The word “Yoga”means “Union” and to practise yoga is said to create a union between the body and mind. The role of a Yoga Instructor is to guide and teach their students the different exercises that are designed to help improve strength, balance and flexibility.
They guide students through a large variety of postures which are also known as asanas, as well as focussing on relaxation techniques and breathing exercises known as pranayamas.
As a yoga instructor you may be required to work with people who have specific health problems and help them to find ways to over come them.
You may also be required to discuss their life style and this could be made healthier. This can be done in a classroom/studio setting working with a class of people or this maybe done on a one to one basis dependent on the student’s requirements.
As the Instructor you are responsible for designing and developing the format of your class and their routines that are involved to ensure that the students reach the benefits of maximum fitness.
To become a Yoga Instructor you will need to have trained and graduated with the British Wheel of Yoga Teaching Certificate.
The British Wheel of Yoga is recognised as the governing body for yoga in the UK by the Sports Council. This qualification is the most widely recognised in the UK and the European Community.
The course curriculum focuses on the yoga techniques, meditation and relaxation. You will also learn teaching methodology, which will involve lesson planning and will equip you with the ability to demonstrate the different yoga techniques and gives you the needed skills to be able to assist and correct your students.
You will learn about teaching styles and what good qualities you will need to be a good teacher.
The course also covers the philosophy of yoga both ancient times to the present. You will be taught about the anatomy and physiology of the body. And lastly the course will teach you the roles and ethics of being a Yoga Instructor. On this course you will also get the opportunity to attend some more focused classes covering topics such as –
These will be facilitated by specific teachers with the relevant skills and knowledge in these areas and usually take place as a full day work shop. You will be continually assessed throughout the course and you are required to pass in all areas of the course.
You are required to complete two essays, a research project and carry out one exam. You will also be required to plan three lessons and carry these out as an assessment. On completion of this course you are entitled to register with the Yoga Alliance as a Level 1 teacher who has trained for up to 200 hours.
This alliance was established in 1998 in America and the course run by the British Wheel of Yoga has been approved by the Yoga Alliance to ensure that the course meets the correct needs and standards.
This training programme has been designed to be challenging, enjoyable whilst maintaining a clear and professional structure that respects the philosophy of Yoga!
The employment outlook for Yoga Instructors is a positive one; there is even a demand for yoga teachers these days. This is because of its popularity which has really grown especially with more people taking an interest in their health and fitness.
As a Yoga Instructor you are likely to work some kind of studio or teaching area. This could be anything from a community hall to a leisure centre or some dedicated yoga centre.
The class numbers can range from a large class down to one to one session which some people even carry out in their own student’s home.
Your hours will vary; some classes will involve early morning starts so that you can cater for those who come to a class before work for example, 6am starts sometimes. But then you may find yourself holding classes in the evening too.
A yoga class is very rarely longer than about 1hour 30minutes. You need to be very dedicated and committed to yoga as this can be a very tiring job.
As for employers you could work for one of the large leisure centre chains or you can apply to work for one of the large Yoga organisations that are in the UK which specialise in certain forms of yoga so you would be required to take one of their accredited courses in TriYoga or Bikram Yoga for example.
With regards to earnings, this will vary from teacher to teacher. Usually when you hold a class the students will pay per head per hour and this charge will also vary as this is dependent on the experience of the teacher, the facilities of the venue and also what the students are willing to pay.
On average a class usually ranges from £10 to £15 per session.
Quite a lot of Yoga Instructors work on a part time basis but a full time experienced Yoga Instructor may earn anything from £15,000 to £60,000 per year depending on the size of the class and how regularly the classes are held.
In terms of career progression you can continue to teach your regular classes to those students who are just beginning their learning of Yoga or you might interested in becoming a tutor who teaches the new Yoga Instructors how to teach. If you are looking for a satisfying, challenging and enjoyable career where you will not only help people to improve their health but also enlighten your own individual life then this may well be the job role for you!!