Do you want to start a career as a yoga teacher or you want to open a yoga studio? If YES, here is a list of licenses & certification you need to teach yoga.

Yoga instructors guide their students in the practice of yoga. They help students learn correct form of yoga poses without hurting themselves. Yoga instructors may also provide guidance in yogic philosophy as well as areas complementary to yoga, such as nutrition and meditation.

Professionals in this field teach group classes, workshops, or one-on-one classes at yoga studios, fitness centers, and related facilities. Teaching yoga is your opportunity to touch someone’s life in a positive way by teaching them to be flexible, how to build their strength and how to enhance their life, through a feeling of unity with all of life.

What Licenses Do You Need to Teach Yoga and Open a Yoga Studio?

While anyone can set up a yoga studio if the know how to perform the many asanas required of a professional, but only knowing your asana does not qualify you to set up and run your own yoga studio. Some yoga instructors usually wonder whether they are required to get a license before they can start their small business.

In case you are confused, business licenses are permits issued by government agencies that allow individuals or companies to conduct business within the government’s geographical jurisdiction. It is the authorization to start a business issued by the local government.

In most states in the Unites States, getting a license is not made compulsory for a yoga teacher. In fact, if you  have your certifications in place and renew them as required, you can easily start and run your yoga business.

Yoga Licensing

So far, there are currently no states that regulate yoga (though some are looking seriously into it). With the current popularity of yoga, it is likely that state regulation will become a reality in the future. Licensing can also refer to the ability to use the name of a specific style in your marketing materials.

Some schools of yoga have licensing agreements separate from their certifications. Once you have met the standards for certification, you may choose to pay the licensing fee in order to promote your classes as this particular style.

Yoga Certification

Certification refers to the completion of a certain program of training according to the standards of that particular school. There are no universal standards for yoga certification, so two certified teachers from different schools can have completely different skill sets.  Most yoga studios require that you have a certification in order to teach there.

For some yoga studios, a certification is all the credentials you need. Others require you to be registered with the Yoga Alliance or have graduated from a Yoga Alliance approved training. And some places require you to teach an “audition” class in addition to your credentials in order to more clearly see your skills in action.

How to Get a Yoga Teacher Certificate

To get a yoga certification that would enable you teach yoga or open your own yoga studio in the united states, you have to get some level of training with a school that is registered with Yoga Alliance, the biggest yoga organisation in the states, or any other popular yoga organisation.

Yoga Alliance is a U.S.-based nonprofit membership trade and professional organization for yoga teachers. The organization is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. Their mission is to promote and support the integrity and diversity of the teaching of yoga.

In order to bring some consistency to the burgeoning market of teacher training programs, The Yoga Alliance was formed in 1997. The Yoga Alliance sets minimum standards for teacher training programs. Programs that meet these standards and pay a fee can market their trainings as “Yoga Alliance Approved”.

Graduates of these trainings can then register with the Yoga Alliance and then promote themselves as RYT – Registered Yoga Teachers. Registration is available at 4 different levels: RYT 200, E-RYT 200, RYT 500, and E-RYT 500. The E stands for experienced and indicates a certain number of hours teaching since the completion of teacher training.

To become a certified yoga instructor from a Yoga Alliance approved program, you’ll need to complete at least 200 hours of coursework. This includes contact hours and hands-on work. Some of these courses may have extra requirements, such as mentoring and class evaluations.

If want to take your yoga training certification to the next level, you should consider an advanced training program. This advanced certification is a 500-hour programs that will advance your skills and teaching expertise, allowing you to work with special populations.

This is important if you plan to work with children, in schools, with the elderly, with chronically ill people, pregnant women, and other specialized populations. You will likely be required to complete years of teaching and training to achieve the highest level of certification.

Once you have completed your training and earned your certification, you have gained the right to place the initials CYT (Certified Yoga Teacher) after your name to signify your certification. This initials greatly boosts your  credibility in the yoga community at large.

The average time to complete a 200-hour course is between three to five months. Completing the 500-hour course level may take from six months to a year for successful completion. Again, it all depends on your level of commitment and how fast you want to get the training done.