If you want to know how to become an Iyengar yoga instructor in the UK, then you’re in the right place! Our step-by-step guide will cover:

Start your career in the yoga industry today with OriGym’s Level 3 Diploma in Teaching Yoga. Or, check out this step-by-step process on How to Become a Yoga Instructor

Step 1- Know what Iyengar yoga is

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Before we get into how to become a certified Iyengar yoga instructor, you should know exactly what the practice is, so allow us to explain. 

Developed by Indian yogi B.K.S Iyengar in the 1970s, Iyengar yoga is a very methodical style of yoga that focuses on the detail, precision and alignment of asanas (yoga poses) with the help of props. 

The main features of Iyengar yoga that set it apart from other types of yoga are:

Greater focus on alignment: Whilst alignment is important in all types of yoga, in an Iyengar practice, this is the main focus. 

Iyengar yogis believe that getting the right alignment of asanas will help achieve balance between the mind, body and breath. 

More use of props: Props can be used in all styles of yoga, but they are particularly important in Iyengar. 

Things such as yoga blocks, straps, blankets and bolsters are used to help students modify poses so they can perform them without injury or pain. This makes Iyengar accessible to beginners, as well as experienced yogis. 

Slower pace: Because of the focus on alignment, an Iyengar yoga class is typically at a slower pace than a typical vinyasa class and poses are held for prolonged duration. 

The emphasis is really on the quality not the quantity of movement. Despite the slower pace, it is regarded as one of the most challenging forms of yoga because of both the physical and mental demand of holding the poses. 

The slow and controlled pace also makes it great for students with injuries or issues such as lower back pain and bad posture. 

No set sequence or flow: Unlike forms of yoga such as vinyasa, there is no set ‘flow’ or routine to an Iyengar yoga class. 

Instead of focusing on the fluid transition from one pose to another like in vinyasa, in Iyengar the poses are held for a longer period of time while the alignment is perfected. 

Step 2- Get the right qualifications

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Now that you know exactly what Iyengar yoga is, the next step is to get qualified! 

Iyengar is a trademarked name, so there are certain criteria you have to meet to legally operate as an official Iyengar yoga teacher in the UK. 

This criteria is set by ‘Iyengar UK’, which is one of the 20 national Iyengar associations around the world. According to Iyengar UK, you need at least 6 years of practice and training in Iyengar yoga to work as a yoga teacher under the Iyengar name. 

This ensures that all teachers have the same standards and upholds the purity, quality and history of Iyengar yoga as a practice. 

However, we understand that 6 years of training and practice may seem like a lot.

If you don’t yet fit this criteria, we recommend taking the below foundational qualifications, which will allow you to work as a general yoga teacher whilst you acquire the experience needed to become an Iynegar yoga teacher.

Complete a Level 3 Diploma in Yoga

This is an entry level course which will give you a strong foundation of skills and knowledge to become a yoga instructor. 

OriGym’s Level 3 Diploma In Yoga course involves over 400 hours’ worth of both essential theoretical and practical work, covering: 

  • Anatomy and physiology for yoga
  • Health and safety during yoga 
  • Planning a yoga class
  • Delivering group yoga classes
  • Delivering 1-on-1 yoga classes
  • How to teach yoga to special populations 

Here at OriGym, our Level 3 yoga course is taught via blended learning. This means that you will complete the theory work in the comfort of your home with the support of our qualified e-tutors, as well as attending practical workshops at weekends.

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Students complete this course in 3-4 months on average, however, the amount of time it takes to get qualified depends on factors such as:

  • How fast you study 
  • Whether you pass your assessments
  • What yoga knowledge or experience you have to begin with

Complete a Level 4 Diploma in Yoga

OriGym’s Level 4 Diploma In Teaching Yoga allows you to broaden your knowledge of specific yoga disciplines, including Iyengar yoga.  

During this course, you will expand upon what you learn in your Level 3 course, covering topics such as:

  • The legalities of teaching yoga and setting up a yoga business
  • The philosophy and history of yoga
  • A wider range of asanas (poses)
  • Planning yoga classes for a wide range of abilities and fitness goals

Then, you can choose to further your knowledge of one of 4 types of yoga:

  • Ashtanga
  • Hatha
  • Yin 
  • Iyengar

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The rest of your course will then be completely focused on this style of yoga. So in this case, you would gain an extensive knowledge of Iyengar yoga. 

Whilst this does not qualify you to officially teach under the trademark of Iyengar, you will qualify as a Level 4 yoga teacher. This means that you will then have a strong foundation from which to go on and develop your own Iyengar yoga practice and take further Iyengar qualifications- which we will discuss below.

In other words, whilst you are pursuing further Iyengar qualifications, you can still be teaching other specialist types of yoga as a Level 4 teacher, so you can keep earning in the meantime!

You could even teach Iyengar-inspired classes that focus on alignment and using props- but you would not be able to use the Iyengar name when marketing your yoga classes

Like our Level 3 course, we also teach this course via blended learning. Again this takes an average of 3-4 months to complete. 

Both OriGym’s Level 3 and 4 yoga teacher courses are regulated by Ofqual, which is the official regulating body for vocational qualifications in the UK. In fact, OriGym is the only course provider in the UK to offer an Ofqual-regulated Level 4 yoga course! 

Having this regulation means that our course has met the industry standards of teaching, and that you will receive the highest level of education. 

It’s for this reason that the cheap or even free yoga courses which are not Ofqual regulated are simply not worth your while if you want to land a job as a yoga instructor, as there’s no guarantee that these qualifications will provide you sufficient knowledge to succeed in the industry.

Should I take a specific Iyengar yoga teacher course? 

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As we have said, you can teach ‘Iyengar-inspired’ classes as a Level 4 yoga teacher. But, if you want to operate under the trademarked Iyengar name, you will need to have 6 years practice and take a training course with an official Iynegar association such as Iyengar Yoga UK.

This course- and many others like it, claim that you need to have a mentor, and be a member of the Iyengar Yoga Association (which costs £21 for the year).

Whilst being an Iyengar yoga teacher is a good niche, remember that at some point in your career, you may want to teach other types of yoga, too. 

By starting your career by completing a general Level 3 and 4 Yoga Teacher Diplomas, you will have a broader knowledge of yoga in general to fall back on. 

Having these qualifications as well as a specific Iyengar qualification allows you to teach the style of yoga you are truly passionate about whilst still having the freedom to go onto teach other types of yoga.

Step 3- Make sure you have the skills needed to become an Iyegar yoga teacher

Having the right qualifications is one thing, but there are also some key skills and traits that will help you to really become successful as a Iyengar yoga instructor- or any type of yoga instructor for that matter! 

We have a whole article on what makes a good yoga teacher, but here are some which are particularly important if you want to become an Iyengar yoga instructor:

#1- A passion for yoga

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Seeing as you’re here searching ‘how to become an Iyengar yoga’ teacher we can only assume that you’re a keen yogi wanting to turn your passion into a career!

Without passion for what you are teaching, you will struggle to motivate and engage your students. Yoga should be a big part of your life, and you should want to share your passion with others! 

It goes without saying that if you want to become an Iyengar yoga instructor, you should be particularly passionate about this kind of yoga. 

More so than a lot of other areas of fitness, yoga is not just physical- there is a whole spiritual and philosophical side to the practice. You should therefore be just as passionate about this aspect as the impressive-looking poses and postures.

#2- Attention to detail

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Since it is a highly technical practice that focuses on alignment, you will need a keen eye for detail if you want to become an Inyengar yoga teacher. 

When teaching an Iyengar yoga class, you should be comfortable making hands-on physical adjustments to students to help them achieve the correct alignment.

Sometimes the difference between performing a posture correctly or incorrectly can be so small that anyone else wouldn’t notice it! 

#3- Strong communication skills

Part of being a good yoga instructor is being able to stand up in front of a group of students and lead a class, which requires a high level of communication skills. 

This is particularly important if you are teaching Iyengar yoga, as it involves a high level of accuracy and precision. You’ll therefore need to be able to clearly communicate with your students during your classes so that they can understand your instructions and take part in the class safely. 

If your students don’t quite grasp what you’re trying to tell them, they’ll get frustrated and the chances of them coming back to your studio will be pretty slim.

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But it’s not just about being able to instruct your clients during a class, your communication skills should extend beyond your teaching. 

You might not have thought it, but being able to communicate well can be a great way of marketing your yoga business if you are working as a freelance yoga instructor.  

For example, you need to be able to reach out to new people, network with other instructors, and deal with any enquiries in a professional manner.

Good communication skills will really help you to sell your services to new students, and keep those students practising with you.

Don’t forget that communication isn’t just about the way that you speak to people – listening to your students is just as important. You should speak to your students and get feedback from them, so that you can improve your services and retain your loyal clients!

#4- Organisational skills

If you want to be a successful Iyengar yoga teacher, you’ll need to be organised in all aspects of the job. 

For example, you’ll need to plan your classes in advance. This is particularly important for an Iyegnar yoga teacher, since it is a highly technical class. 

If you work as a freelance yoga teacher or run your own yoga business, organisational skills are even more important as you’ll be responsible for organising your own working schedule, scheduling classes, and managing your enquiries.

#5- Patience

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Patience is a quality that any good yoga teacher should possess, but particularly if you are wanting to become an Iyengar yoga instructor. 

As a yogi yourself, you should be very much familiar with how to practice patience and the benefits of doing so.

Within every class you teach, you’ll find students of all different levels. Even in your advanced classes, you’ll have students who struggle to keep up.

Especially when teaching a specific type of yoga such as Iyengar, you can’t expect everybody to pick it straight away! Be prepared to be faced with the same problems over and over again, make a lot of the same corrections, and answer a lot of the same questions from your students. 

This is just part of the role of a yoga teacher. If you want to become a successful yoga teacher, you’ll need to learn to be patient with your students, continuing to persevere even if you get tempted to give up!

Step 4- Get insured to become an Iyengar yoga teacher

Once you have the qualifications and skills, the next step in becoming an Iyengar yoga instructor is to get insured.

Many people assume that you’ll only need insurance if you’re thinking of starting your own business. But in fact, a lot of employers will require that you have your own insurance, too. 

You might think that the chances of someone making a claim against you are fairly slim. But in the event that someone gets injured in your class, for example, the last thing you want is to be caught in that situation without insurance!

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Insurance gives you financial security and covers the costs should someone make a claim against you. 

So, exactly what kind of insurance do you need as a yoga teacher? 

The number one policy yoga instructors need is public liability insurance. This will cover you for any claims from third parties, for example an injured student, or a studio owner who claims that you have damaged their equipment.

But it doesn’t end there, there are a couple of other insurance policies that are pretty important to know about if you want to become an Iyengar yoga instructor.

– – – –

Enjoying this article so far? Here’s a couple we think you’ll love:

Step 5- Find a job as an Iyengar yoga teacher

So, now you are qualified and insured, it’s time to find a job as an Iyengar yoga instructor! 

Is there a demand for Iyengar yoga instructors in the UK?

Whilst Iyengar might not be as common a name as the likes of vinyasa or hatha, it is actually one of the most widely practised types of yoga in the world. 

In the UK, you will find that most major yoga studios offer an Iyengar yoga class. For example, Triyoga in London runs several Iyengar classes throughout the week, and sometimes even more than one in a day!

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This is true for most cities outside of London too. In fact, the official Iyengar yoga UK website has a handy map showing all of the Iyengar yoga teachers in the UK.

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As you can see, there is definitely a demand for Iyengar yoga teachers all across the UK! 

As well as individual Iyengar yoga teachers and studios that offer Iyengar classes, there are also a lot of dedicated Iyengar yoga studios in the UK. 

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As you can see, there are several Iyengar yoga studios in London. But this is also true for other cities in the UK too. For example, this is a popular dedicated Iyengar yoga studio in Liverpool:

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The fact that there are whole studios across the UK that teach purely Iyengar yoga, reflects the popularity of this kind of yoga, and indicates that there is certainly a demand for Iyengar yoga teachers! 


Given this demand, we bet you’re now wondering how to find a job as an Iyengar yoga teacher! Well, here are the best ways to find your dream job as an Iyengar yoga instructor:

#1 Online jobs boards

Perhaps the most obvious way to find a job to become an Iyenagr yoga teacher is by using the wealth of online jobs boards. 

This could be general jobs boards, such as Indeed and Glassdoor, but there are also fitness-specific sites such as:

There are even job sites specific to yoga too, such as Yoga Trade

These are all great ways to find a job as a yoga teacher, as you can refine your search according to criteria such as location, salary and experience level, helping you can find the perfect position for you! 

#2 Reaching out to general yoga studios

If you know that a local yoga studio offers Iyengar yoga classes, you could ask them if they are interested in your services. 

You can do this by:

  • Email
  • Phone
  • Social media direct message
  • Walking into the studio itself and speaking to staff

Many studios will may also have a section on their website under something like ‘careers’, ‘opportunities’ or ‘work with us’, such as this one:

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As you can see, this yoga studio has an enquiry form where you can give them your contact details, say which kind of position you are interested in and write a short message.

Some studios may also have the option to attach your yoga teacher CV to your application. 

Others may simply have an email address to contact them about employment opportunities, such as this one:

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In this case, we recommend treating the email you send like a cover letter, and attaching your CV to the email. 

Using these methods to send a speculative application to a specific yoga studio not only shows great initiative, but also shows an employer that you are passionate about working in their studio specifically, which will work in your favour! 

#3 Reaching out to Iyengar yoga studios

As well as general yoga studios, you could contact specific Iyengar yoga studios in the ways outlined above. 

This is a great option if you want to teach exclusively Iyengar yoga classes, as in a general yoga studio, in some cases, you may have to teach other styles of yoga too. 

The best way to find an Iyengar yoga studio is to simply search for ‘Iyengar yoga studio’ followed by your location. For example:

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This will pull up all of the Iyengar yoga studios in that area, so you can begin your enquiries! 

#4 Working as an Iyengar yoga teacher abroad

As well as looking for a job as an Iyengar yoga teacher in the UK, why not broaden your search to the rest of the world? 

As we have said, Iyengar yoga is practised all over the world. According to the Iyengar Yoga Association, there are Iyengar yoga institutes in the following countries:

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This indicates that there are potential clients waiting for you all over the world! 

There are lots of online job boards dedicated to listing yoga jobs abroad, such as Yoga Travel Jobs:

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As you can see, you can refine your search by the employment type (paid, volunteer or even business opportunity), the location, and even the type of yoga. 

So for example, you could use this to search for Iyengar yoga teacher jobs specifically, so you find exactly what you are looking for! 

#5 Find an Iyengar teacher job at other health and fitness facilities

As well as yoga studios, it is also worth considering working as a yoga teacher in a fitness centre or gym. 

For example, Elevate Fitness is a gym in Liverpool that is advertising for a yoga instructor:

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This shows that you need to be open-minded when it comes to finding a job as a yoga instructor. 

Don’t limit your search to just yoga studios- think about all of the other places you could teach yoga, such as:

  • Cruise ships 
  • Health clubs
  • Yoga holidays and retreats 
  • Exercise referral schemes

#6 Become a freelance Iyengar yoga teacher

Being a freelance yoga instructor essentially means that you are self-employed and can teach in several different places, rather than working under a contract for one company. 

Many yoga studios, gyms and fitness centres will hire for freelance yoga instructors, such as this one:

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With this type of freelance role, you arguably have a lot more freedom and variety than a contracted role. For example, you could work here for a certain amount of hours a week, as well as teaching at another studio. 

Being freelance also increases your potential earnings, as you can market yourself as a specialist in Iyengar yoga, allowing you to charge more for your sessions than a general yoga teacher. 

You could even run your own classes on the side as well, for example by renting out a space such as a hall or a studio within a gym. 

If you’re feeling apprehensive about finding a job as a yoga teacher, don’t worry! If you take your yoga teacher training course with OriGym, you’ll have access to our award-winning careers support when you qualify. 

Our friendly careers team will be on hand to give you expert advice on how to find your dream job, whether you’re looking to go down the employed route or start your own yoga business. 

You’ll also have access to our exclusive jobs board and our network of health and fitness employers all over the UK!

How much do Iyengar yoga instructors earn?

If you’re wondering how to become an Iyengar yoga teacher, we know that you’ll be wondering how much you can expect to earn.

So when looking at yoga teacher job adverts, salary is something you should be looking at. But what kind of figure should you be looking for? 

Well, according to Talent, the average general yoga instructor salary in the UK is £46,118 a year.

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However, there is potential to earn even more if you teach a niche form of yoga- such as Iyengar. This is because clients will pay more for a specialist service! 

As we have mentioned, props and equipment is an essential part of the practice. If you are employed as an Iyengar yoga teacher for a studio, you will most likely have access to their equipment to use in your classes.

However, if you are a freelance Iyengar yoga teacher, you will have to provide these props for your students yourself. Since props are an essential part of the class, this is unfortunately an unavoidable cost!

This should not affect your earnings too much, but it is simply something that you will have to factor into your business plan. 

But even once you have become an Iyengar yoga instructor, there are ways that you can increase your salary even further, which we will discuss next!


Step 6- Progress your career as an Iyengar yoga teacher

If you came here asking how to become an Iyengar yoga instructor in the UK, it’s likely that you’re wondering about what kind of career progression you can expect. And since progressing your career can increase your earnings, we don’t blame you! 

Here are some of the most popular career paths for Iyengar yoga instructors and yoga instructors in general.

Start your own yoga studio

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As we mentioned, one of the most popular career routes that yoga teachers take is to go freelance and after time, start their own yoga studio.

There are lots of benefits to starting your own yoga studio, including:

  • Freedom to run only the types of classes you want
  • Higher earning potential – how much you earn is up to you
  • Flexible hours – you can dictate your working hours
  • Creative freedom- creating a brand identity, logo, studio decor etc.
  • You can choose your own team of instructors  

If you don’t want to go into full-time work, then there is no reason why you can’t take this career path as soon as you qualify!

However, most people prefer to gain some experience working as a yoga teacher for a studio or gym first, before taking the leap to start their own business. 

One of the most important things to remember when starting any kind of fitness business is to find your niche, so that you can stand out and dominate a particular target market. With this in mind, Iyengar yoga could be your niche for your yoga business!

There are lots of Iyengar studios across the country that have been founded by individual Iyengar yoga teachers, such as Iyengar Yoga House:

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As you can see, Lara and Roy started their studio after several years of teaching Iyengar yoga. Whilst you don’t necessarily need 14 years of experience (as Lara has), this is a good career option once you have some experience behind you. 

Become an online yoga instructor

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Another popular career path for yoga instructors is to become an online yoga instructor. 

The demand for online yoga instructors has increased in recent years, given the rise in people working from home, or wanting to exercise from the comfort of their own home. 

Advances in streaming and filming technology have also made this form of yoga teaching even more popular and accessible! 

When you become a yoga instructor online, the benefits include:

  • You won’t have to pay studio overheads or rent
  • You can take on more clients, as you won’t be limited by postcode- you can technically teach remotely to people all over the world! 
  • You won’t have to spend on equipment such as yoga mats and blocks
  • You can save money by not having to travel to a studio 
  • Freedom to work from the comfort of your own home

The easiest way to start online yoga instruction is to start filming the in-person classes you are already teaching. You can do this by simply putting a camera at the back of the class, and either live streaming your class via Zoom, or posting it online at a later date.

You could even start an online-only yoga business. One of the most successful examples of an online-only yoga business is Glo

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Users pay a monthly subscription fee, which gives them access to their expensive range of online video classes, including Iyengar. 

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This is a great example of how you can create a yoga business that is exclusively online, tapping into a huge market of yoga students who, for whatever reason, prefer to practice in the comfort of their own home.  

Of course, the only downside of online teaching is that for a proper Iyengar yoga class experience, the student would have to have the right props and equipment themselves.  

However, you could actually turn this to your advantage! For example, you could have your own set of Iyengar yoga equipment for your students to buy. You could have your logo and brand name on it, making it a great way to strengthen your brand identity. 

​​Another popular way to offer online classes is by starting your own yoga YouTube channel. Again, the key to starting an online yoga business or Youtube channel is to have a niche. So if you want to become an Iyengar yoga instructor, this could be the gap in the market that you can target! 


Run yoga retreats

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Another great way to take your yoga teaching career abroad is to run your own yoga retreats or yoga holidays

It may sound daunting, but this is one of the most rewarding and lucrative career routes to go into as a qualified yoga instructor. 

This is because it is a fairly niche market, and many yogis are willing to pay a high-end price for a yoga retreat. 

The price you charge for your retreat will depend on factors such as:

  • Location 
  • Duration 
  • What is included (e.g. food, accommodation, excursions etc.) 
  • The level of teaching offered (i.e. beginners or advanced)
  • The amount of classes included in a day 
  • The type of yoga (i.e. you could charge more for a more niche type of yoga retreat such as Iyengar!) 

However, the average yoga retreat in the UK is anywhere from £200-600, whilst yoga retreats held abroad can be from £1,000 to as much as £3,000! 

There is therefore huge potential for you to increase your earnings by running a yoga retreat! 

Even if you start with a small retreat in the UK with just a few clients, as you build more experience and a stronger brand identity, in a few years time you could be running successful retreats abroad with hundreds of yogis!

For example, this yoga studio in Liverpool is running a retreat for their members:

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So if you have your own yoga studio, you could run your own Iyengar yoga retreat! This is a great way to expand your business and increase your earnings. 

Specialise in yoga and nutrition

You may not have thought it, but yoga and nutrition actually go hand in hand!

Nutrition is a big part of the spiritual side of the practice, with many yogis following a yoga diet, in line with the principles of Ayurvedic medicine.  

If you are interested in this side of yoga, then why not increase your knowledge and become a specialist in nutrition.

Enrolling on a Level 4 Nutrition Course with OriGym allows you to do just that! Upon completing this course, you will be qualified to give nutritional advice and create meal plans for your yoga clients. 

Having this qualification means that you can offer a wider range of services to your existing yoga clients. 

For example, if you run your own yoga business, you could also offer nutrition consultations, or workshops where students can learn to make Ayurvedic recipes. 

Here is an example of a yoga studio in Liverpool that runs a ‘Bend and Bowl’ event, combining a yoga class with a smoothie bowl! 

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In general, most yogis are also interested in healthy, vegan food! So this is a great example of a yoga business that has thought about and capitalised on the interests of their existing clients. 

Before you go!

So, we hope that you now know everything about how to become an Iyengar yoga instructor, and how to progress your career in yoga!

Start your journey to becoming a yoga instructor today by taking OriGym’s Level 3 yoga teacher training course. You can also download our free course prospectus to browse the full range of fitness courses we offer.

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About the Author: Alice Williams

Alice OriGym Author
Alice graduated with a First-Class degree in French and Linguistics from the University of Leeds in 2019. As part of her degree, she spent a year living in France where she worked for a lifestyle blog, gaining professional experience in both translation and content writing.  Alice is also a qualifiied yoga teacher, allowing her write from a place of expertise when it comes to yoga! When she’s not writing or practicing yoga, she also loves running, cooking and music! 

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