How to Become a Yoga Instructor for Free: The Complete Guide

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Looking for the best possible way to become a yoga instructor for free? You can achieve this through a Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) scholarship program. This article shows you how to become a yoga instructor for free using three simple steps. We also provide a list of yoga schools with mouth-watering scholarship offers.

How to Become a Yoga Instructor for Free: The Complete Guide

You may be passionate about becoming a yoga instructor, but training costs discourage you. We are familiar with this story because we have heard the same from several passionate people like you.

Fortunately, the costs of these YTT programs cannot prevent you from becoming a yoga instructor, as this article demonstrates. Let’s get right into how to become a yoga instructor for free!

1. Research Yoga Teacher Training Programs

After you make up your mind to become a yoga instructor, the next step is researching YTT programs.

Deciding the kind of yoga specialty you want to pursue before you start the research is very important. This is a step many folks overlook, but to conduct productive research, you must get this out of the way. Research becomes less tedious when you know the yoga style you want to learn in the program.

The prices of yoga training programs can vary depending on the studio or school providing the training. Other factors influencing the costs include the location, the yoga style, and the lead instructor. Yoga programs offered by well-known yoga gurus tend to cost more than others, but there are also some free or less expensive programs.

Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) Explained

YTT stands for Yoga Teacher Training. It is a yoga learning process that prospective teachers undergo to become certified yoga teachers. The programs cover topics such as meditation, anatomy, asanas, philosophy, teaching strategies, and others.

Completing the required Yoga Teacher Training program is crucial to becoming a Certified Yoga Teacher (CYT). There is no going around this, so you must enroll and complete a training program to become a yoga instructor. However, you should choose a comprehensive training program; this is where you need to research.

After evaluating the cost of reputable programs, you can choose one that is cost-efficient. If a program falls within your budget, then you should choose that. However, you can apply for a scholarship if you don’t have a budget or haven’t found a free program.

2. Apply for YTT Scholarships

Institutions worldwide award scholarships to prospective students; this includes yoga training programs. Applying for a Yoga Teacher Training scholarship is perfect, especially if you want to become a yoga instructor for free. And while some schools deduct a certain percentage from the tuition fees, others provide full scholarships. The full scholarship is received as grants; it covers tuition, accommodation, admin fees, feeding expenses, and program materials such as manuals.

With a YTT program scholarship, you spend less or nothing on fees. The requirements for a YTT scholarship vary from program to program. So, each organization or school offering the scholarship has requirements each person must meet to qualify.

Depending on your location, you should search for schools that offer full-ride or partial scholarships. Also, there are options for online training and in-person training. Both options offer the same value.

We compiled a list of some Yoga schools that offer scholarships to aspiring students. You can search below to find one suitable for the type of yoga training you wish to pursue.

Lighthouse Yoga School

Lighthouse Yoga School is a well-known yoga school founded by Jared McCann. McCann is a 2013 world and two-time national asana champion. Their live classes cater to individuals of different yoga levels, from beginner to intermediate. One of the main aims of the institution is to make YTT available to everyone who needs financial aid.

 Lighthouse gives scholarships in three categories: Diamond, Gold, and Silver. These scholarships are priced in terms of tuition for JM Vinyasa Foundations Online Training.

‣ Diamond Category: $500 for 300 hours, $300 tuition for 200 hours, and $100 tuition for 100-hour training.

‣ Gold Category: $1500 for 300 hours, $800 tuition for 200 hours, and $600 tuition for 100-hour training. 

‣ Silver Category: $2500 for 300 hours, $1200 tuition for 200 hours, and $800 tuition for 100-hour training.

The Lighthouse Yoga School imposes a $30 processing fee for scholarship applicants. This fee is non-refundable. However, after you receive placement, it is deducted from the tuition. 

To apply, visit the school’s official website.

Yoga Garden SF

The next school that offers a YTT scholarship is Yoga Garden SF, a professional yoga training school founded in 1998. It is based in San Francisco, California.

The nature of the Yoga Garden scholarship is very promising and will be great for you if you are admitted. The school gives students full scholarships, which means you become a yoga instructor for free. To qualify for the scholarship, you must have practiced yoga for at least six months before your scholarship application. In addition, you have to be a person of color. The scholarship is mainly for black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC). 

The school trains students in different yoga styles, including special ones like Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training and Kids and Teen Yoga Teacher Training. Furthermore, Yoga Garden only awards scholarships to one student every year. Notwithstanding, it is great for you if you are looking for all-encompassing teacher training.

Sadhana Yoga School

Sadhana Yoga School is a yoga school based in Vermont. The school often gives chances to anybody interested in enrolling in their yoga teacher training program. One of the ways Sadhana does this is by giving out scholarships. These scholarships are often based on a person’s financial needs. Sadhana Yoga offers both online and in-person scholarships to prospective students. The following are the scholarship schedules. The Online Training Scholarship is for those whose annual income is below $30,000. They will receive up to a $250 scholarship. Next is the In-Person Training Scholarship. Those with an annual income below $30,000 receive up to a $250 scholarship. Those with an annual income below $20,000 may receive up to a $500 scholarship. Lastly, those with an annual income of less than $15,000 may receive up to $700 in scholarships.

This scholarship is only partially funded. The organization makes an effort to balance students’ demands with their resources. You can apply for the scholarship when you are ready. However, the application has to be before the program kick-off date.

Furthermore, natives of Vermont can apply to receive a non-degree grant. As the name implies, this funding covers the full cost of non-degree programs, including the YTT programs that Sadhana offers.

The Vermont Student Assistance Group gives this grant.

Tula Yoga BIPOC Yoga Teacher Training Scholarship

Established in 2013, Tula Yoga studio is a health and wellness studio based in Chicago. They offer various rich courses in their YTT program, and they also offer a 50% discount for the program. This scholarship is mainly for black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC). The program costs $1500, so you get a partial scholarship by paying only 50% of the fee.

This scholarship may not be a completely free option. However, getting into this quality YTT program is a cost-effective means to become a yoga instructor. Applicants will need these conditions to apply for the scholarship. They must:

Your application will go through review after you submit it, and if you are selected, you will partake in an in-person interview.

a) Identify as a person of color
b) Be present for all training sessions
c) Regularly practice yoga
d) Teach Yoga at the end of the teachers’ training
e) Complete the application process

3. Consider Exchange Programs

A work exchange program is another free way to become a yoga instructor. Especially if you could not get a scholarship or your attempts did not succeed. 

With YTT work exchange programs, to get admitted, you may have to work. This is because most YTT work-exchange programs are not completely free. We have compiled a list for you if you are interested in applying to a work exchange program. Below are some YTT programs that offer prospective students the option to work in exchange for training.

‣ School Yoga Institute

To take this program, you can offer skills such as event assistance, graphic design, and Pinterest management. Also, you can offer services like vlogging, social media, and blogging. To learn more about the offers, you can visit their official website.

‣ SWDY Work Exchange Program

In Sweet Water Dance Yoga (SWDY), you receive a 20% to 50% discount on the total cost. In addition, you must put in four hours every day, five days per week, for three months. Skills you can offer in exchange for the program include front desk assistance, marketing, and management. Others include social media and studio maintenance.

‣ PachaMama Work Exchange Program

The PachaMama program is a great way to become a yoga instructor for free. In exchange for this YTT program, you will work in their bar and restaurant. In addition, PachaMama gives you free lunch or dinner, a 40% discount on classes, and a 15% discount on events. Furthermore, the exchange programs are available long-term and short, depending on your choice. The former lasts 6 to 12 months, while the latter lasts two months.

‣ Prana Shanti Education Center

To work here in exchange for training, you will not pay the entire program cost. However, this excludes the cost of program training materials. It also does not include other books used in the training program. During the YTT program, you’ll help the lead trainer on-site. You will also set up the training materials and equipment. Also, you will communicate with students within and outside the program.

Can You Teach Yoga Without Certification?

Yes, you can teach yoga without certification. This is because no federal law currently regulates yoga instructors’ activities in the United States. Most RYTs receive certification after completing their YTT for a fixed number of hours. RYT here means Registered Yoga Teacher.

In the U.S., it is acceptable to teach yoga without being an RYT. However, to work as a yoga instructor in some places, you must have an RYT-200 certification. Also, certification sets professional standards in the yoga industry. It also presents you to students as a credible trainer.

Although, if you cannot get a certification for one reason or the other, but have unique teaching skills, you can go ahead and teach.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Yoga Teacher?

If you decide to become a yoga instructor or teacher, enrolling in a Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) program is the first step. Typically, this program lasts between two to five months. The duration depends on your choice of training. Also, the training is done within a specific number of hours, for instance, 200 or 500 hours. A 200-hour program gives you an RYT-2OO certification. On the other hand, a 500-hour program gives you an RYT-500 certification.

Final Thoughts

You may be here because you have mastered yoga techniques and want to become a yoga instructor. However, the prices of YTT programs seem to deter you from reaching that goal. We understand that lack of funding is a major reason some people abandon their dreams.

However, by reading this post, you can learn how to become a yoga instructor for free. You can enroll in YTT classes at little or no cost if you follow the steps outlined. Apply for a scholarship or a work exchange program, or look for free or subsidized programs.

Finally, while there is a wide variety of yoga programs, choose one that aligns with your interests and love for the profession. You will receive a yoga teaching certification after you complete the program. This helps you to build credibility in the yoga industry.