By Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Being a yoga instructor is a very rewarding career, especially if you have a passion for helping others grow mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. It is your opportunity to touch someone’s life in a positive way, teaching them to be flexible, how to build their strength and how to enhance their life, through a feeling of unity with all life.

Teaching yoga to others is a form of service, and while it may seem like a fun job, it is a very serious and focused career as well. Many people who want to become yoga instructors often wonder how long training takes in order to become a certified instructor. The answer varies; depending on your level of commitment to learn. Outlined below is the general criteria needed to become certified.

Where to Begin Yoga Instructor Training

The first step in becoming a certified yoga instructor is to have practiced yoga yourself for at least several years. You must have a basic understanding of the fundamentals surrounding yoga including:

* Physical and individual growth

* Basic understanding of anatomy

* Focus on alignment when performing specific yoga positions

* Practicing proper technique.

Levels of Certification

There are two widely recognized levels of yoga certification:

The first is 200-hour certification, which is something all prospective instructors should complete. This is the minimum amount of time it takes for you to earn certification. There is a slim chance that any facility will hire you without at least the 200-hour certification.

For those who are ambitious and career-oriented, the 500-hour certification is the road for you. More often than not, teachers who have completed the 200-hour certification will continue their studies. The 500-hour certification is also very important if you aspire to open your own yoga facility someday.

Once you have completed your training and earned your certification, you have gained the right to place the initials CYT (Certified Yoga Teacher) after your name to signify your certification. This really helps with credibility in the yoga community at large.

How Long Will Yoga Certification Take

Training may take place at a physical location, while other programs offer training courses that are taken in the privacy of your own home. You move through home study yoga teacher programs at your own pace. You will also benefit by working hands-on with yoga friends or a local certified instructor, which can be done in combination with home coursework.

The average time to complete a 200-hour course is between three to five months. Completing the 500-hour course level may take from six months to a year for successful completion. Again, it all depends on your level of commitment and how fast you want to get the training done.

© Copyright 2008 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

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