Is there a minimum age to become a yoga instructor?


#1

Hey everyone, my name is Jasmine and I am 15 years old this year. I started practicing Yoga seven months ago, and I cannot even describe how it has changed my life. I used to be depressed, confused and sometimes suicidal, but Yoga has solved a lot of my insecurities and brought problems I didn’t even know I had to the light. I now feel more confident than ever, and I am now able to find true comfort in myself and what I have. I am still working towards many things in life, but the bottom line is that I know Yoga has truly helped me where many other things have failed.

That brings me to the base of my question- I know it’s very early to consider becoming a yoga instructor, as I am still studying the 8 limbs and overcoming (and discovering! :rolleyes:) my own psychological blocks. Nonetheless I want to start up a Yoga club at my high school soon, (there is a yoga studio near my school, so students have interest) and I want the club members to have some peace of mind.

I have personally never heard of a high school yoga club, so I am interested in starting one. In the belief that my school has many students seeking something more than academics or sports, I believe this club should be well received. I also have a great work ethic and am always willing to learn, and even though I know it’s not illegal to teach yoga without certification, I am still really curious.

As for what I can do- I have been told by instructors that I have great physical alignment, though of course that is not all in yoga. :slight_smile: I have had several teachers actually ask me if I was in the teacher training program, and how it was going. My studio offers teacher training programs to students over 18 years of age, and I find that somewhat unfair. Therefore, is there any way to become certified without being 18 years of age? I don’t plan to teach in studios anytime soon.

If anyone can offer any help or have any thoughts, I would be very grateful. Thanks in advance,

Namaste!


#2

Good to here how Yoga has helped you. I can definitely relate, as I had very bad depression when I was younger, and anxiety problems during my 20’s. Along with that I had drug and alcohol issue, and other stuff. Yoga has certainly provided a far more positive avenue to focus my energy on, and I’ve had fairly positive results.
I don’t know if I can help with your question. Do you even need to do teachers training to teach Yoga? I’m sure I’ve heard of some people teaching Yoga, without doing teachers training. If you can’t find a place to do the training your after, I would just keep on the path. Your only a couple of years away from 18, and time passes quickly. I would keep developing your practice, and see where it takes you. You sound very ambitious, which is great, so don’t worry, you’ll get to where you want to be before you know it. Be patient and enjoy your Yoga.


#3

Thanks, YogiAdam. :smiley: I’m glad to know that yoga has made a positive change in your life as well.

To further elaborate, I would really like to start a yoga club to raise awareness for all the benefits of yoga. As I said, there is a studio near my high school, but I feel the teachers teach an extremely physical type of yoga, and as a result a lot of students go once, hurt themselves and become too intimidated to return. I want to start this club and be able to lead some sequences, but I’m not sure if other students will be comfortable with being led by someone who is not certified?

What happens if they injure themselves?

I am going to wait until I am 18 for the teacher training program at my studio for sure, but I also really want to make a difference in my high school, which is practically shouting that they need YOGA. :smiley: Believe it or not, we have posters in the school promoting yoga, but at the moment I’m the only serious yoga practitioner in the school.


#4

Perhaps you should talk to the teachers at your studio about either coming to the school to teach a few class, or mentoring you in a couple of very short, simple sequences (if people hurt themselves on the difficult sequences, cut them in half and teach something much more easy. Sukham means comfort, and it is a primary concept of the physical posturing of yoga). With a mentor’s help you can learn how to safely teach them to other people, and how to accommodate/modify things that the people in the group have trouble with. As you get better at practicing and teaching THOSE sequences at your school, you can have the teacher teach you or them something more difficult, or show you how to intensify the practices you already have.

While some might charge you for this type of help, I think a lot of teachers would like to donate an hour a week to doing this - the only problem would be safety and insurance regulations / your school’s policy on bringing in foreign teachers or allowing a student to teach anything demanding or dangerous. So work with your school first and see what is allowed, and then maybe go ask your teachers if they are available to assist you in your goal in any way.


#5

[QUOTE=xJasmine;34301]Thanks, YogiAdam. :smiley: I’m glad to know that yoga has made a positive change in your life as well.

To further elaborate, I would really like to start a yoga club to raise awareness for all the benefits of yoga. As I said, there is a studio near my high school, but I feel the teachers teach an extremely physical type of yoga, and as a result a lot of students go once, hurt themselves and become too intimidated to return. I want to start this club and be able to lead some sequences, but I’m not sure if other students will be comfortable with being led by someone who is not certified?

What happens if they injure themselves?

I am going to wait until I am 18 for the teacher training program at my studio for sure, but I also really want to make a difference in my high school, which is practically shouting that they need YOGA. :smiley: Believe it or not, we have posters in the school promoting yoga, but at the moment I’m the only serious yoga practitioner in the school.[/QUOTE]

If it was me, I would do it. I’m sure plenty of people would not be concerned that you are not certified, and you could let them know about any risks, and let them decide if they want to assume any risks. That’s just my opinion anyway.


#6

[QUOTE=xJasmine;34301] What happens if they injure themselves? [/QUOTE]

It is great how yoga has changed your life!

However, I think your above mentioned question/ hesitation is important to note. There is a reason why people require years of yoga experience before they can even apply to become certified yoga teachers (although some yoga schools have slacker requirements, but I would question their motives). Asana (the physical postures) is only one of the eight “limbs” of yoga, [U]the majority of which are more concerned with mental and spiritual well being than physical activity[/U]. Seven months of yoga practise is very little in ?yoga terms?, even if the students agree to the risks are you comfortable with running the risk?

All that said, it depends on your motives, in the West yoga has very much become diluted because we want everything now! I think evangelizing yoga within your school and speaking to the yoga teachers about your concerns is a great start. My advice would be to remain humble, patient, and devoted in your practise, don?t lose your passion, and with time, you will not need to question but you will know that you are ready, and then I trust you will serve your students and yourself well.

I have practised yoga for 18 months and am still very much a beginner, and it’s a great place to be :smiley:


#7

I practiced yoga for 7 years before I enrolled in a teacher training program. I felt it was important to first cultivate my own practice. That’s not to say you have to wait 7 years. It’s wonderful that someone so young is embarking on this great journey! I applaud you!

An offering…If there is a yoga studio nearby and you want to start a club why don’t you consider asking a teacher from the studio to come to your yoga club and teach? You could talk with her about your interest in becoming a teacher and she perhaps could mentor you and allow to assist. That would be a great way to “get your feet wet”.

Safety of students is a primary concern and sad to say often overlooked. Allow your practice to mature. Cultivate the seeds of the yoga path and allow them to grow. Watch, learn and unlearn. You’ll know when the time is right.

I echo Omamana’s last sentence. Even though I’ve been practicing and teaching for some time, I am still a beginner and a humble student.

Best of luck and good wishes!


#8

I think that you need to have at least 4 years of a steady yoga practice and a very good understanding or your practice before starting a yoga TTC…
Having said that I am working with some junior yoga teachers who began their teacher training after having only done yoga for one year.(youngest is now 19 or 18 she is not sure oldest is 23ish…again not sure due to back record keeping and unreliable or non-existent families)

They teach mostly kids classes but also teach adult classes…the classes they have the most difficulties and problems teaching are the one where they are teaching contemporaries/similar age group/similar difficult back grounds and problems… these classes need a teach with more life experience…someone who has gone through the same problems but has come out the other side…when we have a senior teacher in these classes it is much more successful.

You need to get through your problems first before trying to tell others how to deal with theirs.

If you want to teach at your school you need to check with the principle about if you need a qualified and insured instructor or not…some parents may insist that their kids/teens are taught by some one who has more life experience and is qualified and insured.

Also think… yes yoga is helping you deal with your stuff…but what if a teen in your class starts to see their problems and has some kind of intense experience or a break down…do you have the skills to pick up the pieces??..


#9

Hi, my name is Vanessa and I am 11 years old. I have always been passionate about doing yoga and it has made me more confident in my self and who I am. I attended many yoga classes and I have started getting really good at it. I have been motivated to one day becoming a certified teacher ever since my teacher told me about the youngest certified yoga teacher in the country who is also 11 years old just like me. I would love to become a teacher and spread positivity throughout my community. I was wondering if I could study to become a certified yoga teacher at my age, and if so, what would I have to do to become a teacher?