YouTube video

Want to know how to become a yoga instructor, huh?

Becoming a certified yoga instructor can seem like a confusing mess of requirements, but I promise you that it isn’t. In fact, it can be an exciting experience for you to embark on in your life!

Getting your yoga instructor certification can be incredibly rewarding, even if you ultimately decide not to use your RYT status to teach yoga. A good teacher training program will not only prepare you for teaching yoga but it will also facilitate tremendous personal growth.

I promise you, it’s a beautiful experience inside and out.

Before you start the countdown to becoming a certified yoga instructor, take the time to fully understand what it takes to become a yoga teacher.

Explore the ways in which you’d like to deepen your own personal yoga practice, the areas in which you’d like to see the most personal growth, and what kind of yoga teacher training program most fits in with your life.

Learn about the many different ways in which you can use your certificate, whether it’s to teach at your local yoga studio, lead prenatal yoga classes, become a yoga therapist, registered children’s yoga teacher, teach workshops, or simply advance your yoga asana skills…

…or become an online yoga instructor like me!

While each certification program is unique, most of them will follow certain requirements as put forth by the Yoga Alliance (more on that in the video below). Successful completion of a Yoga Alliance accredited certification program will likely give you an in-depth understanding of:

As you begin moving through all of these different aspects of yoga (and even get a little bit of teaching experience), you will likely see some noticeable shifts in both your personal yoga practice as well as your overall outlook on life.

Needless to say, a yoga certification course can absolutely change all aspects of your life for the better. Because yoga isn’t just about your body, it’s about your mind and how you can best manage your energy.

So where do you begin?

Right here.

In this video on how to become a yoga instructor, I break down the most important aspects to keep in mind as you choose your yoga certification program.

Watch this video or read below to get started. As always, if you have any questions on how to sift through teacher trainings, on which types of yoga are best for you to study, on how to support the body as you deepen your yoga practice (or anything at all!)…

…then leave a comment below.

We are all about this online community and I would love to help you begin your journey toward becoming a certified yoga instructor and learn what it means to live fully immersed in the yogic lifestyle.

How to Become a Yoga Instructor

Getting your yoga teacher certification isn’t just about putting in the practice hours to prepare for training, choosing a program at a well-known yoga school and forking over your hard-earned cash. Sure, that’s a part of it, but then what?

Because even if you’ve got the teaching skills and your asana memorization is impressive, you’re going to need a whole lot more than that to become a yoga instructor.

Like, for example, getting yoga insurance.

I teamed up with beYogi to bring you this video above on how to become a certified yoga teacher yourself. They offer fantastic yoga insurance for yoga teachers, teacher trainees, and students, and I have a discount link if you choose to purchase through beYogi.

So if you’re wondering how to be a yoga teacher, here is my personal short list of everything I think you should know.

1. Yoga is Not Just For The Experts

Number one, being a yoga teacher is not about being able to do all the fancy, complicated poses, like headstand, or forearm stand, or some of the arm balances.

What it’s actually about is cuing, which means effectively using your voice to tell people what to do with their bodies, and compassion.

So cuing and compassion.

Don’t get down on yourself if you can’t do all the super fancy poses, because really good teachers are about great cuing and being extremely compassionate and loving with their students.

After all, practicing yoga, is a form of healing arts.

This doesn’t always come naturally to everyone and that’s okay. You can develop it with hands-on experience and will likely learn it in your teacher training or taking continuing education courses.

2. Understand the Yoga Alliance

Number two, certification in the yoga world is something that’s very much in flux. Yoga’s “governing body” is not really regulated by the state or at the national level.

So you can pay Yoga Alliance for permission to use their RYT trademark after your name, but it doesn’t actually, really mean anything at the government, state, or national level. Yoga Alliance certifications don’t expire, but they do lapse. If you choose to register with the Yoga Alliance, you’ll need to do a few things every year or two to maintain your certification.

So it may or may not be worth doing, based on your personal goals.

If you wanna deep-dive with me into what certification really means, I absolutely suggest you listen to this podcast, where I go into a lot more detail.

So what is an RYT certification for, then?

It’s mostly for yoga and fitness studios in the US to assure that the yoga instructors they hire have completed a minimum level of education as a yoga instructor. It doesn’t, however, ensure that you actually practice yoga, that you have any teaching skills, or that your training program was of high quality.

While it is certainly helpful when applying for a teaching job at a yoga studio, it’s not necessary for other more lucrative teaching gigs (like being an online yoga instructor or course creator).

If you’re clear about your goals for your training program, then you’ll be more clear about whether or not an RYT certification is necessary.

3. Choose a Teacher Training Program

Number three, you definitely wanna do some kind of registered yoga teacher training (YTT).

Beyond the certification that formal training provides, there are several major benefits to taking YTT that will take your commitment to yoga practice to the next level.

The most common format is to do what’s called a 200-hour teacher training.

So you cover a lot of material in 200 hours, everything from teaching, anatomy, and philosophy. You wanna do research on where you do this 200-hour training because it’s really gonna teach you everything you need to know about how to be a successful teacher.

While most yoga studios will focus on vinyasa yoga or vinyasa flow in their certification program, you can totally choose a yoga instructor training that focuses on the yoga and meditation style that most interests you. There are many types of yoga, from restorative yoga, prenatal yoga, yoga Nidra, and Ashtanga yoga, to yin yoga, you definitely have a lot to choose from.

You can do a 200-hour training all at once, in a month-long in-person intensive, over the course of many weekends, a few weeks, or you can even do a 200-hour training online. There are a lot of different types of training depending on the style of yoga, like:

If you do something online, make sure that it’s interactive, and you’re getting direct feedback and support from a teacher over video conference. I’ve written a list of the 7 best online yoga certifications for yoga instruction where I recommend a few different online schools that I personally recommend because I know their instructor and/or material deeply. I also break down some of the most popular online yoga teacher training courses you see out there today so that you can make the most informed decision when choosing one.

Beyond that you’ll want to check their certifications. Are they yoga alliance certified? Or do they have certifications with ACE (American Council of Exercise) or NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine)? Those last two organizations have a very strict vetting process when it comes to the yoga teacher training programs they give their stamp of approval to — more so than Yoga Alliance. You may not find many yoga teacher training programs that have them. To become a yoga instructor it’s not a requirement for your training to have these things, but knowing that they do tells you that their material has been highly evaluated. It wasn’t easy, but I am incredibly PROUD that my Uplifted Yoga Teacher Training has been vetted and certified by these additional organizations.

You might also like: How to Choose a Yoga Teacher Training (That Won’t Rip You Off)

Take my quiz to find out which YTT is best for you:

4. Get Some Practice Teaching Yoga

Step number four is, you want to practice… so teach. I think a lot of people think they’re gonna do their 200-hour certification and feel really confident right off the bat.

The reality is it takes years to build up that confidence, to have a presence in your teaching, to really have a strong voice.

So you wanna start practicing and teaching everyone you can.

Teach your mom, your dog, anyone who’ll listen to you. Offer free yoga classes at your house or in the park. So much of how to become a yoga instructor is how you embody the teachings and wisdom of yoga. So practice yoga both on and off the yoga mat.

Just start logging those teaching hours, because, just like anything in life, the more you do it, the better you’re gonna get.

While you certainly learn to teach in training courses, it doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily ready to do so. Just like knowing the yoga asanas doesn’t mean that you perform them all consistently each day, knowing teaching methodology doesn’t mean that you’re ready.

So get as much experience as you can!

You Might Also Like: 13 Yoga Playlists for Every Style and Taste

5. Start Making Money Teaching Yoga

Step five is charging money for people to take your classes. This could mean that you’re teaching in a studio, or maybe you’re hosting events in your home.

Maybe you’re teaching in corporations, like you’re going into businesses, and teaching there, or partnering with local restaurants to have yoga sessions and wine nights.

You could lead retreats.

You could teach yoga online, like me and start earning at least 5k a month.

There have never been more opportunities to find success as a yoga teacher in the way that you really enjoy, and are passionate about.

6. Build a Mailing List ASAP

Step six is to start a mailing list.

Have a way that you can keep in touch with the people who come and probably really enjoy your classes.

To me, this is even more important than most other marketing tactics as a yoga instructor. It will help keep you top of mind so that when your network needs a yoga teacher, they know to come to you.

6. Get Yoga Insurance

And last, but not least, don’t forget to get yoga insurance. Once you have that, you are truly in business, and I will link to beYogi, which is my top pick, in the cards and description below.

If you’re considering the yoga teacher training journey, I have dozens of free podcasts all about how to pick a training that best meets your needs, the exact questions to ask, tips and tricks to make the most out of your training experience, and how to know if you’re ready to take the plunge. And, of course, I offer an online yoga teacher training course that will walk you through all of it.

Fall in love with my 200-Hour teacher training or

Experience 3 Training Videos from Inside My 200-Hour Online YTT

    Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming A Yoga Teacher

    Once you’ve decided to become a yoga teacher, there are A LOT of things to consider. Besides the fact that you’ve got to do some serious inner work and introspection, you also need to choose the right teacher training program. Here are the most frequently asked questions when it comes to becoming a yoga instructor.

    Is online yoga teacher training worth it?

    This totally depends on the training courses that you’re looking at and who the lead trainers are. Some yoga companies are just churning out training courses without offering much hands-on experience, personalized guidance from the trainers, or even quality education. These kinds of training courses are often sold for less than $900 and are more for those interested in a quick and dirty pseudo yoga teacher certificate than for those who are genuinely interested in learning the history of yoga, proper asana technique, teaching methodology from an experienced yoga instructor, or pranayama breathing techniques with a trauma informed approach. My online teacher training program, for example, provides TONS of hands-on experience through live Zoom calls and opportunities for teaching experience. I offer quality pre-recorded lessons on human anatomy, pranayama breathing, teaching methodology, and alignment and THEN we come together to discuss it all. You’re with the same group of students each week from start to finish with synchronous cohorts and class sizes that are capped. In an online training program like mine, you get personalized teaching experience and quality feedback from an experienced yoga instructor (me!), plus a community which is moving through the material together at the same time, which is quite uncommon for most online programs.
    Read more:
    How To Know If An Online YTT Is Legit: 8 Things To Look For
    Is An Online Yoga Teacher Training Worth The Investment?

    What is the best online yoga certification?

    Look, I know that I’m biased, but I genuinely believe that my online yoga certification course absolutely is the best.


    Because I’ve been doing it for years, long before ANY other yoga school and certainly before the Yoga Alliance temporarily allowed yoga schools to provide online training programs their seal.

    Read more:
    How to Choose a Yoga Teacher Training (That Won’t Rip You Off)
    The 7 BEST Online Yoga Teacher Training Courses, According to An Industry Expert
    Which Uplifted online yoga training is right for you?

    Can you get Yoga certified online?

    TOTALLY! In 2020 Yoga Alliance quickly rushed to approve all online trainings. However, sadly, they did not issue any standards for online training when they did that. Meaning class sizes aren’t capped, the courses themselves aren’t monitored, and they don’t require synchronous completion(graduation with a group of your peers). All of that just to say, although you can 100 percent get certified online you should still do your research to make sure you are choosing a QUALITY program.
    Read more:
    Can I Teach Without a Yoga Alliance Certification? (Yup)
    Are Online YTT Courses Now Approved By Yoga Alliance? It’s Complicated.
    What is Yoga Alliance and Do I Need an RYT Certificate to Teach Yoga?
    How Long Does Yoga Alliance Certification Last? 5 Steps to Maintain It

    How do you become a certified yoga instructor?

    This depends on what kind of instructor certification you would like to receive. If you’re looking for yoga instructor certification from Yoga Alliance, then you will want to do your yoga teacher training program with a registered yoga school within the Yoga Alliance. It is not necessary to get your instructor certification from Yoga Alliance, though, as it’s just a private organization that is not connected to any government requirements to teach yoga.
    Otherwise, look for a yoga school that has a long-standing good reputation and join their 200-hour yoga teacher training program. This will cover all of the basic knowledge of yoga, such as yoga philosophy, the history of yoga, the Yoga Sutras, teaching methodology, human anatomy and physiology, and the yoga postures.
    Read more:
    200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training: What To Expect, How To Prepare, Where To Do It
    How to Register Your YTT Certificate With Yoga Alliance (With Photos)
    8 Reasons It Doesn’t Have to Be Hard to Become a Yoga Teacher

    How much does it cost to get certified in yoga?

    That’s a great question. I’ve written all about how much yoga teacher training actually costs, but the short answer is that cost fully depends on what kind of training you’re after. Historically yoga teacher trainings have cost anywhere from $3,000-$4,000 if you are enrolling in a reputable school with a longstanding record of trust and legitimacy. COVID changed the market because everyone rushed online and you can now find courses for as little as $97. In short, it depends on the quality of training you are looking for. There is such a wide range you really need to ask yourself what you are looking for in a training, what are you trying to get out of it and who do you want to train with?
    Read more:
    Levels of Yoga Certification: What The Heck Is The Difference Between 200-, 300-, and 500-Hour YTT Courses?

    What is the best yoga certification to get?

    Yoga Alliance is the most well-known private organization that provides yoga instructor certification, but a Yoga Alliance certification doesn’t mean that you received quality yoga training, or that you are ready to teach yoga. Of course, it is nice to be able to join the trend of having a Yoga Alliance certification to ensure that you don’t miss any opportunities that are tied to this kind of certification, but outside of your local yoga studio, not many others will be asking for a Yoga Alliance certification. Sit and think what you want out of your certification, where you want to go as a yoga teacher and let that help guide you.
    Read more:
    Can I Teach Without a Yoga Alliance Certification? (Yup)
    Are Online YTT Courses Now Approved By Yoga Alliance? It’s Complicated.
    What is Yoga Alliance and Do I Need an RYT Certificate to Teach Yoga?

    How long does it take to get yoga certified?

    This depends on the level of training that you get, including continuing education courses. It also depends on where you complete your training. A standard 200-hour immersion course will be about a month long, whereas your local yoga studio likely offers courses over weekends over the course of 6 months. A lot of online courses are also open ended. Which means they have no set end date. Which seems great, like you have all the time in the world to finish your yoga teacher training, but in reality that could allow you to put it off indefinitely and you’d never receive your yoga teacher certification. You know yourself best, and if you know you’ll need accountability then look for a program that will provide it.
    Read more:
    Levels of Yoga Certification: What The Heck Is The Difference Between 200-, 300-, and 500-Hour YTT Courses?
    200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training: What To Expect, How To Prepare, Where To Do It

    What do yoga instructors make?

    If your goal is to teach at a yoga studio, then you can expect to earn anywhere from $20 to $80 per yoga class, depending on your teaching experience and the yoga studio. If you want to teach private yoga classes, then you could earn anywhere from $50 to $150 per yoga class. If you’re teaching an online course, then the sky is the limit.
    Read more:
    The Truth About How Much Yoga Teachers Make (And Why)
    20 Awesome Ways To Make Money As A Yoga Instructor
    Should You Quit Your Job To Teach Yoga? Probably Not
    Private Yoga Lessons Cost: A Yoga Teacher’s Guide On How To Price Classes

    Can you make a living teaching yoga?

    What qualifications do I need to be a yoga teacher?

    If you would like to become a registered yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance, then you will need to complete your 200 hour teacher training with a registered yoga school. Even with a yoga instructor training under your belt, I’d recommend honing your teaching skill with other experienced teachers. You can certainly gain experience through your own personal practice, but to teach a student (or class of students!) is totally different. This is why it is super important to join a yoga instructor training that provides you with (virtual) contact hours, because this is what gives you teaching experience before you land your first gig.

    What’s the time commitment?

    Again, this depends on the level of training that you get. But if you were looking at something like the Uplifted 200 hour training it might look something like this:
    You can expect each week to have been 8 – 10 hours of teacher training commitments:
    – 4 hours of watching video content assignments
    – Three 90-minute Live Calls (attendance required at one of the three)
    – 30 minutes of at-home reading or homework
    I know my course is designed with parents and full time workers in mind. Obviously, you could find courses that might have a lighter time commitment, but I guarantee they won’t be as well rounded.

    Good luck on your yoga journey and I’m sending you so much love.

    From my heart to yours, namaste.

    Next Steps

    Experience 3 Training Videos from Inside My 200-Hour Online YTT 👇

    YTT 200 Multidevice and Manual A
    Experience 3 Training Videos from Inside My 200-Hour Online YTT