A Yoga teacher has many roles to fill, since he or she guides a team of students through an approachable and thorough sequence of physical postures, breathing techniques, meditation, and mindfulness. The teacher is in charge of being aware of the postures and movements of his or her students, which is an important component of the healing art. The first step toward becoming a qualified Yoga teacher is to undergo formal Yoga teacher training from an authorized Yoga instructor.
Many aspiring Yoga teachers have attended classes for a short period and feel confident enough to enroll in an instructional class without further study. But for the more serious Yoga student, formal Yoga instructor training can be very beneficial. Once enrolled, there are several courses of study available, including intensive one-week programs and extensive weekend retreats. Most training centers offer the training diploma as well as the necessary certification to teach yoga poses and procedures to certified Yoga teachers.
In a one-week course, you will learn all that you need to know about yoga poses, their benefits, and how to instruct their specific benefits. One of the most common challenges facing inexperienced Yoga teachers is the correct alignment of the body. The correct alignment of the body ensures the student’s full flexibility and balanced muscular development. Proper alignment also enables the student to fully assume the positions needed in yoga classes. This is why it is so important to receive instruction from a trained Yoga instructor.
An additional consideration for a Yoga teacher is the implementation of correct postures. The student typically completes the sequences of postures in order to master the pose. Instructors are often referred to as “yoga masters,” and their instruction is imperative to a student’s success. A student can easily become frustrated with incorrect postures and may not fully understand how to properly execute each pose. If you are not instructed by an experienced Yoga teacher, a student will likely fail to learn any of the important aspects of yoga poses – which means a diminished learning experience and a waste of valuable time and effort.
Many Yoga studios offer training programs. Some Yoga teacher schools also provide intensive training. In addition to receiving a standard certificate or diploma, many programs also require completion of an advanced Yoga teacher course. The coursework is generally focused on teaching yoga teacher students how to utilize the advanced techniques and methods of the discipline. A full program typically requires the completion of a 300-hour certification course. A majority of Yoga instructor schools will not require a student to have a prerequisite training or exam prior to enrolling in a course.
Becoming a certified Yoga instructor can be done in as little as eight weeks. There are no formal requirements to become a certified Yoga teacher, although most Yoga studios and schools do conduct background checks and character reference checks. These are merely precautionary measures in case you may have any past incidents of inappropriate behavior with clients.
To begin practicing yoga, it is best to attend classes taught by experienced Yoga teachers. If possible, try to contact former Yoga students who may be able to give references for local Yoga instructors. Local colleges or universities are also a good source for potential Yoga teacher training. Once you have completed your Yoga instructor training, register with a Yoga instructor school that offers intensive training in the different facets of teaching Yoga. Make sure the school offers the courses that you wish to take.
A final consideration of the role of a yoga teacher is to understand that being a Yoga instructor is not simply about teaching the positions or postures. Most importantly, he/she must know how to instruct appropriately in a fun way that will motivate students to participate. It is important to make students feel at ease during all sessions. One way to do this is through non-threatening, non-pressure situations like asking them questions they may not readily ask. For example, if students complain about feeling too warm while practicing Bikram Yoga, tell them to try doing a session without that warmth and they will probably find their experience more enjoyable.