How to Become a Yoga Instructor

With my latest venture into the world of yoga instructing, I’ve been doing some research on what it takes to become a yoga instructor. I’ve already written a post on the qualities that we all look for in a yoga teacher, which range from compassionate to caring to dedicated. Although we’ve all fallen prey to a bad instructor or two, this posts looks as the structure and necessary qualifications for yoga instructors and how one can go about getting qualified, in a business with increasing demand.

Yoga instructors are required to be certified as having 200 hours of education in order to instruct, although requirements can differ from province to province. The next step is to find an instructor that you trust to teach you the method of yoga you wish to instruct. Ask around and get advice from people you know who practice yoga on a regular basis or visit an ashram. Much like any business, there can be a lot of hacks out there. The cost to train as an instructor can range anywhere from a few hundred to thousands of dollars, so make sure you’re getting the most for your money. Yoga instructor training can be done over several straight days or over a series of evenings and weekends, so there is usually tons of selection for those who are already working.

If you choose not to work directly for a specific studio, you can choose to use your new-found training to run your own business of yoga instructor, taking up contracts teaching at different studios or even running your own. Running your own business has some side benefits, although it can be a headache all it’s own. On top of tax write offs that can benefit you at the end of the tax year, you can even write off a portion of your house bills, should you use some of your home for office space. However, Canadian tax law dictates that every receipt and expense be accounted for, so if bookkeeping isn’t your bag, then perhaps working for a studio is in your best interest, since being your own boss isn’t necessarily as easy as it seems. Trust me, I know.

All this being said, instructing isn’t for everyone. For those who are shy to be on display and tend to place their mat at the back of the room, perhaps this isn’t the career for you. Furthermore, most instructors don’t make a mint but rather, it seems to be more of a labour of love or a side job on top of other full time work. Being a yoga instructor can be demanding physically as much as it is emotionally and so instructors must be prepared to give all of themselves to each and every class, and sometimes, all you really want is a long nap.

More and more people are becoming qualified yoga instructors, since there seems to be a high demand for this kind of work. But before jumping into the business of bending, stop to ensure that this is the right path for you, your body and your mind.


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