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What Yoga Teaching Level Do You Start From and How Do You Progress to the Next Level?

Paul M. Jerard Jr.
Feb 25, 2008
Training to become a yoga teacher is exciting. People who become yoga teachers are generally those who have been practicing yoga for several years and have a basic understanding of the different aspects of yoga. Once you have completed your training, you may wonder what opportunities are available for you to begin teaching others the fine art of yoga.

A lot of this depends on your level of certification, if you have achieved certification, and what your personal goals are for teaching yoga. For instance, do you want to teach at a facility in your area? Are you willing to travel to find a teaching position? Or do you prefer to open your own facility and take ownership?

Certification Matters

When applying for a position as a yoga teacher at a facility such as a yoga studio, health club, college or retirement home, having certification is very valuable in landing your first job. Certification is not required in order to teach yoga in the U.S., but it proves that you know what you are doing and that you are trained teach yoga to others competently.

There are usually two levels of certification: a 200-hour and a 500-hour certification. You may teach yoga after you receive a 200-hour certification. Most teachers who want to advance their career as a yoga teacher will complete the 200-hour certification and progress to the 500-hour shortly thereafter.

Start Out Substituting

Sometimes the best way to break into yoga teaching is to become a substitute teacher first. If the facility where you attend classes will let you be a substitute teacher, jump at the chance. You might also find substitute gigs at local gyms, schools, health care centers and other places that offer yoga classes. Prove you teaching skills and knowledge while getting much-needed teaching time. It helps you become comfortable with teaching others on a regular basis. You may now put this facility down as a reference when ready to take on a permanent teaching position.

Opening Your Own Facility

Starting your own business may seem like risky business, and it can be. To ensure that you get students, you have to prove you have the qualifications to run your own studio. People will not flock to a new yoga studio without knowing they will receive proper training and care. Your best bet is to receive a certification through training, have references from past places you taught yoga instruction and a creative spirit that transcends your classes.

Becoming a Professional

You know that you have reached a pinnacle in your yoga teaching career when you want to take being a yoga teacher even further. One opportunity that exists for such individuals is training to become a yoga therapist. A yoga therapist not only holds certification as a yoga teacher, but also has a degree in traditional healthcare. Yoga therapy uses the body's own healing process, aided by ancient yoga practices, in health-challenged individuals.

Often times modern-day scientific techniques may be used in conjunction with yoga techniques to promote better healing. A yoga therapist earns a degree in Yoga Therapy. It generally takes two years or less to earn a diploma in this field. Yoga therapists may expect to find jobs at hospitals, healthcare facilities or operate their own yoga therapy business.

Copyright 2008 - Paul Jerard / Aura Publications
About the Author
Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, is a co-owner and the director of Yoga teacher training at: Aura Wellness Center in, Attleboro, MA. He is an author of many books on the subject of Yoga and has been a certified Master Yoga teacher since 1995.

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