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Nobody becomes a yoga instructor overnight, but if you’re someone who has fallen in love with the practice and you’re ready to invest in the training, becoming a yoga teacher could be the best gig for mixing your work with your passion. The Bay Area is full of options for training and teaching, so if you’ve been wanting to deepen your discipline, you’re in the right plac

Step 1: Make sure it's the right job for you

Are you ready? Becoming a teacher in any subject requires time and knowledge, and with yoga, it also requires lots of practice. The length of time you’ve been practicing isn’t as important as having a very strong foundation in at least one type of yoga, and being able to demonstrate all elements of that practice.  

Assess your finances

Before dropping everything to begin your new life as a yoga instructor, take stock of your current expenses. Consider that you’ll need to pay for certification and training, so if you already have one, it could be a good idea to keep your current job.

Next, sketch out a financial plan that includes your ideal target income and the various yoga work you can realistically do to get there. Keep in mind that teaching group and private yoga classes at a studio or gym may include giving a portion of your payment to that business.

Do you want to put in the hours?

Becoming a yoga instructor is not the kind of job where you can expect to keep a standard work day. Be prepared to teach early in the morning or late in the evening, and the weekends may be when the majority of your students are available.

Step 2: Decide what type of yoga to focus on

There are many, many varieties of yoga, and you should become an instructor in the types that you know best and have the most experience with. Some practices promote body restoration and muscle relaxation, others are more focused on building strength and power, while others have a greater emphasis on spirituality and meditation.

Find the practice that best suits you and your interest in yoga, so that the certification process will be both a personal and professional development.

Step 3: Get certified

To get certified to be a Register Yoga Teacher (RYT), you’ll need to find the school, studio or training program that is approved by the Registered Yoga Alliance. Do some research, read reviews, and be sure to get a clear idea of what your instructors specialize in.

Talk to other students to find out what they like or dislike about the program. Finally, make sure that classes are at times and places that work with your schedule. 

Here are a few teacher training programs in the Bay Area for you to explore:

  1. Namaste: They offer very extensive teacher training and immersion offerings, including two different 200 Hr. Teacher Trainings.
  2. Yoga Tree: This San Francisco yoga center has RYT 200-hr and 500-hr yoga certification, plus mentoring and coaching.
  3. Yoga Garden SF: Get RYT 200 and 500-hour certification, plus specialties in prenatal and kids yoga at this SF center.
  4. You & the Mat: This Oakland studio is partnering with Annie Carpenter to bring her signature SmartFLOW® Teacher Training to yoga instructors.
  5. Yoga Mayu: Located in Noe and the Mission, this San Francisco school includes a deep understanding of history and practical knowledge to their training programs.
  6. Yoga Works: Yoga Works specializes in Vinyasa flow, and offers 200/300-hour certification in SF, around California, and all over the world.
  7. Yoga to the People: With certification programs in SF and Berkeley, you can earn a 200-hour certification in three months.
  8. Moxie Yoga & Fitness: This San Francisco studio offers a 200-hour yoga alliance teacher training.
  9. Laughing Lotus: They offer 200-hour teaching trainings in the fall, along with advanced teaching trainings and 8-week apprenticeships.

Step 4: Get experience

Reach out

Contact local yoga studios and find out where you can begin teaching. Some places to think about include International Orange Spa, Bikram Yoga Seacliff, Mint Studios, Yoga Garden SF, Namaste Yoga + Wellness, just to name a few.

Browse job listings

Search for jobs on job listing sites. Check out sites like Localwise for opportunities to teach yoga or to see if you can volunteer your time to earn teaching hours.

Look for alternatives

Some yoga studios are looking for instructors with several years of teaching experience, so don’t forget that you can get experience by reaching out and bringing yoga to new communities. Get to know what’s happening in your neighborhood, at local parks, schools, community centers, recreation centers, meet-up groups, and more. Also, consider leading some free yoga events, like Free Yoga in Golden Gate Park.

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