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Boost Your Fitness Business: Yoga Styles and Certification

ISSA, International Sports Sciences Association, Certified Personal Trainer, ISSAonline, Boost Your Fitness Business: Yoga Styles and Certification

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There are plenty of ways to grow your fitness business. You can increase your marketing to draw in more clients. You can offer discounted services to entice people to sign up. Another option is to get your yoga teacher certification.

Why Become a Certified Yoga Instructor?

If you aren’t currently a yoga instructor, obtaining your teacher training provides another stream of revenue. For instance, in addition to holding personal training sessions, you can offer clients a yoga program. The more services you have, the more income you can make.

Earning your yoga certification also expands your target market. Instead of only appealing to those interested in losing weight or building muscle, you also appeal to those interested in developing a yoga practice. 

If you offer yoga training online, you increase your target market even more. You can teach people in other states, countries, or continents. You aren’t bound by geography or location.

Becoming a certified yoga instructor also helps you keep your own yoga practice. It continuously reinforces the philosophies of a balanced mind, body, and spirit. The more you practice, the more you discover and accept who you are.

Another benefit of yoga teacher certification is that it offers some diversity. You get to choose the yoga style or styles you enjoy most to teach your students. And there are quite a few options to consider.

Your Options with Yoga Style Certifications 

The term yoga refers to a multitude of styles. Some fall under the umbrella of restorative yoga and help the body and mind relax and heal. Others are more strenuous. These provide a more intense workout and may be better suited for clients with a higher level of fitness.

Here are a few of the most common styles to consider when obtaining your yoga certification:

  • Ananda yoga. This style helps clients release tension through gentle yoga postures. Teaching this yoga practice involves reinforcing proper alignment and breath. 
  • Anusara yoga. In addition to stressing good yoga posture, this style also focuses on creating a positive outlook. Students are encouraged to do the best they can with the poses versus ensuring that they are each doing the same thing.
  • Ashtanga yoga. The word Ashtanga means “eight limbs.” It involves following six yoga pose sequences in a fast-paced manner. The poses get harder throughout the Ashtanga session.
  • Hatha yoga. Almost all modern styles of yoga are considered Hatha yoga. Generally, these classes encompass the basics of yoga practice. This includes engaging in yogic breathing while in a yoga posture.
  • Iyengar yoga. Students of all ages and abilities can participate in this yoga style. As a yoga teacher, you would focus primarily on sequencing and alignment. Training in Iyengar yoga involves teaching students how to hold poses for longer periods. This is the opposite of Ashtanga, which requires moving swiftly from one posture to the next.
  • Restorative yoga. Teach a yoga class based on restoring the body and mind and your students will hold 4-5 simple poses for extended periods of time. The goal of Restorative yoga is to encourage passive stretching. Passive stretching helps promote increased flexibility and range of motion.
  • Bikram yoga. Teach a Bikram class as a certified yoga instructor and you will offer your training in hot, humid rooms. Bikram yoga consists of performing a 26-pose sequence two times. 
  • Vinyasa yoga. Also commonly referred to as Power yoga, Vinyasa involves teaching a varied sequence of poses. It is active and athletic. The movements are non-stop in Vinyasa yoga and require coordinated movement and breath.
  • Yin yoga. This style is quiet and meditative, making it a restorative yoga practice. Many of the poses are held for several minutes. This allows the muscles to relax and stretch passively.

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Choosing the Right Yoga Style for You

With so many options from which to choose, how do you decide which one is the right one for you? Which one should you focus on when obtaining your yoga certification?

A good place to start is the type of yoga that you enjoy doing yourself. If you prefer slower, more meditative yoga, become a teacher in Ananda, Iyengar, or other forms of Restorative yoga. If you like the intensity of Ashtanga or Vinyasa yoga, learn how to teach this type of yoga class instead.

The more you like practicing a particular style, the more passion you will have when teaching yoga. The students will sense your excitement and interest. This makes for a better yoga class.

If you don’t currently have much experience with yoga, take a few classes in a few different styles. See which ones you feel most comfortable with. Talk to the yoga instructor to learn what they do and don’t like about teaching that class. Their experiences can provide additional insight for making your decision.

You might also decide to reach out to your current training clients and ask if there is a specific style of yoga they’d be interested in learning more about. This might influence your yoga teacher training course selection. It would also tell you which type of yoga would be easiest to promote.

Selecting a Yoga Teacher Training Program

Once you decide on a yoga style, the next step is to choose a yoga teacher training course or yoga TTC. Here are a few factors to consider before selecting a training program:

  • Course format. Is the course an online yoga teacher training program or do you have to appear in person? If the materials are online, you can take the training course at your convenience. For instance, ISSA students can complete their yoga training online on the days and weeks that work best for them. 
  • Course outline. What will you learn if you take that specific teacher training course? Does it teach about yoga philosophy and history? Will you learn how to break each pose down to modify it for individual students? Ultimately, how in-depth is the teacher training? The more you learn about yoga, the easier it is to teach. Your higher level of understanding helps you better explain this practice to your students.
  • Styles taught. Some yoga teacher training programs offer a broad overview of the practice. When you graduate, you are a certified yoga teacher. Others focus on one specific style. This offers you certification in one style of yoga, such as Ashtanga or Vinyasa. You become an expert in that style by taking that teacher training course.
  • Your studio’s requirements. It’s also important to consider the teacher training program required by your yoga studio. Do they mandate that you take teacher training with a particular school or organization? If so, this would dictate where you need to apply.
  • Cost. Each yoga school sets its own prices. Before you sign up for any teacher training course, ask what these prices are. This helps you create a budget for your education as a certified yoga instructor. 

Marketing Your New Yoga Teacher Certification

If you work for a yoga studio, they will take care of your marketing for you. But if you take a teacher training program to grow your fitness business, it becomes your responsibility to market your new certification.

On your website, include your certification on your home page. If you have an about page, talk about it there too. Also mention which teacher training program you completed. This reinforces that you are properly trained.

Some yoga schools provide websites upon graduation. The ISSA is one. Once you complete your yoga teacher training, you are given a free website. It even provides sample text if you aren’t sure what to write.

Don’t forget to market your new training to your current students. Share that you will now be teaching yoga in your monthly newsletter. Offer discounts if they join within a certain time frame. Make that discount higher if they bring a friend.

If you’re new to teaching yoga, you may have to educate your students about the benefits this practice offers. Explain how research has connected yoga with increased muscle strength, better cardiovascular function, and reduced stress. It even helps with addiction recovery and mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. 

If your certification is in a specific yoga style, explain the benefits that style offers when marketing your new service. Help prospective students see the value it can provide. Talk about how it is a great addition to their current fitness routine.

Next, share why they should choose you as their yoga instructor. Do you have more training than other instructors in your area? Are you a more caring and compassionate teacher? Do you offer Vinyasa flow or aerial yoga classes when no one else does? Tell them how you are better than your competition.

Marketing yourself as a yoga teacher requires that you answer one question for your prospective students: what is in it for me? If all you talk about is your training, it will be hard to make a connection. But if you can get them to see how Hatha yoga offers them a better life, you’ll have an easier time getting them to sign up. This is what grows your fitness business.

If you are interested in teacher training, the ISSA offers Yoga Instructor Certification. This course teaches yoga philosophy and style. It also provides techniques and tools for teaching yoga therapy. Boost your fitness business by becoming a certified instructor today.

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