If you have been practicing hatha yoga for several years and are interested in teaching this type of yoga to others, you will need to complete formal hatha yoga teacher training program. Hatha yoga instructor training programs give students a chance to develop their breathing and movement techniques, and also increase their skills in activating Kundalini energy. Hatha yoga comes in many different varieties, so teachers may have the chance to specialize in a particular area.
About Hatha Yoga Teacher Training Programs
Hatha yoga is just one system of yoga that includes a series of physical exercises and specialized breathing techniques. Hatha yoga is also known as "forceful yoga" because it requires the practitioner to push themselves physically and to incorporate some deep and heavy breathing techniques into each exercise. Students enrolled in a hatha yoga instructor training program learn how to develop their techniques and create a curriculum for their own students.
Most hatha yoga teacher training programs require the completion of 200 hours of training, which includes classroom training, demonstrations, study of yoga scriptures, meditation and observation. Some schools require students to attend a multi-day workshop, spend time in an ashram and work with other yoga professionals in their community. They may also be required to critique yoga classes and attend networking events. Most yoga instructor programs also include a self-study portion. Some training programs lead to certification, but most students who complete a specialized hatha yoga teacher training program are already certified to be yoga instructors and complete this type of training to offer specialty courses at their yoga studio or a local fitness center.
Courses in a Hatha Yoga Instructor Training Program
Some of the key courses in a hatha yoga instructor training program include:
- The Six Shatkarmas (physical and mental detox practices)
- Yogasana (different types of yoga positions)
- Pranayama (pranic awakening)
- Mudras and Bandhas (psycho-physiological energy release techniques)
Hatha Yoga Teacher Training Program Options
In addition to completing a hatha yoga teacher training program at a yoga studio or a yoga school, some teachers choose to attend an intensive workshop that spans over a week or ten days. These yoga retreats are usually residential programs where students can learn the key concepts of hatha yoga, develop their skills, and really live the yoga lifestyle with other practitioners. If you are interested in this type of program, make sure the program has been approved by the Yoga Alliance and that you understand what the fee structure is.
The fundamental goal of practicing hatha yoga is to purify the mind and body so that it becomes easier to balance the chakras and activate kundalini. All of this leads to the process of self-realization. Some of the different categories of hatha yoga practice include:
- Shrishti Krama hatha yoga - stimulates physical, mental and spiritual growth
- Siksana Krama hatha yoga - developing pranayama practices and controlling the bandhas
- Rakshana Krama hatha yoga - maintaining good health through hatha yoga practice and adopting deep relaxation techniques
- Adhyatmika Krama hatha yoga - based on more spiritual practices of yoga, to develop spiritual strength and a deeper connection
- Chikitsa Krama hatha yoga - focused on the healing benefits of yoga, regaining balance and getting rid of negative energy and dysfunction
- Shakti Krama hatha yoga - focuses on developing personal power (Shakti)
Different yoga schools and training centers offer variations of these specialized programs, and some only offer a more general hatha yoga teacher training program. You may need to research several different schools and training centers in your area to find the best match. It's also important to make sure that the program has been approved by the Yoga Alliance and/or the Yoga Register. Some training programs are available in an online format, but you will need to attend a yoga studio or training center for the practicum portion and to gain experience.