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Yoga Instructor Job Description

Indrajit Deshmukh
The practice of yoga originated in ancient India and has slowly, but surely, spread across the world. It has become popular in America, only in the last few decades. Yoga is a combination of light physical exercises and breathing techniques.
The term yoga represents union and expert practitioners state that this union is of the body and mind. In ancient India, the practice of yoga was prevalent and had great importance. For many, it was a way of life. Yoga was so important that even the Hindu deities were depicted in yogic poses.
Today, the practice of yoga is benefiting millions of people around the world. Yoga involves mild physical movements, holding the posture, and controlled breathing. Practicing and teaching yoga is considered to be one of the most fulfilling careers by many instructors.
To become an instructor, individuals need anywhere between 200-400 hours of training under a certified teacher. You can opt for a Yoga Alliance Registry certification for gainful employment.

Job Description

A yoga instructor, who has acquired proficiency in the techniques of breathing and yoga postures, teaches it to other students. His first duty is to record the medical history of the students, to find out if they have any medical conditions that can worsen, if they practice certain yoga poses.
They will also inquire about joint pains and physical injuries. Once the initial screening is done, the instructor will show the students different yoga poses for them to follow. The yoga teacher will give a live demonstration and will correct the student's posture, if necessary.
The instructor will provide information about the benefits of the different poses being demonstrated. They will also talk about the different body parts that are being used in maintaining certain postures. Correct breathing techniques are very important when practicing yoga. Teaching correct breathing techniques is one of their prime tasks.
They will also advise students about adopting healthy lifestyle habits. Students will also be counseled on inculcating good dietary habits to reap full benefits of their practice. Yoga is all about understanding the mind and body connection, and effective use of learning to create physical and mental well-being.
Some instructors also specialize in treating conditions like arthritis and back pain, and will teach students specific poses to deal with these issues. Quite a few of them also work as physical therapists and help students with their rehabilitation. They may also use chants and hymns in their teachings and will instruct students about the meaning and correct usage of these tools of yoga and meditation.

Education and Salary

You can become a yoga instructor by enrolling in a yoga school or learning under an instructor, who has proficiency & is a certified teacher. One of the avenues for training is the Yoga alliance registry which is a non-profit organization that certifies yoga teachers. Students require minimum 200 hours of training to gain certification of a yoga instructor.
There is no requirement of any formal education for enrolling into the program. You should only have an innate interest in the field and good communication skills, to excel in this profession.
The remuneration for yoga instructors largely depends on the location of the job and experience in the field of teaching. Several instructors are employed by fitness centers, while others take on private clients.
The average salary can range anywhere between USD 40,000 to USD 60,000 annually. Yoga teachers charge private clients anywhere between USD 50-100 per hour. This makes it a lucrative career option.
If you are planning to become an instructor, it is advisable that you develop qualities like communication and interpersonal skills, besides mastering yoga. The job prospects for this profession are bright according to analysts, as more and more people are becoming fitness conscious.