If you’re thinking of leaving your “soul-sucking” corporate job in search of inner peace and a more meaning career, becoming a yoga teacher might be an option. But first, you gotta go through yoga teacher training before you can be considered a certified “guru”.
The most basic teacher training courses tend to be 200 hours long, while others can run for 300 or even 500 hours. All the courses have to be Yoga Alliance-certified. So how much investment is involved in making that career switch?
While the standard route to becoming a yoga teacher is to complete a yoga teacher training course, this is by no means a surefire way to become a good teacher, or a good yoga practitioner, for that matter, especially considering the various styles and definitions of yoga.
However, for most commercially-run yoga studios, a teacher training qualification is a prerequisite for candidates hoping to teach with them. Many teachers even complete multiple teacher training courses.
Some teacher training courses are accredited by Yoga Alliance, while others aren’t. While a Yoga Alliance-accredited course is not necessarily better than one that isn’t, it’s worth noting that some gyms or studios will only hire teachers with Yoga Alliance-certified qualifications.
It’s also important to know that just because you go through a particular yoga studio’s teacher training course does not mean the studio will take you on as a teacher.
How advanced do you need to be to become a yoga instructor?
Even complete newbies can get accepted into some teacher training courses. Others will require experience of anywhere from three months to a year. Then there are teachers who’ve been practising for decades and have attended multiple teacher training courses.
In general, so long as you are proficient in basic asanas, you’ll have satisfied the physical requirements for becoming a teacher. However, whether you’re able to get jobs is a different story. A lot depends on your personality, your network and your personal teaching style.
You might also need to get a specific form of certification if you are interested in certain types of yoga such as pre-natal or Bikram yoga.
And of course, if you intend to do this job in the long term, you should continue to practise and even attend classes conducted by other teachers so you become more proficient yourself and are able to secure better jobs in future.
What’s it like being a yoga teacher?
Yoga teachers are generally either hired full-time at one studio or freelance by teaching at several studios. Your income will depend on the studio, your level of experience and the number of hours you clock.
In general, yoga teachers should be prepared to teach on weekends and in the evenings, as that is when most students are free to attend classes. If you are used to a nine to six schedule, this might take some getting used to.
Yoga teaching is also a very physical job and you will be required to demonstrate asanas and interact with your students. Looking after your body and getting enough sleep is paramount to being able to do your job well.