For many yoga teachers, completing a yoga teacher training (YTT) is an important step in starting a teaching career. YTT courses provide aspiring instructors with in-depth knowledge on yoga history, philosophy, anatomy, and teaching methodology. However, most trainings don’t require any prior teaching experience. This leaves many wondering – how much experience teaching yoga do you really need before embarking on teacher training?
While YTT programs themselves don’t mandate teaching experience, most encourage students to have at least some practice teaching before attending. This allows you to get comfortable with sequencing, cuing, and working with students. It also helps you understand your own style and teaching voice. Many teacher training schools recommend having between 25 to 50 hours of teaching practice before starting the training.
Teaching community classes, leading sessions at your home studio, and guiding private clients can all count towards this experience. You may also be able to assist or observe classes taught by senior teachers at your yoga studio. This allows you to learn by seeing how more seasoned instructors sequence their classes, adjust postures, and interact with students. Always make sure to get permission from the teacher before observing their class.
If you don’t yet have access to teaching opportunities, not to worry. You can gain practice by teaching yoga free of charge to friends and family. Feel free to get creative – teaching sessions in your home, at a local park, or even over video chat count. The key is putting yourself in the teacher’s seat so you can gain confidence and identify areas for improvement. Don’t be discouraged if your first attempts feel awkward – teaching yoga is a skill that develops over time.
While 25-50 hours of experience is commonly recommended, even smaller amounts of practice can be beneficial before embarking on teacher training. Every little bit helps build your confidence and comfort in the teacher role. If you have zero experience, some pre-YTT practice is better than none.
At the end of the day, many teacher training courses understand that students come from diverse backgrounds. Programs like Marianne Wells YTT are designed to provide you the fundamentals of teaching yoga, regardless of your previous experience. With an open mind and commitment to learning, you’ll get all of the tools needed to blossom into a confident, capable yoga instructor.