BWYQ Level 4 Certificate in Yoga Teaching (QCF)

Tutors: Karin van Maanen, Lina Newstead and Cora Kemball-Cook

This course is accredited by British Wheel of Yoga Qualifications (BWYQ). Established in 1965,

the BWY is the Sport England recognised national governing body for yoga.

See more about the qualification at



Please contact Karin to go on the mailing list to find out about the next teacher training


The aim of the course is to equip you both professionally and practically to teach yoga postures, breathing practices and relaxation to adult learners with a wide variety of capacity in terms of health and fitness, and different levels of experience; with an underlying knowledge and a basic understanding of yoga principles and philosophy. The course includes practical work on preparing you to set up your own yoga classes and market yourself as a freelance tutor. You are also expected to continue to deepen your understanding and knowledge through your own personal practice and class attendance.


The course consists of 5 units which together lead to a Level 4 Certificate in Teaching Yoga. This qualification is set at level 4 of the National Qualification Framework (equivalent to first year university level) and is regulated by Ofqual.

The five units cover:

  • Teaching basic breathing (assessed through planning & teaching assignments)

  • Teaching relaxation techniques (assessed through planning & teaching assignments)

  • Understanding stress & relaxation and the role yoga can play (assessed through essay)

  • Teaching asana (assessed through planning & teaching assignments)

  • Understanding the anatomy & physiology of yoga (assessed through online course and practical and written course work)

  • Lesson planning and course planning (assessed through written work)

  • How to set up your own yoga class (assessed through practical work including marketing)

  • Roles & responsibilities of a yoga teacher (assessed through written work)

  • Understanding of common health issues / vulnerable areas of the body (assessed in planning documents and one essay)

  • Introduction to yoga philosophy

The course is a combination of 20 tutor-led contact days and home study. In addition there is a requirement for a qualification in anatomy and physiology either by completion of the BWY home study course ‘Essential Anatomy and Physiology for Yoga’. You will be asked to visit the website to complete the Fundamentals of Anatomy and Physiology Course either before you begin the Certificate Course, or during the first three months of the course.

The tutor days consist of 20 monthly meetings over 19 months (the last weekend will be Saturday & Sunday) on Sundays, from 9.00am - 5.30pm. Course dates are included below. You will be required to attend 80% of tutor-led hours to be able to qualify. Throughout the course you will be asked to take part in group work and discussion, and to reflect upon your own teaching and practice and develop your own evaluative skills to build on your strengths and address areas for improvement as needed. In this way you can develop as an autonomous teacher of yoga. The course is non-graded with the emphasis on competence to teach yoga to adults. As part of the process you will be asked to teach your peers as well as teach in the community. Some of those sessions will be formally assessed by the tutors and if your skill level doesn’t meet course criteria you may be asked to teach the session, or a section, again. A tutor will visit one community class you teach to assess your competence and give you feedback. This is commonly organised towards the end of the course. Most months you will be given homework consisting of some written work and some practical work (for exampe teach a friend a particular posture). You will also be asked to reflect on any teaching you do, evaluating your own progress. How much time this takes varies enormously from person to person and can depend a lot on prior IT skills and typing speed, but it is wise to set aside the equivalent of a couple of days a month to do this (at times you may need less time). You will also be required to continue to attend a weekly yoga class. Your teacher will need to sign a form to show that you are attending.

You will also be required to teach for 15 hours outside of the the course to qualify. Ten of those hours must be community yoga classes. They could be other yoga teachers’ classes you cover, or your own class. Five of those hours can be informal, for example teaching a few friends at your home or work, or your study buddies, but outside course hours.

We will encourage you to start teaching on the course almost from the start. We also strongly encourage students to start teaching their own class whilst on the course to gain confidence for their assessed class and apply their learning and to build up to the 15 teaching hours by the end of the course.


Courses run on monthly weekend days
Days will run from approximately 9am to 17.30pm

Canterbury Yoga Good rail & road access.




Circa £2550, consisting of:


£50        Introduction day                                               
£1950    Course fee (incl. non refundable deposit £450)     
£200      BWY registration fee (payable with the deposit)    
£75        Online Anatomy & Physiology module (BWY) [current cost]   
£94        BWY membership (includes teaching insurance) [current yearly cost]
ca. £50   Essential and recommended literature   
ca. £100 Emergency First Aid At Work course (if you do not already have this qualification. Renewable every 3 years)


We have a small fund to help people who genuinely cannot afford the full course fee. Please contact Karin to find out more. The deposit is payable upon accepting a place on the course. The remaining fees can be payable in monthly instalments.

All three tutors are British Wheel of Yoga Diploma Course tutors. The course will mainly be taught and managed by Lina and Karin, with some assistance and input from Cora.

Lina Newstead (senior tutor)

Lina has been practising yoga since 1975, gaining experience with yoga teachers from different traditions. She has taught yoga to adults, children, pregnant women, the elderly and to students with additional needs such as MS. Lina has a City & Guilds Level 4 Certificate in Education, is an experienced BWY Foundation Course & Diploma course tutor and has completed a BWY Post Graduate Module in Meditation. This will be the 5th BWY teacher training course Lina is teaching on.

Karin van Maanen (tutor and course manager)

Karin has been teaching yoga and mindfulness full-time since 2008 and is a BWY Foundation Course and Diploma Course tutor. Major teaching influences include Mindfulness Yoga, Vanda Scaravelli, Sandra Sabatini, Maarten Vermaasse, Peter Blackaby, Gary Carter and mindfulness meditation practice both from secular traditions and Buddhism.

In 2014 Karin completed a Masters of Science degree in Mindfulness Studies at the University of Aberdeen. She is an assistant tutor for the Mindfulness Association and a qualified Embodied Yoga Principles teacher.

Cora Kemball-Cook (tutor and host)

Cora came to yoga in 1974 and started teaching in 1998 as a BWY teacher. She has studied with different schools of yoga including the Iyengar school of yoga and the method developed by Vanda Scaravelli. In 2007 she qualified as a Diploma Course Tutor and then set up the BWY teacher training courses which have been running at her studio (our course venue) ever since. Cora has also attended BWY meditation modules and practises Transcendental Meditation. She set up the Canterbury Yoga Studio in 2005 as a way to allow more people to benefit from yoga and meditation throughout Kent.

Additional guest tutors may be invited from time to time.

email Karin to be notified when the next course will start but please note this is not going to be before 2020.