Yoga Teacher Career Information

The ongoing demand for yoga requires qualified yoga teachers.

Finding Yoga

Yoga is taught in yoga studios, gyms and in fitness centers all across the country. Yoga has also been added as an optional module in physical education classes at the high school level. Athletes, both college and high school level, will supplement their training with yoga to help with stress management, visualization and injury reduction.

Yoga is offered at international retreats and spas, as well as on cruise ships, so there are jobs for yoga instructors in the tourism industry. There are also programs to teach yoga to incarcerated youth, or to work in depressed areas of the city to bring free or low cost yoga training to all people.

If money is an issue, you can also look for a yoga studio that will allow you to provide service to the studio, such as washing towels, cleaning up the in change rooms, and assisting in classes, in exchange for space to practice and access to their experienced teachers. Service is an element of yoga as a lifestyle, so finding work for learning opportunities is an option for most of the wanna-be teachers in more spiritual forms of yoga.

Different Types of Yoga

The time it takes to become a yoga instructor will often depend on the type of yoga that you decide to teach. If you are already a personal trainer, you can take a course on "practical" yoga from the American Council on Exercise. However, you would not be a yoga instructor, you would be a personal trainer who has added some yoga postures to your other training services.

Hatha yoga is the basic form of all yoga types and disciplines and it is usually easy to find a hatha yoga class in any moderately sized city. Athletic styles of yoga include Ashtanga yoga and Power Yoga, the latter sometimes combining weight training with yoga. Kripalu and Iyengar yoga are systems that incorporate mediation and service into the practice. For Iyengar yoga, there is an emphasis on teachers to use modifications and tools, such as belts and blocks, as well as to assist learners into the poses, so there is a longer teacher training time involved in learning this style.

Other disciplines, such as Ashtanga or Iyengar, may take more than one year to complete teacher training, and some teachers even take learning sabbaticals in India to perfect their techniques and understanding of their yoga discipline and philosophy.

Hours and Schedule

Like most physical fitness instructors, a yoga instructor could begin their work day with a class at six in the morning. You will also find that lunch is also a popular time for yoga, as professionals try to put fitness into their busy daily schedules. Evenings and weekends are also busy times for yoga instructors.

Yoga is also usually taught on a semester basis in most studios, which means that the instructor will have six to eight weeks of regular classes, a two week break, and then resume another series of classes.

Advancing Your Career

Many yoga instructors will branch out as meditation teachers, or offer special workshops and classes, such as better backbends or yoga for swimmers. If you want to own your own business, you could explore buying your own yoga studio, but you might become more of a manager than a yogi or yogini.

Some yoga instructors supplement their income by teaching special events at retreats, writing articles for publications, selling print and audio books and selling podcasts of yoga sessions.

The demand for yoga is steady, which means that unlike other fitness trends that frenzy and fade, so that yoga should remain popular for many years.