How To Become an Ashtanga Yoga Teacher

How to become an Ashtanga yoga teacher

So, you want to know how to become an Ashtanga yoga teacher and you’re wondering where to start? This article has covered everything you need to know, including:

Before we dive straight in, if you’re looking to get educated in yoga instruction, check out our level 3 diploma in teaching yoga here? Or, you can browse through our full range of yoga and fitness courses here in our downloadable course prospectus.

What Makes Ashtanga Yoga Different from Other Forms?

Ashtanga yoga teacher course

Ashtanga yoga is unique in the way in which it is predetermined, meaning that the asanas (poses) are planned rather than improvised. 

Ashtanga is a structured style of yoga in which class members perform the same poses in the same order each time.

Because of this, students are able to remember the sequence, which means Ashtanga teachers spend the majority of their time adjusting faulty postures, rather than actually instructing students as to which poses to do.

Ashtanga is similar to that of Vinyasa yoga in that it requires the flow of moving from one pose to another and classes can be very strenuous, particularly for new goers. 

However, Vinyasa yoga is less prescriptive, with teachers able to choose the order or sequence in which they ask students to perform poses.

What Qualifications Do You Need to Become an Ashtanga Yoga teacher?

Ashtanga yoga teacher training europe

Now that you’re clear on what Ashtanga is, you’re probably wondering what it takes to become an Ashtanga yoga teacher - so allow us to explain.

Level 3 Diploma in Yoga Teaching

The first step in becoming an Ashtanga yoga teacher is to complete a Level 3 Diploma in Yoga Teaching. 

This course consists of extensive modules in which you will learn the skills and knowledge needed to successfully create an inclusive and welcoming environment in which you can deliver yoga classes that are engaging for participants. 

You’ll develop the knowledge to plan yoga sessions for individuals and groups, including those from special populations, such as:

  • Pregnant people
  • Children
  • The elderly
  • Individuals with disabilities

On completion of this course, you’ll be equipped to:

  • Teach group-based classes
  • Carry out 1-2-1 Yoga sessions with clients
  • Work as an employed yoga teacher or start a freelance business

With this qualification, you’ll be able to apply to a range of holistic yoga instructor jobs, such as this one from Trax performance.

level 3 yoga course

These kinds of job adverts are pretty common, more common than any other yoga teacher role so you can rest assured that with you are well equipped for a yoga role at entry level.

How Long Does It Take to Become an Ashtanga Yoga Teacher?

yoga teaching qualification

At OriGym, our level 3 yoga teaching qualification is taught part-time, allowing students to study the theoretical side of yoga remotely (online) whilst also attending practical workshops.

Just some of the online resources students have access to include:

  • Online lectures
  • Videos
  • Extensive asana library
  • E-books

Studying part-time gives students the opportunity to learn at their own pace without deadlines, allowing them to work as fast or slow as they choose depending on their individual circumstances. 

This kind of learning is perfect for those who want to fit their studies around existing commitments such as work, family life, or university. 

If you have the luxury of dedicating your full time and attention to the course, even better! That means that you’ll be able to get through the course content quicker than the average student.


Become a Yoga Teacher with OriGym!

Enquire now about our level 3 diploma in yoga teaching.

With that in mind, you’re probably wondering ‘how long does it take to become an Ashtanga yoga teacher?'

OriGym’s yoga teacher training course consists of around 400 hours of guided learning, and so the average student takes around 4 months to complete the qualification. 

Of course, students can complete the course over a shorter or longer time period depending on various factors, such as:

  • How much time they can dedicate to the course
  • What level of knowledge they have to begin with 
  • Whether they pass their assessments on the first attempt

If your ultimate goal is to become an Ashtanga yoga teacher specifically, it’s recommended that you complete an advanced level 4 yoga teacher training course after completing your level 3.

This course is structured in the same way as our level 3 yoga teaching diploma, and also takes an average of 4 months to complete, so you should factor that into the time it will take you to get qualified.

Level 4 Diploma in Yoga Teaching

Ashtanga yoga teacher training online

If your ultimate goal is to become an Ashtanga yoga teacher specifically, completing an advanced level 4 yoga teacher training course will allow you to specialise in this area.

Our level 4 yoga course allows you to specialise in a certain discipline, such as Ashtanga, which makes it the perfect qualification for individuals who want to find their way in teacher training Ashtanga yoga as a specified discipline.

As well as Ashtanga specific knowledge, this course will also allow you to build on your holistic knowledge of yoga, with core topics covering:

  • Teaching yoga as a profession 
  • Understanding and Applying the Philosophy and spiritual principles of Yoga
  • Yogic breathing styles
  • Teaching Asana to Meet the Needs of a Mixed Ability Students
  • Planning & Delivering Yoga Sessions

This is how you can expand your horizons when teaching classes and can even make them client specific. For example, in your level 4 advancement you will learn the specifics of Ashtanga which makes you perfectly qualified to have an Ashtanga yoga studio of your own.

Take a look at this studio below that does just that and teaches Ashtanga exclusively:

Ashtanga yoga instructor jobs

This is a prime example of how you can begin to pick a niche and your discipline with the help of a level 4 advancement and how powerful that can be for the success of your career as a yoga teacher. 

If you want some extra information on the yoga teaching industry, read our handy guides below:

Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Salary

Ashtanga yoga teacher salary

Like any career, you pursue it to support you and allow you to make a healthy living. The good news is that upon completing teacher training for Ashtanga yoga you have the opportunity to enter a role that comes with just that. 

Getting qualified as a yoga teacher takes dedication and hardwork, which is reflected in the average salary for this role. But don’t just take our word for it, as you can see below, Indeed have reported that yoga instructors in some areas of the UK are earning up to £57.23 per hour!

Ashtanga yoga teacher income

Considering that, in the UK, the current minimum wage is currently £8.91, this is a huge difference! 

These figures demonstrate that by investing in a yoga teacher qualification, you will acquire a level of knowledge that is valued in the industry - as it should be!

It's worth mentioning that these figures are based on the average salary of a holistic yoga instructor, as there isn’t much data on the earnings of those who exclusively teach Ashtanga. Also, a determining factor of salary numbers relates to where it is that you’re teaching - which we will talk about shortly.

That said, most level 3 yoga courses will qualify you to teach a range of types of yoga, so these salaries are certainly in reach.


Why Become an Ashtanga Yoga Teacher?

If earning a healthy salary isn’t enough to convince you to become an Ashtanga yoga teacher, here are some more reasons to consider this career.

#1 Your Own Health Will Benefit

How to become an ashtanga yoga teacher

Yoga has tons of rewarding benefits for both mind and body and so by pursuing it as your career and practicing daily, your health will benefit immensely.

Whilst many 9-5 jobs are deemed as stressful, the role of a yoga teacher is much more flexible and even opens up the opportunity for you to become your own boss. Both of these factors mean that you can avoid the burden or potential burnout of a stressful 9-5.

There are so many characteristics of Ashtanga yoga that make it the perfect career for anybody who enjoys the tranquility of everyday life - it’s arguably the perfect job for just about anybody who is interested in improving their own health and wellbeing as aswell as that of other people.

#2 - It’s Rewarding

Teacher training ashtanga yoga

If improving your own health and wellbeing isn’t enough of a reason to complete Ashtanga yoga teacher training, then think about the impact that your teachings could have on your clients’ lives. 

Credible research into the efficacy of yoga on mental health concluded that yoga can be an effective alternative treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD). 

These findings just go to show teaching yoga and creating a positive atmosphere within your class could really have a life changing impact on the wellbeing of others. 

Sharing your extensive knowledge in yoga and guiding clients down a path to tranquility will create genuine feelings of gratitude on behalf of your clients, which is sure to feel extremely rewarding.

#3 - It Won’t Feel Like Work

Ashtanga yoga teacher training

Have you ever heard the saying “do what you love and you will never work a day in your life”? Well this is the perfect description of how it feels to be a yoga teacher. 

For example, below is a yoga teacher that describes her feelings when working. 

level 3 course in yoga instructing

It conveys clearly what is special about teaching any of the many types of yoga styles perfectly, and shows exactly why you should ditch the unfulfilling job that leaves you with that feeling of dread.

Where Can You Teach Ashtanga Yoga?

Best ashtanga yoga teacher training

There are so many avenues possible for your career as a yoga teacher, whether it is freelance, working as an employee in a studio or even working as a travelling yogi - the world is your oyster! 

Let’s look in a little more detail at where exactly you could find yourself once you’re qualified.  

If you’re a seasoned yogi, you’ll know that Yoga is practiced internationally and is highly-valued in many countries. In a business sense, that means that there is demand for yoga teachers all over the world - so what's stopping you from teaching internationally?

Some of the most popular destinations in which you can teacher yoga include:

  • India
  • Indonisia
  • Sri Lanka
  • Brazil
  • New Zealend
  • Thailand

These are the areas and cities that are profound for yoga and have a great love for the practice, but this certainly isn’t a comprehensive list.

In the UK yoga classes are extremely popular, so don’t worry if your goal is to become a UK based yogi, you’ll have plenty of clients flocking to your class in no time. 

But where? In the UK, the most popular employment routes for yoga instructors include:

Employed by a studio for particular classes

how to get a yoga teaching qualification

This route can see you on a set salary which is perfect for the candidate that is seeking stability and is not quite ready to take the step into freelance work. 

Not only that but some simply prefer the structure of a salaried job, and though this may come at a capped salary it isn't a bad one. As you saw earlier in our salary section, the average salary in the UK sits at around double or more than the national minimum wage.

It is typically determined by your lifestyle and commitment when it comes to either being employed or being the employer - but both have comfortable incomes.


Another route that you can take in the UK is to be freelance.

There are buckets of benefits for being a freelance yogi but aside from the freedom you get, the most predominant is the salary. Arguably, your salary is unlimited as a freelancer. There is no cap to your earnings since you can decide how many hours you put in, how many services you offer, and how much you charge for your services.

You do have to consider the costs of renting a hall or studio to hold your class in, but even with this deduction you'll earn a healthy hourly rate.

Employed by a gym to teach yoga classes

This kind of employment is where any extra qualifications come in handy. For example, if you are in a job as a personal trainer in a gym environment, there are usually scheduled yoga classes in many commercial gyms.

JD Gyms is a great example of this, offering yoga (highlighted yellow) at least 2 - 3 times per week as part of their regular schedule.

becoming an ashtanga yoga teacher

With this in mind, you could certainly be taking these classes and building up a comfortable clientele for yourself and the gym. Thus, if you do decide to take the route of freelance, you would have built up a comfortable amount of clients from your time as an employee in the gym. 

So, although you have your salary coming from the gym, you could also run your own private classes alongside and make extra money that way too.


Become a Yoga Teacher with OriGym!

Enquire now about our level 3 diploma in yoga teaching.

1-2-1 sessions in a rented space

1-2-1 sessions would be similar to that of what you'd expect by teaching a class, you would have to invest in a rental space for around an hour for each client. The good thing about this is, you’re never going to pay for an empty space.

Renting a space as you use it is a good way to keep losses down and profits up. Not only that, but by providing a private lesson, you are likely going to charge more than you would if a client was paying to attend a class.

You can charge double or more depending on the length of the private lesson and welcome prestigious clients to your books.

Opening your own studio

Of course one of the most popular routes for many in the UK is to open up your own studio and dedicate your full time to classes every single day. 

This is a great way to offer different types of yoga each day and it is an even better way for a big income. You could hire staff and be a main instructor yourself and run up to 2 or 3 classes per day so you work for everybody's schedule. 

There is a huge margin for a successful salary and for business growth too. 

There are plenty of locations and ways to earn money as a qualified yoga teacher, many including you being your own boss which is definitely the ideal situation for many people.

There is a consistent demand for yoga and it is only getting more popular with yoga studios popping up in major cities, yours could be next!

Opportunities for Career Progression

Online ashtanga yoga teacher training

It isn’t only yoga courses that can enhance your career and progress it even further, there are tons of courses that are complementary to a career in yoga.

Expanding your qualifications, and as a result your skillset, can make you the best candidate for available yoga jobs or the most attractive instructor to potential clients. 

Outside of the qualifications that must have, such as a certificate in yoga teacher training, there are some areas that we recommend you get qualified in if you’re serious about progressing in your career and boosting your earning potential - here they are!

Recommended Courses

Personal training

complementary yoga courses

Personal training courses hold buckets of valuable information and this can be applied to your yoga practice and benefit your clients in turn, but how?

Personal training qualifications are a great way to offer the whole package to your clientele and ultimately, maximise your income.

By being qualified in this area not only does your knowledge become broader but you can also open your doors to more clients.

As we mentioned before, you can potentially be hired by a gym to teach yoga classes and it is here that you could work as a personal trainer while simultaneously recruiting clients for your yoga classes in and out of the gym!

As well as this, if your ultimate goal is to be your own boss, you can expect to earn more money with the more qualifications you have under your belt.

You could offer packages for a set monthly rolling price that could offer X amount of PT sessions and unlimited classes in your yoga studio. 

This is just one of many examples that can help your business flourish in the yoga industry.

Sports Nutrition 

how to become a yoga teacher

Speaking of diet, sports nutrition is a great add on course to make sure you’re giving informative advice to your clients, if they ask. 

Becoming qualified in such allows you to gain knowledge in how to write specialist nutrition plans to help clients reach specific exercise and sporting goals.

You can easily tailor this so that you’re using your knowledge to tailor nutritional plans to those who want to excel in their yoga practice.

One key area that would benefit you by adding this course to your repertoire is the nutritional elements. Though you can get a specific course for nutrition in sports, this is a great section of the personal training course that can help you, to help your clients with their yoga diet. 

This makes you unique as a yoga instructor as you’re not simply tied down to just teaching yoga, instead you have a niche of being able to teach yoga and implement the importance of nutrition, which works hand in hand with any form of exercise.

Sports Massage

level 3 course in yoga teaching

Sports massage therapy is the perfect partner to yoga, it can help you to get into those asanas that are usually impossible due to tight muscles. So, this is when a sports massage can help, and by offering this to your clients you’re helping them to genuinely progress into what were once difficult stretches and asanas. 

Don’t just take our word for it though, one yoga instructor pointed this out themselves, you can see what they had to say about it below:

how to become a yoga instructor

This is definitely one of the most complementary courses to yoga practice and whether it is taken before or after your yoga training will implement huge benefits into your yoga.

This isn’t just for the yoga practice either, it will impact your salary too. You can expect to earn more by incorporating your other qualifications into the services that you offer, you could create packages that allow for X amount of yoga classes with the inclusion of a sports massage afterwards to relax after a class. 

It only makes sense to have knowledge in sports massage to help you progress in your primary focus, and your clients’ - yoga.


Can I Teach Ashtanga Classes for First Time Yoga goers?

cost of a yoga teaching course

As we mentioned, Ashtanga yoga classes can be strenuous, however this doesn’t mean that you have to seclude any beginners in fact, some say it’s a perfect beginners class due to the hands-on help you get from your instructor. 

Since Ashtanga classes always follow the same sequence of poses, this type of yoga specifically is great for beginners, since they can focus on improving their posture as they progress.

However, the nature of Ashtanga does mean that your more experienced students will become familiar with the sequence and will instead want to focus on perfecting asanas. 

For that reason, its a good idea to split your classes into groups based on experience or ability. For example, Ashtanga consists of the following:

  • The Primary series consisting of: Yoga Chikitsa, Yoga for Health or Yoga Therapy
  • The Intermediate series consisting of: Nadi Shodhana, The Nerve Purifier (also called the Second series)
  • The Advanced series consisting of: Sthira Bhaga, Centering of Strength

These are clearly laid out advancement stages done for you, so it could be a good idea to separate the classes you offer into these levels too. 

Not only that, but as a holistic yoga teacher you’re able to recommend which other classes would be beneficial for your clientele whether they’re beginner or advanced.

How Much Does a Course Cost to Become an Ashtanga Yoga Teacher?

who can I teach yoga to

Like any educational investment, you will be wondering not only how to become an Ashtanga yoga teacher, but also how much it might cost you.

Here at OriGym, we have highly competitive prices and we offer a 0% interest rate to pay off your course over 12 months and a price point of £999. 

What's more, our yoga courses allow for unlimited resits, so you don’t have to worry about hidden fees. This is the perfect investment for anybody with a passion for yoga that won’t break the bank.

Before You Go!

Hopefully by now you know all about how to become an Ashtanga yoga teacher and are well aware if it is the career path for you.

Don’t forget to check out our three options for becoming trained as a yoga teacher and to start, definitely read all about our level 3 diploma in yoga teaching here. 

Alternatively, for all of our other fitness courses and yoga advancement courses, download our course prospectus here.

Written by Kimberley Mitchell


Having gained a B.A Hons degree in Media, Culture and Communications, Kimberley has gained experience in areas of web journalism, website production and marketing.

Alongside this, Kim expanded her knowledge and passion for fitness, by becoming a fully qualified fitness instructuor and personal trainer. Kim has also gained specialist qualifications in yoga, nutriton, spin and many more.

After working in the industry as a PT, Kimberley went on to study an MA in Digital Marketing and continues to expand her knowledge in the industry. Her main focus is to keep up with current trends and communications with a focus around health & fitness, writing and being creative.

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