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What Do You Learn in a Certified Yoga Instructor Course?

What Do You Learn in a Certified Yoga Instructor Course?

Reading Time: 5 minutes 45 seconds


DATE: 2024-05-30

There are generally two reasons people want to become a yoga teacher. The first is they have a passion for yoga. They’ve often had a yoga practice for years and want to share this passion with others. 

The second is that they work in another fitness role, such as a personal trainer, and want to expand their offerings. They may learn that many of their clients are interested in a yoga class, so they start searching for a teacher training program. 

No matter your reason, a yoga certification course can prepare you for this role. 

What Is a Certified Yoga Instructor Course?

Not every yoga teacher training program provides certification. A course that ends with you becoming a certified yoga instructor (if you pass the exam) does. But others do not. What’s the difference between them?

A yoga certification course has passed certain standards. The Yoga Alliance is the top credentialing agency for teacher training courses. If a course is approved by the Yoga Alliance, you can be assured that you will learn what you need to know for teaching yoga. 

A teacher training program that doesn’t end with certification doesn’t have to meet any such standards. So, you may get good teacher training, and you might not. There’s no guarantee that you’ll gain the knowledge and skills needed to work as a yoga teacher.

Why Certified Teacher Training is Important, Even If You’ve Been Practicing Yoga for Years

Maybe you’ve had a practice so long that there aren’t any yoga postures you haven’t tried. This means that you don’t need yoga teacher training, right? Not exactly. It’s still important to become a certified yoga teacher, and here’s why.

One, even if you’ve been doing yoga for years, you don’t know everything there is to know about this practice. No one does. Even more importantly, knowing how to do yoga isn’t the same as knowing how to teach yoga. Teaching requires special skills. You gain these skills in a yoga teacher training program.

Choosing a certification program is also important as it ensures that you’ll receive a quality education. Not to mention, future employers will likely require this credential. 

Try to get a job at a fitness center or yoga studio and you’ll quickly learn that they typically only hire applicants who are certified. Imagine paying for yoga teacher training only to learn that, since you didn’t earn your certification, you can’t secure an instructor role. You can avoid this unfortunate situation by choosing a certified yoga teacher training course.

Earning your certification can also make you more desirable to prospective students. It provides them with a greater amount of certainty that you truly are a yoga teacher versus just saying it. It gives you more credibility, making you an easier choice than an instructor who lacks this designation.

What You Learn in a Yoga Instructor Certification Course

Yoga teacher training covers several topic areas. How these topics are covered and the information provided can vary from one yoga training to the next. That said, when completing a certification course, you will likely learn about:

  • Anatomy and physiology, with a focus on yoga anatomy 

  • Yoga philosophy and history 

  • Different yoga styles and the benefits of each

  • Foundational postures and their proper form

  • Effective teaching methods (i.e., cueing)

  • Yoga class design and posture sequencing

  • Breathing and meditation techniques

  • How to build and grow a successful yoga business

The more topics a teacher training program covers, the better your education. Being a top-notch yoga teacher isn’t just about standing in front of a class and telling students what to do. It requires in-depth knowledge of this practice and how it has evolved. This not only helps you develop a deeper appreciation for yoga but also prepares you for answering student questions.

Imagine that a student approaches you after class and asks about the benefits of a particular yoga asana. Without training, you may not be able to provide this information. But since your teacher training covered that asana in-depth, you can answer them quickly and with authority. This helps boost their trust in you – which is yet another benefit of taking a certification course!

Protect Your Educational Investment with Yoga Alliance Certification

We’ve talked a lot about the value of choosing yoga teacher training that offers certification over a program that doesn’t. You can also boost your career by selecting a program approved by the Yoga Alliance.

As the most well-known credentialing agency for yoga schools, the Yoga Alliance is a highly recognized certification. This makes it easier to find a job once you’re ready to work as a yoga teacher. Some employers may even require this certification specifically.

To become a Registered Yoga School (RYT), a school must meet stringent standards. For instance, to offer a 200-hour teacher training program, the Yoga Alliance shares that an institution must adhere to these standard guidelines:

  • 75 hours of training in techniques, training, and practice

  • 30 hours of training in anatomy and physiology

  • 30 hours of training in yoga humanities

  • 50 hours of training in professional ethics

  • 15 elective hours of training that fall into any of the other categories

The Yoga Alliance also sets guidelines for a yoga school’s lead trainer. All these standards are good for future yoga instructors. It gives them the greatest chance for success by providing a strong foundational education. It also qualifies them to apply for the credential of Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT).

Do you need to become a Registered Yoga Teacher if you’re also certified? Not necessarily, but there are perks. The most obvious is another credential after your name. Other Yoga Alliance membership benefits include discounted products and services, access to a business resource guide, and connection with other yoga instructors. Any one of these alone can make it worth it to become a Registered Yoga Teacher. Together, joining the Yoga Alliance family becomes an easy choice.

Learn More with Continuing Education Courses

Continuing education courses are required to retain a yoga teacher training certificate. This gives you even more opportunities to learn about specific areas of yoga you’d like to know more about. 

Maybe you want to understand how to best work with older adults. A continuing education course on senior fitness would provide this information. Want to learn how to better you’re your students during their pregnancy? Take a course on prenatal yoga. 

Some courses cover the ins and outs of teaching different styles of yoga. Whether you want to explore Ashtanga yoga, Yin yoga, Hatha yoga, or another style, these options exist. There’s almost no limit to what you can learn in these classes!

Next Steps: Enroll in a Yoga Teacher Training Program

If you’re ready to earn your certification, the next step is to find a teacher training course. Here are a few factors to consider to find the best yoga teacher training for you:

  • Is the training in-person or online? An online yoga school enables you to learn when it fits your schedule best. Conversely, if you prefer face-to-face training, an in-person course may be preferred. Some yoga training courses offer the benefits of both. You do your coursework online but then attend live training sessions, which may also be available online.

  • Does it cover the style of yoga you want to teach? Each yoga style has its nuances. Some are more restorative, for example, while others are more intense. Choose yoga teacher training in your desired style. This better prepares you for your future classes.

  • Do you receive adequate support? Sometimes life gets in the way. You have trouble completing your coursework because you or a family member got sick. Or you’ve been mandated to work overtime and are now unsure how to finish your course. Having a dedicated support team can help you get through these events. It gives you someone to reach out to when you have questions.

  • What ‘extras’ does it offer? Do you gain access to guided meditations? Will you get feedback from expert yoga instructors? Does it provide CPR/AED certification too? All of these add value to the yoga training program.

Ready to get started? Check out ISSA Yoga & Wellness Academy’s online Yoga Teacher Training Course. Learn effective yoga teaching methods while gaining access to the ‘extras’ mentioned above. This course is also certified by the Yoga Alliance, providing a credential you can trust.

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