By Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

What does it take to become a yoga instructor? You’ve practiced the positions and breathing techniques, almost every day, for years. You’ve gained a deeper understanding of the benefits of yoga and wish to share your knowledge with others. If you’re willing to find a training program, the steps to yoga certification are simple.

Though the discipline has been popular for some time, yoga teacher training is far from standardized. Most training programs require that you have a minimum level of experience in yoga before being an instructor. Some require yoga postures (asanas), such as headstands. Others insist that you must be approved by the instructor who is training you. Some certification courses can be taken online or by correspondence.

Yoga is an ancient discipline that has traditionally been passed directly from teacher to student on a one-to-one basis. The idea of a class is relatively new. These days, the speed of information being exchanged, has changed everything including traditional forms of training.

Though there is no single “official” certification program, there are groups designed to keep the study organized. Usually, certifying bodies train an intern to become a Certified Yoga Teacher (CYT), after 200 hours of training. This credential alone is usually enough to begin teaching students in public yoga classes. If you are seeking more credentials, you may decide to train for a 500 hour credential or become a Registered Yoga Teacher.

In the United States, yoga registration is generally handled by the Yoga Alliance. The Yoga Alliance is recognized, within the industry, as a registration program that helps maintain the high standards of yoga. It has different levels of yoga registration.

The first program requires two hundred hours of training, and is sometimes a requirement for employment in a studio. There is also a five hundred hour program for those who want advanced registration. Finally, there are experienced levels of registration, which have the designation, E-RYT.

© Copyright 2008 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

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