How Long Should You Practice Yoga Before Teaching Others

Whether you’re just starting your journey with learning yoga or have been practicing yoga for a while, there may be an opportunity for you to take it to the next level. But if you’re looking to start teaching yoga to students and potentially those who have never participated in a yoga class before, how long should you practice your craft before you can consider teaching others?

There are no legal requirements to how long you should practice yoga before teaching others. In the United States, you can pursue a 200-hour yoga instructor accreditation that would make you a registered yoga teacher through the Yoga Alliance. While this is not required for you to teach, it does make you more credible to employers and to possible students. 

What does it come down to? Your personal confidence and your own knowledge. Read on to find out more about how long you should practice, what the requirements might be for you to teach in a yoga studio, how you can make your certification process smoother, and more details on how to know if you’re ready to teach yoga. 

How long should you practice yoga before teaching?

In cases outside of teaching in a studio where you must be certified, this is truly a personal choice. There are several things that you need to learn before you decide to teach yoga, and as long as you achieve those goals and are confident in your own learning and abilities, you are able to teach yoga. 

How Long Should You Practice Yoga Before Teaching Others

One way to achieve that confidence and understand the practice in general is by practicing regularly every day. It’s just about knowing what poses go with what, but how to organize flows, create programs to benefit a certain part of the body, organizing flows based on your potential students’ skill sets, and even learning more about the history of the practice itself. As you know, it’s not just about how to pose properly. There is a vast and long history of the practice all the way back several centuries, and knowing that can give you a better understanding of just what it means to practice yoga—and teach it to others. 

What are the requirements to teach in a yoga studio?

You may decide that you’re skilled enough to start teaching yoga to others, but if you intend on doing that within a studio, you’ll find that in most cases, you need to be certified first. That’s where the 200-hour requirement comes in. 

Certification through the Yoga Alliance is not required by any government, but it does give you credibility in the yoga community. While it mainly affects yoga studios in the United States, it does mean that you have gone through the minimum coursework and you have the appropriate knowledge to teach yoga to others. 

Some of the potential certification courses may have prerequisites. What does this mean for you? It means that you may have to pass a screening process where you are required to complete regular home practice or have certain skills already before you can apply for the program. Essentially, this means that not everyone can apply for those certifications, and only those who are serious about teaching and living a yoga lifestyle are applying and receiving those certifications. 

If there are no prerequisites, which is a possibility, then anyone can apply for those certification classes. This isn’t better or worse than having prerequisites; it just means that anyone—even those just starting out—can apply for the certification and complete it. 

But this is no easy task. Understand that the certification is a 200-hour commitment and will require your full attention during those hours, but once you complete the time requirement, you will become a registered yoga teacher. 

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Why should I take the yoga teacher certification classes?

While it isn’t necessary for you to take, there are many benefits to taking it, and not just receiving your certification at the end. Firstly, you can meet other people who are of the same mindset while in your program. Because of this, there are so many opportunities for you to learn from those others and even make some lasting relationships. 

It’s also a great way for you to give back. Whether you’re planning on teaching in your community or online, you have the opportunity to share your knowledge after your certification with many different types of people. Because you’re learning how to better communicate the yoga lifestyle through your certification, you too can share what you’ve learned with others. 

It also means you have to create time to practice your craft. Staying consistent in your practice is key to being able to teach, and this certification can help you do so. It will also help broaden your knowledge of yoga. You may be lacking in a certain subject matter, and this certification can help you learn more about each part of the yoga lifestyle. 

For a registered yoga teacher to meet the Yoga Alliance standards, they must at least complete the 200-hour training from a Registered Yoga School, complete 30 hours of Continuing Education every three years, and pay the annual membership fee. Continuing Education means at least 45 hours of teaching yoga, 30 hours of yoga training in one of their mentioned Educational Categories, including Techniques, Training, and Practice; Teaching Methodology; Anatomy and Physiology; and Yoga Philosophy, Lifestyle, and Ethics. 

If you think that the certification process is right for you, you can check out potential programs and find more information at the Yoga Alliance website

How can I make my certification or learning process go smoother?

How Long Should You Practice Yoga Before Teaching Others

One of the best ways that you can ease your transition from a student of yoga to a yoga teacher is simply by talking to those who have already been through some sort of certification program. Talk to a yoga teacher at a local studio, or if you’re already attending a studio for your own practice, talk to your teacher. Find out what their skill set is, how long they’ve been practicing yoga, and even what certification program they went through. You can glean valuable information from them just through a conversation, and it may help you in the long run. 

How do I know I’m ready to teach yoga?

While it all comes down to your personal preference, make sure you know the basics of yoga, along with having several other traits. First, make sure you truly love the yoga lifestyle. It’s not just an activity, it’s a state of mind, and pulling that into your daily life is the best way to make sure you love and live that mindset, so you can share it with others. 

Another reason you can cite is your practice regimen. Are you practicing regularly, and you find yourself needing that practice as part of your daily or weekly routine? Are you practicing consistently, with a schedule and a set flow? If you are, you might be ready to teach yoga to others. 

How Long Should You Practice Yoga Before Teaching Others

Another factor is your ability to self-reflect and see where you need to develop. Are there skills you still don’t fully know or understand? If you are aware of these and continue to improve them, you may be ready to teach—you don’t need to know everything, just be aware of your limits and understand how you can push past them.

Lastly, you could be ready to start your yoga teaching journey if you feel like you’re not being challenged in your current state of practice. If you’re practicing at home, or working with a teacher in a studio, and you don’t feel like you’re getting enough, it may be time to start sharing your knowledge with others. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between RYT and YTT? 

When you’re trying to get your certification for yoga teaching, you will be completing YTT, or yoga teacher training. Once you complete your training, you will become a RYT, or a registered yoga teacher. You must complete a 200-hour training in order to become registered. 

Are there any physical restrictions to teaching and mastering yoga?

No, there are no physical restrictions to any part of yoga. It does not matter your age or your size—because yoga is firmly rooted in both activity and mindset, it lends itself to all sorts of ages and body styles. That also applies to those who want to teach—as long as you have learned how to do the craft properly, it does not matter your age, your size, or any other self-imposed restrictions on what you can or cannot do. 

What other yoga training opportunities are there?

When it comes to yoga training, the Yoga Alliance provides information on many different opportunities. While the 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher is the easiest to achieve, there are many other options, including a 500-hour training and an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher training. These certifications are for those who have already bene teaching yoga for a number of years, depending on their level of choice. You can also apply to become a registered children’s yoga teacher or a registered prenatal yoga teacher. Find out more at the Yoga Alliance website

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Please note: This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult a legal expert to address your specific needs.