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How to Become a Registered Yoga Teacher

Reading Time: 5 minutes


DATE: 2023-01-23

Thinking about becoming a Registered Yoga Teacher? Practicing yoga offers many benefits. It reduces stress, increases energy, and improves muscle tone. If you’re interested in teaching yoga to others, earning your Registered Yoga Teacher designation can help you achieve this goal. Plus, taking this route offers many advantages.

Benefits of Becoming a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT)

If you are a personal trainer, earning your designation as a Registered Yoga Teacher, or RYT, offers another stream of revenue. It widens your client base, allowing you to work with even more fitness clients.

Or maybe your goal is to provide your current clients with another exercise option. This helps keep them motivated by preventing them from becoming bored. It also enables you to offer your clientele a more complete fitness program. You could create a yoga program for weightlifters, for instance. 

Completing training at a Registered Yoga School bolsters your credibility. It tells potential clients that you have the education required to develop a safe and effective yoga class. 

Think like a fitness client for a moment. Who would you rather have as your teacher: someone who has completed a yoga teacher training program or someone who simply claims to know all about this age-old practice? In this way, becoming an RYT sets you apart from your competition. It also distinguishes you from a teacher who lacks this type of training. 

Another benefit of earning your RYT designation is that you learn how to be a more effective instructor. It teaches you how to break down yoga poses so they are easier to understand. Or how to modify them for a client who is injured or less flexible. 

You also gain a better understanding of the benefits offered by each pose. This enables you to create a complete yoga training sequence.

Registered Yoga Teacher vs Yoga Instructor Certification

To be clear, RYT and certified yoga teacher are not the same. Though, these titles are often used interchangeably.

Being an RYT means that you’ve completed a yoga teacher training program approved by the Yoga Alliance. This is an organization committed to creating and upholding standards within the yoga profession. Therefore, schools must meet Yoga Alliance standards to be credentialed through this agency. 

Other training institutions offer yoga teaching certification. Completing this type of teacher training program also says that you have a basic level of knowledge in yoga instruction. The difference is that you can get your yoga certification from schools not registered with the Yoga Alliance.

Requirements for Teaching Yoga as an RYT

Another fundamental way that RYT differs from that of a certified yoga instructor is in teaching requirements. There are typically no teaching requirements when earning your yoga certification. As long as you complete the teacher training program, you are a certified yoga instructor. This is not necessarily the case when becoming an RYT.

The Yoga Alliance offers a few RYT designations. The first is RYT 200. Earning this title says that you’ve completed 200 hours of teacher training at a registered school. If you decide to earn your RYT 500, you must complete 500 hours of teacher training. You also need a minimum of 100 hours of teaching experience. 

Higher-level RYT designations require even more experience. For example, you must have taught yoga for at least 1,000 hours over two years or more to become an E-RYT 200. The E-RYT 500 designation mandates a minimum of 2,000 hours of teaching experience over at least four years.

What You Will Learn in a Yoga Teacher Training Course

Regardless of whether you decide to pursue your RYT or yoga certification, you can expect to learn similar things. Topics covered in both types of yoga instructor programs include:

  • anatomy and physiology

  • yoga theory and philosophy

  • effective techniques for teaching yoga

  • how to break down each asana (pose)

  • ways to modify poses for patients with injuries or limitations

  • proper breathing techniques

  • developing a safe yoga sequence

  • tips for operating a successful yoga studio

Some yoga teacher training courses provide instruction on specific styles of yoga. This is beneficial if you want to teach only restorative yoga, for instance. Some courses teach you how to instruct more athletic forms of yoga. Ashtanga yoga and Anusara yoga both fall into this category.

Maybe you want to work with a certain demographic. There are teacher training courses for children’s yoga or prenatal yoga, just to name two. Having more in-depth knowledge helps increase your success as a yoga instructor.

Where to Find Yoga Teacher Training

Obtaining your RYT requires attending a school with Yoga Alliance certification. The Alliance offers an online search. This provides a list of schools authorized by this organization, such as ISSA. You can use this same page to identify Alliance-approved continuing education courses.

When pursuing your yoga certification, you have even more yoga school options. A variety of institutions can certify you as a yoga instructor. It’s more a matter of choosing one that fits your wants and needs.

Before selecting a yoga teaching program, review its curriculum. This ensures that it provides the information needed to boost your fitness career. Does the program appear to be complete? If not, you might want to choose a different yoga school.

Another factor to consider is whether the course is in person or online. Online yoga teacher training offers the convenience of becoming a yoga teacher within your own home. There is no commute to class. And you can review the course materials at any time.

Attending in-person teacher training offers benefits as well. It provides access to a qualified instructor who is standing right in front of you. Plus, some people learn better face to face. If you’re one of them, choosing a classroom-based program may be best.

If you plan to teach for a specific yoga studio, also check its training requirements. Some employers require their staff to attend a certain yoga school. Completing a different training program does not qualify you for a position with that employer.

How to Become a Registered Yoga Teacher If You’re New to Yoga

The idea of pursuing your RYT designation may feel overwhelming. Especially if you don’t have a lot of experience with a yoga practice. 

Just remember that every instructor had to start somewhere. Plus, you don’t need years of teaching experience to help others learn the art of yoga. All you need is passion and a desire to promote its benefits.

It might also be helpful to take a few yoga classes. See what other trainers are doing when leading a yoga routine. Watch their techniques and learn from them. Meet with them after class and express your interest in becoming a yoga instructor. Ask them for their advice. 

What would they have done differently? Is there a particular yoga school they’d recommend? What are their tips for success? Get their input about what it’s like to teach yoga. 

The more you expose yourself to the yoga practice, the more comfortable it will become. Attending a few classes by different instructors helps you identify the techniques you like. It also helps you realize the teaching methods you don’t. You can learn something from each one.

And if you’re ready to enter the role of teacher, ISSA’s Yoga 200 is a teacher training course registered with Yoga Alliance. This online course teaches basic yoga philosophy and theory. It provides effective yoga instruction techniques. You will also learn tips for creating a successful yoga practice. Begin your journey today!

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