I recently received my teaching certification from the Iyengar National Association of the U.S. The assessment is a two part process taking over five years to complete. A successful candidate must have taught yoga in the Iyengar tradition for a minimum of two years before assessment. I had taught for seven years when I began.
For the first set of tests, one must read and study a variety of ancient and modern texts for an understanding of philosophy, theory, and anatomy. Then teach, practice, and thoroughly understand over thirty asanas (poses) and a variety of pranayama practices (breath control techniques). The assessment itself is before a panel of certified instructors who watch as you perform the asanas and pranayamas and then watch you teach a given sequence of six poses in 40 minutes to a group of students you don’t know. There is also a written exam. I passed this portion in 2008.
The second set of exams is similar but with new material, greater detail, and more difficult poses and pranayamas. It also covers how to deal with issues like pregnancy, high blood pressure, pain, etc. I successfully completed this portion in Houston in August. I am now a certified Iyengar yoga instructor.
In many styles of yoga, one can be “certified” by merely attending a weekend workshop and since there are no State or Federal regulations for certification of yoga instructors, it is up to the student to ask questions and seek out a trained instructor with good qualifications.
Rest assured that when you attend a class taught by a certified Iyengar yoga instructor, your teacher will have a firm foundation in asana, pranayama, philosophy, sutra study, and anatomy, as well as, an ability to deal with various real life issues like injuries and common illnesses.
To find a certified Iyengar yoga instructor in your area visit www.iynaus.com.