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Q: Becoming a Yoga Instructor ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   4 Comments )
Subject: Becoming a Yoga Instructor
Category: Reference, Education and News > Job and Careers
Asked by: ambient_life-ga
List Price: $6.00
Posted: 10 Oct 2002 10:47 PDT
Expires: 09 Nov 2002 09:47 PST
Question ID: 74903
I'm very interested in becoming a Yoga Instructor. I live in the
Austin, Texas area. I would like information on where in Austin would
be the best place to go for training and (if possible) what the course
fees would be ... or even at-home certification programs available
through the internet and otherwise. I'd like to look at a program that
offers the best reputation for a career as a yoga instructor. Also ...
what is involved course-work wise to be come certified?

If you find information on the best Yoga Instruction in the country -
I'd be interested in that as well.

Also ... what, if possible - is the job market is like for Yoga
Instructors in the Austin area and nationally. Where is the greatest
'demand' for them (if there is such a thing)? Please include any
productive web links from the research. Thanks! This service rocks!!

Request for Question Clarification by voila-ga on 10 Oct 2002 15:08 PDT
Hello ambient,

Is there a specific form of yoga you're interested in over another
(Iyengar, Bikram, etc.)?  Any inclusions/exclusions?  Are you
interested in yoga solely as a form of exercise or rather a means to a
spiritual path?  If you could narrow your down preferences for us a
bit, there's a greater likelihood this question will be answered to
your satisfaction.  Thanks very much for any additional clarification.


Clarification of Question by ambient_life-ga on 10 Oct 2002 16:26 PDT
Unfortunately - I haven't decided what field/form of Yoga I would be
most interested in teaching - that is something I need to research on
my own I guess to learn the differences between the various forms. In
becoming a yoga instructor - I would definitely hope to offer both the
physical, spiritual, and mental benefits to my students. Offering a
means to a spiritually path for both myself and students would be a
definite goal of this career. I apologize for my lack of knowledge on
the various forms ... I have in the past ... studied an Ashtanga-based
(if I recall) yoga for about 9 months . If you can offer a link that
would give a descriptive explanation of all forms, that would be

Request for Question Clarification by voila-ga on 10 Oct 2002 16:59 PDT
....not a problem.  If another researcher doesn't claim the question,
I'll be glad to help you with your request this weekend.

Request for Question Clarification by easterangel-ga on 10 Oct 2002 18:54 PDT
Thanks for visiting us. I only found 1 Yoga teacher training school in
Austin Texas. Would you also consider the following as a legitimate

1. Links to Yoga Teacher Training Programs in different parts of the
2. An article about the Yoga job market in the US specifically in LA.
Sorry I found nothing for Texas.

Would these two elements be considered as a legitimate answer. Just
let me know. :)

PS: From my research it seems that there is no at home programs for
Yoga Teacher Certification but only for personal yoga education. It
seems you have to be there at the site when you want a teacher
Subject: Re: Becoming a Yoga Instructor
Answered By: voila-ga on 12 Oct 2002 21:44 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Dear ambient,

Please let me welcome you to our humble service and I, too, echo
Google Answers 'rockability' factor.  This is a great opportunity to
learn really obscure facts and have fun in the process.  Outside of
usenet, I doubt there are too many other places where the information
junkies gather in such large numbers.

I do have a nodding acquaintance with the subject of yoga and I'm
guessing that's what you're after in your research experience here. 
My first brush with the technique was in the early 1970s with Lilas
Folan {the First Lady of Yoga}.  Her program was carried on PBS and
ran for 20 years {1972-1992}.

It does seem that with every decade there's a new awakening to the
health benefits of yoga.  The latest reincarnation is "hot yoga" or
"extreme yoga" where very advanced asanas {poses} are performed in
rooms heated to over 100 degrees.  The high temperature allows muscles
to warm up quickly, thus reducing the risk of injury.  I guess with
the accelerating pace of the world, our muscles even need to hustle.  
With these intense sessions, a person sweats profusely, which is said
to flush out any toxins from the body.  There are obvious risks for
people with certain health conditions, such as heart disease, and
every person considering Bikram or hot yoga should first check with
their physican before embarking on such a strenuous routine.

Call me old-fashioned but my jury foreperson is still out on this
style of yoga.  Let's check back in a few years, shall we?  Somehow it
reminds me of the kickboxing craze a few years ago.  Usually hatha
yoga is done in a cool room with light stretching to allow your
muscles warm up naturally.  No pose is ever forced or done to any
extreme.  I doubt you'd need a doctor's note to participate either.

However, this is the brand of yoga that's generating major dollars
these days.  Bikram Choudry, aka "yoga teacher to the stars" is the
gentleman responsible for bringing this style of yoga to its height of
popularity.  He, indeed, has his hands full training individuals to
staff his facilities as part of the burgeoning demamd for extreme
sports.  ABC World News Tonight had a segment featuring him on just
this past week.  If you didn't catch it and happen to have Real
Player, it's here:  {title:  Yoga Man}  He
makes no apologies to the more traditionalists over the wealth he has
accumulated in the name of the practice.
While Mr. Choudry is making a very respectable living as a yoga
instructor, I would imagine he is the exception, not the norm.  Unless
you've caught the wave of the latest trend or have movie stars as
clients, I imagine yoga instructors {like the rest of us} are getting
by but without a lot of disposable income.  This archived article from
the LA Times will give you an idea of the salary range along with some
other valuable contact information.
 The reporter intimates that the West Coast is one of the more
profitable {and higher demand} areas in the country.

Other high demand areas would probably also include:
Boulder, CO
Santa Fe/Taos, NM
Seattle/Bellingham, WA
Portland/Eugene, OR
Boise, ID
Miami Beach, FL
Atlanta, GA
Minneapolis, MN
Boston/Stockbridge, MA
NYC/Rhinebeck, NY

But don't pack your bags right away!  Austin is a hot bed of yoga
activity.  Since it's a college town with a lot of open-minded
individuals, an alternative community probably fits harmoniously with
your locale.  Since I'm not sure at which level you're desirous to
teach, I've offered several options for your consideration.  The Yoga
Alliance was referenced as one of the major accrediting agency for
yoga instructors, so I checked any Austin-related resources there:
Two schools mentioned {YogaYoga and Austin School of Yoga}
offer both the 200 and the 500-hour certification.

Yoga Yoga
From their website:

"The Yoga Alliance standards specify required coursework hours for a
professional yoga teacher in the areas of yoga techniques, yoga
teaching methodology, anatomy and physiology, philosophy, ethics and
lifestyle, teaching practicums, and electives. Teachers who complete
our 200-hour program are eligible for Registered Yoga Teacher,
200-hour Level (RYT 200) status through the Yoga Alliance. Teachers
who complete our 500-hour program are eligible for Registered Yoga
Teacher,500-hour Level (RYT 500) status. Teachers registered with Yoga
Alliance are also included in their national directory of registered
yoga teachers."

Austin Yoga School

From their website:

"Successful completion of all eight Intensive Modules (including
homework) meets the Yoga Alliance 200 Hour Registration Requirement.
Graduates intending to undertake assessment for National Iyengar
Certification will find the program good preparation for that three
part exam. Graduates who complete all 8 sessions and all homework
satisfactorily, as well as any other requirements of the National
Iyengar Association, will be eligible for a recommendation to enter
the assessment process."

This next facility seems to offer only the 200-hour program but I
would call to confirm: 
Here are three other possible sources of investigation in your area: 

If you wish to go the distance learning route, the Kevala Centre based
in the UK has quite an extensive program.  Here is a summary of their
diploma course: 
Also, their diploma is called an AIYS (Associate of the International
Yoga School) in case you wish to teach abroad.

The Yoga Research and Education Center will be offering an 800-hour
distance learning program on the history and philosophy of yoga in
January 2003:

Also, here's a bit on the Phoenix Rising method of yoga therapy which
incorporates classical yoga with elements of mind-body psychology:

For a bit of background on yoga and deciding on which path to study, I
checked to identify the different styles of
practice.  One must realise that there are no clear cut boundaries
between these various paths.   All draw on the practices and
philosophy of the others; effectively all paths have the same goal and
"tread the same terrain." They are merely different views of the same

The Roots of Yoga

"The word Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word "Yuj" meaning to yoke,
join or unite. This implies joining or integrating all aspects of the
individual - body with mind and mind with soul - to achieve a happy,
balanced and useful life, and spiritually, uniting the individual with
the supreme.

In India, Yoga is considered one of the six branches of classical
philosophy and is referred to throughout the Vedas - ancient Indian
scriptures and amongst the oldest texts in existence.The Upanishads
are also broadly philosophical treatises which postdate the Vedas and
deal with the nature of the "soul" and universe.

However, the origins of yoga are believed to be much older than that,
stemming from the oral traditions of Yogis, where knowledge of Yoga
was handed down from Guru (spiritual teacher) to Sisya (spiritual
student) all the way back to the originators of Yoga, "the Rishis,"
who first began investigation into the nature of reality and man's
inner world.

Legend has it that knowledge of Yoga was first passed by Lord Shiva to
his wife Parvati and from there into the lives of men.

The Aim of Yoga

According to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the ultimate aim of Yoga is
to reach "Kaivalya" (emancipation or ultimate freedom). This is the
experience of one's innermost being or "soul" (the Purusa). Then one
becomes free of chains of cause and effect (Karma) which tie us to
continual reincarnation. In Kaivalya one is said to exist in peace and
tranquillity, having attained absolute knowledge of the difference
between the spiritual which is timeless, unchanging and free of
sorrows, and the material which is not.

This is considered desirable as life is analysed as ultimately full of
sorrows and pain- even pleasure and joy leave pain and loss when they
have gone as nothing in the material world is permanent.

Yoga is therefore a spiritual quest. However, along the path of yoga,
the aspirant also gains health, happiness, tranquillity and knowledge
which are indicators of progress and an encouragement to continue
their practice. Buddhism and other Eastern spiritual traditions use
many techniques derived from Yoga.

The Paths of Yoga

There are said to be 4 main paths (Margas), according to the Bhagavad
Gita, by which to reach the ultimate goal of Yoga - "Kaivalya." There
is the path of Knowledge (Jnana Marga) in which one learns to
discriminate between what is real and what is illusory, the path of
selfless work (Karma marga), the path of devotion (Bhakti Marga) and
the path of control of the mind (Yoga Marga) where all the activities
of the mind and consciousness are studied and brought under control.
From these have come the various paths of yoga which can be followed.

**Raja yoga involves mastery of the mind and senses in Samadhi;
essentially the advanced aspects of Patanjali's astanga yoga.

**Hatha yoga is the yoga of the will which involves cultivating ones
energy to arouse

**Kundalini primarily by means of asana and pranayama. 

**Mantra yoga involves reciting sacred syllables to reach perfection.

**Laya yoga involves absorption in god to experience ultimate bliss. 

**Bhakti yoga requires absolute devotion to god to achieve the
ultimate goal.

**Karma yoga achieves this through selfless work without thought of
personal reward.

**Jnana yoga is the yoga of knowledge cultivating the discrimination
between spiritual reality and the illusion of the material world."

Yoga Styles:

Ananda Yoga 
Anusara Yoga:
Ashtanga Yoga: 
Bandha Yoga: 
Bhakti Yoga: 
Iyengar Yoga: 
Jnana Yoga: 
Kali Ray TriYoga: 
Karma Yoga:
Kriya Yoga
Kundalini Yoga 
Mantra Yoga: 
International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers 
Svaroopa Yoga
Vinyasa Yoga

Historical Account of US Introduction to Yoga: 

Yoga International Magazine

Hot Yoga (Bikram Yoga)
Bikram's Yoga College 
Los Angeles, CA

For general information on yoga for health:
International Association of Yoga Therapists
2400A County Center Dr.
Santa Rosa, CA 95403

Health Article from WebMD:
The Promise of Yoga:

Yoga As a Spiritual Path:

Two of the most well-repected yoga centers are:



Kripalu Center

I've just scratched the surface on this topic, but hopefully it's
enough to get you started on your journey.  Please let me know if any
information is unclear or if one of the links is wonky.  Wishing you
best of luck in your vocation.


Clarification of Answer by voila-ga on 03 Nov 2002 21:26 PST
Hi ambientlife,

Sorry that you couldn't log on.  The site goes bonkers on us
occasionally -- it just happened tonight as a matter of fact.

I'm so glad I could be of service to you and locate a center in your
backyard.  This was a super fun piece of research and reacquainted me
with the discipline so I should be thanking *you.*  And thank you also
for your kind tip.  You were my first!

Best of luck on your journey,
ambient_life-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $3.00
I could not be HAPPIER with this answer ... Voila - you are amazing! I
would have added this rating the day that I got the answer, but it
wouldn't let me log in. So I have contacted the studio in Austin here
called "Yoga Yoga" and have begun taking classes ... thanks again for
this awesome research!!

Subject: Re: Becoming a Yoga Instructor
From: dorwong-ga on 12 Mar 2004 20:54 PST
The previous statement that Yogaville is one of the most respected
yoga centers is simply untrue.  In fact, it is one of the least
respected yoga centers.   I notice that a New Zealand website
( that rates 1,300
gurus and spiritual teachers rates Yogaville, Integral Yoga, and the
Satchidananda Ashram at the bottom (one of the 17 lowest
organizations) along with such notables as Sri Chimnoy and E.Ron
Hubbard. Other spiritual rating services (e.g. Sarlo and at least 2
others that I've seen) also rate this organization as "suspect." 
Numerous charges are been raised by past students, teachers, and
families about abuses.
I would not recommend it at all.
Subject: Re: Becoming a Yoga Instructor
From: voila-ga on 14 Mar 2004 17:09 PST
The researchers at Google Answers encourage alternative viewpoints,
and I thank you for yours, dorwong-ga.   I guess you could say I'm
every bit as 'suspect' of spiritual rating systems as some people are
of gurus and spiritual teachers.  ;-)

I'm hope that my customer ambientlight is doing well at Yoga Yoga and
anyone else who happens on this question -- as did you, dorwong-ga --
will understand that none of us is infallible, not even a guru.  There
seems to be only one thing that never changes and that's human nature.
No matter how enlightened an individual may become, we still have very
human frailties.

So investigate on your own, ask questions, get multiple
recommendations, read, meditate on your choices, and pray you've made
the right ones.   That's really all any of us can do.

There is a disclaimer at the bottom of every Google Answers question
as there is at the Sarlo website:

Besides being a legal requirement, disclaimers double as an
admonishment for consumers to *always* think for themselves. 
Researchers, like journalists, report the facts but we also have our
own set of biases and opinions that my color our perspective.  We are,
however, trying our hardest to get it right.

I stand by my recommendation of Yogaville for their yoga teacher's
program; however, anyone contemplating Yogaville should also review
the websites mentioned and decide if it's a right environment for
them.  Ultimately, following any spiritual teacher remains a very
private and individual decision.

Subject: Re: Becoming a Yoga Instructor
From: dorwong-ga on 11 Apr 2004 05:41 PDT
For those of you who are considering visiting Yogaville, I would
advise that you review two sites.  The first is the story of a
personal friend.  The second is a compilation of many stories written
by past gurus of Yogaville and family members whose experiences were
less than ideal.
Subject: Re: Becoming a Yoga Instructor
From: ambient_life-ga on 26 Apr 2004 12:50 PDT
This is 'ambient_life' (the one who posted the original question on
10/10/2002) and I'm still working on my certification at Yoga Yoga ...
I've been in it now for 15 months (not in any hurry) and am
thouroughly enjoying the program. It IS challenging though - but a
great place to get the 200 hours based on the Yoga Allience. Thank you
Thank you Thank you Thank you Voila for ALL the information you gave
me over a year ago ... you are still VERY much appreciated.


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