Yoga Instructor Certification: Cost and Analysis

Aug 23, 2018 · 8 minutes to read

The benefits of regular yoga practice are becoming known to more people every day. The ancient practice now has more than 20 million practitioners in the United States. With more students every day, the call to become a yoga instructor may not come at a better time.

The ways and means to launch a successful yoga instructor career are varied and personal, but a yoga instructor certification and good yoga instructor liability insurance will help any yogi launch their teaching career.

Further, if you plan on teaching in a studio or fitness center, you will be required to have both.

The cost of a yoga teacher certification can be substantial. Picking the best certification for your budget and your goals is one of the first and most important business decisions you will make as you embark on a yoga instructor career.

Yoga teacher training programs are not regulated by the state or federal government. Therefore, they can vary widely both in cost and content. How much you pay for your yoga teacher certification depends on where you chose to take your training and what kind of training you select.

How Much is a Yoga Certification and What to Avail?

As discussed, the cost and content of yoga instructor certification programs vary, but there is surely a program to fit every need and budget. You can complete a certification online through self-paced modules and video instruction, or you can fly to India to earn a yoga instructor certification in the birthplace of the practice.

The right certification for you depends on your reason for seeking a yoga instructor certification. Are you in it for fun, self-improvement or are you launching a career as a yoga instructor?

The Yoga Alliance

The most recognized and accepted yoga instructor training programs in the United States are those that are certificated by the Yoga Alliance. The Yoga Alliance is a United States-based nonprofit membership and trade organization made up of yoga teachers and professionals.

The Yoga Alliance has set standards for yoga teacher training schools that are commonly considered the best. Students who attend a Yoga Alliance certified teaching program can secure a designation such as RYT 200[1] which is a Registered Yoga Teacher who completed a 200-hour training course. This is often one of the minimum requirements for teaching in a studio or fitness center.

So then, if you are seeking to use your yoga instructor certification to teach in any manner – privately, in a studio or in a donation-based setting, a good argument can be made for attending a program certified by the Yoga Alliance.

If you participate in a Yoga Alliance certified program, you can expect a certain class make up. The yoga teacher instructor training includes:

  • 100 hours of techniques, training, and practice to include analytical study and guided practice of asanas, pranayama, and kriyas
  • 25 hours of teaching methodology to include communication, teaching styles, teacher qualities, learning processes and business principles
  • 20 hours of anatomy and physiology to include instruction on the human anatomy including organs, systems, chakras and the benefits and contraindications of yoga asanas
  • 30 hours of yoga philosophy, lifestyle, and ethics for yoga teachers to include the study of traditional yoga texts, yoga teacher ethics, yoga precepts and philosophies
  • 10 hours of practicum to include practice teaching, receiving and giving feedback, observation of other teachers, assisting students during another instructor’s class

The cost of a Yoga Alliance certified teacher training program varies from about $1,000 – $3,000, depending on the location. It isn’t the least expensive option for a yoga instructor certification, but there are some benefits:

  • A thorough and regulated curriculum
  • Practical teaching experience
  • Opportunity to register with the Yoga Alliance
  • Affordable options

How to Become a Yoga Instructor

To launch a yoga instructor career, certification is only your first step. You must also purchase yoga instructor liability insurance and exercise a few business principles. Every yoga teacher will take a different path, but here are some basics to follow when you begin.

Choose your certification program carefully: To be successful, you need a certification program that fits your budget but also prepares you to teach on completion. If you don’t choose a Yoga Alliance program, make sure the curriculum is through and includes hands-on practice teaching, a deep dive in anatomy and yoga philosophy. Vet your program carefully.

Consider yoga instructor liability insurance: Protecting yourself with insurance is the next step after getting your yoga instructor certification. Some studios will require you to have it before they will allow you to teach. The yoga instructor liability cost is affordable and has some weighty benefits. Click here for a quick and easy quote on affordable professional liability insurance policies.

Teach: As you know, practice makes perfect, so the more you teach the better. Your certification and professional liability insurance will give you an edge when bidding on classes and seek job opportunities. In most cases, both will be required. Put those in place before you begin looking for teaching gigs.

Market: Marketing is a must for successful yoga instructors. Harness social media and the reach of the web to market yourself on a budget. You can tweet, post, blog and share your teaching.

Give Back: If you are philanthropic at heart, look for opportunities to serve. The best opportunities for teaching and service are available if you are certified and insured.

The Cost to Become a Yoga Instructor

As with any profession, becoming a yoga instructor has costs. There are education, insurance and equipment expenses. It is best to know and prepare for the costs to become a yoga teacher. Among other things, you will pay for:

Certification: Your yoga instructor certification will likely be your largest expense. Depending on which certification you chose you can spend anywhere from $100 to more than $10,000. A Bikram [2] teacher training can cost more than $16,000.

Choose your program carefully to make sure it fits your goals and budget.

Insurance: As a yoga instructor you should consider yoga instructor liability insurance. BizInsure offers General Liability coverage for less than $29.00 a month and Professional Liability coverage for about $40.00 per month.

Here are just a couple of reasons insurance is a consideration for the modern yoga instructor:

  • Yoga has become a billion-dollar industry: According to a study [3] by the Yoga Journal and the Yoga Alliance, yoga practitioners spend $16.8 billion on classes, accessories, and gear. Also, 74 per cent of yoga students have been practising for less than five years.
  • Yoga injuries are common: Yoga injuries are now more than twice as common as they were in 2001. Between 2001 and 2014 the rate of yoga injuries [4] among adults 65 and older increased more than eightfold.

As a yoga instructor, you must protect yourself from bodily injury and property damage liability that may arise at any time during your teaching career.

Travel time: As a yoga instructor you will likely travel to different studios to teach classes or even to client’s homes. Travel expenses can add up and create a significant cost to your business. Account for travel expenses such as gas, wear and tear on your vehicle and time spent driving.

Continuing education: Certified yoga instructors will have continuing education requirements. The Yoga Alliance requires 45 hours of teaching over three years and 30 hours of training over the same time.

Miscellaneous expenses: As with other professions, yoga teaching has other expenses. These include fees for professional associations, music downloads, your marketing costs and the cost for your attire and props through the year.

How Much Does a Teaching Certificate Cost?

The cost of a yoga instructor certification is variable, but here are some basic facts and figures on what you can spend on a yoga teaching certification.

TypeCost rangeMid-rangeTime
200 hours$1,000 and up$1,000-$3,0003 – 5 months
500 hours$1,000 and up$1,000-$3,0006 months or more. 500 hours refers to total hours. It can be completed after a 200-hour certification by completing a 300-hour training
Specializations$75 – $500$150-$300Less than a week. Specializations can be completed on their own and include children’s yoga, stand up paddle board yoga or chair yoga

Teaching yoga is a profession, and the best yoga instructors do well to combine this noble calling with practical business expertise.

Dependable investments in your teaching career include a good yoga instructor certification and yoga instructor liability insurance. The combination provides a solid foundation for your teaching career.

Click the link to purchase yoga instructor liability insurance quickly and easily. Coverage confirmation is available immediately.

BizInsure combines cutting-edge technology and licensed agent support to provide expert insurance advice, affordability, and ease.


[1] Yoga Alliance, (2018). Yoga Teacher Designations [online] Available at: https://www.yogaalliance.org/Become_a_Member/Teachers/Yoga_Teacher_Designations [Accessed 3 Aug. 2018].

[2] Bikram Yoga Teacher Training, (2017). Teacher Training Fees [online] Available at http://www.bikramyogatt.com/about/fees/ [Accessed 3 Aug. 2018].

[3] Yoga Journal, (2016). 2016 Yoga In America Study. [online] Available at: http://media.yogajournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016YIAS-Release-Final.pdf [Accessed 3 Aug. 2018].

[4] Sawin, T. and McGwin, G. (2016). Yoga-Related Injuries in the United States from 2001 to 2014. Orthopedic Journal of Sports Medicine. [online] Volume 4(11). Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5117171/ [Accessed 3 Aug. 2018].


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