Yoga Instructor Overview

Are you a not-so-secret yoga fiend? If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t go anywhere without your mat, you might be on track to becoming a yoga instructor.

Yoga instructors work at fitness centers, yoga studios, or gyms, where they lead yoga practices and help their students improve their physical fitness and mindfulness.

Responsibilities

  • Lead group classes. The main duty for yoga instructors is to create a curriculum and lead groups through various levels and types of yoga practice. This can include doing administrative work for the class, getting equipment together and getting to know what participating clients want.
  • Demonstrate practice and technique. As the expert, you’ll use your body to show the correct way to get into poses, the most beneficial breathing patterns, and tips for achieving spiritual wellness.
  • Offer adjustments and training recommendations. Not all of your students will be as experienced as you, so you’ll need to gently adjust their bodies, provide them with alternative poses and assist them with other parts of their fitness regimens.

Skills

  • Physical fitness and yoga knowledge. It goes without saying that you’ll have to be in good shape to demonstrate good yoga technique and offer instruction at advanced levels. The more you’ve learned about different yoga series, the more you can offer to your clients and employers.
  • Excellent communication. The most important role of a yoga instructor is explaining how to move the body and what this movement should feel like. You’ll need the language and personality to connect with your clients.
  • Motivational skills. Yoga can be a physical and mental struggle, so be ready to push and challenge your students, as well as encourage and congratulate them.

Experience

Becoming a yoga instructor requires some experience, which you can receive through a yoga teacher training program. Instructors receive a credential based on how many hours of teaching experience they have, and whether or not they’ve learned a specialty, like hot yoga or yoga for kids. 

Some employers are looking for fitness instructors who can teach yoga as well as cycling, pilates or other classes, and may prefer to hire a certified group fitness instructor with yoga experience.

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