Yoga Certification: Why It Is Important?

Yoga is a business that needs to be taken very seriously. Because the business is completely about humans. You are dealing with the human body, the human mind, and the human spirit, at the basic level. It is a very wrong attitude to oversimplify it. 

The possibility of an unqualified trainer – whether he or she wants to have a Yoga Certification approved certificate – is likely to cause temporary or permanent damage to people. Unfortunately, the news of yoga’s awareness, teachings, and practical suggestions about life has emerged in yoga centers.

You need to find a program that works with you want, with you, with your life, with your needs and your personal goals. Then, find a yoga instructor who you feel safe with, who you trust, and who you can connect with and communicate easily. There is much more to having a yoga certification than simply getting a paper that deems you as one.

As yoga gained popularity around the world, everything related to yoga also gained priced. Everything related to yoga means yoga studios, yoga classes, yoga certifications, yoga clothes, and so on. As a result, it emerges a need for specific standards. Organizations had to create their business industry within those criteria. 

Now, there are standards, regulations and limitations. They have been formed in order to protect both the yoga business and the human. As we mentioned before, in the end, it is all about humans, and in every aspect, it should be a benefit for humans. Now, you will be hard-pressed to find a studio that does not tout its standardized certification, claiming that this is the end-all, be-all for yoga around the world.

After all, more or less in every field, professionals need a certification in order to learn everything properly, practice, and work, so why shouldn’t we apply this policy to field of yoga? On the other hand, this only works if it is executed correctly. And if that is the case, as a yoga professional, as a yoga instructor or as an advanced yogi, being a registered yoga teacher doesn’t mean anything. In the end, if you are teaching someone, all of them are the same. 

There are several courses to become a registered yoga teacher. When you apply for these courses, you need to attend a 200-hour course. When you complete successfully, you receive a certificate. With this certificate, you can start working as a yoga instructor. But these courses are not enough to become a good yoga instructor. You should learn more, research more, and practice more about the art of yoga. It takes 200 hours to realize the essence and takes a lifetime to practice this process.

You should see this course as an initial stage and then continue your research if you want to do well. So that in countries such as India to be a good yoga instructor with a master for 12 years of training is required. Of course, 12 years is a very long time to learn a profession in today’s conditions. But 200 hours is also very short. Therefore, you should continue your training at the end of the course and develop yourself in this field if you really want to dedicate yourself into this.

No matter your aim is a yoga instructor training is a standardized education program and a personal development course. You may want to be a teacher or you may want to discover yourself deeply. You need to follow same training steps. Of course, everyone wants to get the best yoga training in the market and aims to earn a living by demonstrating their teaching virtues in the best way. Then, instead of just attending the training and hanging the certificate on the wall, you should look at how much work you choose.

In order to get a yoga certificate, first you need to know what yoga is. Yoga first of all aims to reach the consciousness of unity. The postures that the people know as yoga, that is asana, are only a small and important part of it. Postures should be applied so that the body is completely healthy, relieved of pain and permits meditations to achieve “consciousness of being”.

The aim is to achieve “unity consciousness”. But the students who come to your class will not know that. Those who come will be coming to this class for awe and relaxation brought to light gymnastics or resting at the end of the lesson until you give little philosophical information.

So what kind of lesson do you plan to teach after you get your yoga certificate? Do you only want to challenge the students and yourself in the gym where practice asana? Are you planning to tell people about yoga in the most accurate way and to grow by spreading seeds of light enlightenment? There are yoga teachers who do both. 

You may already be a yoga instructor. It doesn’t mean that you cannot attend any training course anymore. It will not be a problem if you have started the course while you are teaching, but for those who start from scratch, courses that provide internship lessons later are more advantageous for practicing on-site.

Yoga is unique and yoga postures and philosophy of yoga are explained in the very first details in the first written documents about yoga. The later yoga derivatives are things that have been developed over time by adhering to the essence of yoga according to needs, or because it is concentrated on one aspect of yoga, it looks like something different from the outside.

In the courses you apply for the certificate, there will be those who say “we are telling the philosophy of the business”. Yes, this is one of the most important features. However, it is necessary to look at the way of explaining the philosophy of work, on the one hand, do they do the correct posture? According to the book of postures, is it done in a coordinated way with breath? Does anyone who calls himself a teacher seems calm and healthy enough, or does he trade with a crowd of people to trade? 

In order to understand this, you should attend classes several times at the place where you will be taught. In addition, if you intend to explain the philosophy of this work in your own lessons, the books drawn for this are increasing day by day and there are millions of information on the internet. By improving yourself in this direction, you can both transfer yoga philosophy correctly and create an enjoyable lesson.

When looking for a yoga instructor certificate course, instead of looking at the internet and deciding upon that, you should go to a few courses and consider some details and register for that course.

Is Yoga Certification Required for Being a Registered Yoga Teacher?

It shouldn’t be thought differently than a graduation certificate to get a yoga instructor certification. Why don’t we surprise when an engineer, a doctor, a teacher or a psychologist say that we have a graduation certificate and more than that we have MD certification? It is their intensive program so, a yoga instructor needs to complete this training in order to be beneficial for everyone as well.

If you have already started to practice yoga, and you want to discover your self more and more deeply, you may consider attending workshops. And then, if still, it is not enough for you, if it doesn’t satisfy you, you may think about being a yoga instructor and participated in a yoga teacher training course. When you hear it the first time, it sounds very strict and compulsory. But, no it is not. It is not a requirement in order to be an instructor. It is a plus for you to be a certified instructor. These training course mostly are beneficial for you because it deepens your understanding and helps you to correct if there is any mistake you are doing during practicing yoga. 

A 200-hour certification is not a necessity or law in order to be a yoga instructor. Nevertheless, many yoga studios want their instructors educated, to get enough knowledge, and to have a certification. And more’s the pity, in today’s world, most of the yoga instructors are not certified.

However, there is a possibility that you may not be among them, so joining a recognized program to earn a yoga certificate takes you one step further. The more training you attend, the more hours you receive, the better you are a good instructor. These teach you how to lead the class, how to communicate with people, and how to work in ethical standards. More than that, it gives you a chance to work at an accredited yoga studio.

It is true that anyone can be a teacher in a yoga class, but it doesn’t mean that everyone can be a good yoga instructor. If you want to sustain your job, it is recommended that earning a yoga certification from a recognized yoga studio. Because, the yoga instructor certification does matter.

On the other hand, if you want to be a qualified and certified yoga teacher, you should at least register 200 hours certification. If you complete these 200 hours of training successfully, you become registered with Yoga Alliance. You need to complete these 200 hours in the same schools. It doesn’t count if you complete these ours partially in separate schools. 

Yoga Alliance is a nonprofit entity in the field of yoga. It works as a kind of ministry. It keeps track of registered yoga teachers, registered yoga instructors, and registered schools. These teachers are the ones who have completed a yoga training program, have gained their certification, and can teach yoga. If you want to get a registered instructor certificate, there are 5 areas that have to be studied. These are;

  1. Yoga techniques and postures (practicing yoga itself)
  2. Yoga philosophy, yoga history, and lifestyle
  3. Human anatomy, human physiology, and human psychology
  4. Methods of teaching yoga
  5. Practical teaching training in front of a class

As we have mentioned above, you don’t want to see a doctor without an MD, it is the same logic, you should take classes from an instructor without getting enough training and no registered. Your body, your mind, and your soul should be your priorities before money. 

What Do You Need for Attending Yoga Certification?

You do not even necessarily have to have years of yoga training behind you to undergo the course, although it definitely does not hurt. As long as you are spiritually determined and in decent physical shape, you should be qualified to sign up for yoga teacher training, regardless of age, body type or background. 

It is important to keep in mind that these training courses, these 200 hours, are incredibly intense. As you can imagine, yoga is a lifelong process but they try to teach you in only 200 hours, which means that, after registration, a training course, for the next couple of months your life becomes only about yoga. You will wake up with yoga, you will sleep with yoga, you will talk about only yoga, and so on. It is also another challenge to be a good instructor. It challenges both your body and mind. It tests you mentally and physically. 

What Do You Gain Through Yoga Certification Training?

Throughout the yoga certificate training, the trainer candidate goes into the depths and real philosophy of yoga and starts to get to know herself/himself better thanks to increasing awareness and intensive yoga practices. It also begins to go beyond its potential, step by step beyond its limits encoded in its consciousness.

The candidate who starts to know himself/herself encounters the qualities which are positive or negative, incomplete or excessive and which he has not noticed before. In this journey to the essence, each individual can experience different experiences. For example, when she encounters aspects she does not want to accept, her ego can step in and deny it. She can learn to make peace with any situation through my yoga journey. 

Whether you are a yoga instructor or not, if you continue your yoga or meditation experiences without giving up – it is not you, but the ego that gives you up! – as you pass through intense practice, you will embrace with all the worldly adjectives, the true you, pure love. The reward for this is so great.

It is the greatest freedom to accept yourself and therefore everything that is created. This is the moment when your physical appearance, professional career, achievements or failures no longer restrain you, greed, hate, lovelessness become love. With breath, you begin to focus on the present moment, to be flexible in life with the flexibility that your body gains, not to put in excess amounts of nutrients in your body to feed yourself, to tolerate everything in existence.

Online Training for Getting Yoga Certification

When you want to get your yoga teacher certification online instead of attending classes through, these are the topics that you should study:

  • What is yoga philosophy? Yamas, Niymas and more
  • Qualities of being a yoga instructor
  • Human anatomy which are body systems, anatomical terms, skeletal systems, and muscular systems
  • Understanding the body itself: Flexibility, stamina, balance, and strength
  • Understanding the esoteric body: chakras
  • Meditation
  • Chants and Pranayam: Forms of chanting, om, and various pranayamas
  • Basic Sanskrit
  • Learning bodies’ posture and body assessment
  • Appreciating the uniqueness of different body types
  • Asanas: Establishing a seat, forward bends and hip openers, backbends, standing poses, arm support, core, twists, inversions, svasana, and how to make it good
  • Sequencing: Sequence plans, class themes and learn to develop a safe and smart sequence. They are important for other students in your class.
  • Introduction to Ayurveda which is Yoga’s sister science
  • Learn to prevent injuries
  • Chair and restorative
  • Learn to teach yoga methodology which are cueing, ethics, boundaries, and finding your authentic voice
  • Safe and smart hands-on adjustments
  • Acceptance yoga as a business which means turning your passion into a career

Yoga Certification Types

  • The 200-hour certification is the first certification. It is a requirement if you want to be a teacher. It is the only way to teach yoga.
  • The 300-hour certification is in addition to the first 200 hours. This can be completed separately and most of the time people who take 200-hour certification complete this 300 hours.
  • The 500-hour certification is a combination of the 200-hour certification and 300-hour certification periods. It is not recommended that doing both at the same time but if you got the time and energy, go for it.

After completing the 200-hour yoga certification, you may want to be professional in one specific area, you may want to expand your training with additional yoga training and workshops. For your further personal development, you may want to add to another certification. Generally, people prefer to continue with other certifications, such as prenatal yoga, yoga for back pain, restorative yoga and Yin Yoga.

What Is the Yoga Alliance?

Yoga Alliance is an international Yoga Association based in the United States. The aim of this association is to monitor the quality of education by providing yoga centers in all countries of the world. The yoga centers accepted by this association have the right to provide yoga instructor certification training approved by the Yoga Alliance and valid in all countries.

Yoga Alliance is a very important organization in the field of yoga. They certify and register all yoga instructors after completing their 200 hours of training. They give you an opportunity to understand they are certified or not in regard to looking for a yoga instructor training program. They approve the program given to people.  

This organization established in 1999. They standardize yoga practice all around the world. They define yoga, make a structure, set standards, and limitations. Everyone in the field of yoga, professionals, schools, or even people practicing yoga, needs to follow this policy.  Their aim is to promote and support the integrity and diversity of yoga teaching. They want to make it worldwide. 

This yoga organization, which was started by small and passionate groups at the beginning, eventually became the largest international organization. Today, yoga schools around the world follow the standards they set. Their purpose and ideas in the organization were to create a program that could help hold yoga schools and yoga instructors responsible for what they spread to the world.

Basically, the intention of establishing was to protect the practice of yoga. A registered yoga teacher certification, then, would mean that you have an in-depth understanding of yoga history, the anatomy of the yoga postures, pranayama meditation, and teaching skills.

To become a registered yoga school, a program needs to have a set number of hours spent studying and teaching on each of these subjects. Techniques, training and practice; yoga teaching methodology; human anatomy and physiology; yoga philosophy, ethics, and lifestyle; and practicum.

Techniques, Training, and Practice: It is the physical asana practice. Students learn the correct alignment of postures for each yoga asana. In addition, Sanskrit names of these postures are taught. Because of the fact that breathing is the most important element of yoga, there is almost always a special class of pranayama.

Yoga Teaching Methodology: A registered yoga school must contain some unique guides. They should create a guide on how to create sequences and how to configure yoga classes. Every registered yoga teacher can develop their own teaching style, this is true, but certain teaching skills and techniques are expected to be included in an authentication program, so yoga schools need to prepare a guide. These guides will vary from school to school, as well as have certain focuses and can only work with a specific age group, specific gender, or specific education model.

Human Anatomy and Human Physiology: To be able to do yoga postures properly and teach them someone else properly, it is necessary to understand how the body moves. Because ensuring correct alignment is important in yoga postures. So being a certified yoga instructor means you have enough knowledge. It means you can teach yoga without putting anyone in a potentially harmful posture.

Yoga Philosophy, Ethics, and Lifestyle: This is a broad category. It can include more or less everything related to yoga, the idea, and the essence. You need to think about it as a lifestyle and when ou say lifestyle, what does come to your mind? You need to check everything about those. In addition to those, students are asked to read ancient text important to yoga histories, such as the Yoga Sutras, Hatha Yoga Pradipika, and the Bhagavad Gita.

Practicum: A certain number of hours in each course is dedicated for students to teach their own classes. These hours allow students to teach yoga before they get their yoga certificate and allow them to gain experience. These are the hours when they can create and try their own teaching style. It is the place where students can practice by correcting different or wrong yoga postures and can guide the meditation in yoga.

Having a certificate through the Yoga Alliance is a good start to start a career in the yoga industry. It gives your hand something concrete. It gives other teachers an idea of the knowledge and practices you have previously learned.

Is There a Need for Yoga Instructor Certification by Yoga Alliance?

It is not something deniable that how important to get certified. But, just because you have completed a yoga teacher training program that is Yoga Alliance certified does not mean that you, yourself, are certified. If you want to get your certification through the Yoga Alliance and become a registered yoga teacher there are several things you have to do.

  • You have to successfully complete a 200-hour or 500-hour program from a certified school.
  • You have to pay the applicable fees; which include an initial registration fee and annual dues.
  • You have to participate in continuing education programs as dictated.
  • The main purpose of this certification process is to ensure that yoga instructors are trained under appropriate and general rules. They are on a continuous path of learning and development.

As we have mentioned before, a certificate is not necessary to teach yoga. It is the same for a Yoga Alliance Certificate. Unfortunately, it is the norm. It has big marketing and advertisement strategies behind it. But a registered yoga teacher certificate does not automatically mean that they are knowledgeable, that they are reliable, or that they are trustworthy.

Having any of the training programs you choose does not mean that you will be in this way or will follow a program like this. It is true that many commercial yoga studios prefer “Yoga Alliance” certified yoga instructors. But these yoga studios are not the right choice for those who are more interested in ancient yoga philosophies and traditional practices.

Recommended Books

Being a yoga instructor is not an easy task. It needs on-going knowledge. And, it needs self-development first. So, down below there are some books on Amazon that will help you to develop yourself, understand yoga deeply, and help you to a good instructor.

Yoga Toolbox for Teachers and Students, 3rd Edition Ring-bound – June 6, 2015


The Yoga Anatomy Coloring Book: A Visual Guide to Form, Function, and Movement Paperback – August 7, 2018


The Language of Yin: Yoga Themes, Sequences and Inspiration to Bring Your Class to Life and Life to Your Class


Teaching Yoga Beyond the Poses: A Practical Workbook for Integrating Themes, Ideas, and Inspiration into Your Class


Science of Yoga: Understand the Anatomy and Physiology to Perfect your Practice


Savaş Ateş

I like meditation and yoga. I read a lot of books about them. I applied them in my daily life. I want to write about my experiences.

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