What training does it take to become a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher?
Have you ever wondered about yoga teacher training, the process of becoming a certified Iyengar Yoga teacher? Deciding to take this step is making a commitment to self-discovery, focused asana practice, and intense improvement of teaching skills. Sunset Yoga Center has six certified Iyengar Yoga teachers, Nina, Karin, Nuvana, Cindy, Barb, Julie and Amy. All of our other teachers are preparing for assessment.
To become a certified teacher, a teacher must first have practiced Iyengar Yoga for at least three years. Most will have apprenticed with another teacher or completed comprehensive teacher training programs. The teachers will be readying themselves by using an assigned syllabus of poses, anatomy, yoga philosophy and teaching skills.
Once a teacher feels ready, they must be recommended as ready for ‘assessment’ by two more-senior certified teachers. The recommending teachers will watch the candidate teach, either in person or on tape to decide if the teacher is prepared sufficiently to pass the assessment test. When the teacher training candidate has the recommendations of the two teachers, they are assigned to be assessed somewhere in the United States. The assessment process takes an entire weekend and is mentally and physically demanding.
First, a written test is given to test the candidate on the assigned syllabus topics. Next, each candidate must performing the asanas (poses) that were assigned for the test. These poses can number up to forty! The names of the poses are announced in Sanskrit and then the candidate must perform the poses. This portion of the test can take 90 minutes to two hours of steady asana practice. Finally, a sequence of about six poses is given to each candidate (from the syllabus). The candidate is expected to come back the next day and teach the sequence in 40 minutes to a group of strangers, while 3 senior teachers look on and observe every instruction and correction given. This is generally the most challenging part of the assessment.
Once the assessment is complete, the candidate is notified whether or not they passed in the following week. To become certified, this process is repeated a year or two later with another more challenging syllabus, and higher teaching expectations. After the second assessment is passed, the candidate can call themselves a Certified Iyengar Yoga teacher!
For information about Sunset Yoga’s mentorship program, visit our teacher training page.