Taryn from Loka Yoga School Photo: Taryn Weggelaar, Founder of Loka Yoga School

What can I do with a 200-hour yoga certification?

A 200-hour yoga teacher certification is the first, and most fundamental, foundational step in the journey to becoming a certified yoga teacher. This certification represents a significant commitment to both the practice and teaching of yoga and it plays a pivotal role in the development of one’s knowledge, skills and understanding of this ancient tradition that originates beyond 5,000 years old. Once you complete a 200-hour training, you will be a RYT-200, which means that you completed a 200-hour teacher training with a registered yoga school (RYS).

The 200-hour yoga certification is the common ‘entry-level’ certification for teaching yoga.  With this qualification, you can pursue various opportunities in the yoga industry. Every space is quite a different experience and understanding exactly what you wish to offer and – more importantly – why, will support you in pursuing the career of your dreams.

13 Options Once You Have a 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Certification

There are more options then just the below 13, but keep in mind that once you have a certification, you will be viewed as more credible and experienced and more opportunities will become available to you.

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1. Teach Yoga Classes

As a certified yoga teacher, you can start teaching yoga classes to the public. You can lead group classes at yoga studios, fitness centers, community centers, or even online. These classes can range from beginner to mixed-level or specialized classes.  You can also teach children in schools, with the correct training and ‘working with children’ clearances.  Be clear of the laws, rules and regulations in your area and for where you’re teaching.  Some studios may also require you to have personal insurance and be qualified in First Aid.  Do not be shy to enquire about the pay and incentives (such as free membership).  Get a feel for the space and become familiar with what is available in the way of props, music, etc.

2. Private Yoga Instruction

Offering one-on-one or small group private yoga sessions is another option. Many students prefer personalized instruction and as a certified teacher, you can tailor your sessions to meet individual needs and goals.  Meet up with your student prior and be clear on their capabilities, injuries and goals for commencing private yoga classes with you.  Enquire about what a usual day looks like for them, regular activities or hobbies they participate in and devise sequences that suit them specifically and individually.  Always write down your sequences so you can keep track of what does and doesn’t work for them, modify as necessary and offer challenges where appropriate.

3. Corporate Yoga

Many companies recognize yoga’s benefits for employee well-being and incorporate yoga into their wellness programs and initiatives. You can offer your teaching services to corporations to conduct yoga sessions in a corporate setting. This can include office yoga, stress relief sessions, or wellness programs incorporating yoga, breathwork training, and meditation techniques. Focusing on external rotation of the shoulders, arms, and hands (the opposite of how we sit at a desk) is highly beneficial. Guided meditation and guided breathwork techniques are recommended so the mind does not wander back to the emails and ‘to-do’ list awaiting them in the office.

4. Yoga Workshops

Teaching workshops allows you to dive deeper into specific aspects of yoga. You can offer workshops on mindfulness, meditation, pranayama (breath control), yoga philosophy, or any other area of expertise you develop. These can be one-time events or a series of workshops.

5. Yoga for Special Populations

You can specialize in teaching yoga to specific populations, such as children, seniors, pregnant women, prisoners, people operating heavy machinery or individuals with disabilities. These populations often require modified practices and your certification equips you with the skills to adapt yoga to their unique needs. Take time to consider their ‘why’ behind doing yoga…always remember you are there for them, to share yoga and benefit them and their lives.

6. Yoga Retreats

If you have a passion for travel and adventure, you can organize or lead yoga retreats. Yoga retreats combine yoga practice with relaxation and self-care in beautiful locations, offering a unique experience to your students.

7. Online Yoga Instruction

In the digital age, creating and selling online yoga classes, courses, or tutorials is a viable option. Platforms like YouTube, social media, or specialized yoga websites can help you reach a global audience. Your certification lends credibility to your online offerings. And, you can of course train online and receive a certification.

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8. Yoga Teacher Assistant

Assisting experienced yoga teachers in their classes can be an excellent way to gain more teaching experience. It allows you to learn from seasoned instructors while honing your own skills.

9. Continuing Education

Many yoga teachers pursue advanced certifications, such as YACEP courses (Yoga Alliance Continued Education Programs). These courses have been carefully audited and align with International criteria to enable you to deepen your knowledge and teaching abilities. They are particularly useful if you aspire to teach more advanced or specialized yoga styles.

10. Yoga Blog or YouTube Channel

Sharing your knowledge and passion on a Youtube yoga channel, on a blog, or other social media platforms is a way to reach a wider audience. You can provide valuable insights, tutorials and inspiration related to yoga, wellness and healthy living.

11. Yoga for Therapy

If you have a strong interest in the therapeutic aspects of yoga, you can further your education in yoga therapy. This allows you to work with individuals dealing with specific health injuries or issues and offer them tailored yoga practices to support their well-being.  Be mindful that a certified Yoga Therapy training must be completed prior to referring to oneself as a Yoga Therapist.

12. Yoga Studio Management

If you possess additional skills in business management, you might consider opening and managing your own yoga studio. Many 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training courses not only qualify you to teach yoga, but also equips you with the knowledge to run a successful yoga business.

13. Fitness Centers and Gyms

These days, most fitness centers and gyms offer yoga classes to their members as part of their fitness programs. This is a great opportunity, as you are working with those who already have an interest in health, fitness and well-being and you often score a membership as part of the incentive teaching for them.

Photo: Taryn Weggelaar teaching a class

Wrapping it Up - Final Thoughts on Getting a 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Certification

Determining if you’re ready to join a 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training can be half the battle. Remember that completing a certification is the first step and starting point for a fulfilling and versatile career in teaching yoga. We consistently practice Svadhyaya, a willingness to grow and continue studies of this ancient practice.

Your 200-hour certification equips you with the foundational knowledge and skills needed to share yoga with others, to various populations and in diverse settings. As you continue to learn, grow and gain experience, you can choose to specialize, advance your certifications, or explore the many opportunities available in the world of yoga and wellness. The path you take can be tailored to your interests, strengths, and aspirations within the field of yoga, making it a rewarding and dynamic career choice.

It is important to always practice Santosha, contentment, with where you’re at. Aim high and never give up. Keep in mind that while a 200-hour yoga certification provides a solid foundation for teaching yoga, the yoga industry is very competitive these days and many instructors choose to continue their education and gain more experience to stand out in the field. Additional certifications, workshops, continuing education and ongoing practice can help you refine your teaching skills and build a strong reputation as a yoga instructor.