Becoming a Yoga Teacher

By Pamela Nixon of Teachasana.com

Congratulations on your decision to become a yoga teacher. It is a wonderful and rewarding journey you are about to embark on. But before you hand over your credit card and make up your business cards you need to find the yoga teacher training that is right for you. With more and more trainings popping up in local studios, the decision won’t be an easy one. There are a lot of things to consider before beginning a course that will likely change your life. Below is a list of questions to ask yourself. 

  1. Why do you want to be a yoga teacher? Get clear on your intentions. This is a great time to reflect on your yoga journey thus far and gain a better understanding of why you want to deepen your practice. What are your reasons for wanting to teach? What do you hope to share with other yogis on their journey?
  2. What style do you want to train in? If you are a lifelong vinyasa practitioner, then a restorative yoga training doesn’t make much sense. Don’t chose the studio down the street just because it is a convenient location for you. Chose the training that offers exactly the style you love and want to teach.
  3. How much can you afford to spend? Teacher trainings are an expensive investment into your own practice and the practice you are going to help others discover. Decide up front how much you can comfortably spend and whether you are willing to look into financing options if you find the training of your dreams, then discover it is a little out of your price range. Many trainings offer payment plans, work study options or even scholarships.
  4. What type of time commitment is ideal for you? Perhaps you have a flexible schedule and can commit a month or more to a full-time immersion program where you meet and train every day. On the other hand, if you work full-time than a six to nine  month training that meets on the weekends may be more realistic for you. It is also important to take into consideration that there will be a good amount of homework required outside of the contact training hours. Knowing how much time you can dedicate to a program can help you decide between an extended course at the studio in the next town or the month long immersion in Costa Rica.
  5. What do you want to see included in the syllabus?  Before you start looking for a training, sit down and make a list of all of the things you want to learn about. Don’t leave anything out. Get specific on what it is you want to learn and ultimately teach. Once you find a school you are interested in you can compare your list to the school’s training syllabus or marketing materials. Once you have worked out some details on what you are looking for and you have a school or two in mind, there are a few more things to ask before making your final decision.
  6. Do you connect with the teacher or teachers who are leading the course?  Spend some time at the studio where you are considering training to see if the owner, teachers and environment resonate with you. You don’t want to study in a location where the space or teacher just doesn’t feel welcoming and supportive. Take class with the teachers and make time to interact with them personally so you can see if you have a connection with them.
  7. Is the school registered with the Yoga Alliance? If you decide that you want to train at a Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga School (RYS) so that you can become a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) after completing your training, be sure to browse through the school directory to see if the schools you are considering are on the list.
  8. Have others enjoyed and benefited from the training? Talk to other teachers who have completed a training at the school you are considering. If you cannot find any on your own, don’t hesitate to ask the trainers for a few references. Find out what type of experiences other yoga teachers had at that school.

Taking the time to carefully consider what you are looking for from a yoga teacher training can help you find the training of your dreams that offers everything you want. Good luck on your journey!


Pamela Nixon is the owner of Teachasana.com, an online educational resource and community for yoga teachers, and the first site of its kind. Teachasana offers articles from teachers around the world trained in all styles of yoga, a “Dear Teachasana” column where teachers can seek answers and advice from their peers, free online workshops, and much more. Stop by the website or connect with Teachasana on Facebook or Twitter. 


Copyright 2014 by Yoga Alliance