Yoga Alliance Standards

Techniques, Training and Practice: 100 hours

Minimum contact hours: 75 hours --- Minimum contact hours: 50 hours

Topics in this category : asanas, pranayamas, kriyas, chanting, mantra, meditation and other traditional yoga techniques.
1) Analytical training in how to teach and practice the techniques.
2) Guided practice of the techniques themselves. Both areas must receive substantial emphasis.

Teaching Methodology: 25 hours
Minimum contact hours: 15 hours --- Minimum contact hours: 10 hours

Special Requirement: A maximum of five of the above hours can be counted on the subject of business aspects of teaching yoga. Topics in this category could include, but may not be limited to:

  • Communication skills such as group dynamics, time management, and the establishment of priorities and boundaries
  • How to address the specific needs of individuals and special populations, to the degree possible in a group setting
  • Principles of demonstration, observation, assisting and correcting
  • Teaching styles
  • Qualities of a teacher
  • The student learning process
  • Business aspects of teaching yoga (including marketing and legal)
  • The Teaching Methodology category covers a broad overview and analysis of teaching methods, rather than how to practice or teach specific techniques. See the example topics below to help clarify the differences between the Techniques, Training and Practice category and the Teaching Methodology category:

    Techniques, Training and Practice Topics 
    The Five Categories of Asana: You will practice and learn the key poses in each category of asana (standing poses, forward bends, backbends, twists, and inversions) and will begin to develop a relationship to both the form and the function of these different categories.

    Maps of Alignment: Trainees will achieve comprehension of the alignment maps for each of the five categories of asanas through observation and experience of how the poses in each category share a common foundation, and how to build upon this foundation.

     Teaching Methodology Topics

    Principles of Demonstrating Asanas: Discuss how effective demonstrations in class can help emphasize an alignment or other focus for the specific pose or sequence of poses.
    Learning Modalities: identifying your  dominant style, and learning how to teach based on others’ learning styles
    Use of Language and Voice: Lecture and discussion on active vs. passive language and the effective use of each; positive and conscious communication, and habitual speech and communication patterns

    Anatomy and Physiology: 20 hours

    Minimum contact hours: 10 hours --- Minimum contact hours: 0 hours

    Special Requirements: A minimum of five of the above hours must be spent applying anatomy and physiology principles to yoga.

    Topics in this category could include, but would not be limited to: human physical anatomy and physiology (bodily systems, organs, etc.) and may also include energy anatomy and physiology (chakras, nadis, etc.). Includes both the study of anatomy and physiology along with its application to yoga practice (benefits, contraindications, healthy movement patterns, etc.).

    Yoga Philosophy, Lifestyle and Ethics for Yoga Teachers: 30 hours

    Minimum contact hours: 20 hours --- Minimum contact hours: 0 hours

    Special Requirements: A minimum of 2 of the above contact hours must be spent on ethics for yoga teachers.

  • The study of yoga philosophies and traditional texts (such as the Yoga Sutras, Hatha Yoga Pradipika or Bhagavad Gita)
  • Yoga lifestyle, such as the precept of non-violence (ahimsa), and the concepts of dharma and karma
  • Ethics for yoga teachers, such as those involving teacher – student relationships and community
  • Understanding the value of teaching yoga as a service and being of service to others (seva)

    Practicum: 10 hours

    Minimum  contact hours: 5 hours --- Minimum contact hours: 5 hours

  • Practice teaching (does not include assisting, observing or giving feedback)*
  • Receiving and giving feedback
  • Observing others teaching**
  • Assisting students while someone else is teaching
  • *Special Requirement: Each trainee must spend a minimum of 5 contact hours of practice teaching as the lead instructor. These hours may include the time during which the trainee is receiving feedback on his/her teaching. Time spent assisting, observing others teaching, or giving feedback to others is excluded from these hours.

    **Evaluation or observation of yoga classes outside of the Teacher Training Program constitutes non-contact hours.

    Remaining Contact Hours and Elective Hours

    The requirements detailed above ensure that all trainees of a RYS receive training and instruction in five educational categories for a minimum number of designated hours. The remaining contact hours (55 hours) and elective hours (15 hours, either contact or non-contact) are to be distributed among the five educational categories, but the hours may be allocated at the discretion of each RYS based on their program’s focus.

    TOTAL HOURS: 200 hours

    Total minimum contact hours: 180 hours  --- Total minimum contact hours : 65 hours