How do you become a yoga instructor?

September 8, 2019 |

Read Time: 4 minutes

Yoga is a continuous ongoing individualistic journey. No two people have the same path of progress in yoga. Keeping this in mind, the role and scope of a yoga teacher or instructor becomes extremely sensitive and critical. A beautiful quote of Acharya Krishnamacharya sums up how a yoga instructor should teach, “Teach what is inside you, not as it applies to you, to yourself, but as it applies to the other.”

A yoga instructor is a very casual and insufficient way of addressing the yoga guru or mentor who plays a pivotal role in initiating and furthering the yoga journey of a student. And this teacher, at no point , makes the student dependent on him but rather guides and at the right time allows the student to travel further on his own.

One must have a completely open mind, ready to receive, reflect, introspect and internalise the vast subjective yoga knowledge. The first step towards becoming a yoga teacher would require a person to unload whatever half-baked ideas one has , and look to acquiring the right knowledge, from the right people and institution , at the right time, and for the right amount of time.

In order to become a yoga instructor, one has to do enough research and homework to zero in the right institution from where to do a teacher training course which would be appropriate for him or her. One should seek an institution which is well established, rooted in tradition and whose teachers come from an illustrious lineage.

One should seek a program which covers the varied multi-dimensional aspects of yoga and allied fields. The course should deal in depth about the philosophy of yoga which would form the basis for all the practical applications. And of course, the course should cover asana, pranayama, dhyana aspects both from the scriptures and the right way of doing it and teaching it to others. The program should also ensure that over and above yoga, the closely related fields of ayurveda, physiology and anatomy, psychology are also covered so as to give one a firm grounding.

The training program should teach the student the nuances of each asana, classical way of doing the asana, the function of each asana and the various modifications which can be incorporated to address the varied needs of the student practitioners. The program should equip the instructor with the required skills to draw up a course plan appropriate to meet the needs of the students keeping in mind the preparation and the counter poses which should be included to ensure that the students are at no point injured physically or feel insufficient mentally.

In order to become a yoga instructor, one must first receive the knowledge from experienced teachers, and give oneself time to understand it. Then one should internalise it so that one can in turn teach to others in the right way. One should diligently and religiously do his or her personal practice as that will form the basis for a deeper understanding of yoga.

A yoga instructor after finishing his training from a reputed institution should observe classes, slowly start taking classes and continuously be in the mode of learning even as he shares with others what he is learnt from his teachers.

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Founder, Managing Trustee and Sr. Yoga Teacher SKWC

Bengaluru, Karnataka, India