Russell Jack, Southland-based Yoga Guru, Explains How to Become a Yoga Teacher in New Zealand

How to Become a Yoga Teacher in New Zealand

Yoga is gaining popularity due to an increased interest in at-home workouts that don’t require expensive fitness equipment. If you’ve been passionate about yoga for quite a while now, it might be the right time to get certified as a yoga instructor and start helping others live healthier, more mindful lives. Here, Russell Herbert Jack, a Southland native, explains how you can become a yoga teacher in New Zealand and mentions organizations that offer yoga teaching certifications.

Do you remember when you first learned about yoga? What was that experience like for you? Hopefully, you had someone to carefully and patiently guide you through the process, to teach you more than just the various poses, but how to feel your body, balance, and spirit getting stronger.

Now that you have learned the benefits of yoga first hand, your thoughts may have turned toward how you can provide these life-changing benefits to others. Maybe you feel you can improve upon the experience you had as a beginner, or perhaps you want to pay forward the wonderful experience you had.

The yoga community is an excellent example of a self-regulating industry. There are no legal requirements to attain a certification before becoming a yoga instructor. There are, however, many compelling reasons to complete a yoga teacher training program. First and foremost, among those reasons is that your clients are likely to insist that you have at least a 200-hour yoga teacher certification.

Yoga Alliance, the largest international nonprofit association representing the yoga community, sets standards that define a registered yoga school’s requirements. Yoga teachers who graduate from Registered Yoga Schools (RYS®) can receive various Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) designations based on training and teaching experience. The most common of these designations are:

  • RYT® 200 – Teachers can register as an RYT 200 if they have completed a 200-hour yoga teacher training registered with Yoga Alliance.
  • RYT® 500 – Completed a 500-hour teacher training with an RYS 500, or a 200-hour teacher training with an RYS 200 plus 300 hours of training with either the same RYS or a different RYS registered as an RYS 300

Two popular Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) schools in New Zealand are:


YogaKoh – offers a month-long YTT retreat at The Farm, a 1000 acre country setting on the Northeast coast of New Zealand. This training is designed to challenge students as it delves deep into the essential elements of the practice; philosophy, asana, pranayama, meditation, energetics, and specialty topics. It focuses on the art of teaching and the confidence to lead your own class by the end of the month.

Shambhala Retreat

Shambhala Retreat – with this YTT program, you can expect to deepen your comfort, belonging, and appreciation in self, community, and the world. The training is designed to give you the skillset and courage to teach everything from beginners to advanced. They are located at Onekaka, Golden Bay, South Island.

Whether you plan to hang out a shingle as a yoga practitioner or just increase your knowledge and skill, attending a yoga teacher program will ensure you grow professionally and personally.

About Russell Herbert Jack

Russell Herbert Jack, a yoga and mindfulness teacher from Southland, New Zealand, is passionate about spirituality, the vegan lifestyle, animal rights, and living in sync with nature. Russell specializes in Vinyasa Yoga, Qigong, and guided meditations. Vinyasa yoga, or flow yoga, heightens consciousness by moving from one position to another seamlessly, using breath. Just like Vinyasa Yoga, Qigong has many healing properties to the body, mind, and spirit. He enjoys learning and writing about spirituality, meditation, and vegan lifestyle and sharing these valuable insights with his clients.