levels of cert

With news of the ongoing advocacy work of Yoga Alliance to prevent Yoga Teaching from becoming legislated, it is not unreasonable to feel a little confused about what is actually required to teach yoga. At this year’s Yoga Show and Conference in Toronto, the most common question we were asked was: “What training do I need to become a Kids Yoga Teacher?”

Here’s the short answer: yoga training standards are not required or enforced.

A big part of this is thanks to Yoga Alliance’s work to demonstrate that yoga teachers are self-regulated with industry standards. Typically, reputable kids’ yoga instructors will work towards completing the industry standards. However, there are valuable milestones that can be achieved on the way to full certification:

Weekend or Workshop Certificate

Most Kids Yoga Teacher Training gives a certificate of completion at the end of a course, regardless of the length of the training. Young Yoga Masters provides a certificate after each completed 16 hour module, so you can start teaching right away.

Who typically gets this level of Certification?

  • Those already working with children in a school, daycare, or camp typically take a weekend certification course and use the training immediately with the kids they are already teaching.
  • Those who want to test the waters and see if teaching kids’ yoga is right for them.
  • Those on their way to becoming a Registered Children’s Yoga Teacher who have chosen a training with a Yoga Alliance registered school

95-Hour Certificate

Yoga Alliance set 95 hours of specialty training in kids’ yoga as the standard for a Registered Children’s Yoga School (RCYS). A RCYS must follow specific training requirements and provide training in various categories to create a well-rounded training. Young Yoga Masters is a Yoga Alliance registered children’s yoga school.

Who typically gets this level of Certification?

  • Those only interested in teaching children, not adults.
  • Those who need insurance for their yoga business (insurance companies usually require more than a weekend of training)
  • Those who need more practical experience teaching kids to feel confident
  • Those teaching yoga to children who want more ideas and more variety to keep kids engaged
  • Those on their way to becoming a Registered Children’s Yoga Teacher who have chosen a training with a Yoga Alliance registered school

Yoga Alliance Registered Children’s Yoga Teacher (RCYT)

Yoga Alliance’s standard for Registered Children’s Yoga Teachers is:

  • 200 hours Adult Yoga Teacher Training plus
  • 95 Hour Children’s Yoga Teacher Training followed by 30 hours of practical experience teaching children.

Who typically gets this level of Certification?

  • Those who want full qualifications to teach yoga to children, qualifications that meet the Yoga Industry standards
  • Those who want to strengthen their yoga teaching foundation beyond the playful approach of kids yoga to areas like alignment and sequencing
  • Those who one day want to be Children’s Yoga Teacher Trainers
Infographic describing different levels of certification

Infographic outlining different levels of certification

So What Training is Right for YOU?

Take a minute to consider where you fit into the information above.

All Yoga teacher training is incredibly valuable, exploring many topics and teaching habits yogis may have not considered or come across in their own practice.

In-depth training explores best pedagogical practice and ethical concerns you should be aware of. For example:

  • It is crucial as an instructor to understand ways of determining when and how to physically assist students and when verbal cues may be more comfortable and appropriate.
  • How will you ask for consent to adjust your students?
  • How can poses be adjusted for those with different abilities?

Expanding Your Network and Building Community

An added benefit of participating in lengthy training with other like-minded individuals translates to an easy entry to the yogic community, or expansion of your existing network. Though this is not a requirement, it is certainly a benefit to training participation.

Your network can be a great resource long after training is complete, whether it be for personal support, finding a sub, hearing about new classes, or professional development.

Training can be a time of tremendous personal growth as well.

In the end the best practices lean towards choosing training registered with Yoga Alliance that will count towards your 95-hour certificate.

There was a time when Yoga Alliance was not responsive to the needs of Yoga Teachers, but that time passed when Yoga Alliance began to advocate on behalf of teachers at the policy level. We are happy to have Registered Adult and Children’s Yoga Schools.

These are just a few of many important questions to consider before taking the lead in a yoga class.

Whether you get a weekend training or full certification will be your choice in the end, and you’ll consider what you are getting and what you won’t get with the training you choose.

What factors are important to you in choosing a Yoga Teacher Training? How will you decide?

Get Your Kids Yoga Teacher Training

Now Online!

Train during the temporary online provision from Yoga Alliance

*Yoga Alliance’s Online Training Provision allows for both self-paced (watching recorded training) and/or Live Zoom Training. You can choose a combination of these that works for you.

You’ll be glad you did it!

1 Comment
  1. Enjoyed reading through this aticle, very good stuff thank you.