The route to becoming an Iyengar yoga teacher is by a mentorship programme. Mentors are approved by Iyengar Yoga (UK). To apply to train with a mentor, a student must show that they have attended classes with a certified Iyengar yoga teacher regularly for a minimum of three years and have a good standard of practice in the Introductory asana.
The first step for students who are interested in training to teach is to speak to their regular teacher. If not a mentor themselves, their teacher will be able to put them in touch with a qualified mentor. The mentor must see your practice and be able to recommend you to IY(UK). You might be mentored by two teachers if your current teacher is Junior 3 or Senior Level but not a mentor. Some teachers may co-mentor with a full mentor, if they themselves meet only some of the criteria for mentorship. Your full mentor can advise you.
As a trainee, you will be expected to attend regular classes for your own practice with a Junior Intermediate teacher or your mentor. You will also attend a beginner or general level class with your mentor where you will progress to demonstrating and assisting during class. You will complete set written assignments and will need to attend peer-group sessions. The mentorship period will last a minimum of 500 hours over at least three years and may take longer.
During the mentorship period, trainees will be expected to learn to practise and teach the Introductory syllabus and to practise the Intermediate Junior Levels 1 and 2. Before teaching the basics, one must be at an advanced level of learning. All candidates for teaching assessment will have practiced Iyengar yoga regularly for a minimum of six years before presenting for Introductory assessment. Candidates should not only have achieved a high standard in their personal practice in the asanas, but also have a preliminary awareness of the subtlety of Iyengar yoga and its philosophy. When applying for assessment candidates will need recommendation from two teachers, not just a single mentor.