So you want to learn how to get yoga certified?
Congratulations! The call to become a yoga instructor is a rewarding one and — due to collective trauma and all-time high-stress levels — a skill our world needs now more than ever before.
Don’t want to become a yoga instructor…
…but still, want to pursue a yoga certification?
You’re not alone!
Many students choose to get a yoga instructor certification to embark on a life-changing journey of transformation and liberation while deepening their yoga practice and knowledge.
No matter why a yoga certification program has piqued your interest, the question now becomes:
“With so many yoga teacher training programs available, how do I choose the best way to get yoga certified?”
Becoming a yoga teacher can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be.
This article will walk you through everything you need to know to choose a yoga instructor certification that makes sense for your goals. Let’s dive in.
How to get yoga certified? | Five essential questions to ask about yoga certification
“Yoga is a light, which once lit will never dim. The better your practice, the brighter your flame.” – B. K. S. Iyengar.
Ready to ignite your practice with a yoga teacher certification? Here’s what you need to know before jumping into any program:
1. The Yoga Alliance: What it is and why it matters
It’s hardly any secret that yoga has skyrocketed in popularity. Studies reveal one in ten Americans now practice yoga — a number that only shows signs of increasing.
So, there’s no shortage of opportunities for skilled yoga teachers dedicated to furthering their knowledge and practice. But this surge in popularity also means there are more yoga teacher training programs than ever before.
Here’s the problem:
Yoga is a multi-billion dollar industry that remains largely self-regulated. Legally, you don’t need a license to teach yoga — even though studios and students want to ensure their teachers have a safe knowledge base.
Enter the Yoga Alliance.
The Yoga Alliance is a nonprofit, national accrediting organization that keeps track of registered yoga schools and teachers. For a yoga teacher training to be accredited through the Yoga Alliance, the school must meet a strict set of educational standards.
Upon graduating from an accredited yoga school, you can register through the governing body to receive RYT certification and bolster your yoga business.
Most yoga studios now require students to show they are, in fact, accredited by the Yoga Alliance. It’s a smart way to ensure the safety of students. So, while technically you can teach yoga without certification, we don’t recommend it.
Just as you wouldn’t visit a chiropractor without formal training, you wouldn’t want to take anatomical yoga advice from a teacher with inadequate experience.
To sum it up:
The first step to how to get yoga certified is to choose a certification registered through the Yoga Alliance. You’ll know the training program in which you’re investing covers all necessary facets of how to teach yoga, and you’ll set yourself up for success in the future, too.
Note: Blue Osa’s 200-hr RYT and 300-hr RYT are accredited through Yoga Alliance®. Upon receipt of your Blue Osa certification, you can register through this governing body.
2. Understand the types of yoga instructor certifications
Are you already an avid student of a specific yoga style, like Ashtanga or Yin yoga? Or, like most students, are you yet to nail down which yoga style suits your needs and interests?
There are many yoga lineages, each of which offers unique benefits and teachings. Yoga teacher training programs tend to specialize in specific styles, so before diving into any yoga certification, ensure you align with the instructions and philosophies of that lineage.
Otherwise, you might end up in a tricky situation like my friend; let’s call her Amy.
Amy was an avid yoga practitioner and wanted to invest in a yoga certification program to deepen her practice and make extra income on the weekends. A local studio offered an affordable Bikram yoga teacher training that worked with her schedule, so she signed up.
The only program? Amy quickly discovered Bikram didn’t work for her. She finished the training, then never practiced (or taught) Bikram again.
Now, I don’t say this to hate on Bikram yoga. My point is that every style of yoga might not resonate with you and your goals. So, if you’re wondering how to get yoga certified, do your research and take plenty of classes to ensure a good fit before investing your hard-earned money in what should be a life-changing experience.
Here are a few of the most common styles of yoga:
What yoga style does Blue Osa teach?
Blue Osa is an anomaly, so to speak. We believe in a holistic approach to yoga that prioritizes “Function Over Form.”
Influenced mainly by the Himalayan Tradition of Yoga, we combine the timeless wisdom of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras and teachings passed down by a long line of yoga masters from Hatha, Iyengar, Vinyasa, and Kundalini.
We believe yoga is for everybody, so we’ve created a yoga instructor certification that focuses on the individual.
We don’t believe you must follow one strict yoga methodology to practice yoga “correctly.” That said, we do think knowledge of anatomy and muscle activation is critical to practice — and teach — yoga safely. So, all our yoga teacher training programs include our signature Applied Yoga Anatomy and Muscle Activation™ to benefit you and your students.
3. Decide the yoga teacher training format that’s right for you
Now that you have a solid grasp on what style of yoga you’re interested in, it’s time to find a program that works for your schedule, budget, and goals.
Most yoga teacher training programs are at least 200-hours. (You need this minimum for Yoga Alliance registration.)
So, how to get yoga certified with 200 hours of training under your belt?
Weekend Yoga Certification Programs
Some yoga studios offer part-time certification programs over many months. If you can’t take time away from work or family, this is a smart way to pursue your yoga education while juggling other responsibilities.
Online Yoga Teacher Training
If you desire even more flexibility, yoga instructor certifications online are an increasingly popular option. Now, there are additional questions you absolutely must ask before selecting an online yoga training:
- How many hours include live interaction?
- What is the community experience?
- Do you get practice teaching experience?
We’ve created a complete guide to selecting an online yoga teacher training program, so check out this resource to see if online training is right for you.
Yoga Teacher Training Immersions
Let’s imagine the following scenario…
You wake up at sunrise to the sounds of howler monkeys and scarlet macaws. Fresh ginger tea is waiting for you. You grab a mug, then find a private nook and get cozy with your journal.
From here, you head to the sun-dappled yoga deck for morning meditation while gazing out to the ocean. The rest of the day’s itinerary includes yoga classes, farm-to-table cuisine, and refreshing dips in the chlorine-free pool.
For an entire month, you have no errands to attend to and no obligations or hassles. Just 28 days at a secluded beach resort to devote yourself to self-discovery — to listen to your soul so you can become the best version of yourself.
Sounds pretty incredible, right?
It is — and it’s why an immersion experience is our preferred answer to how to get yoga certified.
You already know the practice of yoga can change your life. An immersion gives you the space you need to go deep and leave transformed.
Can’t get away for an entire month?
Blue Osa also offers 14-day yoga training programs for those students who want all the benefits of a yoga immersion program in a condensed timeline.
4. Find a teacher that resonates with your goals and style
You’ve found a yoga teacher training program that works for your schedule, interests, and budget. Now, before you click purchase, familiarize yourself with the lead yoga instructors.
We also believe that inclusion in yoga matters too. The words we use have the power to harm or heal — and the best yoga teachers know how to be intentional with their words to create a safe, healing atmosphere.
The beauty of yoga is that each instructor brings a unique life experience, training, and perspective to the practice. Just as you’ll resonate with different yoga styles more than others, so too will you find yoga teachers with whom you “click.”
You’re going to spend a lot of time with your lead yoga instructors, so before ending your search on how to get yoga certified, take a few classes or familiarize yourself with their teachings before the yoga certification.
Blue Osa’s lead yoga instructor
Yogi Aaron is the owner, operator, and lead yoga facilitator at Blue Osa. During his 30 years of study, Yogi Aaron has developed an intrinsic understanding of yogic philosophy, anatomy, and the subtle body and brings an innovative Applied Yoga Anatomy and Muscle Activation approach to his teachings.
Now, don’t just read about Yogi Aaron; take one of his classes to discover if his teaching style is right for you!
Once you’ve found a yoga teacher you connect with, here are a few questions you can ask to further learn about your instructor:
- How long have you been teaching yoga?
- What are your credentials?
- What is your yoga philosophy?
- Which style of yoga do you teach?
- Who were your yoga teachers?
- How long has your yoga school been training students? Do they have testimonials?
5. Review the yoga instructor certification curriculum
You’re almost ready to get yoga certified! The final step to choosing the right yoga teacher training program is to review the course curriculum.
Look for a well-rounded curriculum that covers:
- Techniques, training, and practice
- Anatomy and physiology
- Yoga philosophy
- Teaching methodology + building a practicum
- The business of yoga
Most yoga teacher training programs tend to skim through anatomy. This is a mistake. If you want to teach yoga safely and effectively, it’s crucial to have a solid understanding of how the body works.
At Blue Osa, you’ll learn about human physical anatomy and physiology (bodily systems, organs, etc.) and energy anatomy and physiology (chakras, nadis, etc.)
You’ll also receive training in Yogi Aaron’s signature Applied Yoga Anatomy and Muscle Activation™.
How to get yoga certified so you can uncover your life’s purpose
Maybe you want to get yoga certified to share the life-changing gift of yoga with your community. Or perhaps you’re ready to embark on a personal journey of transformation — to go deep and uncover your life’s purpose.
No matter why you feel called to get yoga certified, it’s essential to choose a yoga teacher training program that works for you. Follow the steps above, and you’ll be well on your way to matching with the right yoga program.
To recap, here are five questions to ask before signing up for any yoga certification:
• Is the yoga teacher training certified with the Yoga Alliance?
• What style of yoga does the program teach?
• Who are the lead yoga instructors?
• Is it an immersive yoga teacher training program? (Or is it online or on the weekends?)
• What is the yoga certification curriculum?
The Blue Osa yoga teacher training experience
I’m going to go out on a limb here…
Since you made it to the end of this article on how to get yoga certified, I’m guessing you’re ready to say: yes.
Yes to more peace and balance in your life — yes to showing up for yourself, doing the deep inner work, and leaving a confident yoga instructor in tune with your higher calling.
Maybe getting yoga certified still sounds a little scary. That’s okay (and expected.)
But now, it’s up to you to answer the call and deepen your yoga practice.
We’d love to welcome you to Blue Osa so you can do precisely that.
We’ve been dubbed one of the best yoga teacher training programs in Costa Rica (and the world, actually.) And it’d be our honor to support you on your yoga journey.
So, hop over to our yoga teacher training page to learn more about our immersive experiences. If we’re a good fit for you, we hope to see you soon.
About Yogi Aaron
Yogi Aaron is the owner, operator, and lead yoga facilitator at Blue Osa and of the yoga teacher trainings.
Creator of Applied Yoga Anatomy + Muscle Activation™ Yogi Aaron brings three decades’ worth of study, mentorship, and experience into his teachings, with a strong emphasis on yoga therapy and alignment.
The Muscle Activation Yoga Classes is an exploration into your body, its muscles, and to learn how to improve its function through using Applied Yoga Anatomy + Muscle Activation™.
Find out more about yoga teacher trainings with Yogi Aaron at Blue Osa Yoga Retreat + Spa.