Becoming a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher (CIYT™) begins with long term, thorough and dedicated practice. One is a student of Iyengar Yoga before becoming a teacher. For CIYTs, the Certification Mark demonstrates a commitment to maintaining the purity, excellence and high standards of Iyengar Yoga. CIYTs commit to teach the method set forth by B.K.S. Iyengar without mixing in other styles or disciplines. They maintain a regular personal practice, continue their training with senior teachers or by traveling to the Iyengar institute in India, and hold to ethical guidelines. The IYNAUS Certification Manual is the complete source for information pertaining to Iyengar Yoga certification. Certification of teachers of Iyengar Yoga in the United States is carried out by the B.K.S. Iyengar Yoga National Association of the United States (IYNAUS). The process of certification has been designed and refined over many years under the guidance of B.K.S. Iyengar, Geeta Iyengar and Prashant Iyengar.


Teacher Education Programs

IYNAUS does not administer or oversee teacher education courses, nor does it publish lists of teacher education programs. RIMYI strongly endorses the “mentorship model” of preparing students to become teachers. Many excellent Teacher Education Programs for prospective teachers of Iyengar Yoga are offered by a number of qualified teachers and Iyengar Yoga centers. These programs also serve as deeper study opportunities for Continuing Teacher Education. Prospective candidates are advised to check with their local CIYT’s to learn of what mentoring, apprenticing or deep study programs are available in their area. Enrolling in one of these programs is an excellent way to refine one’s study and preparation for Certification exams, and to continue to hone one’s teaching skills and knowledge. However, these programs cannot replace the role of the mentor in a student’s preparation, and every candidate will need a mentor and a second recommending teacher to apply for Introductory I&II Assessments along with the minimum years of studentship required.

Prerequisites for All Candidates

A candidate for certification must:
• Meet the standards set by the IYNAUS definition of a CIYT as stated in section I.3 of the 2019 IYNAUS Certification Manual
• Be a current member of IYNAUS. All dues and Teachers’ Renewal Fees must be fully paid by the time the application is submitted. CIYTs must be current in their Certification Mark fees. (See section I.8 and Appendix 10 of the 2019 IYNAUS Certification Manual.)
• Not be pregnant at the time of assessment
• Have qualified recommending teachers 
• See table 1.9 in the 2019 IYNAUS Certification Manual for requirements for each level.

Prerequisites for applicants at the Introductory I & II level 

Applicants must have a minimum of five* years’ continuous study with a CIYT, which may be concurrent with five years’ continuous practice of Iyengar Yoga. Applicants for Introductory I & II must have two teachers submit online recommendation forms stating that the applicant is ready for assessment: one form from the applicant’s mentor and the other using the recommending teachers form. Both the mentor and the recommending teacher must be CIYTs, Intermediate Junior I or above (unless they have been granted a waiver to be able to recommend candidates as a CIYT Introductory I & II).

The candidate must also meet one of the following three options as of May 1 of the year of application:

• 90 hours of teacher education with a qualified CIYT Educator (see Appendix 6). These hours may be from participation in a Teacher Education Program. Alternatively, they can be from programs taught by CIYTs, Intermediate Junior III level or higher, who have held that certificate for a minimum of two years. Candidates are also required to have two teacher recommendations, one of them from their mentor.
• AND 90 hours of Mentorship with a qualified CIYT

• 180 hours of Mentorship designed to prepare the candidate to take the IYNAUS Intro I/II Certification Assessment exam. The hours of mentorship may be shared between both your recommending teacher and your mentor.

*Applicants who were enrolled in a teacher education program that commenced prior to May 1, 2017 and who have a minimum of four years of continuous study with a CIYT and four years of continuous practice at the time of application may apply for a waiver of the five-year requirement. Applicants who meet this requirement must write to the certification chair at for a waiver.

Beginning in 2020, the prerequisites for applying for assessment will be as follows:

• Minimum of six years of continuous study with a CIYT.
• Minimum of six years of continuous practice of Iyengar Yoga.
• Two teachers submitting online recommendation forms stating that the applicant is ready for assessment: one form from the applicant’s mentor and the other using the recommending teachers form.

Pregnancy, Menstruation, Injuries, and General Health Issues:

• IYNAUS policy is not to assess a candidate who is pregnant.
• If a candidate is menstruating at the time of her assessment, then she should inform her assessors. Provisions will be made for her to demonstrate her skill without unduly compromising her health. (See section V.4h of the 2019 IYNAUS Certification Manual for details.)
• If you have an acute or chronic condition, please consult with your mentoring teachers and the certification coordinator.