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There are a number of paths to becoming a yoga teacher.   Because there are so many competing traditions (schools) of yoga, there is no single certification body.  In fact, each school's certification is handled independent of another school.  In fact, anyone can call themselves a Yoga Teacher without any training whatsoever.

While formal training does not ensure someone is a safe or good teacher, it does indicate they have committed at least some effort.

There are four straightforward paths to becoming a yoga teacher:

Fitness/Self-Study fasted path    These programs are primarily oriented towards aerobic instructors and personal trainers for use in health clubs.
   These programs are typically focused on asana (as opposed to spiritual) practices.
   To ensure safety, these programs limit the number of poses taught.
school-specific varies    A given school or master instructor may act as a mentor or tutor.
   This path focuses on a single tradition.
   The advantage of this approach can be the one-on-one mentoring.
Local nine-weeks to three years    Typically, these programs are comprehensive and complete.
   The cost can vary noticeably in cost and style.
   The advantage of this approach is it can be done without impacting your regular work schedule or family life.
   The disadvanges are time commitment and distance from the root source of a given tradition
National w/ Residence two to nine week intensives    These programs combine relatively quick certification and closeness to the root source of a given tradition.
   The disadvantage of this approach requires travel and extensive time-off from your regular job

To become "certified", you can go through Yoga Alliance or a handful of other certification bodies.

Yoga Alliance    

The shortest path to becoming a yoga teacher is via

 (AURA Martial Arts & Wellness)
??? $497 ?????
YogaFit Fitness $389 Collection of week-long (two 8hr) seminars + at-home training
N.E.S.T.A (National Exercise and Sports Trainers Assoc) Fitness $299 At-home study


B.K.S. Iyengar Yoga Center Iyengar ??? Note:  Must study only Iyengar and only by permission of the instructors
Center for Happiness Kripalu $2900 One weekend a month for 8 months
Core Power Hot ??? Shorter, 9-week program
Core Power CorePower ??? Longer, 200hr program
Institute of the Himalayan Tradition Hatha $1020 six certification programs:
   Beginning Hatha Yoga, Intermediate Hatha Yoga, Advanced Hatha Yoga, Beginning Meditation, Intermediate Meditation, and Advanced Meditation with Spiritual Direction.
  Each program ends in certification and each certification is valid for three years after which renewal coursework is required for re-certification.
Meditation Center, The Hatha    
Michelle's Yoga House Ashtanga $895
Workshops presented by visiting instructors
  with David Swenson or Manu Pattabhi Jois.
Yoga Center of Minneapolis Multiple $2850 Either every other weekend for 1 year or
 two nights per week for 6 months

National Programs w/ Residential Programs

White Lotus Vinyasa $3350 Two-week residential program
  with Ganga White and Tracey Rich
Anusara Yoga Anusara   long process of multiple sessions
  with John Friend
Bikram Yoga Bikram $8200 nine week residential
  with Bikram Choudhury
Ashtanga Yoga at It's Yoga Asthanga, Rocket $1850 14 and 28 day programs
  with Larry Schultz
Expanding Light Ananda $2856 Month-long residential program.
Mt. Madonna Ashtanga $500 Two Month-long residential
American Viniyoga Institute Viniyoga $2500 four 15-night retreats over two years
  with Aadil Palkhivala
Kripalu Center Kripalu $1989 one month, three 9-day, or two 12-day retreats
Satchidananda Ashram - Yogaville Integral $2825 Month-long residential
Yoga Centers of Washington Purna $925 weeklong intensive teacher trainings
  with Aadil Palkhivala
Chopra Center   $4275 Three 1-week residential + at-home
  with Deepak Chopra
Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Training Ashtanga $895 1-week intensive
  with David Swenson

Of course there are many other programs -- these are ones I have met instructors from or experienced

Yoga Alliance

The closest thing to a certification body is Yoga Alliance.  While Yoga Alliance is not a school, it does provide:


a single, nationally-recognized body for registration


a good guide for a balanced education

  200 hr 500hr Overview
Includes asanas, pranayamas, kriyas, chanting, mantra, meditation, and other traditional yoga techniques. These hours must be a mix between
  (1) analytical training in how to teach and practice the techniques, and
  (2) guided practice of the techniques themselves;
both areas must receive substantial emphasis.
Teaching Methodology
Includes principles of demonstration, observation, assisting/correcting, instruction, teaching styles, qualities of a teacher, the student's process of learning, and business aspects of teaching yoga. May include a maximum of 5 hours on business aspects of teaching yoga.
Anatomy and Physiology
Includes both human physical anatomy and physiology (bodily systems, organs, etc.) and energy anatomy and physiology (chakras, nadis, etc.). Includes both the study of the subject and application of its principles to yoga practice (benefits, contraindications, healthy movement patterns, etc).
A minimum number of hours must be spent applying A&P principles to yoga.
Yoga Philosophy
Includes the study of yoga philosophies, yoga lifestyle, and ethics for yoga teachers.
A minimum number of contact hours must be spent on ethics for yoga teachers.
Practicum (Teaching Experience)
Includes practice teaching, receiving feedback, observing others teaching and hearing/giving feedback. Also includes assisting students while someone else is teaching. A minimum number of contact hours must be spent actively teaching (not assisting or observing others teach).
Hours to be distributed among the categories above according to the school’s chosen emphasis (may be contact or non-contact hours).
  Additional contact hours required to meet the overall minimum standards; these hours must be distributed among the first five categories above.

*(contact hours w/ E-RYT)/(contact hours)/(minimum total)


Iyengar Yoga National Association of the US Iyengar  


Bruce's Training

  Philosophy Asana Other Techniques Anatomy / Physiology
1 31-May-2006 07-Jun-2006 15-Jun-2006 11-Jul-2006


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