Have you been thinking about becoming a yoga instructor but aren’t sure how long it will take to get there? Whether you’re just starting or you’ve been practicing for years, you still might be hesitant.
Well, you are in the right place to find out the answer!
In this article, you’ll discover how long you should practice before teaching.
How Long is Required to Become a Yoga Instructor?
How long you need to practice yoga before becoming a teacher is a common question. I even asked it before I started my first course. Likely you are asking the same question because you want to see if your practice is strong enough to join a course.
Well, sorry, but there is no right answer here. BUT. While there is no right answer, in general, most yoga teacher training will tell you to have at least one year of consistent practice before starting the program. With that said I would not discourage anyone who true sincerity. Yoga is much more than just the asana practice, and even if you have not been practicing it long and have the passion and desire I say go for it.
With the small disclaimer that in-person yoga courses are intense! However, as online yoga teacher training courses are available these days – you can take it much easier.
The first training I did; the teacher required everyone to send in a video of their practice so that he could see if you had the strength. While I do not think that is the norm, some teachers have higher bars they set.
The easiest qualifier is how is your physical strength and health
Suppose you are doing an in-person teacher training; then you can expect anywhere from 3-4 hours of asana classes a day, not to ention 6-8 hours of classroom time, 6 days a week for 4 weeks. That is a lot for anybody to handle. Let alone for someone who has never really had a solid practice.
If, for example, you are 60+ and have never done yoga in your life, then maybe you should rethink that a bit; however, if you are super fit and did yoga as a child but only started your real practice 6 months ago, you likely will be fine.
Another qualifier is: what is the type of yoga teacher training program?
If you are doing an ashtanga yoga teacher training program, you will likely want solid practice, as the primary series is no joke. On the other hand, if you are doing a yin yoga or hatha yoga-based teacher training, then you might not need to be as strong or physically fit.
With that being said, most teacher training will have a combination of several different styles of yoga which will require you to have some physical capacity.
What’s your mental space like?
This might be an important question to ask yourself as many of these courses are 10-12 hours a day for a solid month. It’s a full-on retreat. If you went through a breakup or are dealing with a health issue, now is not the time.
Again, it’s all about what you feel comfortable with.
What do you feel comfortable with?
Whether or not your practice is strong is not so much about being physically strong, but strong more in relation to your attunement with the state of yoga. As a yoga course is much more than asana. The practice of yoga has many layers that are not perceptible from the ground.
If you have very little exposure to the teaching and the state that comes about when one is in yoga (which means to yoke or connect), then you might not be prepared for all of the philosophy, teachings, and diction that comes with it.
There is definitely a whole nomenclature when it comes with yogic studies, and being at least familiar with some of the Sanskrit words, meditation practices, and pranayama techniques will help you gain at least a foundation so that you can go deeper into those practices on both a mental and physical level.
It’s all about you
This journey is all about you. You ultimately know what is best for you. Although you might be looking for outside information to help confirm what you already know, no one else’s opinion matters but your own.
Yoga is a very intimate and personal practice that can not be judged from the outside. No matter how flexible you are, that ultimately proves very little in how dedicated or experienced you are in your practice.
There can be very flexible people who know very little about yoga and who are completely unprepared to take a course, and there are others who might be stiff as a board and yet have a much more-centered approach.
If you want to be a yoga teacher because you have dreams of making loads of money, then that might not be the best reason to start immediately.
There is no answer
There really is no right answer to how long you should practice yoga before becoming an instructor. Teaching a yoga class as a new teacher might require some prep, but doing a yoga course you really do not need much knowledge. Everyone is different, and the best way to determine your readiness is by being honest with yourself.
Take an introspective look at your yoga practice. And your intuition will guide you.