Do You Need A Certification to Teach Yoga?

Do You Need A Certification to Teach Yoga?

There’s a lot of gray areas when it comes to whether or not you need a certification to teach yoga. When looking into what you have to have to secure a job, some jobs state that they want you to go through teacher training, and some don’t require any certification at all. So what’s the deal?

Do you need a certification to teach yoga? You don’t need a yoga certification to teach yoga. However, while not all yoga teacher’s positions require a certification, having the certification will open many doors for you. Also, many studios are now requiring new teachers to have it and to have undergone training. 

So what does it take to be a yoga instructor, even without a certification? Where does your yoga journey go from here? Knowing these things before you even go through certification can help you identify the necessity for taking the course and how it can either open or shut doors for your yoga career in the long run. Just keep reading to find out all the details.

» MORE: How Much Do Certified Yoga Teachers Make Vs. Non-Certified?

What Qualifications Do You Need to Be a Yoga Instructor?

Setting aside the consideration of certification, you may wonder what you need to be a quality yoga teacher. Just like anything else, being a yoga teacher is a job, and to do it well or be happy, you have to have certain qualifications and qualities! What sort of qualifications can make the difference when it comes to being a yoga instructor?

In general, you must have an enthusiasm for yoga! If it is going to be your everyday job, being excited to be there and impart your wisdom to your students will make every day a great day for everyone in the class. As you will have to plan classes of all kinds depending on your studio needs, discipline and adaptability can be a great boon. 

Finally, patience is key. It’s the other side of the coin of enthusiasm. Every yoga body is different, and every person is different. This means there may be challenges that you or your students will seek to overcome. Being present enough to coach them slowly through their yoga journey will help you enjoy their growth and help them find a yoga teacher they can trust.

If you forgo certification, experience and apprenticeship may be necessary. Some studios may be willing to take on an uncertified teacher if they have a regular attendance of yoga experience from other studios. Taking an apprenticeship with a well-established yogi or yogini can also help as it lends credibility. 

» MORE: How Much Does It Cost to Get a Yoga Certification?

Disadvantages of Teaching Yoga Without Certification

As stated earlier, a certification is not necessary to teach, but if you choose to say “no thanks” to taking the courses, what can you expect? After all, a yoga certification is a newer issue, and many established yoga instructors don’t have it. Why spend the money on something the tops of the field don’t even have?

While you may find a home at a studio that lets you teach a couple of classes, many uncertified yoga instructors can get turned down from fitness gyms and bigger studios if they don’t have accreditation and a certification. Just like with any other job, having the certification can make or break an applicant. On top of that, consider this: many yoga students are also yoga teachers. 

Yoga is an ongoing journey, and as a teacher, keeping up with a daily practice is just as important as teaching. Many yoga teachers will pass on a class that is not by a certified individual. They looked for experts and established teachers to learn from, and without the certification, it may seem that you have nothing new to teach them. 

How to Get Certified as a Yoga Teacher

Seeking certification can be extremely difficult. That’s because there are so many options available for a person seeking to become a certified yoga teacher! So what can you do to get certified? 

  • Choose Your Yoga Style
  • Find & Complete Yoga Teacher Training
  • Register with Yoga Alliance

First, meditate on what your favorite style of yoga is and what you would want to teach. This can be difficult as there are so many to choose from, from Vinyasa to Nidra and everything in between. Consider what brings you the most joy if you don’t have a dedicated class you attend. Once you found it, it’s time to find a course.

Take your time to really look for a yoga teacher training location that suits your needs. If you are lucky enough to have a home studio that offers YTT, you are already a step ahead. It can be amazing to have a crew of people you already know from your yoga journey, helping you take that next step to become a wonderful yoga teacher!

Finally, after you finish your courses, you might think, “That’s it! I got my certification! Now I can teach.” Before you go blazing off into your first class, take the time to register with the Yoga Alliance. They are one of the sorts of yoga sheriffs who can help you find retreats, other teachers, and possibly even other jobs.

» MORE: Do I Need to Get A Yoga Alliance Certification?

What to Look for in a Yoga Teacher Certification Course

If you have a yoga teacher training course available at a studio you attend regularly, it can be amazing. You already know who you will be learning from and what to expect. However, what if you don’t have a home studio or are looking elsewhere? This can be both a blessing and a serious challenge. 

There are tons of yoga teacher courses available all around the world. Choosing from among them can make you feel like you are ready to pull your hair out! There has to be some key qualifiers to look for, right? There is! While doing your research into courses, consider the following things:

  • Are they Yoga Alliance certified?
  • Can you meet their teachers and get along with them?
  • What is the expected class size of the course?
  • Does it work with your schedule?
  • How much does it cost, and are there payment plans?
  • What is the school’s reputation within the yoga community and from other students?

Remember, the biggest thing about choosing a class is that it works for you. This is your yoga journey, and you can choose how it goes and who is on this journey with you. You want to feel comfortable with the teachers and fellow students that you can get along with and trust. It also should be easy for you to work on your course on your time and your budget.

If you are looking for an online yoga certification, we recommend: My Vinyasa Practice. It is a registered yoga school with Yoga Alliance. Michelle Young (instructor and owner) is E-RYT 500 registered with Yoga Alliance, and provides a real passion for teaching her students. The certifications are completely online and self-paced so you can take as much or as little time completing it as you’d like. The training is laid out in weekly formats that guide students through the readings, videos, and other course content. The 200-hour program can be completed in as little as 8 weeks, but students are encouraged to take the time they need to connect with the curriculum, heighten their understanding, and deepen their practice. They offer 50% off tuition when paid in full, as well as payment plans. Overall, a wonderful studio with friendly teachers and students!

» MORE: Top 3 Best Online Yoga Teacher Training [My Honest Opinion]

Starting Your Yoga Teacher Training Journey

While it may seem unnecessary at first, getting a yoga teacher certified will ensure your place in the yoga teaching world. Without it, you can find yourself missing out on great job opportunities and students, weakening your brand overall. Even if you have a secure position now, finding additional work or work after the current course can be difficult without the certification. 

Yoga teacher training and certification can be a life-changing experience. It can be bumpy, and there can be many laughs and tears throughout the process. On the other side of that, you will find friends and other yogis you can trust and rely on for advice and stories. As long as you find a course that is right for you, you are sure to get the best experience!

Once you attain your certification, there is no door you cannot open and no yoga teaching experience you cannot handle. While it can be costly in time, money, and emotional availability, in the long run, if you want to be a yoga teacher, it can be the best investment you have ever made in yourself. 


Yoga have been a part of Dakota's life for 10+ years. Her practice has helped her grow stronger, more flexible and fearless. Dakota encourages her students to be creative and challenge the body. She seeks to inspire every student to feel refreshed, nourished and balanced both on and off the mat.

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