How to Start Teaching Yoga Classes

start teaching YogaBy Amruta Kulkarni, CYT 500
How to start teaching Yoga is a complex subject, when you consider that you will need proper training and guidance along the way. Yoga has long been used to help connect the mind and body. By using ancient holistic techniques, yoga can help people in many ways through the process of philosophy, asana, pranayama, and levels of meditation. Since yoga can be used as a vital tool for health, many people are interested in learning how to teach this practice. This is why you want to be the best teacher you can be. Commitment is an essential part of the life and journey of a yoga teacher.

How To Teach Yoga

Learning how to start teaching yoga classes can be fun and lead to a healthy way of life. By becoming a teacher you can practice yoga while simultaneously training others to reach their own potential. Before renting space for a yoga studio, there are a few tips when it comes to making yoga a deeper part of your lifestyle. There are many different ways to start teaching yoga, but some can be more expensive than others. By deciding what type of yoga you wish to teach, you can narrow your training to fit the needs of your specific practice. Teacher trainings can be held in remote locations that require travel or they can be done online. Knowing how much you’re willing and capable of spending or traveling is the first step to any business.

The Art of Yoga Instruction

The right instructor is often more important than the training location. International training sessions can help you understand the overall atmosphere and culture that surrounds yoga, but the class instruction is the most crucial part.When choosing the right type of instruction, class size does matter. Many yoga teacher training sessions have an hourly requirement that must be fulfilled before completion. A smaller class can make sessions easier in the long run. Depending on the type of training and instruction, classes can range from an intimate setting where only a handful of people train together to thirty or forty people per class.


Training Certification

Some schools provide a certificate of participation. I went to one that gave me no certificate, before I became certified. Not all training programs are certified. Even programs that are certified can have vastly different requirements. If a teacher program is certified by a competent school, the framework consists of a minimum of 200 hours of study in addition to providing you some information about how to continue your education as you continue to teach. If you think 200 training hours is the end all solution, you might consider teaching something else. Anything worth doing will require time to master. Depending on whether you want to start your own business, work at a health club, or work for a studio, certain credentials may or may not be necessary. Many yoga studios require a certification before hiring. Regardless of certification, training usually consists of a few different components. Some of the most basic training include philosophy, pranayama, meditation, asana, hands-on adjustments and sequencing in their practice.

Online Yoga Practices

Training to become a yoga teacher can be done through certain online programs. While hands-on training can provide a n up close atmosphere, a virtual setting can be beneficial. This is especially true if you wish to teach online. By taking an online yoga teacher training course, you can better understand how classes are taught virtually. There are unique abilities and logistics to work with while you start teaching Yoga online. Knowing how to properly position one’s self in space can be tricky if it is not done in person. By studying the structure of online classes, the business aspect of teaching can be learned in conjunction with accurate poses. Online classes are especially beneficial for the climate we live in today. Whether class participants are in a remote area, cannot drive or are impacted by illness, online yoga instruction can be a successful career for many.


In the Beginning

Where do I start teaching Yoga classes? Yoga can be practiced in a variety of settings. While yoga studios may be the most obvious choice, they may not be hiring or aren’t located in your area. Starting a business will likely require a license and your own set of marketing skills. Luckily, there are several different ways to start teaching Yoga, which is a complex subject, when you consider that you will need proper foundational training and guidance from a mentor as you grow. Many gyms offer yoga classes. While they may have their own training or certification requirements, they can often hire instructors they’ve recently taught. Other possible teaching locations include community health centers and individualized home-training. This can be especially valuable for those who are not able to drive into town or live in a remote area.

What Not Do

Professional yoga teachers take their craft very seriously, and as a result strongly believe in doing things a disciplined way. Their teach may have been strict or it is part of their personality. However, in some cases their rigidity can become a detriment to the overall experience students have during the class. Rather than let this happen, more and more teachers are beginning to take a closer look at just how they conduct their classes. Some teachers record their classes on video and release them on the Internet. By doing so, they can develop larger followings and discover some aspects of their classes that may need to evolve. If you find yourself facing this dilemma, here are some additional things that should not be done when teaching your yoga classes.


Expressing Beliefs and Opinions

When students walk into your yoga class, they expect to find an atmosphere that is relaxing and welcoming. As a result of this, class is not the proper place to start expressing your beliefs or opinions on politics, religion, or any number of other topics. By keeping the focus strictly on the task at hand, you and your students will have an enjoyable session.

Letting Students Do What They Want

The best yoga teachers look at their students not only as students, but also as their children. As a result of this, it’s important to keep a reasonable level of discipline active within the class. Guidelines of conduct and common sense can prevent a lot of troublesome behavior. By letting students do as they wish during class, such as talking with one another throughout the session or deciding which poses they want to do, control of the class will fall by the wayside. Instead, capture the attention of your students and provide them structure, which will keep everyone focused.


Do Away With Boundaries

When you start teaching Yoga, and into the future, you have to set boundaries in place. While many yoga students will come to look at their teacher as someone to rely on and even think of as a confidant, failing to establish and maintain boundaries can become a problem for everyone. Not only does it let the student discuss intimate details of their life, but it also puts the teacher in an uncomfortable position. By refusing to let this happen and instead referring students to professionals for help, if necessary, you can maintain your professional distance while still being there for your students.

Make Class Complicated

While trying to bring new ideas to a class, many teachers instead make learning very complicated for their students. As an alternative, looking at the best teachers and realizing how simple and effective their classes are can bring a bit of wisdom and authenticity to any class. By keeping the class simple and easy to understand, both you as the teacher and your students will find class extremely enjoyable.


Five More Ideas About Instructing Yoga Students

For those who teach yoga classes, it is an opportunity to not only get paid to do something they love, but also pass on their knowledge to others seeking physical and mental fitness. However, in many cases teachers attempt to do too much too soon to help their students. As a result, mistakes are often made that can derail the plans of even the most well intentioned yoga teacher. To make sure you avoid these mistakes, here are five things you should try not to do when teaching yoga.

Believing in a One-Size-Fits-All Alignment

A mistake made by beginning teachers, the idea of a one-size-fits-all alignment usually leads to trouble. Because human bodies are diverse and complex, teachers who think every alignment should look only one way do their students a disservice. By remembering there can be slight exceptions to every alignment, yoga class can be much more enjoyable for teachers and students.


It’s Okay to Not Have an Answer

As a teacher, you’ll get asked many questions about yoga. However, while you’ll probably have good answers to most questions, realize it’s fine to say, “I don’t know” or “I’m not sure” every now and then. In fact, by saying this and then making it a point to get the correct information as soon as possible, you’ll gain even more respect from your students.

Don’t Teach What You’ve Just Learned

Because yoga is a process involving a lifetime of learning and understanding, it’s a good idea to not be in a hurry to teach students something you learned in a workshop the previous weekend. While you may be able to show them new techniques, you probably haven’t had time to fully comprehend what you learned and thought about how it can best be applied to your class. By giving yourself two or three weeks, you’ll be able to provide much more insight to your students.


Every Class Doesn’t have to be Different

Rather than try to develop a different theme for each class, instead choose a month-long theme or simply adopt a standard blueprint for your class, which allows you to add or subtract things as you see fit. By adopting this approach, you’ll avoid burnout and be under far less stress.

Don’t Teach Every Class

In their enthusiasm for teaching yoga, many teachers attempt to teach classes as often as possible. Instead, be willing to turn down an opportunity to teach now and then. If you do, you’ll be able to stay focused on your current classes, enabling you to expand your teaching at a much more relaxed pace. In addition, your students will notice the level of enthusiasm stays high, allowing them to get more out of the experience.



If you remember to follow these recommendations for your class, chances are not only will the learning experience be fantastic for your students, but you’ll also discover even more passion for teaching. Teaching yoga is a lifelong career. Due to the way it is practiced, there is always room to grow. Like the practice itself, teaching can also be an extended journey. To become a yoga instructor, it is important to first understand why you want to teach. After knowing “why,” the right training and teaching environment can then be found.

© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

To see our selection of Yoga teacher training courses, please visit the following link.

Click here to see our online Yoga Nidra teacher training course.

Are you an experienced teacher looking for YACEP credits or continuing education?

Subscribe to Our Newsletter for Special Discounts and New Products

Related Resources


52 Essential Principles of Yoga Philosophy to Deepen your Practice

by Rina Jakubowicz.


A Relaxing Way to De-stress, Re-energize, and Find Balance

by: Gail Boorstein Grossman.


by B.K.S. Iyengar

TEACHING YOGA: Essential Foundations and Techniques

By Mark Stephens

To see our complete selection of affordable yoga instructor certification programs, please click on the courses and products button in the navigation bar in the upper left section of this page.

Leave a Comment

Your Cart