Many avid yogis consider turning their passion into a career. But how long should you practice yoga before teaching? If you’re hoping to retrain as a yoga instructor, there are several things to consider before taking the leap; however, time isn’t necessarily one of them. Anyone can teach yoga, even relative beginners! Providing that you’ve undergone the required training, of course. While experience isn’t a necessity, it helps you to progress at a faster rate and complete the training course quicker. However, if you’re fairly new to yoga but put in the time and dedication, you’ll get there in the end. Instead of considering how long you’ve practised yoga for, consider the points below before packing your yoga bag and setting off to your course.
There’s one key difference between a yoga student and a yogi. A yoga student goes to classes while a yogi has a home practice, too. If you want to teach yoga, you need to develop a consistent, committed practice schedule. If you’re not practising yoga outside of the studio, you’re probably not ready to teach it. If you want a little guidance outside of the studio, pick up a DVD or audio recording. Alternatively, there are thousands of quality tutorials on YouTube that you can follow along with. Before you begin your training, make sure you’re committed to home practice. Ideally, yoga instructors would have practised at home for at least one year before they started training. However, as little as six months will provide a strong foundation to develop as an instructor. Home practice is where you draw from when you teach and also what sustains you as an instructor.
Before signing up to teacher training, make sure you’ve found a style of yoga that you love. Home practice is a great way to try out new styles and discover which you like best. Over time, it will become clear which style you’re passionate about; typically, it’s the one you’re drawn to during your home practice sessions! Maybe you have a passion for Astanga, or perhaps you’re drawn to Iyengar. Maybe you prefer a more relaxed style like restorative. If you’re drawn to several different styles, you may enjoy taking these influences and creating your own particular style. Whatever path you choose, make sure you’re certain about it before learning to teach. If you’re not sure at this stage, spend a bit more time exploring yoga to find your passion.
It’s believed that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. If you’ve seen independent, external clues drawing you towards a training course, you’re probably ready to get started. One of the main clues is when you find yourself, for whatever reason, teaching a yoga class. This could be because the instructor didn’t show up, or maybe he’s nipped out and asked you to cover for him. Perhaps a friend has asked you to guide them through your practice routine. Whatever the reason, teaching opportunities keep arising even though you’ve had no training. Another clue that you’re ready is when your instructor suggests that you look into teacher training. If you’ve been practising with the same instructor for a few years, they’ll see your potential and may suggest that you take the leap. It’s also said that when the teacher is ready, the students will appear. If friends keep asking you to lead their home practice, that’s a good indicator that you’re ready to start teaching.
If the resources for attending a teaching programme are lining up for you, you’re probably ready to start your teaching journey. To attend a yoga teaching programme, you’ll need time, money and support – particularly if you have family commitments. You may be ready to do your teacher training, but if you don’t have the time or money to make it happen, it’s probably not your time.
While you may be tempted to borrow money for the training, it’s much better to save up and pay it outright instead. Many yoga teachers struggle to make a living wage, especially those who are just starting out. With this in mind, starting your career already in debt isn’t a wise move. The best option is to work hard and save money first while continuing to develop your skills as a yogi. Teaching courses will always be there, so don’t feel that you have to rush into anything. Often, the best teachers are those with years of experience, so developing your skills until you’ve saved the cash will only help you in the long run.
As well as having the money, it’s important to have the time to commit, too. If you’re going to spend money on teacher training, you want to put in everything that you can. Don’t look for the shortest training available because you can only spare a few weeks. To give yourself the best start, wait until you can devote a chunk of time to a great training course.
So, there you have it – how long you should practice yoga before teaching. While there is no set amount of time to practice before teaching, it’s important to have a good understanding of yoga before you begin. With this in mind, we advise practising for a minimum of six months before signing up for a teaching class. Additionally, you’ll need to consider the points above. Before teaching, you’ll need to hit the yoga mat regularly at home, have found your passion, been drawn towards the teaching path and have the time and money to make it all happen. If you’ve got all of these things, you’re probably ready to begin your teaching journey.