Training to teach Iyengar yoga is done by mentoring

B.K.S. Iyengar developed what has come to be called Iyengar yoga from a firm physical, spiritual and philosophical base. As we practice and study deeper, we find it is more than just a physical activity but a way of life. Students wishing to study further with a view to teaching need to dedicate the necessary time to learn the asanas and pranayama purely for the joy of learning.

Students who have attended Iyengar yoga classes regularly for a minimum of 3 years and have a good standard of practice in the Level 1 asanas may be interested in becoming teachers.

The route to teaching is via mentorship by an experienced teacher who has been approved as a mentor by Iyengar Yoga (UK). Students who are interested in training to teach should, in the first instance, discuss this with their own regular class teacher who, if not a mentor themselves, will be able to put them in touch with a qualified mentor, currently this is Julie Anderson at Yoga on Tay.

Mentoring offers a wholesome approach more in line with the traditional sharing of knowledge, practical experience and teaching skills between a teacher and student. It offers continuity of the message and methods of Iyengar yoga in an unbroken line of succession. In addition, several written assignments will be given during mentoring. These will cover topics such as anatomy, lesson planning and yoga philosophy. There will be a formal, practical Introductory assessment once your Mentor feels you are ready and at least three years from your start date.

As a trainee, you will be expected to attend regular classes with your mentor and will progress to demonstrate and assist during class as well as undertaking various written assignments and attending peer-group sessions and keep accurate records of these hours. The mentorship period will last a minimum of three years but may take longer. During the mentorship period, trainees will be expected to learn not only the Level 1 syllabus but some of Level 2 also. Before teaching the basics, one must be at an advanced level of learning. Candidates for the teaching assessment, therefore, will have practiced Iyengar yoga regularly for a minimum of 6 years before presenting for Level 1 assessment. Candidates should not only have achieved a high standard in their personal practice in the asanas, but also have an awareness of the subtlety of Iyengar yoga and its philosophy.

At Yoga on Tay (YOT) we will be running peer group sessions which will involve attending on a Thursday or Friday evening, once every 3 weeks, plus a workshop on a Saturday and/or Sunday a few times a year.

Application for Mentoring:

Membership of IY(UK) is a requirement for training as an Iyengar yoga teacher. IY (UK) is the national governing body for Iyengar Yoga in the United Kingdom and Mentoring Yoga teachers is formally reviewed regularly by them. Any changes they may approve may alter the way we Mentor trainees. 

Fortunately, at YOT our senior teacher, Julie Anderson, is qualified as a Mentor so she can mentor you exclusively. Julie is also recognised by IY(UK) as an over-seeing mentor so you can be mentored in part with you own class teacher (if they are suitably experienced), and in part with Julie.

Your Mentor will give you a form ‘Application for Training to Teach at Introductory level’ along with ‘Notes for completing Application Form for Training to Teach at Introductory Level’, this will be sent to IY(UK) for checking and verification of the application; an official date for the commencement of training will then be given.

Entry requirements: 

Attendance at a weekly class with a recognised Teacher Member of IY (UK) for a minimum of three years

Written recommendation from your regular teacher to confirm the above

A knowledge of and practical familiarity with the Introductory syllabus (a copy of which is available from your Iyengar Yoga teacher).

Regular practice at home. You will need to dedicate at least one hour a day to your own practice throughout the length of the course.

Qualification gained: Introductory Teaching Certificate of the Iyengar Yoga Association of the UK, IY (UK).

The objectives of Introductory Level Teacher Mentoring are to improve one’s own practice by:

Showing a good understanding of the postures

Showing good presentation and alignment

Demonstrating precision and steadiness

Learn to teach by:

Developing clarity and simplicity of instruction

Showing good performance in demonstrating

Showing sharpness and awareness in observation

Achieving control and safety of a class

Learning to teach Sirsasana and Sarvangasana and to be able to lift students into these asanas

Recommended literature:

Light on Yoga by BKS Iyengar

Light on Pranayama by BKS Iyenear

Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by BKS Iyengar


If you are at all interested speak to Julie in class or send us an email at YOT