I’m a newly qualified yoga teacher: where can I teach?

Where can I teach yoga?

In our last article, we looked at some practical activities that can help kick-start your yoga teaching career. These are important tasks, without a doubt, though what’s essential is that you gain teaching experience as soon as possible and teach yoga as often as you can.

For newly qualified yoga teachers, this is a guide to where you can teach and how to get valuable teaching experience.

Yoga Studios

Your first instinct is probably to approach local yoga studios. It’s a wise move but remember that yoga studios are the most difficult place to gain work as a new teacher. In ‘Choosing the right yoga teacher training course’ we indicated how training in the location where you want to teach will improve your chances of getting hired by a local studio. While that’s true, the following additional factors can further boost your candidacy with yoga studios.

Practise at the studios you want to work in. A big frustration of yoga studio owners is receiving applications from teachers who have never attended their classes. Each studio has a unique brand and approach to teaching, as well as a type of client, which you should familiarise yourself with first. Studios want to employ people already part of their communities, who share the same values and who enjoy the yoga taught there. Find a studio culture that resonates with you. Then, if you attend classes there regularly and become an enthusiastic member of the studio, you’ll have a better chance of being hired as a teacher.

Offer to assist the studio owner. Studio owners are BUSY people. And any offer of assistance is always appreciated. You should treat this as an exchange for your services. Whether you assist the teacher during classes, tidy up afterward, help out at events, or offer other skills in marketing or accounting, you should expect something in return. That could be free classes, a discounted membership, or a place on a continuous development program. Even if this doesn’t result in a teaching job, it’s a fantastic experience where you can learn, first-hand, how to run yoga classes.

Become a substitute teacher. Those busy studio owners, and other teachers who may work for them, have holidays sometimes. Or they might get sick, can’t organise childcare, or need a night off to catch up with admin. While a regular job might be currently unavailable, throughout the year, yoga studios will require teachers to fill in when an employee is off work. Make them aware that you’d like adding to the substitute teacher list and demonstrate how dependable you are when they need you. Also, teaching people used to taking lessons with someone else is challenging. If you can do this and succeed early in your teaching career, then you’ll go far.

Suggest a trial for your niche. Like any business, yoga studios want employees with ideas. Those who can spot an opportunity and have the creative skills and determination to make it work. If you are a yoga teacher with a particular niche – be it children’s yoga or yoga for pregnancy and birth – and want to teach in a studio that doesn’t currently offer these classes, then propose the idea. See if you can secure a trial period on the regular timetable. You might specialise in a yoga style which the studio is keen to offer clients, or want to teach classes in yoga philosophy, meditation, and other non-asana focused areas. Another idea is asking if you can teach during non-peak times. This will challenge your marketing skills too – can you fill a class at 7 am on Sundays?

Gyms, Health Clubs and Spas

Although it’s not a sport, doing yoga as a form of fitness has increased significantly in recent years. Yoga is also a recommended activity for athletes and sportspeople who want to avoid injuries. As our understanding of human anatomy continues to improve, the physical benefits of having a yoga practice will encourage more people to include yoga in their regular fitness routines.

It’s no surprise that yoga has become a popular feature on the timetables at gyms and health clubs. Most organisations operating in that industry now offer members yoga classes alongside traditional cardio and strength-based group exercise. The UK has the second-highest number of gyms and health clubs in Europe – around 7,000 nationwide. These businesses are always on the look-out for new yoga teachers.

Working in a gym is a great experience for newly qualified yoga teachers because you’ll likely be teaching people who wouldn’t usually attend a traditional yoga class. Without any predetermined expectations, you can experiment with different things and build your confidence over time. You may require a REPS qualification to teach in a gym or fitness centre, and you should expect to undergo a trial/audition before being hired. It’s worth noting, too, that gyms pay less than other venues, but offer more regular work.

Another potential issue with teaching yoga in a gym or fitness centre is the environment. You’ll probably be working in a brightly lit section of the gym/fitness centre surrounded by exercise equipment and listening to loud dance music as you stretch. While some larger gyms/fitness centres do have special yoga rooms, if a gym environment is a major problem, you could consider teaching in spas, which tend to offer clients more tranquil exercise and mindfulness spaces.

Public and Private Sector Organisations

Employee health and wellbeing is now a major focus for companies across all industry sectors. To attract the best people, organisations are increasingly creative around the health and wellbeing benefits they offer employees. These may include cycle to work schemes, discounted gym memberships, and free counselling services.

Yoga and meditation are also on the workplace agenda. As more evidence emerges of how yoga and meditation can help reduce stress, ease pain caused by prolonged periods sitting at a desk, and boost morale and productivity, employers are looking at how they can introduce yoga and meditation to office life.

Often, this may involve paying a local studio a fixed price to enable employees to attend classes if and when they like. In larger businesses, however, yoga teachers are usually invited to teach yoga and meditation classes in the office itself. A company may have a large breakout area to accommodate these activities, or in some cases, companies are investing in bespoke yoga studios inside office buildings.

Office-based yoga classes will most likely take place at lunchtime. Though, depending on the company and set-up, you may find yourself teaching before 9 am or in the evenings.

To secure work in this context, it’s a good idea to target organisations in your local area large enough to subsidise yoga and meditation classes to employees. Ideally, you want to find a company that isn’t currently offering yoga. You can then sell ‘sell’ your proposition to them.

Companies are also generally keen to promote their benefits packages, so keep an eye on websites and newsfeeds, the business news, and business awards to see which firms are demonstrating best practice by placing employee health and wellbeing at the heart of their cultures.

Word of mouth is another common route to gaining office-based yoga teaching work. Ask around in your network and consider creating a profile on professional networking sites like LinkedIn to improve your chances of getting hired.

If you already work in an office environment, then this could be an ideal place to begin. Approach your colleagues in the first instance and see if they’re interested. And even if the business can’t subsidise classes, they may still allow you to teach in the building. You can then agree on a set price with your colleagues and get started.

Community Centres, Care Homes, and Schools

Many small towns and villages won’t have a dedicated yoga studio, so instead local people rely on community-oriented buildings such as community centres, libraries, and religious institutions to get their yoga fix.

Teachers should approach employers directly for opportunities or enquire with the local council about hiring a space. In a similar vein, yoga teachers are also often found in religious institutions such as churches, synagogues, and temples.

Renting a room at a community centre or other community-oriented building is usually more cost-effective than a city centre room-for-hire option. You should expect an older clientele to attend classes at these venues. This is a great way to build your confidence and create a community within a community.

You may consider offering donation-based classes to attract people when you first set-up. We advise against this, as it devalues the yoga industry.

Before setting your prices, always explore what other people in your area are charging and match them. By all means, offer discounts to new/certain students but avoid going down the donation/free route. You’ve put lots of time, money and energy into training to become a yoga teacher, and you deserve financial rewards for your efforts.

Another option is to approach care homes and retirement villages. If you’ve already gained experience teaching yoga to seniors, then you’ll likely jump the queue when applying to these organisations.

Hospitals, too, now offer yoga classes for long-term patients.

Finally, much like the business world, educators are also beginning to acknowledge the benefits yoga can have on student mental health. Schools, colleges, and universities, if not already offering yoga as an extracurricular activity, will be keen to hear from yoga teachers with ideas of how yoga can be integrated into regular learning programs. Bear in mind that you’ll require a CRB / DBS check before being able to teach in these institutions.

Private Classes, Workshops, and Retreats

Once you gain some experience in any of the above settings, you can start advertising private yoga classes. While people love to attend group events and meet fellow yogis, others will benefit more from having a personal yoga instructor.

It’s not just rich housewives buying private yoga classes either. It could be a sportsperson recovering from injury, someone with social anxiety who prefers one-to-one interaction, or an individual with a medical condition who can’t travel far.

If you don’t have a dedicated space to host these sessions, don’t worry, as it’s quite common for teachers to take private yoga classes at their clients’ homes. Always make sure, however, that your safety is being taken into consideration before agreeing to this arrangement.

Private yoga classes can be offered to small groups too, and tied into special occasions like birthdays, hen parties, or school reunions.

Running private yoga workshops and yoga retreats is another great way to boost your income as a yoga teacher. If you can negotiate an arrangement with a luxury venue e.g. a spa, historic building, or high-end hotel, this will improve the chances of selling spaces on your yoga workshop or retreat.

Any event or occasion deemed exclusive is always popular in the yoga community. Over time, and as your confidence and reputation grow, you could even consider hosting an overseas yoga retreat in an exotic location.

There’s less risk involved in working for a venue (yoga studio, gym, etc.) than setting up private yoga classes, yoga workshops, and yoga retreats. While your earning potential is comparatively higher, the cost of venue hire, equipment, and any marketing efforts means you could be operating at a loss until you have enough students to cover your expenses.

Other Options

For new yoga teachers, the most important thing is getting as much teaching practise as possible. It could take time to get established in any of the teaching context outlines above. So, in the meantime, why not offer classes to friends and family.

These could take place at your house or theirs, during a group holiday or even at the local park. Remember, during this early stage of your yoga teaching career, you need to build confidence as well as develop your teaching style and approach. Friends and family will offer support, encouragement as well as constructive feedback that you wouldn’t necessarily get from anyone else.

Collaborating with other new yoga teachers is another good way to kick start your yoga teaching career. Organise special events – outdoor events, in particular, are popular in the summer – and pool your resources and contacts to ensure you get enough people along.

These sessions can become publicity opportunities too. Gets someone you trust to photograph or video the events and share these widely on our social media channels.

I’m a newly qualified yoga teacher: What next?

Advice for new yoga teachers

Completing your yoga teacher training course is a fantastic feeling. You’re a qualified teacher now, and your life has completely changed. Much like when you pass your driving test, the best advice is to start teaching straight away and do as much of it as you can. But… it’s a competitive market. With so many yoga teachers out there, gaining any type of employment may appear as daunting as embarking on your yoga teacher training course did all those months ago.

If you’re a newly qualified yoga teacher, read on to find some practical advice and tips for kick-starting your yoga teaching career.

Be patient… and don’t give up your day job

If you remain passionate about yoga and determined to teach it, then it will become an integral part of your professional life. But you must be patient and take incremental steps to achieve a yoga teaching career.

Whether you’re someone who wants to teach yoga on a part-time basis, or full-time, don’t change your personal circumstances too much at this early stage. Even if you’re currently working in a part-time job, try to find yoga teaching opportunities that fit around it i.e. don’t say that you can’t work Saturdays anymore just yet.

Keep to your regular hours and seek yoga teaching jobs that can accommodate your main source of income. Eventually, you will be able to set your own hours, and work on days and at times that fit best with your clients. You’ll need regular customers first, though, and it takes time to build loyalty.

Get your business head on

The best yoga teacher training courses will offer students coaching and guidance on how to set-up and build a yoga business. That doesn’t mean how to run a studio yourself, but rather, how to create a brand and sell your services to the market. While much of the innovation of your yoga teaching enterprise will be driven by you, there are certain basic things you should be doing do get things started.

Register with your accrediting body. Hopefully, you will have gained a yoga teacher qualification from a registered accrediting body. In doing so, you can now register with that organisation and gain access to various benefits. This, in most cases, includes assistance in promoting your services. You can read about the different yoga teacher training accrediting bodies here.

Sort out liability insurance. This is really important, as it offers you protection if anyone ever gets injured in your class. Most organisations that employ yoga teachers will expect you to have insurance. And even if they don’t, you should get insured anyway as its considered good practice. Your yoga teacher training accrediting body will offer discounted insurance to members. You can also explore other options online or ask yoga teachers in your network for the best and/or most cost-effective alternatives.

Create a local support network. Don’t go it alone basically. Attend other teacher’s classes and workshops, as well as social events hosted by local studios. Interact with peers and discuss the ins and outs of teaching yoga. If you want advice on pricing and marketing, or to introduce yourself to prospective employers, this is a great way to do it. Or, if you’d rather meet one-to-one with another yoga teacher, invite them for a coffee and a chat. Yoga teachers are a sociable bunch and enjoy helping each other out.

Beware of online networks. There are some good online networking forums for yoga teachers too but remember that online isn’t everything. With so much ‘noise’ on these channels, it can be difficult to get your voice heard. If you find it disheartening or unproductive, then don’t hesitate to remove yourself. Remember, there’s no rule which says you have to follow other teachers and be part of online communities to become a successful yoga teacher yourself.

Start developing your brand. A good yoga teacher training program will have already got you started on this. You need to think about your social media presence, a basic website, and any supporting literature you may need. Employers want to see who you are and what you’ve done. Part of this is creating a yoga CV and integrating your story into these channels. Even if you don’t have much teaching experience yet, your CV can include relevant soft and transferable skills, your yoga style, or specialty if you have one, as well as your aspirations and any testimonials you’ve received.

Consider further qualifications

With so much competition out there, one of the best things you can do as a newly qualified yoga teacher is to keep learning. Continuing your professional development is exciting anyway. And gaining extra qualifications will help you build a brand niche and stand out from the crowd.

Consider what reputation you want. Do you want to become known as the go-to person for pranayama? The yoga teacher who helps people with sporting injuries. An expert in teaching yoga to children? There’s plenty of options and associated certifications available. Look at other qualifications offered by your accrediting body. And attend workshops to deepen your expertise in a particular area.

Students will become loyal clients over time if they see you have the expertise and/or credibility in teaching a particular style or specialise with a certain type of customer. The other thing you should do is read. New knowledge is emerging about yoga and its impact on the body and the mind all the time. Staying abreast of current research will allow you to add greater value to your students.

Maintain your home practice

Creating a home yoga practice that you can maintain after you graduate is essential. When attending classes as a newly qualified yoga teacher, you’ll find yourself analysing everything, to the point that your enjoyment of doing yoga wanes. While it’s important to continue attending yoga classes, and getting ideas for your own sessions, you must take time to check-in with yourself.

You’ll be surprised how inspirational this time it too. The human mind is a complex thing. Just when you think you’re slowing down and switching off; the best class ideas will pop into your head. Or, that marketing strategy you’ve been working on which has hit a block, resolves itself when the solution comes out of nowhere. Meditation is, of course, a proven way to channel your inner wisdom after all.

Don’t lose your love for yoga by practising it too much after qualifying as a teacher. Use those first few weeks and months after graduating to find the right balance. Schedule in time for your home practice, as well as classes you can attend for enjoyment and with your teacher/business head on. Making yoga a part of your daily home routine will help you become a better teacher over time.

Next up: I’m a newly qualified yoga teacher: Where can I teach?

Recommended reading for pregnancy yoga teacher training: 5 essential books

Recommended reading for pregnancy yoga

Pregnant women who attend your classes will expect clear and knowledgeable explanations of how doing yoga during pregnancy will facilitate a happy and healthy birth. Your expertise in Pregnancy Anatomy, Pelvic Girdle Pain, Optimal Foetus Positioning, and Oxytocin, will offer reassurance to those anxious about childbirth.

While these areas and more are covered during your pregnancy yoga teacher training course, it’s important to complement that knowledge with self-directed learning. Whether you’re a yoga teacher who wants to allow pregnant women to attend their general classes or someone who wishes to offer pregnancy yoga-specific classes, these 5 books will provide an excellent foundation for your learning experience.

Yoga for Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond by Francoise Barbira Freedman

Published in 2004, Yoga for Pregnancy, Birth, and Beyond is divided into helpful sections covering early, mid, late pregnancy, and postnatal. The author offers a step-by-step guide to different yoga postures adapted for each trimester, as well as relaxation techniques and simple breathing exercises. It recommends which poses are best for heartburn, pelvic pain, sciatic pain, etc. And, it even has a chapter on poses that can be done with a new-born. Throughout, beautiful photographs help illustrate the straightforward descriptions and explanations.

The Oxytocin Factor by Kerstin Uvnas Moberg

Oxytocin plays a significant role in regulating the body during bonding, sex, and childbirth. The Oxytocin Factor provides readers with easy-to-understand explanations of how this hormone can reduce anxiety, stress, addictions, and problems of childbirth. Published in 2003, it was the first book to offer insight into the oxytocin system for a general audience. Although science-heavy, readers will not be overwhelmed by any complex ideas or jargon. Rather, the content is ideal for anyone who wants to learn more about birth.

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin

Ina May Gaskin is a world-famous midwife. In Guide to Childbirth (2003), she provides readers with several inspiring stories of natural childbirth. These are presented alongside information about the biological process that occurs during labour. The book offers advice on how to create a safe, comfortable environment for birth in any setting. Reducing the pain of labour without drugs, and through massage and breathing, are also discussed. Its focus on the mind-body connection helps pregnancy yoga teachers communicate the true capabilities of the female body during childbirth.

Birthing From Within by Pam England and Rob Horowitz

Birthing From Within (1998) offers practical advice on how to prepare for a natural childbirth. Activities such as journaling, meditation, and painting, the authors argue, can help expectant mothers acknowledge and overcome their fears leading up to giving birth. Several proven techniques for coping with pain without drugs are discussed. By emphasising how pain is a necessary part of birth, however, the book reminds women that they shouldn’t be ashamed of experiencing it. This is another valuable text for yoga teachers wishing to explore different childbearing methods.

Hypnobirthing by Siobhan Miller

Hypnobirthing combines self-hypnosis and relaxation techniques to help reduce fear, anxiety, and pain during childbirth. The concept emerged during the late 1980s and is now practised worldwide. In her 2019 book, Siobhan Miller reveals the science behind hypnobirthing. She explains how women can train their bodies at a muscular and hormonal level to relax, get muscles working properly, and divert blood and oxygen to the right places. This book enables prenatal yoga teachers to talk confidently about hypnobirthing while emphasising the importance of being relaxed and calm during labour.

Interested in becoming a pregnancy yoga teacher?

The Newcastle Yoga School Online Pregnancy Yoga Teacher Training Course is suitable for qualified yoga teachers, as well as midwives, doulas, and Drs who would like to use Pregnancy Yoga in their jobs. Click here to find out more.

Recommended reading before starting a yoga teacher training course

Recommended reading for yoga teacher training

Like with any qualification, a yoga teacher training course will have various ‘set texts’ which you are expected to read and understand. Assessments, including essays and case studies, that you will complete during the course, will test your ability to reference yoga literature, in addition to explaining key concepts in a compelling way.

While the bulk of reading will occur once the program has started – with group discussions of different books – it’s a good idea to explore some of the seminal writing concerning the history, philosophy, and science of yoga beforehand. Below is a list of suggested reading for students wishing to develop their knowledge before starting a yoga teacher training course.

  • The Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali
  • The Bhagavad Gita translated by Eknath Easwaran
  • Light on Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar
  • The Spiritual Teachings of Yoga by Mark Forstater and Joanna Manuel
  • Yoga Anatomy by Leslie Kaminoff and Amy Matthews
  • Science of Yoga by Ann Swanson
  • Peace In Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh
  • The Body Keeps the Score by Dr Bessel van der Kolk

The Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali

The Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali are regarded as the definitive principles of yoga theory and practice. While yoga itself is thousands of years old, the writings of Patañjali, which appeared in circa 400 BCE, were the first to outline these ancient traditions in an organised and digestible format.

There are several modern translations available today. If you’re interested in reading one, ask your course tutor which version they would recommend. As you will likely spend time reading and interpreting The Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali during a yoga teacher training course, however, it’s not absolutely necessary to have read a direct translation prior to the start date.

The Bhagavad Gita translated by Eknath Easwaran

The Bhagavad Gita or ‘Divine song’ is a sacred Hindu text which dates back to circa 200 BCE. A central theme of The Bhagavad Gita is ‘spiritual liberation’ and how one might achieve this through their actions and lifestyle choices. Its exploration of the power of selflessness was a major influence on Mahatma Gandhi.

During the book’s 700 verses, which detail conversations between Prince Arjuna and Krishna, the word yoga is mentioned over 100 times. The Bhagavad Gita’s relevance to yoga teacher training is its exploration of yoga’s different characteristics and how each one can lead to the attainment of happiness.

Light on Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar

Published in 1966, Light on Yoga is considered the best generalist introduction to yoga theory and practice. As well as offering clear explanations of The Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali, the text provides practical guidelines (including illustrations) of 200 asanas. Sections on the anatomical aspects of yoga, as well as pranayama (breathing), are also included.

This was the book that first introduced yoga to a broad western consumer audience. And its efforts to associate yoga with good physical and mental health means it remains highly relevant for prospective yoga teachers today. A better option, too, if you find the raw philosophy a little intimidating at first.

The Spiritual Teachings of Yoga by Mark Forstater and Joanna Manuel

If you’re seeking a clear and accessible introduction to yoga philosophy, The Spiritual Teachings of Yoga is an ideal place to start. Published in 2013, the book includes easy to understand explanations of the key concepts underpinning yoga theory and practice, as well as abridged translations of The Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali and The Bhagavad Gita.

Co-Author, Joanna Manuel, trains yoga teachers herself. And a key motivation for her writing the book was to provide yoga teacher trainees easy access to the key yoga texts in one place, so they can avoid buying several different books. Those serious about becoming yoga teachers, however, should still read full translations of The Bhagavad Gita, etc. at some point in their careers.

Yoga Anatomy by Leslie Kaminoff and Amy Matthews

A critical aspect of any yoga teacher training course is learning about anatomy and how different parts the body work. Yoga Anatomy is the ‘go-to book’ for all things concerning the anatomical aspects of yoga. First published in 2007, an updated and expanded second edition was released in 2011.

The authors provide in-depth explanations of what is occurring within the human body during yoga. Using full-colour illustrations, readers can see exactly how muscles and joints respond during different (sitting, standing, kneeling, etc.) poses. Common challenges are outlined, and information is also provided on how alterations can enhance or reduce a pose’s effectiveness.

Science of Yoga by Ann Swanson

Published in 2019, Ann Swanson’s Science of Yoga explores the physiology of 30 key yoga poses. By looking in-depth into each pose, from every angle, readers gain a deeper understanding of how the asanas affect different muscles, bones, and joints. Easy to understand descriptions and intricate full-colour illustrations help bring to the interior of the body to life.

The book also delves into recent scientific research into the benefits of yoga, including how it can help lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and prevent age-related brain changes. This insight enables yoga teachers to offer real value to their students while helping them achieve technical excellence in their personal practice.

Peace In Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Thiền Buddhist monk and prolific writer of over 100 books on mindfulness and Buddhist teachings. Peace in Every Step (1990) explains how awareness of our body and mind through conscious breathing can help us find peace and happiness.

Using anecdotes from his own colourful and well-travelled life, Thich Nhat Hanh helps readers understand how the most mundane tasks or annoying distractions can be transformed into moments of mindfulness. Students on yoga teacher training courses will find this book useful when studying Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, and Dhyana.

The Body Keeps the Score by Dr Bessel van der Kolk

For those curious about how yoga can help heal trauma, The Body Keeps the Score by Dr Bessel van der Kolk is an enlightening read. Based on research into trauma’s effect on the brain and memory, the book reveals how non-drug related interventions such as theatre, play, meditation, and yoga can help trauma victims recover.

Yoga, in particular, the author argues is more effective than any medication in helping people reconnect their minds with their bodies. Understanding the healing powers of yoga enables yoga teachers to offer another dimension to their classes, providing ways to aid mental and as well as physical injury through yoga.

Additional resources

You may also find the following books on some yoga reading lists. Though, these texts are more suitable to read during or after your yoga teacher training course, rather than before it starts.

  • Roots of Yoga by Sir James Mallinson and Mark Singleton
  • Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Practice by Mark Singleton
  • The Royal Path by Swami Rama
  • The Art Of Joyful Living by Swami Rama
  • Be Here Now by Ram Dass

Preparing for a yoga teacher training course: what you should be doing before it starts

Preparing for a yoga teacher training course

Confirming your place on a yoga teacher course is a great feeling, but you’ll likely be waiting several weeks or months for it to start. How you spend that time is crucial and will help you get to grips with the content and adjust to the changes in your life, once the course is underway. So, if you’re asking yourself, ‘Is there anything I should be doing before my yoga teacher training course begins?’ please read on to find out how to prepare.

  • Revisit: Maintain a consistent asana practice
  • Read: Start studying the literature
  • Reflect: Stay focused on your goals
  • And finally… Get your house in order

Revisit: Maintain a consistent asana practice

As a prospective yoga teacher, you should already have a regular asana practice. During a yoga teacher training course, however, you may find more time is spent learning about anatomy, philosophy, and ‘how to teach’ rather than practising the poses.

It’s important, therefore, to maintain a consistent asana practice leading up to your yoga teacher training course. You should aim to revisit all the different poses and ensure you’re familiar with their names. This will also help your body prepare for an increase in physical activity in the weeks or months ahead.

Furthermore, use this time to familiarise yourself with the different props used in yoga classes. This knowledge will become useful, especially when you’re developing your own teaching methods. Understanding the role of bolsters, blocks, and belts will set you in good stead for when your training starts.

In addition to your home practice, if possible, attend two or three yoga classes per week. You should try a variety of classes too and observe and make notes about different teaching styles, class structures, and content. This will help inform your own approach to teaching, which you can then cultivate further during your course.

Don’t forget to attend classes delivered by your prospective tutor, though. Having signed up for a yoga teacher training course, you should already have a good relationship with the course leader. And time spent with them before the start date will help you get to know them ever better and reaffirm your decision to join their program.

Read: Start studying the literature

It’s likely that your yoga experience to date has mainly been of asana, the physical aspect of a yoga practice. You may have touched on the other limbs too, such as dhyana (meditation) and pranayama (breathwork), though improving your understanding of these broader elements, and the philosophy underpinning them, is one reason why you’ve chosen to undertake yoga teacher training.

Our advice: start studying the literature now.

Learning the philosophy of yoga can be challenging at first. These ideas and teachings are thousands of years old – you’re going to encounter unfamiliar words and abstract concepts that are difficult to understand. Don’t be put off, though. By the end of your yoga teacher training course, all of it will make sense. But engaging with some of the key texts now will help fast-track your development and take some pressure off, early on.

Most yoga teacher training courses will provide a reading list to prospective students before they start. If your course leader hasn’t done so, then get in touch and ask for some guidance before diving into the literature. We’ve compiled a list of recommended reading for yoga teacher training here. By no means is this an exhaustive list, but it includes standard texts you would expect to see on most yoga teacher training courses.

The idea of studying may be daunting, especially if you haven’t completed any formal education for a while. A good yoga teacher training course, however, will offer an inclusive approach that will accommodate different learning styles. If you’re not much of a reader or struggle to self-direct your learning, speak to your course tutor about other resources you can investigate prior to the start date.

Reflect: Stay focused on your goals

While maintaining your asana practice and studying the yoga literature will help you to prepare, try not to overdo it, and experience burn-out before the course begins. Overeagerness could lead to you becoming disinterested, fatigued, or even worse, injured, and unable to participate.

That’s why it’s also important to take some time out before starting the course and reflect on your decision to undertake yoga teacher training. This will remind you of your intentions for signing up in the first place and help you to focus on your goals.

A perfect way to do this often is through meditation. Learning about dhyana (meditation) will form part of the learning program anyway. And in the same way that practising asana should become part of your weekly pre-course routine, try to find time to meditate regularly too and attune your mind to the challenges ahead.

Journaling is another good habit to adopt in the weeks or months before starting your yoga teacher training. Again, most programs will expect you to keep a journal as you work your way through the modules. Getting your thoughts and feelings down on paper can help reaffirm your intentions and alleviate any anxieties you may have.

If possible, you should take a holiday before starting your teacher training. You don’t even have to travel anywhere but having some time away from work and/or your other day-to-day responsibilities, will help clear your mind and ensure your body is fully rested.

And finally…

Get your house in order. Remember, participating in this course is going to impact how you live your life ­– and it may even change it forever. If it’s only a few weeks long or lasts the best part of a year, you need to put foundations in place now to ensure you’re organised and have the necessary support to help you along the way.

Start thinking about the coursework and assessments and how you will complete these around other things happening in your life. Note down important dates, and make sure you’re free on those days. Review the class times and course structure again too, so there are no surprises on day one.

Furthermore, manage the expectations of your family and friends – help them understand how important this course is and how demanding it may be of your time. Explain the physical and emotional challenges you’ll face too and how their support will be a key part in you getting you through to the end.






The different yoga accreditation bodies explained

Different yoga accreditation bodies

Getting a yoga teacher training qualification is an important step in your journey to becoming a yoga instructor. While various institutions offer yoga teacher training courses, you must ensure that the tutor/organisation you choose is accredited by a recognised body to offer training to prospective yoga teachers.

This guide provides an objective overview of the main yoga accreditation bodies active in the UK.

  • Yoga Alliance Professionals
  • Independent Yoga Network (IYN)
  • Yoga Alliance
  • British Wheel of Yoga (BWY)
  • Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs)

These bodies set the standards for yoga teacher training programs around the world. In doing so, they determine which tutors/organisations meet certain minimum teaching standards – encompassing knowledge, experience, and skills. To avoid any conflict of interest, most of these organisations don’t deliver the qualifications that they accredit.

The type of accreditation you gain will define your yoga teacher career path moving forward. If you’re considering training to become a yoga teacher, first understand the values and standards of different yoga accreditation bodies, as well as the benefits they offer to qualified teachers.

Yoga Alliance Professionals

Yoga Alliance Professionals is a UK headquartered international yoga accreditation body. It was founded in 2006 and initially called Yoga Alliance UK, following preliminary discussions with the US organisation (see below) about establishing a UK branch. Nothing came of this, and Yoga Alliance Professionals remains independent and unaffiliated with any other yoga accrediting body. A long term plan is to drop the word ‘Alliance’ from its name.

Its founding vision was to tackle declining standards in yoga teacher training. During its 14+ year history, Yoga Alliance Professionals has done this successfully by helping to professionalise the global industry and promote yoga teaching as a career.

Before applying to a Yoga Alliance Professionals accredited teacher training course, you must have at least two years’ experience of practising yoga. Trainers are encouraged to ask for evidence and interview prospective students before admitting them on to a course. The course itself must also dedicate 20% of contact hours to teaching practice.

Following the completion of a Yoga Alliance Professionals accredited course, the organisation offers a clear career path for its members, with four additional stages covering eight years of experience. Members can choose to work their way through the different levels, from Yoga Teacher to Experienced Yoga Teacher (EYT), to Senior Yoga Teacher (SYT), and finally, Trainer.

Completing a Yoga Alliance Professionals accredited teacher training course will make you eligible to join its global database of teachers. Members also benefit from access to yoga teacher insurance and other useful resources. As a non-profit organisation, Yoga Alliance Professionals re-invests 100% of its membership fees into tools and campaigns that help promote yoga teaching as a career.

There are over 8,000 Yoga Alliance Professionals members worldwide, encompassing a broad range of yoga lineages. Interestingly, only around 300 Yoga Alliance Professionals teacher training courses currently exist. It’s a comparatively low number explained by its high standards and the fact that only Senior Yoga Teachers with at least 8 years’ teaching experience can set-up teacher training courses.

Furthermore, 70% of any Yoga Alliance Professionals teacher training course must be delivered by a Senior Yoga Teacher.

Here is how they describe the difference between themselves and Yoga Alliance

Independent Yoga Network (IYN)

The Independent Yoga Network is a UK headquartered international yoga accreditation body. Established in 2004, the organisation’s founding aim was to offer a counter-narrative to attempts by the UK sporting industry to standardise yoga teaching practice. Having succeeded, IYN now exists to celebrate yoga in all its diversity, offering accredited status to a broad range of yoga training schools.

In completing a yoga teacher training course at an Independent Yoga Network accredited institution, you are eligible to join its global database of teachers. Today, there are over 900 yoga teachers and around 50 yoga schools registered on the Independent Yoga Network, worldwide.

The IYN also accepts members who have trained elsewhere and/or are accredited by other bodies. This means teachers can honour their ‘own philosophical and practical approach to Yoga.’ Its members include ‘Yoga Elders’ with at least 5,000 hours of yoga teaching experience. As well as those with other 200-hour accredited qualifications, plus at least 4 years of regular practice and 100 hours teaching experience.

Whichever membership route you take, prospective Independent Yoga Network members must demonstrate how their practice adheres to Ahimsa (non-violence), Satya (truthfulness), and Svadhyaya (self-study), the principles which underpin the IYN’s purpose. In addition to free advertising, members also benefit from access to the Independent Yoga Network’s comprehensive Yoga Teachers’ insurance policy.

To establish and deliver an accredited Independent Yoga Network teacher training course, registered teachers must have at least 10 years of solid teaching experience.

Yoga Alliance

Headquartered in the USA, Yoga Alliance is an international yoga accreditation body. Established in 1999, its founding vision was to create national standards for training yoga teachers.

Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Teachers (RYT) are representative of a wide variety of yoga lineages. In completing a yoga teacher training course at a Yoga Alliance accredited institution, you are eligible to join its global database of teachers. Today, there are over 60,000 yoga teachers and around 4,000 yoga schools registered on the Yoga Alliance directory, worldwide.

In addition to the advertising opportunities available, there is credibility associated with having RYT status which can boost your teaching opportunities. Members can also access special deals for yoga teacher insurance, legal advice, materials, and equipment. Though like any other membership program, there are application, registration, and renewal fees involved.

To create a yoga teacher training course, a Yoga Alliance RYT must first achieve Continuing Education Provider (YACEP) status. This means they will have at least 4 years – and a minimum of 2000 hours – of yoga teaching experience since becoming a RYT. Furthermore, 75% of any Yoga Alliance teacher training course must be delivered by a YACEP.

British Wheel of Yoga (BWY)

Established in 1965, the British Wheel of Yoga is a UK-only yoga accreditation body. The organisation has 11 regional branches covering England, Wales, and Scotland. Its founding aim is to promote a greater understanding of yoga and its safe practise through experience, education, study, and training.

Unlike other yoga accrediting bodies, the British Wheel of Yoga offers its own bespoke yoga teacher training program. This 500-hour course is the equivalent of a Level 4 Diploma in the UK. It can take 12 to 30 months to complete, depending on the school/individual delivering the qualification.

The BWY accredits individuals/yoga training schools to deliver this qualification, as well as shorter 12 month/300+ hour teacher training programs. These other certifications are unregulated and don’t carry Level 4 Diploma status. Regardless of which route you take, the learning emphasis of these qualifications is always on “how to teach.” There are currently 9 BWY Accredited Training Organisations, as well as hundreds of BWY Diploma Course Tutors (DCTs) operating across the UK.

Anyone can become a member of the British Wheel of Yoga and attend BWY yoga classes. In completing a British Wheel of Yoga accredited teacher training course, you are eligible to join its database of teachers. Members also benefit from the BWY yoga teacher insurance policy, invitations to events, and discounted equipment. 

Tutors on a BWY teacher training program must have a minimum of 5 years of teaching experience. All teaching experience should have occurred since gaining a BWYQ Diploma in Teaching Yoga.

Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs)

Launched in 2002, The Register of Exercise Professionals is a UK fitness industry accreditation body. Its founding aim was to protect the public from trainers/instructors working in gyms, schools, or fitness centres who do not hold appropriate qualifications.

Gaining a REPs accredited qualification means that employers within the UK fitness industry are assured that you have the right knowledge, competence, and skills to perform your role.

Yoga is one of several fitness categories accredited by REPs. However, as there is no legal jurisdiction over the teaching of yoga in the UK, it’s at the employer’s (gyms, schools, or fitness centre) discretion whether or not a yoga instructor holds a REPs recognised qualification.

Those wishing to qualify as yoga instructors through REPs must complete a Level 3 Diploma In Teaching Yoga. This qualification is delivered by various REPs accredited training providers across the UK. It’s a 400-hour course, delivered over 3 to 4 months. Some training providers state that there are no formal entry requirements to join the course, though others ask that you have a minimum of two years’ yoga experience.

Once qualified, REPs members benefit from being part of a 20,000 strong database of registered trainers. They also gain access to discounts on branded merchandise and clothing. Qualifications are recognised overseas too. While a REPs accredited Level 3 Diploma may boost your chance of getting hired in a gym, it’s unlikely that a yoga studio would consider your application over someone with an accredited qualification from any of the other bodies discussed here.

Yoga teachers wishing to join REPs having already gained another accredited yoga teaching qualification can do so via a specific yoga teacher application process. Applications are independently assessed by a panel of yoga teachers and not by REPs employees. Those with IYN or BWY accredited qualifications may find their application is fast-tracked.

It’s unclear how experienced you must be to deliver a REPs accredited Level 3 Diploma In Teaching Yoga. As REPs offer members opportunities to train as Course Tutors after gaining a Level 3 qualification, we can assume that most Tutors will have both qualifications.


The above is gathered from public sources and is for information purposes only. If there are any errors or discrepancies with the content presented, please let us know and we will be happy to update it.

Choosing the right yoga teacher training course: 6 key questions to ask

Choosing the right yoga teacher training course

The step from deciding to become a yoga teacher to choosing the right yoga teacher training course is a big one. There are several factors to consider before taking the plunge and applying for a program. This will be a transformational period of your life – and a big financial investment too – so it’s essential when choosing a yoga teacher training course that the course is absolutely right for you.

There’s been a huge increase in recent years of people becoming yoga teachers, as well as the number of institutions offering yoga teacher training qualifications. It’s a crowded and confusing marketplace, which may be daunting when you first begin your research.

Everyone has different motivations, priorities, and needs. And while choosing the right yoga teacher training course is entirely personal and subjective, there are a few fundamental questions to ask which will make your search easier. To avoid making the wrong choice, ask the following questions about a yoga teacher training course before applying.

  • Is the course accredited?
  • Does the course content meet your expectations?
  • How connected are you to the course tutor
  • Is the location aligned to your motivations?
  • Does the class size guarantee a tailored experience?
  • How realistic are the timeframe and cost?

Is the course accredited?

This is undoubtedly the most important question to ask when choosing the right yoga teacher training course. It’s actually the simplest way to narrow your search. While there are hundreds of yoga teacher training qualifications available, not all are delivered by tutors/organisations actually accredited by a recognised body to train prospective yoga teachers.

Choosing an accredited course will ensure you gain an industry-recognised qualification at the end of it. That means it will meet the exacting standards set out by the yoga profession. It’ll help you avoid spending thousands of pounds on a substandard course too. Yes, there are some excellent non-accredited yoga teacher training courses, but because literally anyone can create and deliver a yoga teacher training course, many are of poor quality.

By completing an accredited course you will also be eligible for insurance to teach yoga. This, in turn, will improve your chances of getting hired by a studio.

You can read about the different accreditation bodies for yoga here, as well as reasons why you might decide to choose a course accredited by one yoga teacher training body and not another. It’s entirely up to you which one you go for, though you may want to think about the values and standards of the different bodies, as well as the benefits they offer to qualified teachers.

Again, our article ‘The different yoga accreditation bodies explained’ will help inform your decision and ensure you choose a yoga teacher training course that is right for you.

Does the course content meet your expectations?

Most accredited yoga teacher training courses will dedicate a set number of hours to teaching anatomy, physiology, and meditation, as well as the history and philosophy of yoga. The best courses have modules on running a successful yoga business too. Different schools and teachers, however, will emphasise certain areas over others. That’s why it’s important to scrutinise the course content and make sure it meets your needs and expectations.

  • Are you someone desperate to explore the spiritual teachings of yoga?
  • Do you want to develop your skills within a particular yoga style?
  • Is the art of teaching itself something you want to improve on?
  • Would intensive training in anatomy and physiology suit you best?

Some yoga teacher training courses do offer a broad overview of different aspects of teaching yoga, and if a holistic approach will benefit you the most, then make sure you choose a course with a good balance of content.

Regardless of whether you’re seeking a niche or generic yoga teacher training program, always ensure that the course offers a thorough insight into the anatomy and physiology of teaching yoga.

This critical area is one that most prospective yoga teachers know the least about. And it’s guaranteed, that when to embark on your yoga teaching career, students will expect you to offer specific yoga solutions to various physical ailments. If you can knowledgeably talk about the inner workings of the human body and relate it to your practice – adapting your classes rather than giving specific injury advice – it will give a massive boost to your credibility and reputation for results.

How connected are you to the course tutor?

If you’re applying to an accredited yoga teacher training course, it means that the lead tutor on the course will have between 2 and 10 years minimum experience teaching yoga (depending on the accreding body). And if they’ve been teaching that long, they’ll have been practising even longer. But while experience and expertise are important, another critical factor to consider is how connected you are to the course tutor.

If you hope to specialise in teaching a certain yoga style – be it Iyengar, Ashtanga, or Vinyasa – then you should seek out a tutor who practices this style. Sharing a common interest like this will make your yoga teacher training all the more rewarding. And if you’re unsure about what yoga style you want to teach, try out different classes to see what style resonates with you most.

Alternatively, you might find a more meaningful connection with a tutor who doesn’t specialise in a certain style of yoga. If you’d rather learn more about physiology, or how to teach yoga and run a successful business, then find a tutor who isn’t aligned with a yoga lineage. A shared interest in the practical aspects of teaching yoga, rather than a certain style, could offer a better learning experience for you.

Training to become a yoga teacher is a mental as well as a physical journey. You will be challenged emotionally and spiritually as you grow and develop throughout the course. Having a tutor who can offer the right support to you throughout this intense period of your life is essential. Yes, friendship and rapport will build naturally over 200-hours, but it’s a good idea to get to know this person before starting the course too.

  • Are you comfortable being around them?
  • Do they make you feel positive about yourself?
  • What is it about their approach to teaching that makes you smile?
  • Would you trust their advice and guidance?

These are searching questions, without a doubt. But having an intimate connection with your yoga teacher training tutor will make the challenges you face during the course all the more worthwhile. And the only way to answer these questions is by attending classes and getting close to potential tutors.

A word of warning here: boundaries are important. The yoga profession has experienced issues of exploitation in the past. Before you commit to a course, be absolutely sure you trust that the tutor will respect your boundaries.

If you already feel part of a prospective tutor’s yoga community, you enjoy their teaching style and are relaxed when talking to them, then you’ve probably found the ideal yoga teacher training course for you.

Is the location aligned to your motivations?

This really comes down to your motivation for training to become a yoga teacher.


For many people, undertaking a yoga teacher training course is an opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills. Whether or not they become a yoga teacher at the end of the course is incidental. It’s the personal journal which counts.

If that’s your mindset, then you have several options about where to study. The world is literally your oyster. Why not take yourself somewhere you’ve never been before and treat your yoga teacher training experience as a chance to explore a new culture or place. There are some fantastic yoga teacher training locations to choose from too – from Bali and Thailand to Greece or Croatia.


People have practised yoga for thousands of years. Those interested in the origins and evolution of yoga should consider doing their yoga teacher training course in India – the place of yoga’s birth.

This is the most authentic yoga experience you can have. Going straight to the source and learning about the yoga asanas, pranayama, and meditation in places steeped in yoga heritage, will offer inspiration likely unmatched anywhere else. Studying in locations such as Goa, Dharamsala or Rishikesh, will only deepen your appreciation for yoga as ancient art.


Gaining an accredited yoga teacher training qualification will enable you to teach yoga anywhere in the world. However, if you’re serious about a yoga teaching career, and want to get started straight away, you should consider training in the place where you want to teach.

Many people who travel abroad to train as yoga teachers find it difficult to integrate the habits they developed back into their daily lives. It all seems like a dream. And, when it comes to getting a teaching job, in many ways, they’re back to square one.

Undertaking a course in the location where you want to teach, however, means you benefit from the opportunity to start building your own community. Furthermore, when it comes to absorbing new information and completing assignments like essays or case studies, being in a familiar environment with fewer distractions may offer a better overall learning experience.

Then again – getting away could be the catalyst you need to get your brain into learning mode!

Remember, once you become a qualified yoga teacher, it doesn’t mean you can’t continue your professional development by completing a different yoga teacher training course somewhere else in the future.

Does the class size guarantee a tailored experience?

Intimacy and personal touch are important attributes to look for when choosing the right yoga teacher training course. The prospect of meeting 20-30 new people all with similar passions as you may appear exciting. In India, for example, it’s not uncommon for yoga teacher training courses to take over 50 students at any one time. A large class, however, will make it difficult to connect with all your peers, as well as get a tailored experience from the tutor.

What does a tailored experience mean?

If you’re someone who likes to ask questions and express ideas, then a smaller class size will allow you to speak your mind and not feel like your opinions are overlooked. And if you value being listened to and enjoy personal attention, again, smaller groups enable tutors to engage more with individuals. They can also offer feedback and advice beyond the parameters of the teaching program.

Ideally, you should choose a yoga teacher training course with a class size of 15 people or less. That way it will facilitate closeness and help you build rapport with your peers and tutor alike.

Whether you’re heading overseas, training with a national yoga franchise, or a local independent studio, be sure to enquire about class sizes and the level of personal contact you receive.

How realistic are the timeframe and cost?

Whatever route you take, training to become a yoga teacher will require you to sacrifice your time, money, and energy. That’s why it’s important to be realistic in your estimations vis a vis your motivations.

Your personal circumstances (job, family, budget, etc.) will really dictate how long you spend training to be a yoga teacher, as well as how big your investment is.

Remember, you must take into consideration personal practice, homework, and assessments outside of the taught hours. Some courses will include additional costs too, beyond the quoted price.


An accredited yoga teacher training qualification can cost anywhere between £2,000 and £5,000 on average. Some are even more expensive still. Remember, though, that this is a qualification. You should think of it in the same way as you would if applying to a college or university and training to enter a new profession.

It’s worth shopping around to get an idea of the variances in prices and what’s included. You’ll also gain insight into the different payment options and early bird discounts available, which can influence your decision and help you budget.

If you’re planning to go abroad to study, again, additional costs will come into play. And while you’ll likely incur the costs of flights, the cost of accommodation and food may be included in the overall price. Be absolutely sure before you book a place.

Some yoga teacher training courses will also require you to invest in additional course materials, as well as attend specialist workshops outside of the taught hours. Investigate these hidden costs and factor them into your decision.

Don’t always assume that expensive is the best or that cheapest in the worst. The cost of a yoga teacher training course may depend on the size of the school, the number of tutors, etc. That doesn’t mean it’ll be a better or poorer quality experience overall.

It comes down to how highly you value certain factors, and whether the school’s values and approach to teaching resonate with you.

Choosing a yoga teacher training course that’s right for you involves weighing up the costs versus the opportunity. If this means taking a little while longer to save, then use that time to go even deeper with your practice and prepare yourself for the challenge ahead.


Yoga teacher training courses that are accredited by a professional body typically include 200 taught hours. This is the minimum number of hours you need to clock up before you can get insured to teach. Other courses will offer longer programs too, sometimes up to 500 hours, depending on the delivery format.

What’s important to consider is how long you can commit to training to become a yoga teacher.

For example, intensive courses can take place anywhere between two and four weeks. This is a perfect solution if you’re able to book time off work, take a sabbatical, or even leave your job altogether. Remember, though, that to complete a course during this period you’ll be spending anywhere between 10 and 15 hours every day learning about and teaching yoga. That leaves little time to process the information.

If you’re scheduling learning around a full-time job or childcare commitments, most 200-hour yoga teacher training courses last between six months to one year. There are even 18 months to two-year options, with more taught hours overall. Classes on these longer courses will take place during evenings and weekends.

Some yoga teacher training courses may include a mixture of online and face-to-face learning too, while others are taught completely online.

The longer you spend training to become a yoga teacher the more likely the habits you learn during that period will become ingrained in your life. Students who undertake six to 12-month courses, usually find the time spent developing their home practice, and reading around the subject, means they go above and beyond the standard 200 hours.

When choosing a yoga teacher training course, be realistic about the time you can commit, as well as what learning format and schedule are best suited to your needs. And always ask yourself: How much does the school care about your overall learning experience?

Are you ready to choose the right yoga teacher training course?

If you’ve read the above and find you’re even more determined to train to become a yoga teacher, then it’s probably time to explore your options further. Find out more about Newcastle Yoga School’s 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training Course here.

Am I experienced enough to teach yoga? 2 key factors to consider

Am I experienced enough to teach yoga?

A question that every prospective yoga instructor asks themselves before joining a yoga teacher training course is: Am I experienced enough to teach yoga? It’s the most common query course leaders receive from those interested in joining their teaching programs.

People are always concerned about whether they have enough experience to make the leap from student to teacher. They worry, too, that their yoga isn’t at an advanced level. ‘If I can’t do all the poses, then I won’t have any credibility at the front of the class.’

In this article we’re going to address those fears by emphasising two key factors:

  • Experience is important, but it’s not everything
  • Teaching yoga is a skill in itself

Experience is important, but it’s not everything

In our article: ‘Am I ready to become a yoga teacher’ we stated that passion is always more important than skill. That is absolutely true and should be the main driver behind your decision to join a yoga teacher training program.

When people talk about yoga skills, however, they are often referring to an ability to master the different poses. While a yoga teacher training course will improve your asana ability, it’s not the ultimate objective of the program. Asana is only one of the 8 limbs of yoga after all.

A yoga teacher training course isn’t an extended yoga class. You aren’t there to learn how to do yoga, but rather to understand why yoga works for the mind and the body. As well as how to teach yoga to other people.

That’s why it’s important to have some experience of the asana beforehand. A solid understanding of basic asana will suffice. Alongside an eagerness to learn about the aspects of yoga you don’t know.

  • We recommend that you have enjoyed at least 2 years of consistent yoga practice. As well as a home practice, you will have regularly attended a yoga class in a studio and/or taught by a specific teacher during that period.
  • Yoga will be an integral part of your life, but you won’t necessarily be the most accomplished practitioner. You may have (though not a requirement) attempted some of the more advanced asanas, but by no means will you have mastered every pose.

It’s worth remembering that most yoga teacher training courses have a diverse group of attendees, representing different levels of experience and skill. Course leaders will acknowledge this and adapt their methods appropriately.

Regardless of how long you have practised yoga, everyone is equal at the start of a yoga teacher training course. You’re all there to learn, after all. And there’s more to teaching yoga that being able to stand on your head.

Teaching yoga is a skill in itself

It’s true in every context – the best coaches are rarely the best players. That’s because the role of the coach, or instructor, or teacher isn’t about being the best at something, but rather it’s to inspire others to reach their potential.

We mentioned the word credibility before. Yes, a yoga teacher must have a deep understanding of the theory and practice of yoga. But by no means should they be the best yogi in the room. And even if they were, relying on their prowess would soon make them unpopular with the class.

Teaching yoga is a skill in itself. Students will depend on your knowledge and advice, as much anything else. You must learn to:

  • use what you know to challenge people at different levels.
  • become aware of the diverse needs of the class.
  • develop bespoke methods to impart knowledge in a personal way.

It’s about supporting, rather than instructing. Students only need an example to inform their efforts. An illustration they can take away from class and implement into their personal practice. A goal that they can accomplish over time with their teacher’s encouragement.

When it comes to teaching a yoga pose or a breathing technique you cannot do, acknowledging your limits will help students relate to you more – commanding the respect of others sometimes means showing them your imperfections. 

A yoga teacher training course is an opportunity for you to develop your practice while learning these fundamentals of teaching yoga. Becoming a yoga teacher, however, doesn’t have to be the end result. That’s something for you to decide, once you’ve completed the program,

Some may not have wanted to do that anyway and will happily qualify with a greater insight of, and appreciation for, yoga. While others will complete the course and realise becoming a yoga teacher is their true calling in life.

Are you ready to discover your innate teaching abilities through yoga?

Drop us an email or use the contact form and we’ll arrange a time to discuss whether this is the right path for you.

Am I ready to become a yoga teacher? 4 considerations before you apply

Am I ready to become a yoga teacher?

Students of yoga often find themselves asking the question am I ready to become a yoga teacher? It’s a big step, but one which feels natural after all those hours you’ve put in on the mat.

There are different motivations for why someone would consider training to become a yoga teacher. Sharing your love of yoga with others who want to learn is an obvious one. But, also, a yearning to understand more about the practice of yoga is another common goal.

Whatever drives your decision, training to become a yoga teacher will have a profound effect on your life, while significantly improving your development as a student of yoga.

As with any potentially life-changing activity, you must be sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. Training to become a yoga teacher requires hard work and dedication – and your success will depend on how committed you are to the course.

So, if you’re asking yourself am I ready to become a yoga teacher? first consider whether the following 4 factors resonate with you.


Passion is what underlies your drive to succeed. But how do you know if you’re truly passionate about something? A good way to determine this is to think of what falling in love is like.

  • Do you find yourself mentioning yoga a lot in conversations, even when the discussion is about something completely different?
  • Are you restless without yoga, unable to contain your excitement until it’s time for the next class?
  • Have you started cancelling plans with friends or family so that you can devote your energies to an upcoming yoga event?
  • When others say you’re wasting your time or tell you there are more important things in life than yoga, do their reservations fall on deaf ears?

A key thing to remember when asking yourself am I ready to become a yoga teacher? is that passion is more important than skill. Yes, you need to have enjoyed a consistent yoga practice, and developed your knowledge, style, and technique during that time, but you don’t need to be an expert.

Yoga teacher training is all about training you in the aspects of yoga you don’t know. Don’t worry if you haven’t mastered handstands or complicated inversions yet. There are 8 limbs of yoga, and Asana is only one of them.

This is a mental as much as a physical journey, where you will gain a deeper connection to your yoga practice while learning how to communicate the benefits of yoga to others in a meaningful way.

When applying for a yoga teacher training course, make sure your passion for yoga shines through.

*Read our article ‘Am I experienced enough to teach yoga?’ here


Even if you don’t want to become a yoga teacher, a yoga teacher training course is the perfect way to take your curiosity for yoga to the next level.

A typical yoga class takes one hour. And you might only participate in two or three classes per week. That’s great for your general development, but there’s so much more to learn – and you know it.

If you find yourself asking internal questions such as: ‘What is the ultimate purpose of yoga?’ ‘Where does yoga come from?’ ‘How does yoga actually work? then it’s time to satisfy your yearning for knowledge through further training.

The trigger is usually a desire to understand the philosophy underpinning the physical elements of your practice.

  • You’re curious about the different paths of and to yoga and what they really mean.
  • You want to understand the wider history of yoga, as well as how to integrate yoga into everyday life.
  • Gaining insight into the anatomical aspects of yoga is also something your wish to pursue.

Undertaking a yoga teacher training course doesn’t mean practising yoga for 200 hours. It’s about learning the philosophy and history of yoga, as well as deepening your understanding of anatomy and how different parts the body work.

The best yoga teacher training courses combine teaching assessments with coursework, essays, case studies, workshops, and exams. Are you a lifelong learner, prepared to ‘go back to school’ to study hard for your qualification? Does continuing your learning and development even after your certified sound appealing?

If your curiosity for yoga is strong, you love learning new things, and are ready to put in the required effort to succeed, then completing a yoga teacher training courses is a great next step for you.


The social aspect of training to become a yoga teacher cannot be understated. And emphasising the importance of cooperation and connection is a central aspect of yoga teacher training courses.

Yoga teacher training schools expect you to engage with the other students during and after lessons. As well as interact with yoga professionals and learners outside of the 200-hour program.

This helps engender the family ethos implicit in the practice of yoga. Yoga means to unite, ‘to yoke’. As a yoga teacher, bringing people together will become a key part of your job. After all, students will keep coming back if they feel like they are part of a community.

It doesn’t matter if you’re an introvert or extrovert. But if you do find meeting and talking to others challenging, then you’ll have to work doubly hard to overcome those anxieties and learn to reach out and collaborate with peers.

Connection is particularly important. If you’re considering training to become a yoga teacher, there’s probably a part of you that yearns to spend more time with people who share your passion for yoga. Yes, going deeper with your yoga practice is a personal ‘inner journey’, but it’s only a truly worthwhile journey if you share it with others experiencing the same changes and learnings as you.

If you’re not ready to immerse yourself in training to become a yoga teacher, then it’s probably not the right move for you at this stage.


Most yoga teacher training courses will expect you to complete an application and interview process. It’s a competitive market, and schools need to ensure you’re a good fit before allowing you on the course.

A key aspect of this assessment process is determining whether you’re up for the challenge. If you’re applying to a yoga teacher training course for the sake of it, or because it ‘looks fun’, schools will spot this attitude straightway.

Remember, this is almost a year of your life. You need to have staying power, tenacity, and a willingness to challenge yourself every day – not just for the 200 taught hours – so that all aspects of your yoga practice improve.

One of the wonderful things about yoga is how it teaches you to explore who you are and what you really want from your life. ‘Doing the work,’ however, is never easy. A yoga teacher training course is emotionally as well as physically demanding, but the payoff is worth it if you engage with the experience and demonstrate commitment throughout.

If one person on the course isn’t pulling their weight, appears distant and inattentive or is unwilling to share their weaknesses and vulnerabilities with others, it’s going to impact everyone on the course.

Think very carefully before you apply whether you’re ready to dedicate your time and energy to a yoga teacher training course.

Are you ready to become a yoga teacher?

If you’ve read the above and find you’re even more determined to train to become a yoga teacher, then it’s probably time to explore your options further. Read about choosing the right yoga teacher training course here. 

Find out more about Newcastle Yoga School’s 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training Course here.