Yoga has become increasingly popular with all age groups as it offers so many health benefits, including improved flexibility, increased muscle strength, reduced stress, and mind-body balance. A combination of these rewards can help fight off diseases and prevent their reoccurrence. There is no straightforward answer to the question of what age one becomes a yoga teacher.
The answer will depend on varying factors. As people age, they tend to gain more and more life experience. And this experience naturally creates a certain amount of self-confidence. As a result, older yoga teachers may not only have more knowledge and expertise to offer than when they were younger, but they may also feel less uncomfortable leading classes.
So, How Important Is Age In Becoming A Yoga Teacher?
In a broader sense, the age of a yoga teacher is not necessarily important, provided the individual has the necessary training to conduct a proper class. There is nothing magical about the numbers 30, 40, or 60. So don’t be put off from teaching yoga, regardless of being 35 or 65. What’s important is that there is a passion for the practice and the desire to help others with it.
Despite that, some yoga studios do prefer teachers who are over 40 and can offer a little more experience when it comes to teaching yoga to adults. If interested in teaching yoga to children and teens, then younger is always better. Teens are more open to trying new things and may even find inspiration in young teachers’ experiences. So, the age of a yoga teacher may be slightly important in some situations.
Different Folks, Different Strokes
Although age may play a role, it certainly shouldn’t be a limiting one. Besides, age-related biases have no place in yoga. Adrienne Mischler is a perfect example of that. At 18, she received her yoga teacher training and has ever since carved a niche for herself in the practice.
Being too old shouldn’t be a determinant as well. The fact that a 70-year-old can’t do the same number of Vinyasas as someone who is 20 shouldn’t be an excuse to discourage people from studying and teaching yoga. The important thing is to teach yoga safely and help students enjoy the experience. So here are some age groups and levels of expectation when it comes to yoga classes.
Becoming a Yoga Teacher in One’s 20s
Is it possible to become a yoga teacher at 20? Well, although rare, there have been a number of successful teachers in the United States who came into the industry at a young age. One example is Kino MacGregor, who began practising at 19 and became the youngest person to be given the Ashtanga Yoga certification by its founder K PattabhiJois in Mysore, India. It is possible to become a yoga teacher at this age, but then, this is preferably the time to build experience.
Becoming a Yoga Teacher in One’s 30s
During the 20s, the focus is on experience and building skills and knowledge about the practice. These factors are considered when teaching. When a yogi or yogini reaches 30, they can begin teaching new yoga enthusiasts or those who are highly physically active. Moreover, this is when an instructor best strike the balance between experience and agility.
One’s knowledge, skills, and experience will be valuable in building a successful career ahead. For example, a student can most likely become an Ashtanga yoga teacher. At this age, teachers may also find it beneficial if their students are younger adults, as they are more energetic and responsive to training, making career advancement easier. Yoga teachers who fall into this age bracket are Melissa Petty, Jessamyn Stanley, and Steph Gongora.
Becoming a Yoga Teacher in One’s 40s
Yoga teachers in this age bracket may be a great source of knowledge and inspiration, as in the case of Cheryl Macdonald. From experience, this teacher knows how to deal with physical and mental injuries, unlike the younger age brackets. In maintaining a passion for yoga over the years, such an individual is unlikely to lose that spark. Furthermore, this is a time when many people have settled down and are ready for long-term commitments.
That means that instructors are more likely to teach the classes that they taught in their 20s and 30s. Often, training is more spiritually oriented and the target group of students are those who are less physically active or those who would be interested in using yoga and meditation to reach their personal and professional goals. As such, interested individuals in their 40s should think along the lines of what a 40-year-old established teacher would do.
Becoming a Yoga Teacher in One’s 50s and 60s
It’s never too late to become a yoga teacher at this time of one’s life, provided the passion and drive to succeed is present. Besides, this age bracket comes with some perks, including the ability to fit into specific roles, compared to younger counterparts. Furthermore, at this stage, one has accomplished many life goals, including receiving formal education, raising kids, having an excellent job or career, and more. There’s more time to focus solely on yoga practice.
Many mature, successful, and experienced yoga instructors in the U.S. teach classes to all age groups, Late MatyEzraty was one of them. Older yoga instructors can contribute to the overall health and wellness of older students. Such people can share stories on their journey to becoming interested in the practice to inspire new students.
Yoga Tutoring at 70 and Over
Becoming a yoga teacher at 70 and beyond is another thing altogether. In his70s, T.K.V. Desikachar was an internationally respected teacher of yoga, whose influence, knowledge, and skills helped a number of younger yoga instructors reach the top of the game. So it is possible to be a successful yoga teacher at 70 years old, especially in the field of Yoga for Seniors. This is where experience really comes in handy.
Yoga practitioners who have been practising for a few years and want to pursue teaching can do so whether they are young or old. To be effective, one must have an open mind because yoga is a very spiritual practice. Students should also be aware of their feelings and thoughts and not get discouraged if they feel like they’re not making progress fast enough. Every successful accomplishment begins with a simple step.