Iyengar yoga teacher training programs prepare yoga students to teach the key principles of Iyengar yoga, one of the many disciplines of yoga, and also develop their own skills and deepen their knowledge of yoga in the process. Iyengar Yoga poses and exercises typically incorporate everyday items such as doors, chairs and tables and promote strength and flexibility. Paying attention to form, increasing muscle strength and developing self-awareness are some of the fundamental goals of Iyengar Yoga exercises.

Iyengar yoga instructor training programs help students develop the self-discipline, skills and techniques a student needs to increase flexibility and encourage weak areas to strengthen. The result is a realignment of the whole body and a state of relaxation shortly after the session.

Enrolling in an Iyengar Yoga Teacher Training Program

Iyengar Yoga teacher training programs are only available at some yoga studios and fitness centers around the United States. As of 2011, there are approximately 300 certified Iyengar Yoga teachers in the country. Most Iyengar Yoga teacher training programs require about 400 hours of training so prospective teachers need to make sure they have the time and resources available to commit to this type of plan. Many Iyengar Yoga teachers and students undergo several years of training before they even consider getting certified.

Many yoga studios and training centers require the student to have been practicing Iyengar yoga for at least three years. Some Iyengar yoga instructor training programs take up to three years or more to complete, and students are required to take weekly courses, attend weekend workshops and retreats, and participate in Iyengar yoga classes to gain practical experience. Students are also required to practice on their own time. Self study and practicing at home can help to build the individual's skills and also deepen his or her knowledge of yoga.

Only certified Iyengar Yoga instructors are allowed to use the Iyengar name when promoting and advertising their classes.

Iyengar Yoga Instructor Training Program Curriculum

The typical Iyengar Yoga instructor training program curriculum consists of the following courses:

  • Fundamentals of posture and breathing techniques (asanas and pranayamas)
  • Yoga history, philosophy and ethics
  • Practice of teaching asanas and pranayamas
  • Anatomy and physiology associated with yoga practice
  • Personal practice
  • Basic adjustments and the use of props in Iyengar Yoga practice
  • Basic therapeutics
  • The role of Ayurveda and yoga
  • Developing communication skills to give clear instructions

Some training centers and yoga studios also require students to complete an examination component. The exam might consist of writing a theory paper, demonstrating asanas and pranayama, and demonstrating teaching skills. Ultimately, it is not as important to just log in a certain number of hours to meet requirements, but more to focus on the quality of the practice and ensure that the prospective instructor has the necessary skills and knowledge to share the teachings of Iyengar Yoga with others. Practical experience is essential for all Iyengar yoga instructor training programs, and ensures that the instructor can communicate with students effectively, lead their own class, and also encourage the development of the yoga lifestyle in others.

Cost of Iyengar Yoga Instructor Training Programs

Iyengar yoga instructor training program fees vary significantly depending on the location of the training facility or yoga studio, and the level of instruction the prospective teacher will receive. Some students choose to travel to India to work with well-known yogis and practice Iyengar Yoga in a dedicated studio. Others find a yoga teacher training program in their area, or travel out of state to attend an intensive, multi-day training session, workshop or retreat that may lead to certification.