How To Become A Yoga Instructor - The FULL 2023 Guide

Welcome to the PTPioneer article on how to become a yoga instructor.

Not sure?

Let me break it down for you in this article, which discusses the following:

  • Select the best yoga certification for your goals.
  • Begin coursework
  • Pass the exam and complete the final assignment
  • Find a yoga instructor job
  • Start your yoga teaching practice

My only intent is to teach you how to become a yoga instructor, and after reading this article, I promise you’ll be much more confident in yourself and your yoga career.

Considering your career starts with obtaining the right certifications, I recommend you take the quiz to find out which best suits you.

How To Become A Yoga Instructor - The FULL [year] Guide 1
How To Become A Yoga Instructor - The FULL [year] Guide 2

Namaste!

How To Become A Yoga Instructor - The FULL [year] Guide 3

If you have worked in the fitness industry before, you know that whatever profession you choose, it’s best to get certified.

Certification means you have gone through a course offered by a respected fitness training organization.

So any potential client knows you aren’t just some personal trainer or group fitness instructor who has read a few books and is now ready to take on clients.

Most likely, you’ve earned official certification from one of the best personal trainer certifications or graduated from one of the nutrition certification programs where you’ve earned your certificate.

That’s what clients want – someone qualified to do the job properly.

Hell, you might be one to do it all!

If you are motivated to succeed faster and choose the ISSA CPT program as your base certification, I recommend checking out the ISSA Elite Trainer package.

The Elite Trainer bundles the internationally-recognized ISSA-CPT, the ISSA Nutritionist certification, and any ISSA specialization of your choice at a steep discount compared to each certification.

You’ll undoubtedly make more money once certified as an Elite Trainer than you spent shelling out to cover your personal trainer certification cost.

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Although there are many great CPTs on the market, ISSA is my top choice if you want to be a well-rounded, successful personal trainer.

Not always, and not too often, ISSA runs deals on its website for the Elite Trainer program.

If they are running a deal, consider grabbing it while you can – it’s tough to pass up.

Especially since you’d be ISSA-CPT, ISSA Nutritionist, and, in this case, ISSA Yoga Instructor certified.

Yes, ISSA does have a yoga certification.

And becoming certified is the most crucial starting point when you become a yoga instructor.

So how do you go about getting certified as a yoga instructor?

My first suggestion would be to select a course that the Yoga Alliance approves.

But who are they?

Let’s find out.

Yoga Alliance

Yoga Alliance

While they are not a sanctioned governing body for yoga in the United States, the Yoga Alliance is recognized as the authority on the practice of yoga in the country.

They also set the guidelines that Yoga teacher training programs must meet to be registered with the organization.

It won’t be registered if a program fails to meet the Yoga Alliance teacher training requirements.

So the Yoga Alliance is a pretty big deal.

Most courses approved by the Yoga Alliance are either 200-hour or 500-hour courses.

To become an entry-level yoga teacher, the Yoga Alliance suggests completing a 200-hour yoga instructor course or yoga teacher training (YTT) offered throughout the US.

These courses range in price and generally take around 20 days to complete.

They are presented on yoga retreats, where you stay for the course until completion.

Once the course is completed, you can start practicing as a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) under the auspices of the Yoga Alliance.

Sometimes, I get asked to explain RYT vs. YTT.

So I tell them like it is.

An RYT is certified to teach, while a YTT is what you would attend if you want to become certified to teach.

Furthermore, the Yoga Alliance has mapped out a way to continue your education, especially if you want to become a lead yoga teacher.

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Like CEUs for personal trainers, there are tenfold continuing education opportunities for yoga instructors.

Here’s an example.

After 1,000 hours of teaching, which equates to approximately two or more years, you are now an E-RYT 200 yoga teacher or Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher.

Took a 500-hour yoga course?

Following 2,000 hours of teaching, roughly after four or more years, you are now an E-RYT 500 yoga teacher.

hot to become a yoga instructor

However, for more specialized forms of yoga, such as Bikram, Anusara, and others, you’ll require a different specialized training program to become certified and teach.

Yoga courses also fall under their auspices, including the Registered Children’s Yoga Teachers (RCYT) and the Registered Prenatal Yoga Teachers (RPYT).

Of course, as a practicing yoga teacher, you must also join the Yoga Alliance.

Here is a cost breakdown:

  • Application fee: $50
  • Annual renewal fee: $65

This makes a total registration cost of $115 for new members, dropping to just $65 per annum in the following years.

With that said, let’s dive into our first step on how to become a yoga instructor below.

1. Select the Best Yoga Certification for Your Goals

With all the different types of yoga certifications, how will you decide which one is right for you?

Before selecting a yoga instructor certification, I’d recommend determining what type of yoga instruction you’d like.

What is your teaching style?

Just like there’s personal training for seniors, youth, and pregnant women, there are certified yoga teachers for different styles of yoga, including Hatha Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, and postnatal yoga.

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Also, all levels of yoga certification depend on the hours of training.

The most common yoga teacher training courses include the RYT 200-hour yoga teacher training and the RYT 500-hour training.

But before choosing a course, you must fulfill any of the yoga instructor’s requirements.

You’ll want to meet all the yoga instructor qualifications to become yoga certified.

And, not so surprisingly, most yoga certifications come with pretty similar yoga instructor education requirements as well, like personal trainer requirements.

Are you interested in a program that’s geographically impossible for you?

Remember, too, that there’s the luxury of online yoga teacher training in today’s world.

Becoming a yoga instructor online is simple and hassle-free, and in my perspective, the best way to learn yoga is stress-free.

Once you meet all the prerequisites for yoga teacher training and decide which RYT certification you want, you can enroll in one of the Yoga Alliance certifications.

And now that you understand why the Yoga Alliance is so important and why membership is a must let’s look at the benefits of becoming certified, which include the following:

  • The knowledge of the history of yoga, breathing techniques, and different yoga postures
  • The Philosophy of Yoga and How to Become a Yogi
  • How to start teaching yoga, various yoga poses, and yoga mat exercises
  • Meditation and restorative yoga training
  • How to teach yoga classes for special populations
  • The ins and outs of yoga studios and the business aspects of yoga
  • How to enhance your teaching experience

Becoming a yoga instructor with a reputable, registered yoga school ensures clients you are fully and wholeheartedly invested in honing your teaching skills and kickstarting a life-changing career.

2. Begin Coursework

Now that you’ve selected a certification, it’s time to begin the coursework and dive into your yoga practice.

Once you have found a course that you think would work for you, you must consider the following as to whether it truly is the best option for you.

How To Become A Yoga Instructor - The FULL [year] Guide 5

Does it cover the basics of yoga?

If you are learning how to become a yoga teacher and don’t know much about yoga, the first thing to ensure is that your course covers the basics.

Learning the basics is essential as you study to become a certified yoga instructor, that’s for sure. 

One example of that is the various yoga postures.

If you have never been taught how to form them correctly or haven’t done them yourself, how can you apply that knowledge to a student someday?

Knowing the basics also allows you to get creative with your exercises by using your understanding of various postures and how they can be linked in a sequence.

Any beginner yoga teacher training or 200-hour yoga teaching course should cover the following:

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  • Anatomy
  • Alignment/Asana
  • Sequencing
  • Yoga philosophy
  • Prop use and modifications
  • How to make hands-on adjustments
  • Teaching practice
  • Meditation

Since yoga mostly comes with a heavy focus on core strength and development, you’ll also learn some tips for beginner core workouts you can share with your students and clients.

And like no personal training program will teach you how to be a good personal trainer, no yoga teacher training will teach you how to be a good yoga teacher.

In other words, you’ll have to decide all the important personality traits that are best for personal trainers and yoga instructors and manifest them.

Does it teach sound yoga philosophy?

Sometimes, the philosophy of why people do yoga is forgotten by most students and yoga practitioners.

Ultimately, yoga philosophy is about understanding our inner being, and the more you understand as an instructor, the more you can motivate your clients and students.

Many courses will teach you how to get yoga certification using just one form of philosophy, so take the time to find a course that ties in with your overall mindset.

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Last but not least, explore some popular types of yoga, which mostly include the following:

  • Vinyasa Yoga (by far the most popular)
  • Power Yoga
  • Hot Yoga

If you plan on becoming a yoga therapist or teacher, it might be worthwhile just sticking with one style of yoga as you start your career because you can always learn more styles as you go on.

You will undoubtedly learn to study yoga like a pro when you stay focused on the style (or styles) that suit you best.

3. Pass the Exam and Complete the Final Assignment

Like any other fitness certification, you must pass your certification exam and complete your final assignments.

Most of the yoga teacher requirements to obtain certification include the following:

  • Written exam
  • Practical exam
  • Student-teaching

How To Become A Yoga Instructor - The FULL [year] Guide 7

Check with your certification provider to see the yoga teacher training requirements and how to obtain certification.

4. Find a Yoga Instructor Job

So you’ve explored how to learn and teach yourself yoga styles that resonate most with you and have recently become certified Yoga instructors.

Now what?

Start your yoga career!

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the fitness instructor and personal trainer job outlook prospect to grow by 39%, which is much faster than average, over the next decade.

With more and more people becoming increasingly conscious of their mind and body health, the health and fitness industry is booming.

So it would only be wise, in my perspective, to add the following certifications of your choice to your repertoire:

Therefore, the final piece of your yoga instructor puzzle is to practice what you have learned during your training and start teaching.

How To Become A Yoga Instructor - The FULL [year] Guide 8

If you are a personal trainer, you may want to incorporate yoga into what you already do.

According to recent statistics, the typical personal trainer salary is approximately $40k per year but can be doubled or even tripled when combined with the typical yoga instructor salary.

It all depends on how and where you work.

If you’re a private or online personal trainer or yoga instructor, your salary would most likely be higher than someone who is only a personal trainer or group fitness instructor at a gym.

Whereas gym employees are at the mercy of corporate overlords, private, independent, and online trainers can set their personal training rates.

I’m sure you will already have certain clients who think that aspects of yoga could be a real benefit.

So take the time to draw up a new training program for them, discuss it with them, and start implementing it with their blessing.

While a yoga course provides theoretical knowledge and some practical experience, you will only improve as a yoga teacher by practicing your craft.

Before teaching, see if you can get internships and ask for resume advice.

Teaching yoga can occur at the local gym, at home, outdoors, or even at your client’s home.

Who knows, you may love it so much that full-time yoga eventually becomes your calling!

5. Start Your Yoga Teaching Practice

Maybe you have the experience and are ready to start your yoga teaching practice.

While having your own yoga business is rewarding in the long run, it takes a lot of hard work, just like if you were a trainer and started building your own personal training studio.

You’ll need to know some business basics, group fitness and personal training marketing ideas, and sales techniques to ensure the utmost success as a yoga instructor and business owner.

If you know the ins and outs of how to sell training and you are willing to do what it takes to become a successful trainer, then you won half the battle.

It’s even important to enure you can provide any necessary training equipment, such as yoga blocks, resistance bands, mats, and straps,.

How To Become A Yoga Instructor - The FULL [year] Guide 9

Moreover, I want to emphasize that personal trainer insurance is extremely important for yoga instructors, as it provides you with the necessary coverage should something go wrong.

Especially if you run your yoga practice, you must check that your current liability insurance is intact.

But what types of insurance should you consider?

I recommend having general and professional liability insurance for the best possible protection.

While general liability covers any claims from a third party and includes injuries and property damage (at least, in most cases), professional liability also covers injury but only when a student performed an instruction incorrectly and injured themself.

No matter how careful you are when dealing with clients, an injury can happen anytime.

Although most clients do understand this to be the case, some could place the blame on you.

Another area where insurance can protect you is in the case of an invasion of privacy or misconduct brought against you by a student.

In an invasion of privacy situation, a student might take offense to the fact that you used a photo in which they appear on social media, for example.

Although operating as a yoga instructor with your business has many perks, you must be responsible and willing to stay on top of your game.

Only then will you become successful and obtain and retain clients and students with no trouble.

If you’re more entrepreneurial and want to start your practice, let the world become your oyster!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How long does it take to become a yoga instructor?

Generally, anyone interested in becoming a certified yoga instructor should already have several years of personal experience practicing yoga before beginning a training course. You will then choose between a 200-hour or 500-hour certification program, in which the length will vary.

How much do yoga instructors make a year?

Per year, yoga instructors can expect to earn between $31k to well over $100k. It’s a lucrative career, and with the right strategies, money can be made.

How do I become a yoga instructor?

First, decide your yoga style and select a yoga teacher training that best fits you and your career goals. Next, complete at least 200 hours through a Yoga Alliance registered school. Then, apply for an RYT Certification. Once you pass your exam and complete your final assessment, you’ll get certified. So now you can go out there, get some practice, and start making money.

Is it worth it to become a yoga instructor?

I would say yes, only if you truly love yoga, want to teach, and are happily making this career work for you financially. Yoga teaching is very fulfilling and lucrative.

How do you get certified to be a yoga instructor?

First, you must practice yoga consistently and have completed a yoga teacher training program through a school registered under the Yoga Alliance. To become an officially certified yoga instructor, you must pass your exam and complete your final assignment. As a bonus, be sure to get CPR/AED certified.

How much does it cost to become a yoga instructor?

The cost of yoga certification can vary greatly. It can be anywhere from $200 to $7,000, depending on what kind of training and accommodations you want. While a 200-hour yoga teacher training will generally run from $1,000 to $3,000, a more advanced yoga certification course can be anywhere from $1,000 to $7,000.

Do I need a degree to become a yoga instructor?

You do not need a college degree to become a yoga instructor. However, some instructors hold a Bachelor’s Degree in either Psychology, Business, or English. Though 69% of Yoga Instructors hold a Bachelor’s Degree and 14% hold a Master’s Degree, it’s not required.

What is the average education required to become a yoga instructor?

The average education required to become a yoga instructor is a high school diploma or the equivalent (GED).

What are the requirements to become a yoga instructor?

The requirements to become a yoga instructor are as follows. First, complete training with a registered Yoga school and get CPR/AED and first aid certified. Then, become a registered yoga teacher and member of the Yoga Alliance. Maintain a thorough understanding of various yoga and mindful meditation techniques. Possess strong business, organization, and administration skills, and have the ability to work a flexible schedule.

What is the job outlook for yoga instructors?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics categorizes yoga instructors into personal trainers and group fitness instructors. This group has a projected job growth rate of 39%, much faster than the national average growth rate for all occupations.

What is the average salary of a yoga instructor?

According to the most recent statistics, the national average salary for a Yoga Instructor is $48,294 per year in the United States.

Guide Methodology

The content in this article is based on my 10 years in the fitness industry and experience with various certifications, including yoga certifications.

I also researched and surveyed fitness professionals and trainers, particularly certified yoga instructors, who have been actively working in the field.

Conclusion

Last Words...

Thank you for taking the time to read through my article on how to become a yoga instructor.

I think you would agree that if you learn to teach yoga, your knowledge about the human body and mind will grow massively.

If teaching yoga is something you envision yourself doing in the future, I’d recommend researching the best yoga teacher certification for you and your particular needs.

And if you see yourself going into instructing full-time, I’d suggest opting for yoga instructor training that is longer than the 200-hour program.

Overall, I hope I answered your question about “how to become a yoga instructor” and you gained some helpful insight into the profession.

Once again, Namaste!

References

  1. Very Well Health
  2. Yoga Alliance
  3. Next Insurance
  4. Brett Larkin
  5. One Flow Yoga

Tyler Read

Tyler Read, BSc, CPT. Tyler holds a B.S. in Kinesiology from Sonoma State University and is a certified personal trainer (CPT) with NASM (National Academy of sports medicine), and has over 15 years of experience working as a personal trainer. He is a published author of running start, and a frequent contributing author on Healthline and Eat this, not that.

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