July 31, 2008
Yoga Teachers Need the Caring Approach
By MICHELLE RUSHTON
What does a career in yoga teaching involve?
Yoga teachers instruct people on the various positions involved in yoga, and also teach controlled breathing, meditation and visualisation.
They teach yoga either as a form of exercise, to increase physical fitness and suppleness, or as a therapy to combat or control health problems and are usually based in sports and leisure centres or health studios.
In the UK the most widely taught style of yoga is Hatha, which offers exercises to stretch and flex the body, develop breath awareness and relaxation and sometimes meditation.
As a yoga teacher your tasks would include designing course and lesson plans, teaching a wide range of yoga postures, or 'asanas', and efficient breathing habits and assessing students' progress and achievements.
What training do you need?
You need to gain a nationally-recognised yoga teaching qualification and extensive experience of practising yoga with a qualified teacher.
By gaining membership of the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs), which is also known as the 'Exercise Register', you will be able to show employers and clients that you meet fitness industry standards.
At present REPs-recognised yoga teaching qualifications are offered by the British Wheel of Yoga (BWY), Yoga Professionals, Sun Power Yoga and Yoga Scotland.
If you are already a yoga teacher you may be able to get your skills and knowledge recognised, and apply for registration at Level 3 with REPs by Accreditation of Prior Experience and Learning (APEL). This has been developed by SkillsActive, yoga organisations and the fitness industry. Contact SkillsActive for details.
If you are going to work with children or other vulnerable groups you will need CRB clearance.
What personal skills do you need?
You need to be physically fit with the ability to motivate individuals and groups. You also need to have a caring approach and good communication and teaching skills.
What are the opportunities for career progression?
There is a growing demand for yoga teachers in sports and leisure centres, health clubs and community centres. You could work in local authorities, private health clubs or corporate organisations. With experience you may be able to train to become a yoga therapist or do the BWY course tutor qualification so that you can train other tutors.
What is the salary?
(Rough guideline) Most yoga teachers are self-employed and charge either a sessional or hourly rate, ranging from pounds 20 to pounds 6
Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) www.exerciseregister.org
British Wheel of Yoga www.bwy.org.uk
Learndirect Careers Advice www.learndirect-advice.co.uk
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