yoga teacher training

3 Key Steps to Becoming a Yoga Teacher

Take Your Love Affair with Yoga to the Next Level

Perhaps you have found yourself in the steamy, passionate throes of a new love affair with yoga. Or maybe, your love is further along – committed, stable and deeply rooted. Either way, you are feeling like you may be ready to take the next step.

The thought of combining your passion for yoga with your career is exhilarating and would feel ultimately satisfying.

So your next thought may be, “How can I make yoga a centerpiece in my life? Is it possible to get paid to do what I love and inspire others along the way?”

Becoming a yoga teacher is the natural first step for making this dream a reality.

And thankfully, there is a clear, step-by-step roadmap for doing this successfully and sustainably.

Follow these 3 simple steps and discover the next, even more deeply fulfilling stage of your relationship with yoga.

Step #1: Develop a Regular Practice

Having a regular practice BEFORE you jump into a yoga teacher training is highly recommended.

We have found that those who come to our teacher training programs who have been practicing yoga regularly (i.e. 3-4 time per week) for a year or two (the longer the better!) excel much faster than those who have been practicing irregularly or for a shorter period of time.

Those with a less demonstrated commitment to yoga don’t absorb the information as well and tend to drop out of trainings or burn out early.

The moral of the story? No matter how in love you feel right now, make sure you and yoga spend some quality time getting to know each other! Explore the inner workings of yoga and give yourself some time to observe your response to the depths of this art.

Step #2: Take Some Yoga Workshops & Intensives

There are many subtleties and nuances to the practice of yoga and there are always ways to take your practice further.

A great way to begin exploring the deeper aspects of yoga is by taking a workshop on a specialty theme. For example, you can explore the world of arm balances, twists, backbends or hip-openers in a weekend workshop. Many studios offer these workshops and you can explore our offerings here (LINK).

Yoga retreats are also powerful opportunities to cultivate your relationship with yoga. Even if the retreat itself is less “serious,” the fact that you are taking yourself out of your daily reality to study yoga will fundamentally shift your relationship to the practice.

And last, yoga intensives enable you to go beyond the comforts of your regular practice, break habits, and study the more multi-faceted aspects of yoga. Our most popular intensive, The 5 Week Yoga Challenge, will be held again this fall. Stay tuned for more information!

You will be astounded at how far you can take your yoga studies. Yoga will continue to reveal its depths to you if you show your sincere interest in understanding.

Step #3: Do a 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training

And finally, when you feel you are ready to really go for it, a 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training is the next step.

We highly recommend going with a Yoga Alliance Certified training option and we always lean toward the trainings that take a little more time to complete (e.g. 5 weeks to a year vs. the shorter, 10 day or 2-week options).

10 day or 2-week trainings, also referred to as “drive through trainings” may give you some valuable information, but usually don’t give you enough time to experience or build the confidence you need to successfully hold a full yoga class.

In addition, teachers who come out of these quicker trainings normally tend to ambitiously begin teaching A LOT of classes per week (some try to do 20 classes in a week). We have found this approach to be unsustainable and the burn-out rate is fast and furious!

Training programs that are 5-10 weeks usually provide enough time to absorb the information in a deeper way. With a longer training, you will usually meet with your teacher and training group regularly, week after week. Building on what you’ve learned with space in between to experience what has been given to you.

We have chosen to make our 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training in Hawaii 5-7 weeks long because our goal is to produce confident teachers with a solid foundation for long-term success. We have found that 7-weeks enables just enough space for this foundation to begin building in a sustainable way (although someday we would LOVE to offer a year long training as that would be even more ideal!)

There are also training courses that take years to complete. For example, Iyengar Yoga Training can take up to 4 years to complete. This is real, university-type training and education that is perfect for someone who wants to go as deep as possible with their yoga studies.

The students who take their time have much more staying power. The slower and deeper you can go, the more solid of a teacher you will become.

We also suggest that you take some classes from the teacher or teachers who will be teaching the training. It is also helpful to take classes from those who have trained with the trainer. The key here is to make sure you feel compatible with the style and approach of the teacher before committing to a particular training.

The Ideal Yoga Teacher Candidate

There are certain qualities and behaviors that make an individual an ideal match for yoga teaching.

If you are someone who has been practicing for years and if you are living and breathing the yoga philosophy, you are on the right track.

If you find yourself reading yoga books, sitting with the philosophy and really working toward becoming an embodiment of the yogic lifestyle, yoga may be the one for you.

And if you are studying nutrition or ayurveda, are a massage therapist, or participating in other alternative studies, this may be a match made in heaven!

Ready to Make the Commitment?

Congratulations to those of you who are feeling the call to teach! This path is highly rewarding physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

And If you are ready to make the commitment to yoga, yoga will prove to be an incredible lifelong companion – nurturing and fulfilling you for years to come.

We are wishing you the best on your continued journey into the heart of yoga.

And we are so grateful for the opportunity to cross paths along the way…

In love,

The Mangala Yoga Team


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