Though Yoga as field and practice is famous for quite some time, the recent surge is on various teacher’s training courses.
This trend started with segregation of teacher’s based on how long they have trained for.
This classification was done by YogaAlliance in the year 1997. Two most common classifications are RYT 200 and RYT 500, which in simple terms is teacher’s training course and advanced teacher’s training course.
Yoga Alliance is a non-profit organisation, with its headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.
One thing that was missing from these definitions was an authentic central guideline which :
- Included thoughts from prominent schools of yoga
- defined common standard expected from a yoga professional
The alliance brought all the main schools together but still, there were no commonly acceptable requirements which would unite yoga teaching as a professional field.
Which means, you can be graduate from a teacher’s training course but there are also chances that you may have skipped a certain part of Yoga as cursory reading only.
Thus, this was necessary.
When you teach yoga, out of an ashram condition, you are mainly dealing with health.
A person comes to a yoga teacher with certain trust, which is there due to everything he/she has heard about yoga and health benefits.
Health is the driving factor in the beginning. The spiritual journey comes later and that too is a small fraction of self-motivated practitioners.
With more and more people practising yoga and joining yoga classes, the need was felt for universally acceptable professional standards for yoga teaching professionals.
Hence the scheme by Government of India. Which is now approved by UN too.
From publicly available information, it can be inferred that
For the same purpose, Quality Council of India ( QCI ) set up a technical committee with representatives from major yoga schools and inputs were invited for this scheme.
This scheme is mentored by AYUSH and owned by Quality Council of India.
Currently, guidelines and certifications are for two levels only.
Level-1: Instructor (details of the criteria)
Level-2: Teacher (details of criteria)
Detailed guidelines for certifications are available at QCI website.
- The certification exam consists of 2 stages.
- Stage 1: Theory exam
- Stage 2: Practical exam
- Passing percentage of stage 1 (theory exam) is 70 %
- For the practical exam you are assessed by a panel of 3 examiners for your competence as instructor or teacher level.
Level 1 theory exam is an MCQ exam with 60 Questions of 1 mark each. Duration of the exam is 1 hour & 30 minutes.
Level 2 theory exam is in two parts: 60 MCQ and 10 subjective questions. Duration of the exam is 3 hours.
A panel of 3 independent examiners who are from different yoga schools assess knowledge of candidates.
Here your clarity on concepts as well ability to deliver them effectively is evaluated.
Level 1 candidates have to appear only for demonstration and viva voice.
Level 2 candidates have to appear for demonstration, viva voice & assessment of teaching skills.
Now, this is the sweet part.
You can appear for the certification exam even without any formal education in the field. Though, if you have done any course/diploma/certification, it will help you a lot in clearing the certification.
In certain parts of India and elsewhere, you learn teaching yoga by assisting a senior teacher or at an ashram. In most cases, the concept of formal certification isn’t there in such scenario.
To bring talent pool forward from such scenarios, the basic educational qualifications have been done away with.
[Maybe, once sufficiently big pool of accredited institutions are there, then eligibility criteria will be updated]
Should you go for it?
If you are serious about teaching yoga as a career or even as voluntary work, then it is good to get certified.
Especially in cities, a certification ( especially which requires such high percentage to pass) will help you in building credentials and trust with your students/clients.
Plus it will also help you in testing the breadth and depth of your knowledge and teaching skills.