How To Start Your Own Yoga Class As A Teacher

With the plethora of benefits one obtains from yoga classes, becoming a yoga teacher is so rewarding. Sharing what you have learned on your journey to becoming a yoga instructor with others adds to the benefits you derive from your practice. 

To start your own yoga class as a teacher you need to have taken yoga classes, become a certified instructor, register your certification, begin teaching classes, and practice. 

Teaching your first yoga class is exciting and a bit unnerving. However, following the steps of taking classes through becoming certified, you will gain the confidence you need. Soon, you will be showing others how to add balance and harmony to their practice and lives. Continue reading for steps to start teaching yoga classes. 

Take Yoga Classes

How To Start Your Own Yoga Class As A Teacher.

As your first step to becoming a teacher, you should take yoga classes. Every studio, each teacher, and all classes are different. Focusing on various aspects of yoga classes and studios while participating as a student will give you additional practice and many ideas to inform your own instruction. Some areas to consider are –

  • Explore the certifications and experience of the teachers at the studio. 
  • Watch the instruction methods and styles of each instructor.
    • How do they start their classes? 
    • Do they walk around the room? 
    • If they walk around the room, do they offer corrections on students’ poses?
    • Does the instructor have extra supplies for students?
    • Do they solicit input from the class on focus areas to practice?
    • Does the teacher inquire about injuries?
    • What kind of ambiance do they create? 
  • Take different classes that let you try various styles of yoga. Find the type(s) of yoga with which you are most comfortable. 
  • Examine their class schedules. Become familiar with times that might fit best for you as an instructor. 
  • Notice the atmosphere of the studio when you enter. This can be important for you as a teacher to format your classes to complement the studio’s feel. 
  • Pay attention to the sounds or lack of sounds. This can add to or detract from the type of practice that you want to facilitate.
  • Check the space available during class. Too crowded or too empty can change the mood of the practice. 
  • Look to see if the studio offers lockers or storage areas. This may or may not be important to you as a teacher. 

Many studios offer a free or reduced rate class for new students. This can be a great way for you to explore classes and studios that you might want to work with. 

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Become Certified

Most studios and students want to take yoga classes with instructors who are certified. After exploring yoga classes and studios, your next step is to look for a yoga school. When you are exploring options, make sure that you select a school that adheres to the guidelines of the Yoga Alliance. While you do not have to attend a Yoga Alliance certified class, this alliance does set the standards for teaching yoga. So, successfully completing sessions with a Yoga Alliance registered school will improve your opportunities for finding teaching roles. 

A 200-hour certification is the first level available for new teachers. Other levels of advanced certification are the 300-hour and the 500-hour programs. All levels of certification will provide you instruction in physiology or how the body systems work together. You will also learn about anatomy or the structure of the human body. Courses in the philosophy of yoga or about the harmonization of the mind, body, and spirit. Lastly, you will learn about how to instruct or teach classes. 

While not required for yoga teachers, many studios prefer hiring a teacher who is also CPR certified. This training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation will enable you to assist in health emergencies. Some studios will require CPR certification before they hire you. 

Register your Certification

How To Start Your Own Yoga Class As A Teacher.

Now that you have completed your training, it is important to register. This application, which requires a fee, will demonstrate that you have successfully met the requirements to be a yoga instructor. As a RYT, registered yoga instructor, you will have internally accepted credentials to teach yoga. You also have the ability to participate in workshops through the Yoga Alliance. Publications that will keep you abreast of the newest training and trends in yoga will be accessible for you.

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Begin Teaching

It is almost time for your first class! Before you leave your home to teach, make sure your bag is packed with teacher’s essentials. Here is a starting checklist for you. 

  • Yoga tote bag that will fit your mat.
  • Yoga mat that is easy to carry, yet it must be durable.
  • A clean towel that will absorb any sweat. 
  • Yoga strap that will assist you and students in different poses. 
  • Yoga blocks for you to demonstrate their effective use.
  • Antibacterial hand wipes and wipes for your mat. 
  • Access to music- make sure your playlist is available on your Smartphone.
  • Charged Smartphone to play music. 
  • A small portable speaker so that your music sounds great.
  • A headset with a mic if you will be teaching large classes, then you do not have to strain your vocal cords. 
  • For your car or to keep in a locker, have a change of clothes.
  • Also, for your car or locker, toiletries including breath mints. 
  • A notecard with an outline of your lesson – just in case you forget your next pose. 
  • An inspirational saying or quote written on the back of the notecard.
  • Lastly, carry some business cards with you. 

After you pack your bag, it is time to teach a class. If you have not yet been hired by a studio, be sure to sign up with multiple locations to be a substitute for their teachers. This can be a great way to get known to a number of students and studios. 

To practice teaching, you can offer classes to your family and friends. You can try different sequences of poses in a comfortable setting. Use these practice sessions to get feedback on the clarity of your instructions. Offering to teach free classes in your community, perhaps at schools or senior centers, is another avenue to explore while you look for work in studios. 

For all your classes, prepare separate notecards. Different audiences will require their own type of instruction. Keep notes on what works and what is not effective. Include ideas on what music worked for which classes. Then you can begin building a series of notecards that will make it easier to teach each class. You will just need to review and adjust as you prepare for a class.

Practice, Practice, Practice

How To Start Your Own Yoga Class As A Teacher.

Once you start teaching, you want to continue practicing. It is also important to maintain your certifications. Through your yearly dues, you will have access to courses. Take advantage of those offerings to expand your practice. 

There are a number of types of yoga to consider adding to your certification. Teachers often find they are more comfortable working with different groups. Some instructors tailor their classes for senior citizens. Other classes are more appropriate for athletes. Online classes are another means through which you can share your passion for and knowledge of yoga. 

Through Yoga Alliance, there are other teaching certifications available. One to consider is RCYT, which is an acronym for Registered Children’s Yoga Teacher. In addition to your first 200-hour training to become certified, a RCYT teacher has successfully completed 95-hours of training that is focused on teaching children. 

Another avenue to pursue is obtaining your RPYT, Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher, certification. This will allow you to teach prenatal yoga classes. A teacher certified as a RPYT has completed 85-hours of training focused on prenatal yoga. 

Whichever path you choose, enjoy the journey of your practice. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

What does yoga mean?

The roots of the word yoga are from the ancient Sanskrit. Yuj, the base word of yoga, in the ancient language means to yoke or to join. In the practice of yoga, the goals are to unite one’s body, spirit, and mind together in harmony. 

Why are yoga sessions called practices?

Yoga sessions are referred to as practices to emphasize that people are always developing. The practice of yoga takes into account that each day is different. Each person is on their own pathway that takes time. The journey is the important aspect of yoga sessions. 

What are the five elements of yoga?

According to the healing system of Ayurveda, there are five elements or pancha bhootas, in the universe. These five elements are earth, air, space, water, and fire. These energies and physical aspects of the world merge people and the universe. We are affected by how the elements interact with us. 

What is the first book of yoga?

In the ancient Sanskrit book, the Bhagavad Gita, yoga is first referenced. The broader collection of works is the Mahabharata. In the sixth book of the epic poem, the Gita¸ yoga is depicted as a time when one achieves balance or equilibrium.

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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.