By Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Those who have taken their love for the discipline of yoga and turned it into a profession report a remarkably high level of job satisfaction. Whether you want to start your own business, or simply want to teach a few yoga classes per week, quality training is essential.

The number of yoga schools and courses available is staggering. It’s often confusing trying to decide which one is the best. To get started on the road to yoga certification, it helps to understand how yoga instructors are certified.

In order to receive yoga certification as an instructor, a prospective student completes a minimum of 200 hours of training. The 200 hours are divided between a number of areas. Much of the training focuses on the various techniques, positions and principles of yoga.

Several hours are also spent on aspects such as the philosophy and history of yoga, anatomy and physiology, teaching methods, and ethics. Since different yoga schools often have a slightly different focus, flexibility is allowed with several hours given to more intense study of the school’s specialty.

One of the most important components of the training is the practicum aspect. Students must spend several hours doing observation and training in designing lesson plans for actual yoga schools/classes. Upon successful completion of 200 hours of training, the student is granted Certified Yoga Teacher (CYT) status.

Students who wish to pursue their study of yoga, and yoga teaching, can go on to complete another 300 hours of training. This level of training covers more intensive study of anatomy and physiology, and a deeper look at the different branches of yoga.

It also includes a study of the yoga scriptures (such as the Bhagavad Gita). Additionally, it incorporates student teaching and observation of teaching methods in a yoga class setting.

There are myriads of other training courses offered for yoga instructors. Not all of these courses lead to yoga certification however. If you are thinking of taking a course, make sure you understand what your qualifications will be once you’ve completed the course.

Many courses offer deeper study of a particular aspect or a branch of yoga, such as Iyengar, Kundalini, Bikram, and others. These are valuable sources of information for those who are considering the path of yoga teacher certification, but desire to focus on one particular discipline.

Finding a yoga teacher training school with a professional teacher trainer on the staff is one way to ensure your success as a yoga instructor.

© Copyright 2008 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

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