The first step to become a yoga instructor is to practice yoga. One of the most important aspect of being a teacher is to develop a personal practice. Through your personal practice you will find inspiration, you will connect with you inner teacher and you will get to know which styles of yoga you resonate with the most. My advice to you is to try as many different classes, as many different teachers as possible. As you practice you will find that you connect with certain teachers or teaching techniques more than others. See if you can identify what is important for you, what makes a yoga teacher better than another one? Maybe for you it’s the creativity of the sequences, or the amount of personal attention and adjustments a teacher is giving his students, maybe it’s to base each class on a specific theme and a playlist to create a sensorial and spiritual experience.
Once you make your opinion what makes a good teacher for you, find out how you can apply these teachings to your own style! Do your research and make sure that the training you will choose will teach you the skills that you want to learn.
Today, there are various ways to become a yoga teacher. One of the most popular is to do an intensive 30 day, 200 hour teacher training course. These, like the ones we offer at Blue Chitta, are usually far from home in a retreat atmosphere. The benefits of the retreats is that it allows you to get away from your daily activities and allow you to completely immerse yourself in the practice. Your body, mind and soul are not distracted by anything else and you can focus and live the practice fully.
Another possibility to do a Yoga Teacher Training Course is to do the 200 hour training on weekends. This process usually last around 10 months. This is great for people who are not able to take one month off from their work or people who want to take their time in the learning process.
And finally, you can become a yoga teacher the original way, which consist of following a ”guru’’ or a mentor. This is how the yogis became yogis originally in India.
Nowadays it is less common but I personally did one of my trainings this way and I found that it was much more personal. What you would need to do is find a teacher that you really connect with to mentor you over a certain period of time. The mentorship is great because you and your teacher are building the program according to your needs and you can progress at your own pace.
Once you finish your 200 hour course, you will find yourself with a lot of knowledge and different teaching techniques. Your next step will be to practice. Practice, practice & practice some more. You cannot expect to be 100% ready to teach a class in a well-known studio right after your training. It is possible, but rather rare, and it shouldn’t be an expectation.
What you will most likely have to do is to practice teaching with your entourage or to offer free classes in the parks, at school or in your local studio. Most teachers will indeed be teaching free classes at the beginning to gain experience and to get known in their community. There is a lot of amazing yoga teachers out there and if you want to get a paid opportunity it is normal that you first gain the trust of your community.
Another way of making your place in a studio is to become part of the reserve teacher either at reception or as a Karma Yogis. This offers the community and the owners of the studio to get to know and trust you. One day when they need a last minute substitute (which happens way too many times in the yoga business) you will be there to save the day! Trust me, they will remember that! Especially if you teach a great class!
Good Luck Yogis!
Blue Chitta offers Teacher Training Courses around the world in retreat style. Some of our students have the opportunity to teach at our Yoga studio in Montreal, Canada. Find out when our next retreats are!