What Topics Does a Yoga Alliance Training Teach?
By: Steph Ball-Mitchell, E-RYT-500, RPYT, RCYT, YACEP
By: Steph Ball-Mitchell, E-RYT-500, RPYT, RCYT, YACEP
The journey of becoming a yoga teacher is an exciting path, but there are also a lot of technicalities to understand as you enter this new career. The most important thing to know when choosing a 200-hour yoga teacher training course is that Yoga Alliance is considered the base standard for yoga teacher training certifications. This organization creates the standards for yoga teacher training programs and upholds these standards to help facilitate yoga teaching into a more legitimate field.
If you are interested in becoming a yoga teacher, it is crucial to understand the requirements of Yoga Alliance so that you can investigate your yoga teacher training and ensure you are meeting these standards. In this article, we will go over everything you need to know about Yoga Alliance and the yoga teacher training standards. These tools will help you find the best yoga teacher training program for you and begin this exciting new career! Now, let’s dive in. What topics does a yoga alliance training teach?
Yoga Alliance is a nonprofit association that was created to help legitimize the field of yoga teaching in the United States. Yoga Alliance is primarily for teachers and schools based in the United States, but schools and institutions use these standards and registration around the world, and it is often considered the gold standard for yoga teachers. what topics does a yoga alliance training teach?
For yoga teacher training programs, Yoga Alliance has a registration process for schools and training programs to ensure that they are meeting a minimum training standard. In 2021, Yoga Alliance updated these standards to raise the expectations of yoga teacher training and create more credibility in the field. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, there has also been a growth in high-quality online yoga teacher training courses, and Yoga Alliance has relaxed the stringency in allowing online training programs.
So, essentially a Yoga Alliance yoga teacher training is any yoga school or training program that submitted its curriculum for approval and registered with Yoga Alliance to confirm that they meet these minimum training standards. Only yoga teachers who graduate from a Yoga Alliance registered program are eligible to register as a yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance. That is why it is crucial for many new yoga teachers to ensure your 200-hour yoga teacher training school and the program is registered with Yoga Alliance.
In 2021, Yoga Alliance updated the 200-hour yoga teacher training program curriculum requirements. The training topics for a 200-hour yoga teacher training registered with Yoga Alliance are split into 4 main core curriculum topics:
1. Techniques, Training, and Practice
This section of a Yoga Alliance yoga teacher training is the most significant component at 75 hours of the entire training. Within this section of a yoga teacher training, you will do a deep dive into asana or yoga poses, pranayama or breathing practices, and meditation. These are the fundamental tools for any yoga teacher, and you will gain a deeper understanding of these practices and how to guide students through them safely. You will also explore the subtle body anatomy of yoga, which is also known as the nadis or energy channels, koshas or energy sheaths, and chakras.
2. Anatomy and Physiology
Anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics are 30 hours of a Yoga Alliance yoga teacher training. This fundamental knowledge is essential to ensure that you can safely guide students through the physical yoga practices and prevent injury. But remember that this will only provide you with a cursory knowledge of anatomy and physiology; you will not be at the level of a physical therapist or massage therapist, so you don’t need to worry too much about being bogged down in these details!
3. Yoga Humanities
Yoga humanities is another 30 hours of a Yoga Alliance yoga teacher training. This training competency primarily covers the history, philosophy, and ethics of yoga. Yoga is so much more than the poses; it is a way of life. In this section of a yoga teacher training, you will learn the deeper philosophical meaning of these practices and how to truly embody the principles of yoga in your everyday life. The philosophy of yoga provides the undercurrent for exploring the deeper practices of yoga both on and off the mat.
4. Professional Essentials
Professional essentials in a yoga teacher training consist of the next 50 hours of a Yoga Alliance yoga teacher training. This section covers teaching methodology, professional development, and a practicum component to practice teaching. This is where you really get into the practice of how to teach and how to be a representative of the yoga field. These practical skills give you the foundational essentials to bring the theory into practice.
Beyond these 4 competencies, there are also an optional 15 hours of electives to complete the total 200 hours of training, which varies depending on the focus of the yoga teacher training program you join. The depth of these Yoga Alliance training topic standards helps cover the foundational information needed for any new yoga teacher. But remember that this training is just the tip of the iceberg, and the journey into the world of yoga can genuinely feel like a lifetime of learning.
Every yoga teacher training has its own unique qualities depending on the lead teacher and the tradition of the yoga school. However, due to the standardization of yoga teacher training standards by Yoga Alliance, you can now ensure that you will receive a similar foundational training no matter where you choose to study.
Yoga teacher trainings that are registered with Yoga Alliance must follow the training competencies described above. In your yoga teacher training registered with Yoga Alliance, you will undoubtedly get a foundational training in the practice, theory, philosophy, and experience of teaching yoga no matter where you choose to go.
After the COVID-19 pandemic, Yoga Alliance began allowing online yoga teacher trainings due to the limitations of lockdowns and health concerns. These revolutionary changes in the yoga field made it increasingly accessible to become a yoga teacher no matter where you are located.
Although in-person yoga teacher trainings certainly have a unique benefit, you can easily get the same depth of training in an online yoga teacher training program. Online yoga teacher training programs registered with Yoga Alliance provide the exact same level of training as an in-person training, ensuring that you get the quality of education that you need without having to travel anywhere and spend additional money to do so!
Some yoga teachers debate whether it is worth it to register with Yoga Alliance after completing your yoga teacher training. The truth is that because yoga teaching is not a regulated field in the United States, it is not essential to register with Yoga Alliance to begin working. However, registering with Yoga Alliance shows to others that you have met those standards, and some employers and insurance carriers require this registration. At the end of the day, the decision to register with Yoga Alliance as a yoga teacher is personal, as it is not entirely essential to register in order to begin teaching.
Yoga Alliance is an excellent organization that helps legitimize the field of yoga and provides protections for yoga teacher training students and the general public to ensure a standard of education. By taking a Yoga Alliance yoga teacher training course, you can also ensure that you are meeting those standards, which gives greater trust to your students and potential employers.
However, there is also a growing movement among yoga teachers to no longer support the Yoga Alliance. Particularly after a series of scandals and a reduction in the enforcement of yoga teacher training standards by this organization. That said, Yoga Alliance has increasingly made more outstanding efforts to increase the level of yoga teacher trainings and raise the legitimacy of the field of yoga teaching. As Yoga Alliance increases the level of these standards, it also raises the quality of education and what it truly means to be a yoga teacher.
Beginning a yoga teacher training is a big step, but it is also incredibly exciting as you start your journey into this beautiful healing practice. A 200hr YTT is truly just the first step to becoming a yoga teacher, but by joining a Yoga Alliance 200-hour training, you can ensure that this first step is moving in the right direction on your path to success.
At our online yoga teacher training school, we go above and beyond the Yoga Alliance training standards so that you can get the foundational knowledge you need and so much more. The breadth and depth of our online yoga teacher training will prepare you for this exciting new career to becoming the best yoga teacher you can be! So, reach out to us today for more information on how you can join our upcoming online yoga teacher training courses.