Certified Iyengar Yoga instructors teach the method set forth by B.K.S. Iyengar without mixing in other styles or disciplines. They maintain a regular personal yoga practice, continue their training by studying with senior teachers or by traveling to the Iyengar Institute in India, and they adhere to ethical guidelines.

The goal of teacher certification is to maintain, promote, and protect the excellence of the Iyengar Method for the teaching of yoga. All the essential requirements for certification and rules governing certification, as well as the various levels of certification, were developed by B.K.S. Iyengar.  


The certification process is a rigorous one and requires a minimum of three years of dedicated practice and at least one-year membership to the Iyengar National Association to be eligible for certification. During that time, the aspiring teacher develops a relationship with Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher who agrees to become a mentor and may begin the application process.Two-years of teaching and assisting the mentor or other Certified Iyengar Instructor exclusively in the Iyengar Method is also required.   

The assessment process involves a written examination on the assessment level syllabus of poses, sequencing, anatomy, and philosophy, as well as a demonstrated practice of the asana and pranayama, followed by a timed-teaching demonstration of poses in front of four assessors. There are many levels of certifications that broadens the teacher's scope of Iyengar Yoga, as well as deepens their own practice. For teachers, the Certification Mark demonstrates a commitment to maintaining the purity, excellence and high standards of Iyengar Yoga. 

"We want sharp crisp teaching, not casual teaching. We want to feel the candidate has done the work, knows the poses, is able to get the information out in a clear concise form and sees what is in front of them. At each level these expectations increase. 

"We need to feel the teacher is a safe teacher and can take care of the students in a positive, safe manner. This requires both practicing and teaching the poses over and over until you know them on a cellular level."
— Senior Teacher Joan White on what is expected from candidates for certification

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