The Ultimate Guide To Crafting Your Own Premium Yoga Program
The yoga market is expected to be worth over $66 billion by 2027! Until then, it will grow by 10% every year worldwide. So clearly, if you’re thinking about becoming a yoga instructor, now is the time.
Becoming a yoga teacher is not just a case of passing on what you already know; it requires training, dedication, and the correct certifications.
In return, you get to run your own yoga program and pass on the secrets of health and mindfulness to all your students.
A yoga career is just as rewarding as it sounds! But where do you start?
First, you’ll have to become a qualified instructor. Then, you’ll need to craft your premium yoga program.
Are you feeling overwhelmed? We’ve got you! Below, we round up all the knowledge you need to get started.
How do I qualify as a Yoga Teacher?
There are specific recommended qualifications to obtain when becoming a yoga instructor.
Of course, anyone who understands yoga can pass on what they know. But students need to trust that you know what you’re doing.
To make that happen, teachers need yoga certification. The most common and respected accreditation is through a Registered Yoga School (RYS) with the international Yoga Alliance (YA).
To become a YA certified teacher, you have to register with them. However, you can only do so if you’ve completed a 200-hour YA-approved course. This ensures you’re up to their universal standards.
How do I choose a Yoga Teacher Training?
First of all, make sure the yoga teaching training (YTT) you choose is an RYS that is YA-approved. That means you’ll be qualified as a teacher by course completion. However, YA-approved courses vary greatly.
Some are local to you. For convenience, schools spread the lessons over many weekends.
Others are continuous, multi-week courses. These allow you to immerse yourself in the spiritual side of yoga. They can take place locally or at yoga hotspots around the world.
Choosing the right school for you depends on your situation. If circumstances allow, we recommend a multi-week course. They allow you to immerse yourself completely and absorb the teachings in a calm environment, away from the distractions of everyday life.
When choosing a course, we recommend you pick one that teaches the vital foundations of hatha, vinyasa and yin yoga. If a course teaches you every style of yoga, then it won’t be able to dive deep into any of them. You won’t be able to specialize as a teacher. Having a foundation in hatha vinyasa and yin yoga opens a world of professional opportunities!
But how do you decide which of the yoga styles you would like to learn?
What are the different styles of Yoga?
Yoga is far more than we understand it to be in the West. For example, physical postures, or asanas, are only part of ancient Yogic philosophy. But today, we typically refer to the poses as “yoga.”
Even though the poses are only one small aspect and component of yoga philosophy, there are many different styles. These can be broken into different sub-styles that each have distinct benefits.
“Hatha yoga” originally means ‘Force’ and more recently translates as ‘Sun Moon’ but actually refers to yoga poses as a whole. Nowadays, the term is used to describe a slower practice of asanas often favored by beginners. It is where most people begin, yet is not necessarily the easiest style of yoga. For many, holding a strong posture for a longer period of time is much harder than a dynamic flow!
Yin Yoga, founded by Paulie Zink, Paul Grilley and Sarah Powers, is the calmest style of yoga. These poses are often held for minutes at a time to work on a deeper level, releasing tension in the fascia (the deep connective tissues in the body). They relax the mind and body while focusing on meditation and restoring muscle elasticity.
Iyengar yoga, founded by BKS Iyengar, is all about precision. These poses are also held for extended periods, but there is less focus on relaxation. Instead, it is all about anatomy, muscle strength, and proper form.
Also known as “Flow yoga,” is one of the most popular yoga styles today. The poses are held for short periods, moving quickly from one to the other. In fitness terms, it sits somewhere between a dance workout and a HIIT session!
As with all yoga, it still focuses on proper breathing throughout the movements. The sequences can be slowed down for beginners or those who don’t want a cardio-style workout.
Bikram Yoga, founded by Bikram Choudhury, is a highly specialized form of yoga, comprising the same sequence of 26 poses (each repeated twice each) over a period of 90 minutes. Also called “Hot yoga,” it is performed in a humid room at 42 degrees celcius/ 105 degrees Fahrenheit.
The poses and setup are designed to oxygenate the body. It’s a strenuous style of yoga, not recommended for beginners.
Just as challenging is Ashtanga yoga, founded by Patabhi Jois, which is also comprised of the same set sequence of poses every time… and they’re not easy! This demanding style is best for those with yoga experience who love strict discipline. It is an extremely athletic style of yoga.
One of the most spiritually-focused styles, Kundalini yoga uses dynamic poses to release your natural energy. The classes involve chanting and breathwork and promote self-awareness.
The calmest of the styles, Restorative yoga classes may only cover a handful of poses in an hour. Each pose is held for several minutes to help relax the body. Props are often used to help students stretch and relax correctly.
How do I decide which styles of yoga to teach?
Now that you better understand all the styles of yoga, how do you choose which to specialize in?
If you already have a background in one of the styles of yoga, that may kickstart your learning process. But don’t feel obliged to stick with what you know.
If a type of yoga you haven’t tried yet appeals to you, feel free to choose a course that focuses on it. You’ll have less experience to begin with, but it’s more important to enjoy what you do.
Although it’s best to specialize (in learning and instructing), it’s also good to understand all yoga styles.
At some point, before you begin teaching, we suggest taking classes in as many various styles as possible, including those you’re not familiar with. Though you may not teach that style, it will give you a broader understanding of yoga overall and this will make you a more well-rounded instructor!
What is the focus of my yoga program?
Now that you’ve chosen a style of yoga to teach, what will be the focus of your program?
Yoga programs tend to fall into three general categories:
- Philosophical and spiritual
- Health and fitness
- Kindred yoga (a combination of the two)
Yoga classes – that focus on the spiritual side of the art – center on connecting the mind, body, and spirit. They are often deeply connected to the original roots of yoga. Classes like these may involve spiritual activities like chanting mantras, educating on the mudras, bandhas and other components possibly inspired by Kundalini.
On the other end of the spectrum are classes designed exclusively for fitness. Within the health and fitness genre are courses that focus on strength, cardio, and flexibility, possibly working through arm balances, inversions and other physically challenging or more demanding sequences.
Combination-style classes take from both of these variations. They may focus on spiritual elements to calm and clear the mind while honing in on the physical benefits or challenges.
Yoga teachers must decide what type of class they would like to run, as this will inform the next area – client goals.
What goals will I help clients reach?
What goals would you like your students to achieve? Or rather, which type of student would benefit most from your classes?
For example, is your program designed to help clients with their mental health?
These classes may focus on mindfulness and relieving stress. You would lead your students through poses slowly and in a relaxed way. Your studio would also need to be a calming environment.
On the other hand, your program may be for those with physical health goals. For example, students may want to lose weight or improve their fitness. Your classes would then involve relevant breathing techniques, be active, challenging, and more fast-paced.
The size also informs the feel of your classes. For example, fitness-focused classes may easily be scaled up for a large group, whereas those focused on spirituality or mindfulness may be better in smaller groups or even one-on-one.
Determining the style and goals of your program will ensure you attract the right students.
How to be a good Yoga Teacher
Whatever your style of yoga, the focus is on health, wellbeing and mindfulness. So it’s vital that, as an instructor, you make your students feel as comfortable as possible.
A yoga teacher must never push their students too hard or beyond their limit, understanding their limits with each pose. That way, your students will feel safe, comfortable and calm in your studio. It will become a haven and sacred space away from the bustling outside world.
Take Step One with us!
You have all the knowledge you need to start on your yoga journey. We’re confident that we’re the best place to take step one.
Our 200 hour yoga teacher training program to become a certified instructor has a legacy of over a thousand students and a flawless 5-star rating. Our divine yoga space and school in Bali takes you away from the stresses of day-to-day life and back to the roots of yoga.
Apply for our yoga teacher training courses today to start your journey!
Unable to come to Bali? Check out the amazing teacher trainings, courses and advanced workshops available here.
Still undecided? We’re here to answer all your questions. Reach out to us with anything you’d like to know about the courses or becoming a yoga, breathwork or meditation teacher. Namaste!