Certification

Once you've gotten through your classes, you'll be able to achieve certification. Typically, the classes you'll need to take include actual yoga practice as well as work that involves learning how to teach, understanding the body and more.

You're also likely to need CPR certification for the safety of your students. Observing other teachers can also be a great way to learn how to lead classes well.

Consider How You Want To Work At A Yoga Studio

This can be one of the easier routes, but it may include looking for jobs at a number of studios. Openings aren't always guaranteed, so it can be tough to find yoga instructor jobs if you don't live in a highly populated area that is home to many different studios.

Look For Jobs

Look for openings at a variety of different places. Naturally, yoga studios are the first place to look. However, checking out other places that can be home to yoga classes is also a good idea.

You may find openings for yoga instructors at gyms, recreation centers and similar kinds of places. Even colleges can be a great place to look for jobs.


Keep in mind that those with more experience teaching yoga are likely to be preferred in many cases, so it may not be easy when you're first starting out. You may have less work, or have to teach somewhere that isn't ideal in your starting years.

Make Connections

Something you can do in order to increase your chances of landing a job is to take the time to meet those who work at a studio you're interested in. This might include desk staff, teachers or owners.

Meeting you face to face ensures that your application isn't just another piece of paper for them to look over.

You may also find that someone who works at a studio may know about openings in other places, or that might be upcoming. Because of that, it doesn't hurt to make yourself known to those who work at the studio.

Self-Employed Routes

Get Your Own Studio

Some may prefer to go into business for themselves. This can be a difficult process, but it can also be very rewarding. If you have the money to open up your own studio, then that will be a huge step in getting your work off the ground.

There may also be studios or other spaces that you can rent out for your practice. Regardless of the step you choose, you'll need to make sure you can afford the cost of the studio, and the cost that can come with marketing your yoga classes.

It can be quite expensive, but often worthwhile.

Teaching Your Classes

Offer A Wide Range Of Yoga Styles

The more options you can provide to your customers, the better your chances will be of getting plenty of business. Because of that, you'll want to offer different kinds of yoga as well as different levels for those who may be more or less experienced with the activity.

acro yoga

If you aren't as familiar with certain kinds of yoga, then you can also consider hiring other teachers to cover those classes. However, it's worth making sure you have the funds to pay them and the space for them to teach in. Some may find they want to start with limited classes and expand.

Get Comfortable With Leading

Many people become nervous when they're in front of a crowd, whether it's their job to be there or not. It's important to keep calm and do your best. Most of your students will understand that you're only human, so the occasional mistake is likely to happen.

In time, you'll get more comfortable with teaching your classes and feel more confident in the skills you're striving to teach them. This will make the process easier, and you'll be able to work with a wide variety of students without worrying too much about your ability to teach.

Be Positive

The goal of a yoga instructor is to help, guide and motivate their students. It's important to stay positive and look for ways to lift your students up rather than making them feel badly. Keep in mind that you're likely to get students of different ages, lifestyles and physical capabilities.

Creating a welcoming, positive atmosphere for all of your students will make your job more enjoyable, your students happier and also ensure that your classes are successful. Students who know they will leave their classes feeling great are more likely to come back, and more likely to recommend your classes to others.

Communicate With Your Students

In addition to being positive, it's important to have open lines of communication with your students. The goal is to keep them happy and motivated, but also help them to work on perfecting the poses. You'll also want them to be able to turn to you if they are struggling with some aspect of the class.

This is something that will take practice, but in time it can become second nature. Just make sure to keep the focus on helping them to achieve their goals, and you're likely to have happy students who keep coming back for more.

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