Becoming a full-time Yoga teacher is a dream for many Yoga lovers, but it often seems like a huge step to take.
The options for training and work experience can seem overwhelming, and the idea of leaving a secure job to follow your dreams can be very scary.
We’ve broken the process of becoming a Yoga teacher down into some simple steps. We hope these will help you decide if becoming a Yoga teacher is the right path for you, and act as a road map to guide you on your way to following your dreams.
Gain Yoga Experience
Before considering starting training it’s helpful to broaden your experience of Yoga and investigate whether this really is the path you want to follow.
If you normally train in one discipline of Yoga, consider taking classes in other disciplines to gain a broader understanding of Yoga as a whole and see how different teachers run their classes.
Have conversations with Yoga teachers. Finding out about their experience of training and teaching can help you focus your mind and realise what skills you value and are useful as a teacher.
Before you start training is also a useful time to reflect on your reasons for taking this journey. Consider starting a journal to reflect on your spiritual and personal growth as you follow your path.
Choose Your Training
Once you have decided that Yoga Teacher training is definitely for you it’s time to consider what type of training you would like to undertake.
Your reflections before starting will help you choose what is best for you.
200 hours is the minimum training time required to teach Yoga, but you will also find 300 and 500 hour more advanced courses.
Courses are also run in a variety of ways and which one you chose will depend on your reasons for taking the training as well as your budget and personal finances.
Those looking to immerse themselves completely in the world of Yoga might consider a residential course, either in the UK, or travelling overseas to train in locations like India or Thailand are popular.
Those who also need to continue to hold down a job whilst training, or whose budget doesn’t allow for this kind of travel might consider courses spread over several weekends, or even online only courses that offer pre-recorded lectures.
Whatever you chose make sure the course will provide a recognised qualification. The Yoga Alliance is a good name to look for, or recognised educational qualifications such as a Level 3 Diploma from a known accrediting body.
Take a look at our database of Yoga Teacher Training course providers to help you find a teacher for you.
Registration and Insurance
Once you have completed your training you’ll need to think about the legal and professional aspects before you start your practice as a teacher.
Registration with any of the governing bodies is optional, but it offers you access to tools and advice to manage your business and a way of proving that you are maintaining your education and skills. Some gyms or studios may require registration before they will employ you.
Yoga Alliance, British Wheel of Yoga and CIMSPA (Now merged with REPS) are the main bodies to consider, all will require that they training you have undertaken meets their requirements and request evidence of continuing study to maintain your registration.
Insurance is also highly recommended before starting work as a Yoga teacher, some studios may cover you under their insurance, others may require you to take out your own. A teachers liability insurance policy will cover you in the unfortunate event that any of your students suffers an injury under your supervision.
Once you are qualified and insured you’ll want to gain experience in teaching. No course or qualification is a substitute for experience, and this will really help you cement your knowledge and find your niche.
This is the point in which you may find yourself in the situation where studios are looking for experienced teachers, but you can’t gain experience without someone willing to take a chance on you as a new teacher.
Don’t worry. If you are determined there are many creative ways to go about gaining experience and building your Yoga teacher CV.
If you have contacts with a studio and other teachers, either where you studied or where you have previously practiced, then offering to assist existing teachers or cover their classes is a great way to gain experience and potentially a route to a future job.
Teaching friends and family is another way to gain valuable experience. You might consider running free classes for your community, or in spaces like schools, colleges and hospitals. Many businesses are also looking for ways to improve employee wellbeing, so offering taster classes to local businesses could help you gain valuable experience.
Build Your Business
Making money as yoga teacher could involve being directly employed by a studio, renting space at a studio as a freelance teacher, working from multiple spaces, or even owning your own studio. Only you can decide what your path as a teacher looks like.
If you are working directly for a studio then much of the marketing of your classes will be done for you, but if you choose to go it alone, in whatever format, then at some point you will need to get to grips with the business side of Yoga.
Finding a space to teach from can be a challenge. Wellbeing Venues has a database of venues across the UK that can be a good point to start your search; whether it’s an existing yoga studio, dance studio, church hall or other space; make sure it works for your style. Downloading our handy checklist can help. You might also want to investigate more unusual venues if it suits your style, or consider outdoor classes in warmer months.
With a venue to hold your classes, you will need a way of marketing and booking students into your classes. Your own website is a good place to start and this can be set up for low or no cost with very little technical know-how. You might also want to look into creating Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages for your yoga brand that should be kept for business purposes.
Offline marketing in your local area is also vital, make sure you get to know people, invest in business cards and spread the word!
Maintain Your Knowledge
Once you are starting to feel established in your teaching practice it’s important to maintain your thirst for learning. Keep up to date with developments in yoga practice, anatomy and physiology and best practice to ensure that you can give your students the best experience.
Many registering bodies set requirements for continuing professional development that can be gained through in-person hours or online courses. Take a look at our database of on and offline CPD course providers.
As well as completing training it’s helpful to make sure that you are in touch with other teachers, whether in person or online, keeping in touch with the yoga community helps you understand the issues teachers and students face and to grow your practice.
Wherever you are on your journey as a yoga teacher, Wellbeing Venues is here to support you.