CAREER DEVELOPMENT / JUL. 05, 2014
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How to Become a Yoga Teacher

Yoga teaching involves helping people to create balance in the mind and body through a series of mental and physical exercises. Yoga teachers lead yoga classes in individual or group settings and assist participants to perform various exercises effectively. If you have a background in fitness, love to train people and possess good communication skills, yoga teaching could be your ideal career.

The Work

Apart from demonstrating exercises and monitoring participants’ progress, yoga teachers also have the following duties;

  • Assessing the fitness levels of participants to identify their needs
  • Designing custom yoga classes and instructional plans based on participants needs and ability levels
  • Establishing and maintaining professional relationships with participants
  • Ensuring yoga exercises meet safety and health requirements
  • Collaborating with psychologists, mental health therapists and wellness coaches to attend to participants with mental disturbances
  • Organizing educational workshops on mind control and yoga lifestyle.

Although most yoga teachers often teach yoga exercises to all people, others specialize in particular groups, such as the elderly and pregnant women.

Work Environment

Since yoga teaching is commonly a part-time job, yoga teachers have irregular schedules. They usually work in the evening from 5pm to 9pm, and during the weekends. However, some fitness facilities with several clients hire full-time yoga instructors.

While at work, yoga teachers wear appropriate exercise costumes, such as yoga pants, and teach participants in spacious, climate-controlled rooms.

 Salary

The annual income for yoga teachers varies with the employer and city of work. Yoga teachers in London, for example, have the potential to earn more income than those in Cardiff.

According to the National Careers Service, yoga teachers charge between £5 and £12 an hour for group sessions and £35 to £60 for private sessions. Assuming they work for 35 hours a week, they can expect to earn the following annual salaries.

Yoga Session

Annual Earnings

Group sessions

£8,400 - £20,160

Private sessions

£58,800 - £100,800

Education and Training

To qualify for employment as a yoga teacher, you need to gain at least two years' experience working with a qualified teacher and earn a yoga teaching qualification, preferably the CYQ Level 3 Certificate in Teaching Yoga.

Some of the popular training providers in the UK include:

After earning this certificate, you can enlist in the Register of Exercise Professionals. This proves to employers and clients that you meet the set standards of practice.

The British Wheel of Yoga also offers various teaching awards, which you can use to secure REP’s membership.

If you are already practicing yoga teaching and lack the Level 3 Certification, you can obtain REP’s membership through its Accreditation of Prior Experience and Learning scheme.

To teach children and vulnerable individuals, you need to obtain a clearance certificate from the Disclosure and Barring Service.

Finally, before you can start practicing professionally, you need to obtain a liability insurance cover.

Important Skills, Qualities and Abilities

To be a competent yoga teacher, you need;

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Strong instructional skills
  • Good customer-service skills
  • The ability to motivate and inspire others
  • The ability to respond appropriately to emergency situations
  • Empathy to care for your clients, especially those who maybe stressed

Career Progression

After finding work or starting your own fitness business, you will need to continually update your skills. This will not only help you meet your clients’ changing fitness needs, but also increase your career progression prospects.

You can also pursue further qualifications in:

  • Mediation
  • Boxing yoga
  • Yoga for pregnancy
  • Yoga for kids

Employment Opportunities

Although most experienced yoga practitioners run their own business, beginning yoga teachers can seek employment opportunities in;

  • Local health clinics
  • Special needs centers
  • Private gyms
  • Sports clubs

With vast experience and advanced qualifications, you can become a yoga trainer, a job that involves training aspiring yoga teachers.

Success Tip

Remember, to succeed in this profession, you must maintain positive relationships with your clients. This helps you to build a good reputation and enhance your chances of attracting more clients.

 Useful Links

 

Photo Credit: Reflections Yoga

 

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