If you’ve been practicing for a while, you might consider becoming a yoga teacher. As yoga becomes more and more popular, so grows the demand for yoga teachers. Do you have what it takes to be a yoga teacher? And how to you select the best yoga teacher training for you?
The concept of yoga is not new to the world. The knowledge of this practice has been around for millennia, passed down by teachers and yoga philosophers. Without yoga teachers, the practice would not have survived. If you have been practicing yoga for a while, you might think about your next step. Yoga teacher training is a great way to deepen your practice and learn more about yoga. Of course, the main purpose of a YTT is to forge a new generation of teachers who could continue spreading yoga knowledge.
Could You Be a Yoga Teacher?
Once you reach a certain point in your practice, teaching yoga seems like a natural next step of your journey. Perhaps you’re inspired by another yoga teacher. Alternatively, you might see teaching as a way to deepen your personal practice. But do you have what it takes to be a yoga teacher?
- Skill. A good yoga teacher can control the flow and overall energy in the room. Moreover, experienced instructors know what to look for so that all students can benefit from their practice. They can watch someone’s movements and immediately read their emotions, adjusting their bodies in response. A good yoga teacher can enable their student to have their best practice no matter what their state of mind or mood may be.
- Energy. The teacher is the driving force behind the class. Once you develop your teaching style, you should be able to lead an entire group of students through a vigorous flow, help them gain control of their emotions, and leave with a smile. The yoga community needs teachers that are passionate about the practice. If you have the right energy, you can encourage students to show emotion, get comfortable, and practice like no one is watching.
- Power. The ability to transmit energy and emotion is not a natural skill. It takes years of practice and a variety of training and experiences for yoga instructors to gain that type of momentum and confidence. This requires being continuously open to learning and improving. The best teachers have the power to see the light in every experience, no matter how dark, and shed a bright light to fuel their students’ practice. They have a way of conveying a message with their practice, sequencing them in a way that allows the breath to flow better and the mind to be clearer.
The conclusion is simple. The world needs more yoga teachers. So what do you say? Do you think you could be a yoga teacher?
What Do You Want to Achieve?
What you hope to achieve at the end of training will determine what kind of yoga teacher training you need. To decide on the perfect YTT, you need to ask yourself the right questions.
Do you dream of being a yoga teacher or do you want to advance your personal practice? Do you want to focus on theoretical knowledge or practical applications of yoga? Are you looking for mentorship or do you seek a chance to practice with like-minded people? Clearly defining your goal will help you find the best yoga training teacher for you.
How to Select a Yoga Teacher Training
Finding a yoga teacher training course that’s right for you can be quite a challenge. Yoga training programs are a big commitment, so you want to choose carefully. We want to offer some advice on selecting the best yoga teacher training for you.
- Vet the YTT program. The quality of yoga teacher training programs depends on a variety of factors. Before you make a professional and financial commitment, it’s important to vet the program you are interested in. Is it in one of your dream yoga destinations? Are you going to be able to attend to the training during the given dates? Apart from that, no need to worry. I took care of hand-picking the best, most trustworthy yoga teacher training courses there are.
- Yoga Alliance accreditation. Right now, Yoga Alliance is the largest governing body in the world of yoga. It’s a non-profit association that oversees yoga education and professional practices. Although at the moment, Yoga Alliance regulations may not be enforced enough, it’s one of the more reliable ways to tell if your YTT course has any merit. Here, on yoga.co all the teacher trainings featured are certified by Yoga Alliance.
- Do it in style. There are so many different teaching methods and types of yoga to choose from these days! Understand that not all forms of yoga are a good match for you. It’s important to explore different types of yoga to find out what is best for you. Remember, a commitment to teaching one style does not stop you from having a varied practice. It is just a way of channeling your focus during the yoga teacher training. Plus, if you wanted to expand your teaching knowledge, you could always complete additional training in other disciplines.
- Select a course structure. The structure of the course may depend on each individual school. Some YTT programs are condensed into a full-time intensive course spanning over 4-5 weeks. Short courses like that are often set in an epic location, like Bali, Thailand, or India. Others take a more gradual approach, providing weekend courses over 6-12 months. On yoga.co we only showcase the short, intensive and epic-location trainings!
- In-person vs. Online. In this age of digital wonder, many schools now offer online courses for future teachers. The obvious advantage of this structure is the ability to study from anywhere in the world. This is a perfect arrangement for parents, college students, or anyone who likes to practice from the comfort of their own home. On the other hand, it might not be the best option to become a yoga teacher. Traditional in-person trainings are usually deeper and more hands-on. Only those are featured on our yoga teacher trainings section on yoga.co.
- Find a reputable yoga school. Once you have decided on the style and structure, you can narrow your choices down to a few yoga schools. It’s essential to be careful when selecting a yoga training school. You need a school with a lot of experience in facilitating yoga teacher training courses. The more reputable and renowned the yoga school, the better your chances of getting your desired results. Precisely the kind of yoga school that is displayed here, on yoga.co!
- Choose your teachers. The quality of your yoga education largely depends on the teachers. Your YTT teachers become your first role models and a source of inspiration. Reputable yoga schools recruit experienced, highly qualified teachers to give the students the best chance at accomplishing their yoga goals.
- Location and venue. Our internal world is often determined by our external environment. The location of your teacher training can greatly influence your experience. It can affect how much you adapt to new ideas and how much knowledge you absorb. If you are easily distracted, you might want to choose a yoga teacher training in a serene, secluded location. On the other hand, you want to make sure there are enough stimuli to keep you motivated. An exciting environment makes for inspiring learning, which is why many training locations have beautiful scenery.
- Consider your budget. Yoga teacher training is a serious financial investment. The average cost of yoga teacher training is between $2,000-5,000. The price depends on the geographical location, facilities, taxes, and prestige of the school. In most cases, this amount does not cover accommodation costs, travel fees, or food. Therefore, when you choose a yoga teacher training, you need to consider your budget. Even with limited budget, you can make it work. Some schools offer discounts if you book early, and many schools give an option to pay in installments. You can also search for yoga schools with scholarship programs for future yoga teachers.
At the end of the day, your first yoga teacher training is your personal decision. Listen to your instincts and make the choice that benefits you most. And once you have made your decision, start getting excited about it! It’s the first step of an incredible journey!
What to Expect from 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training?
If you’re considering becoming a yoga teacher, the first step is to undergo the right training. The path of a yoga teacher starts with a 200-hour yoga teacher training (YTT).
If you’ve practiced yoga for a while, you might want to take your practice to the next level. The minimum requirement of a standard yoga teacher training is 200 hours of hands-on education. This usually includes yoga history and philosophy, sequencing, anatomy, adjustments, meditation, and teaching techniques. The aim of the 200-hour program is to create a strong foundation that can be embellished in the future.
Yoga instructors have a magical way of changing the energy around them. It takes a lot of hard work to learn to do that. In addition to the standard curriculum, a good yoga teacher knows how to put their students at ease, keep them safe, and support them on their journey.
Here’s what you can expect from the 200-hour yoga teacher training.
Techniques & Training – 100 hours
During this time, the trainee’s personal practice will develop and grow. It is incredibly important to take a look at your own practice in order to allow your experiences to shape your movements. Once you establish a deeper connection to your practice, you can learn about various methods to help you transmit the same energy to your students.
As a yoga teacher, you need to be able to teach students of different levels of fitness and ability. You must learn to adapt and improvise to keep your classes inclusive. In this part of your 200-hour yoga teacher training, you will learn to cue postures, create sequences, select appropriate chants and mantras, and guide students through meditation. By the end of this section, you should have a good understanding of teaching techniques.
Methodology – 25 hours
This is when the more intimate angles of the practice are introduced. At this point, future teachers will learn the importance of reading energies and adjusting individuals accordingly. They will get familiar with various teaching styles, using them as inspiration while developing their own unique teaching style.
Anatomy and Physiology – 10 hours
All parts of the body work together in perfect harmony, moving through the flow of yoga poses. Trainees will learn about these connections and how each movement affects the body in its own way. This is also when trainees will learn about conducting yoga sessions in the safest possible way. To prevent injury and ensure longevity, future teachers will have to have in-depth knowledge of human anatomy.
Ethics – 30 hours
Yoga is much more than a sequence of poses. It’s a lifestyle rooted in ethical values. Trainees will need to learn the importance of this mindset, along with concepts like non-violence, dharma and karma, and the importance of balance in life as a whole.
Practicum & Elective
Finally, this is where you put everything you’ve learned to practice. This section of the 200-hour yoga teacher training is key to giving trainees space to spread their wings as they begin to soar into their own teaching. As the students find their voice, they will be able to receive feedback and use it to improve. This is also when trainees learn about the importance of self-criticism, using it as a building block to becoming stronger.
What to Expect from a 300-Hour Yoga Teacher Training?
The goal of a 200-hour YTT is to leave trainees with a well-rounded education and an open mindset. After that, they’ll be able to head out into the world and share their passion with others.
If you feel that you’d like to deepen your yoga knowledge after the foundation training, you could sign up to CPD programs and attend specialist workshops. Additionally, you could follow up with a 300-hour YTT, geared towards teachers who want to continue their yoga education. 300-hour yoga teacher training programs are a stepping stone on the journey to train others. When you complete this training (and 500 hours of training in total), you can also move towards administering yoga YTT courses yourself.
Here’s what you can expect from the 300-hour yoga teacher training.
A More Profound Practice
When you decide to continue your education, be ready to unearth new depths of your personal practice. In a 300-hour YTT, you take the foundations learned in the first course and further develop them using your personal style.
The majority of hours are spent working on various techniques, training, and practicing. To enhance your teaching ability, you will need to enhance your own practice first. You can only explore your teaching potential once you discover the deeper meaning and sentiment behind your own reasons for practicing. The combination of personal practice and advanced teaching methods will allow individuals to rise. Whether they want to train teachers or simply aim to expand their practice, everyone benefits from this step.
Deep Dive into Ethics and Philosophy
60 hours of the course will be dedicated to the philosophy and ethics of yoga in equal balance with practicum. The study will involve analyses of texts and scriptures that surround the philosophical part of the practice. There is a heavy emphasis on this part of the 300-hour YTT in order for the students to see yoga in a different light. This section will address the values that are required to maintain healthy and continually evolving relationships between a teacher and a student. You can be a supportive and encouraging teacher without crossing any ethical boundaries.
What Happens Next
Once you transform your knowledge into action, you can go out into the world with the purpose of promoting peace. Participating in a yoga teacher training does not mean you have to be perfect. Yoga requires constant growth of knowledge and a positive attitude.
- Keep learning. Only a fool thinks they know everything. A wise person knows how much they have yet to learn. When you start your yoga journey, you need to accept that it never ends. There is a reason we call it a yoga “practice”. No one expects perfection, just the willingness to work on yourself. And you can only become better with time and experience. There will never be a time when you know everything there is to know. It’s important to set our egos aside and keep learning. This will help you relate to your students and improve as a teacher.
- Maintain personal practice. We all know that regular practice is the only real way to improve your craft. As we become better at breathing, performing asanas, and finding inner peace, we can lead by example. Through personal practice, you gain a deeper understanding of yoga, which you can then share with your students. But to do that, you need to make time for yoga in your everyday life, before you begin to preach practice to others.
- Explore different avenues. There are many ways to apply your training as a yoga teacher. As well as choosing the traditional path of teaching yoga classes, you can use share your knowledge in other ways. You could use your experience to train others, support charitable causes, or promote yoga on social media. Remember, not everything you do as part of your yoga journey has to bring money. It is much more important to build a community and maintain your integrity.
- Put yourself out there. Taking a step from being a trainee to being a teacher can be nerve-wracking. However, it’s important to step out of your comfort zone and put yourself out there. As the saying goes, you miss 100% of chances you don’t take. Plus, think about all the positive changes you will bring to the world once you fully embrace your identity as a yoga teacher!
Above all, remember that the yoga teacher training is only the beginning! It takes time, hard work, and passion to have a successful career in any field. Don’t get frustrated. With consistency, enthusiasm, communication, and some luck, you will grow and develop to be the best yoga teacher you can be!