Which Yoga Teacher Training Is Best?
By: Steph Ball-Mitchell, E-RYT-500, RPYT, RCYT, YACEP
You're trying to decide which yoga teacher training is best, and you aren't sure where to begin. Don't worry, you're not alone. We're here to help you navigate this tricky question and find the yoga teacher training program that makes the most sense for you.
There are literally thousands of yoga teacher training programs that you can choose from when you decide you want to become a certified yoga teacher. If you're reading this article, you've probably already learned how to get certified as a yoga instructor. You know that your first step is to enroll in a 200-hour yoga teacher training program. This is the foundation level yoga teacher training program.
One of the first questions I'm often asked is what's covered in a 200 hour yoga teacher training. The short answer is yoga philosophy and history, yoga anatomy, yoga teaching, yoga techniques and yoga practice, yoga teaching methodology, yoga anatomy and physiology and professional essentials of a yoga teacher. The longer answer is that it really depends on the training you take because every school explores these topics differently, infusing their own teaching pedagogy into the training material.
You would be surprised at how many ways you can teach any given yoga pose. Some yoga schools teach that there is only one way in and out of the posture, while other schools teach multiple ways to come into the posture. Some schools, like ours, are really big on accessibility and teach a ton of modifications for every yoga pose. Other schools may frown on modifications and props.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when we start exploring the differences between yoga teacher training programs. It can get pretty complicated when you start looking at yoga history and philosophy and attitudes towards cultivating a personal home yoga practice. One of the ways that you can learn what a school's perspective is on many of these important issues is by reading their blog.
There are many different styles of yoga. You may want to take a Vinyasa-based yoga teacher training program, or maybe you're looking for a Hatha yoga teacher training program. Other styles of yoga that many people seek to learn are Yin, Ashtanga, Iyengar and Bikram. There are many more.
There are tons of options for both online and in person yoga teacher training programs. And there are even hybrid options, which combine a mixture of online and face-to-face learning. If you decide to go online, you have to decide if you want a yoga teacher training that is self-paced like Online Yoga School's 200-hour yoga teacher training, or if you'd rather have one with more structure, like Brett Larkin's yoga teacher training program.
Yoga is an unregulated industry and Yoga Alliance seeks to self-regulate yoga. It offers a directory of yoga teachers and yoga teacher training schools. The way it works is that schools must turn in paperwork to Yoga Alliance that says what they plan to teach, and Yoga Alliance collects payment when they approve the school and add the school to their directory. Only yoga teachers who have graduated from a Yoga Alliance registered school are eligible to register with Yoga Alliance as yoga teachers.
Once you've narrowed it down to 5-10 schools, you want to write down all of those important questions you need answered. Reach out to the school and try to get answers to all of your questions. In the process, you'll probably learn a lot more about each of the schools than you're expecting. You're going to find out how quickly they get back to you, whether or not they take phone calls, and how difficult it is to get in touch with the lead trainer or other relevant trainers who you would be learning from.
The best advice I can give you as you set out to decide which yoga teacher training program is the best is to trust your intuition. Your inner wisdom will never leave you astray so be sure that you're learning into it and trusting yourself. Most of the time, we know instantly when we connect with someone whether or not there is chemistry. We know if that person inspires us, if that person tugs at our heart strings or causes us to dig deeper within ourselves.
When you find the best yoga teacher training for you, you're going to know instantly. If you have any reservations, it's probably not the right choice for you. Picking the right school to get certified to teach yoga is not as much about speed as it is about finding your fit. It's a very personal choice and the answer is different for everyone. Part of the journey to choosing your yoga training is knowing what you're looking for.
We talked about creating a list of yoga schools that you're interested in. One of the prerequisites to creating a list like this is knowing what you're looking for in a yoga teacher training. Some people really just want the piece of paper at the end of the training that says they're certified to teach yoga, and they are searching for the path of least resistance. Other aspiring yoga teacher trainees are looking for an in-depth learning experience like Online Yoga School's 200 hour yoga teacher training program. These are the students who truly want to learn as much as they can.
You will want to decide whether or not you are comfortable submitting video assignments or teaching yoga in front of other trainees. You will want to know what kind of attendance policy you're looking for, and what the school's position is on making up missed training dates. If the school is self-paced like Online Yoga School, you have to make sure that you're comfortable moving through the training material at your own pace with the optional support of instructors on zoom.
It can be helpful to make a list of your own personal learning objectives. You want to decide what you're most interested in learning about as you embark on your yoga teacher training journey. Some people are really interested in learning anatomy while others lean more towards philosophy. While all trainings should cover all topics, the amount of time that is spent on these topics can vary drastically.
Those who are brand new to yoga may want to learn the basics of yoga and may need to spend a significant amount of time on yoga postures. People who have been practicing yoga for many years and who have already studied yoga on some level may be more interested in sequencing, and learning how to put a yoga class together. We actually get a lot of people in our 200 hour ytt who have already taken a ytt elsewhere and want to learn more about how to elevate their careers teaching yoga.
Common Questions Potential Yoga Teacher Trainees Ask
If you need some inspiration, I'm happy to share some of the most common questions I'm asked about my yoga teacher training program:
Is Online Yoga School's yoga teacher training self-paced?
Are there any required log in times for Online Yoga School's yoga teacher training program?
When are optional live zoom sessions for Online Yoga School's yoga teacher training program?
Will I get a certificate at the end of the 200 hour training?
Is Online Yoga School registered with Yoga Alliance?
Can I register with Yoga Alliance when I complete this training?
What topics are covered in Online Yoga School's 200 hour yoga teacher training program?
Are there any free yoga courses that come with the 200 Hour YTT?
What are the requirements for certification in the 200hr YTT?
We would love to have you join us in our 200 hour yoga teacher training program. We are registered with Yoga Alliance which means you can register at the end of the training. Our 200hr ytt is totally self-paced, and we do offer optional live zoom sessions if you want to connect with us and with other trainees. You get 3 bonus yoga courses with the 200 hour enrollment that you can use as continuing education.
If our yoga teacher training does not sound like the right program for you, we hope that this article can help you find the program that makes the most sense for you. The world needs more yoga and therefore more yoga teachers.