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How to become a yoga teacher?

by Arundhati Baitmangalkar

Have you ever wondered how to become a yoga teacher? In fact, this is one of the most common yoga-related topics searched on the internet today. In this blog, I’m giving you an in-depth look into what it means to become a yoga teacher in 2021 & how to go about doing it. That way you set yourself up with the best yoga teacher training & yoga teachers. So let’s begin.

How to become a yoga teacher first don’t skip this step…

In 2021, you have the option of online yoga teacher training as well as in-person ones at your local studio. Some offer a hybrid. Choose based on what your goals are and how you’ll learn best over what’s fastest, cheapest & requires less work.

Start to be good to great yoga student…

It all starts with beginning yoga practice as a student. This means attending asana (physical practice) & related topic classes like pranayama, meditation etc… Start exploring the vast realm of options available to you. Locally and online. Get into the habit of creating a consistent, disciplined practice for yourself. This means weeks to months and years of yoga practice.

To be a great yoga teacher you first need to be a good yoga student.

Arundhati Baitmangalkar

While this may seem obvious, even after a decade of teaching I get yoga teacher training inquiries with people who have no discipline of daily practice & any understanding of yoga wanting to become teachers. So don’t skip over this very important step. Become a steady student first.

how to become a yoga teacher

Do this right away…

Once you’ve decided to explore how to become a yoga teacher. Make sure to attend yoga workshops, intensives, and shorter training. Read yoga blogs & listen to yoga podcasts. Get into the content beyond practice. This is important as you’ll notice if you’re interested only in asana or all aspects of yoga. Because a YTT demands a good amount of time, hard work and financial investment. You don’t want to bite off more than you can chew.

What is your why?…

Ask yourself why do you want to become a yoga teacher? What is the reason behind it? More importantly, do you want to pursue it as a hobby i.e., something you do on the side a few times a month or is it something you can do full time right away & make your career? Because learning yoga isn’t a linear process, remember you can’t rush the process of learning & executing. Some aspects of yoga-like the physical practice is easier than teaching yoga philosophy and pranayama.

The truth is many people who do yoga teacher training do it to study yoga. Remember that’s always an option to study in-depth and never teach. Most yoga teachers training today, will accommodate this in their training.

Explore your options…

Once you’ve made up your mind to become a yoga teacher. Your next step is to find a yoga teacher you respect & trust or a yoga teacher training program. This will vary greatly depending on where you live. But read up about the different formats of yoga teacher training available here to get more clarity. Once you decide which format fits your lifestyle the best, you can narrow down your search.

Keep the focus on…

As you begin to narrow down your options. Remember to keep in mind the online and in-person formats that are available nowadays in the yoga world. While convenience is important, keep the focus on what you’ll learn & who your yoga teacher is. These two are undeniably the most important aspects to consider. Don’t jump to features like price, schedule, access to content, bonuses, etc… those are secondary to who your teacher is, what are their principles and how they pass on their knowledge.

The spectrum of work…

Your lead trainer will be your most influential yoga teacher. You want to make sure your lead trainer is highly qualified & more importantly knows how to move you forward in your journey. Inside the yoga room, you want to notice things like yoga sequencing, pranayama skills, yoga philosophy embodiment & teachings, lineages, priorities, treatment of others and so much more.

But look for what this lead trainer is doing outside the yoga room. This will show you their drive, ambition, dedication to yoga, & more. For example, do they blog regularly? Do they run a yoga podcast or have they been interviewed on any? Have they taught in yoga conferences? do they have a yoga studio? Do they post on social media regularly? Do they write for yoga outlets? Basically, do they do anything about yoga beyond just teaching asana & posting handstand pictures on social media?

This will show you their vast skillset, their drive & chances are they are more experienced than the average yoga teacher & yoga studio running a 200-hour yoga teacher training program.

Read the reviews…

This is gold! You want to hear what previous graduates and other yoga students are saying about your lead trainer & their program. You want to read beyond what is on their website. Check out Google reviews, Facebook reviews, and other options like Yelp & Instagram. This will give you great insight into how the studio and teacher really do.

What matters to you?

Get clear on what your non-negotiables are. There are logistical non-negotiables like distance, format, timings, etc…but focus on the other side. What values do you want to see reflected in your training? For example, I always want to be in training that respects and highlights diversity, inclusivity, body positivity, and honors yoga’s cultural roots in various aspects of the training. Not just slogans on social media but definitive action. Find out what your non-negotiables are.

On-going support

Do not sign up for a yoga teacher training that doesn’t offer post-graduation support. In some form. And no a Facebook group doesn’t count as support. You’re looking for zoom classes, in-person immersions, or offers like the monthly support community like my mindful yoga teachers club. If your YTT doesn’t offer this you should move on & find one that does.

Truth & Transparency

Lastly, remember to look for truth & transparency in your teacher & yoga studio. A lead trainer should not hesitate to tell you what is covered, and more importantly what isn’t. There is no way you can learn all of the yoga in one training or from one teacher. You want to be aware that yoga studios see you as a ticket to more $$$ and will be ready to convince you to get you to sign up. Ask which topics are core syllabus what is lightly spoken about and get a sense of how truthful & transparent your training will be.

Hope this helps. My podcast – Let’s Talk Yoga goes into depth into more conversations like this. So subscribe to any podcast platform & join the conversation today.

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