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How to become a yoga teacher in the UK

How to become a yoga teacher in the UK

To become a yoga teacher in the UK, you must be prepared to invest a lot of time and money. It will only work if you are genuinely interested in yoga. Then, it can be a rewarding journey filled with self-discovery and the opportunity to guide others towards a healthier and more balanced life. 

For those who’re at the start of this journey, our guide may be of some use. It outlines the steps to shed more details on how to become a certified yoga instructor, provides some information on the process and how long it typically takes. 

How to become a yoga teacher

Becoming a professional yoga teacher usually involves several steps, ranging from obtaining certification, acquiring practical experience to establishing a customer base.

Your background

Consider what interests you in becoming a yoga teacher. Is it the fact that you’ve practised for a long time and enjoy spending time with other students. Or do you fancy a more meaningful, relaxing lifestyle. It’s important to ask yourself all those type of questions as the answers will define your yoga teacher career. Or whether it is the right move at all. 

Sometimes what we enjoy shouldn’t necessarily become our career. When we turn our much loved hobby into a profession, it can take the pleasure out of it.

Choose your yoga style

Yoga encompasses a wide range of styles, including Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Bikram, and more. Select a style that resonates with you, as this will be the foundation of your teaching journey.

It doesn’t mean that you won’t have the opportunity to pivot to other styles, but it’s always easier to start with a yoga style that you are familiar with and already have a good knowledge of.

Enrol in yoga teacher training program

No matter how much experience you might have as a practitioner of yoga, it won’t be quite enough to start teaching. In order to become a certified yoga teacher, you’ll need to complete a yoga teacher training program. 

A recognised training programme from a reputable and known organisation will sit well with your future clients. Even if it costs a little, it's worth the investment.

The length of a course is also important. You will have to complete a minimum number of hours in order to qualify as a yoga teacher.

200-hour training: 

This is the standard requirement for most yoga teacher certifications. It usually takes 4-8 weeks of intensive training to complete a 200-hour program.

Further 300-hour training: 

You can build on your yoga foundations by undertaking another 300-hour program which offers a more in-depth study of yoga and takes around 3 months to complete.

500-hour training: 

A 500-hour program usually combines the 200 hour foundation course and the 300 hour advanced course. It is suitable for those who have the time to dedicate to their training. This course usually takes around 6 months to a year to complete.

Immerse yourself in yoga philosophy and anatomy

Yoga isn’t just exercise as you are probably aware already. Your training program will cover essential aspects of yoga philosophy and anatomy. Understanding the history and philosophy of yoga, as well as the human body's anatomy, is crucial for effective teaching.

You future students might want to achieve a greater degree of flexibility but many will also come for the mindfulness element of yoga.

Gain teaching experience

Once you have qualified, you can start your own practice straight away but sometimes it can be helpful to start teaching in a supportive environment, such as community classes, workshops, or with friends and family. 

The more you teach, the more confident and proficient you'll become. You’ll also learn how others administer and run their yoga classes. There is a lot to think about when it comes to becoming a professional yoga teacher.

Register with a professional body

There are a number of organisations in the UK. While it is not necessary, being a member will give you more credibility, access to training materials and like minded individuals who have undertaken the same journey.

Establish your practice

There is quite a lot to launching yourself as a self-employed yoga instructor. The easier option is to become an independent contractor with established yoga studios. 

That is a really good way to start building your student following and understanding what types of yoga might work well for your own practice in the future. It will also give you a great insight into students habits. Things like which classes they prefer, what time and on which days.

When you are ready, you start designing your own practice. You’ll then need to find a location. If you have the space, you can use your home while student numbers are small but later you might have to look at rental spaces. That might be more challenging. Students always expect a certain level of facilities. Changing rooms, showers, toilets and a relatively easy way to get to your class location.

Promote yourself

Previous relationship are brilliant to get going but you’ll need find way of letting potential clients know you exist. Local shops, social media and a website work well in this space.

Using the local authorities by offering a free session is a great way of getting in front of the locals and you’ll be doing your bit at the same time. 

It’s also possible to go corporate and reach out to modern thinking companies by offering morning or lunchtime yoga sessions in the office. It’s a small price to pay for the local company to give an extra benefit to their employees but it can be a good earner for you.

Before you can teach yoga, it's essential to have a solid personal practice. Spend time exploring different styles and disciplines to determine your preferences. Develop a consistent practice to deepen your understanding of yoga and its benefits.

Get your yoga insurance in place

The moment you become an independent yoga teacher, you need to protect yourself. The very basic is liability insurance for yoga instructors.

It will protect you against legal claims of wrongdoing or causing an accident resulting in an injury or property damage.

You will find that studios where you might work or which you rent will require this type of insurance.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Yoga Teacher?

The duration to become a certified yoga teacher depends on your chosen path and the training program you select.

A standard 200-hour training program typically takes 4-8 weeks, although some intensive programs can be completed in as little as 3 weeks. Longer programs, such as 500-hour training, may take 6 months to a year to finish.

Your personal schedule and commitment also play a role. Part-time programs may extend the duration, as you might attend classes on weekends or evenings.

Overall, the journey to becoming a yoga teacher is flexible, allowing you to choose a program that aligns with your lifestyle and goals.

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