In-Depth Jobs

volume-11, 15-21 June 2019

Yoga teaching as a career

Nidhi Prasad

When it comes to health matters owing to the exposure to Global trends people seem to have become more proactive than they used to be. According to surveys. While professional healthcare is generally still practiced in response to disease, an increasing interest in preventive measures shows a shift in awareness and behavior, especially among the young, Millennials in particular - those who came of age at the turn of the Century - are leading the charge by making health-promoting diet and lifestyle choices a priority, as recent studies indicate.

Recession, competition and the struggle to hold a job is making lives even more strenuous and stressful. All these are leading an individual to search for means of wellbeing, peace and calmness. Fitness is the call of today's world, and many are turning to Yoga which has millions of practitioners worldwide.

When we hear the word 'Yoga', chances are that an image of people twisting in presumably painful poses might pop up in your head. Yes, postures or asanas are an important part of the teachings of Yoga, but they are not all that there is to it. So, how well do you really know Yoga? As the world gears up to celebrate the International Day of Yoga, let us try and unravel the mysteries of the world of Yoga. The word Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word Yuj, which means union of the individual and universal consciousness.

Yoga is the Sanskrit word which means Union. It is a 5000-year-old Indian philosophy that combines exercise, breathing, diet, relaxation and meditation. It is a combination of physical and mental disciplines which make the body stronger and healthier and the mind calmer and more controlled, helping towards self-realization. There are many meanings of Yoga. Some refer to physical postures, some to breathing and some to a mental technique. Yoga today is considered far superior to all exercises, because in Yoga the emphasis is not just on exercises but on mind control and a balanced diet as well.

Yoga has traditionally been the art of living a healthy life. It has been a major healer in ancient India. Be it a physical ailment or mental- the cure for all has been found in Yoga. What began as a philosophical way of life in the East, caught on like wildfire in the West, and has also seen a rejuvenation in India, the land where Yoga was born.


The aspirant feels rejuvenated and energized, thus, Yoga bestows upon every aspirant the powers to control body and mind. The art of practicing Yoga helps in controlling an individual's mind, body and soul. It brings together physical and mental disciplines to achieve a peaceful body and mind; it helps manage stress and anxiety and keeps you relaxing. It Refines Balance and Coordination, it also helps in increasing flexibility, muscle strength and body tone. It improves respiration, energy and vitality. Practicing Yoga might seem like just stretching, but it can do much more for your body from the way you feel, look and move.


Our children live in a hurry-up world of busy parents, school pressures, incessant lessons, video games, malls, and competitive sports. We usually don't think of these influences as stressful for our kids, but often they are. The bustling pace of our children's lives can have a profound effect on their innate joy - and usually not for the better. Yoga can help counter these pressures. When children learn techniques for self-health, relaxation, and inner fulfillment, they can navigate life's challenges with a little more ease. Yoga at an early age encourages self-esteem and body awareness with a physical activity that's non-competitive.

It develops Focus and Concentration: The act of practicing poses encourages children to clear their mind and focus on the effort. As a result of this single focus to achieve a particular pose or stay balanced, Yoga helps children to focus and concentrate in school and get better grades.

It Boosts Self-Esteem and Confidence: Yoga helps to instill confidence and to bring learning to children on an experiential level. Yoga teaches them to persevere, be patient, and work towards their goals. Yoga also provides tools for practicing compassion, mindfulness, generosity, focus, strength, and flexibility.


Yoga is no longer confined to the Ashram's of Maharishi's nor is its popularity limited to hippies and fitness enthusiasts. Today, Yoga is an intrinsic part of lifestyle for people across the Country, and the growing number of Yoga studios and personal Yoga coaching classes are a testimony to this trend.

And, with the International Yoga Day giving further impetus to the popularity of Yoga, Yoga is being touted as the new currency for fitness. This has also translated into greater enthusiasm to take up Yoga as career.

Yoga is a great career choice as it is an ancient art and a natural way of remaining fit and healthy. And, being a certified yoga instructor comes with the ability to take your career wherever you travel. The scope of Yoga as career is a wide canvas - from opportunities to work in nature resorts to Schools to fitness centre's to your own studios to even becoming personal Yoga instructors of celebrities!

Yoga as a career can be taken up as either part-time or full-time, has many benefits, with increasing government focus and growing awareness about Yoga, the demand for Yoga instructors is expected to grow by about 30-35 percent in a couple of years, according to a study. Even our Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi has recognized Yoga as the best form of fitness regime.


To become a professional in Yoga, one needs to simply have the interest to start with. To make it a profession, there are no requirements as such, but many Universities require a basic high school degree in any stream.

Professional qualification in the field of Yoga is imparted at both under graduate and post graduate levels. For seeking admission to under graduate program, one must pass 10+2 in any stream from a recognized Board. For post-graduation program, minimum qualification is a Bachelor's degree in any stream from a recognized University, although philosophy graduates are given preference. Courses are available in degree/diploma and certificate levels. At times, specific qualification is not required. Instead, experience is counted in this field. There is not any age limit for admission in Yoga courses.

The main subjects of Yoga Theory include- Anatomy, Philosophy, Exercises, Meditation, and Theory and Principles of Yoga and Meditation, etc. A large component of the training is praticals, which include various asanas such as shatkama, yogasana, suryanamaskar, pranayam, meditation, and so on.

There are many courses available in this field by which students can make their career in this field. Some of the most sought courses are:

Bachelors in Arts (Yoga), Masters in Arts (Yoga), PG Diploma in Yoga Therapy and Certificate Courses in Yoga are also available.

One cans alsoopt for Bachelors in Yoga and Naturopathy. It is a 5.5 years long degree, and it combines the knowledge of modern medicine and the traditional medicine. The course will cover all aspects of human health, such as, prenatal to geriatric care, from lifestyle to diet, from the physical to the mental.  During the years you will study about different types of Yoga therapies like color therapy, sun therapy, mud therapy, etc. basics of naturopathy, introduction to hatha Yoga, different diets, etc. If one aspires to continue their studies in the area of research and want to understand and gain more knowledge they can take up a postdoctoral degree in Yoga.

Central Council for Research in Yoga & Naturopathy also offers a 1-year Diploma in Yoga & Naturopathy (DYN) which is approved by the M/o Health & Family Welfare.  To enable more people to tap this vibrant opportunity, and bring about a standardization in the quality of yoga practices across the world, the Indian Government has launched the "Scheme for Voluntary Certification of Yoga Professionals, and is monitored by the Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH). The Quality Council of India (QCI) will certify all Yoga professionals.

Colleges Offering Yoga Courses:

  • Patanjali Yoga and Research Center
  • Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga
  • Government College of Yoga Education and Health


On a professional level, one needs to specialize in:

  • Yoga exercises for physical fitness
  • Spiritual Yoga Therapy
  • Yoga especially designed for kids
  • Yoga for the couples
  • Corporate Yoga
  • Pre-Natal and/or Post-Natal Yoga
  • Private lessons of Yoga
  • Retreats or workshops


  • Yoga is known throughout the World because of its simplicity. Moreover, as a form of healing have no side effects. Based on the Yoga training one can opt for the field of research, training or work as a Yoga Therapist. One can find work in:
  • Research
  • Academic
  • Health Resorts
  • Hospitals
  • Gyms
  • Schools
  • Health centers
  • Corporate Houses

Television channels also hire Yoga trainers. Self-employment is an option many opt for as well. There is no dearth of scope for the people in this noble profession.


The corporate sector has woken up to the deadly effect of stress on the health of its employees and has adopted Yoga into its culture in a big way. Yoga instructors are therefore highly sought after in these domains. Personal one-on-one classes are also becoming a popular option.

With so much of competition around, it is not easy to establish oneself and gain instant riches in this field. Becoming a yoga instructor is not as easy as it seems, as it requires a lot of patience, practice, perseverance and dedication. You need to be able to gauge the right regimen for your students depending on their need, age, lifestyle, body, and fitness. You also have to think carefully about the style of Yoga you want to teach. Transitioning from a Yoga student to a teacher is not an overnight change as it is much more than demonstrating or practicing Yoga postures!

It's time to convert your passion to your profession. Grab a Yoga mat to learn your Lotus pose, and dream on!

(The author is a Senior Counseling Psychologist.

e-mail- nidhiprasadcs@gmail. com)

Views expressed are personal.

(Image Courtesy : Google)