You’re wild about yoga and can’t wait to share your joy with students by becoming a teacher yourself! But you’re wondering; how long should you do yoga before teacher training? Is there some kind of rule?
Spoiler alert ⚠️ There is no firm rule about how long you should practice before you become a yoga teacher.
No guru will come knocking on your door to make sure you’re legit once you’re certified. While it’s common to feel a sense of self-doubt when starting anything new, there are a few important mental and physical milestones to consider before starting your yoga teacher training. And that’s what we’ll cover today on the blog, yogis!
How Long Should You Do Yoga Before Teacher Training?
If you’re familiar with the core philosophies of yoga, then you know fixed deadlines and a destination mindset are not much help. There’s no specific amount of time that will suddenly make you feel “ready” for your yoga teacher training. But if you’re dedicated to taking this path in the wellness industry, you’ll naturally want to know how long it takes to become a yoga teacher, from putting in practice hours to business planning and everything in between!
The simple truth is this: if you have a desire to deepen your study of yoga and share your knowledge with others, that’s really all you need to make a difference as a teacher.
However, it’s also important to have obtained at least a foundational knowledge of the practice and the philosophy behind yoga. Think about it, would you become a math teacher if you’d never studied math? Yoga is no less honorable a practice, and it should be respected as such.
So while there is no fixed amount of time that makes someone suddenly able to teach yoga, a regular home practice helps you to improve and guides you further along your path to becoming a teacher.
Check Your 200-Hour YTT Course Prerequisites
It should also be known that some yoga teacher trainings will require a regular home practice as a screening process for applying teacher trainees. Methods for collecting or proving these pre-reqs will undoubtedly vary from program to program.
These practices simply ensure that the students who enroll are actively passionate about the yoga tradition, and will participate fully in the program of events. Structured discipline is quite revered in the yoga space. And it’s up to you if that’s the kind of yoga teacher training course that you’re looking for!
When There Isn’t a Practice Prerequisite
However, a majority of YTTs these days don’t have many (if any) prerequisites for applying. Since there is no specific amount of time that will suddenly make you “prepared” for your yoga teacher training, does that mean anyone can apply?
In theory, yes.
But that doesn’t mean all applicants will be accepted or go on to teach. It goes without saying that in order to be a yoga teacher, you need to practice yoga. The truth is, no one becomes a yoga teacher in one day. And great yoga teachers are shaped over decades.
If you’re applying to a training program through a yoga studio, go in and meet some of their yoga teachers. Try out a different type of yoga class than you typically would choose to get a sense of the studio’s methodical approach, teaching culture, and technique, and try my free, full-length yoga classes online. Do this to expand your personal practice before you join a teacher training program, whicher you end up choosing.
Before you apply for yoga teacher training, at least be sure that you have the patience, dedication and consistency to reflect on and improve yourself before you begin guiding others.
Practice Makes Perfect… Unnecessary
A vital piece of being a yoga teacher is removing the goal of perfection. Yep, you heard me! I’ll say it again:
📣 You must release perfection as a guiding principle to rise to your full potential as a teacher.
Let. It. Go.
Our yoga practice itself is a beautiful embodiment of this life-long lesson. And, it’s baked into asteya, the yogic principle of non-stealing; focusing on perfectionism above all else robs you of peace of mind.
Practicing and learning within the yoga tradition is a never-ending journey. You’ll probably never hear a yogi say that they suddenly “completed their yoga practice” one day…Completed? Like, forever? 🥺
Yoga is a continuous journey, so it’s important to ask yourself about your “goals” for your yoga practice before you begin to teach. Do you actually want the process or are you just craving the result? In a way, you’re dedicating your life to this journey of the eternal student. And if that makes you excited, I think that’s the thing that matters.
How to Know You’re Ready for Yoga Teacher Training
It’s important to distinguish something here. Going through yoga teacher training does not mean that you immediately have to start teaching yoga. Many yogis go through training simply to deepen their knowledge of their practice. It’s unnecessary that you need to know, with 100% confidence, that you’ll teach yoga for the rest of your life. If you’re aching to deepen your studies with like-minded people, then you’re absolutely ready for your yoga teacher training!
Here are some signs you might be ready to become a yoga teacher. If you’re ready to teach, you likely have a:
- Deep love & curiosity for yoga philosophy
- Strong and consistent practice
- Yearning for self-development
- Sense of inspiration from some of your best teachers
- Drive to get out of your comfort zone
On the other hand, it’s also not a “bad thing” to have professional and financial ambitions with your teacher training. When we have a bigger platform and more resources, we’re able to make yoga and wellness more accessible to everyone. The important question here is, are you passionate about yoga? Are you ready to put in the hard work that goes into becoming a teacher? Do you want the process or just the result?
You don’t have to have your whole journey mapped out, but you have to at least commit to the journey of being a student for the rest of your life. In a way, you’re dedicating your life to this journey of the eternal student. And if that makes you excited, that’s the only thing that matters.