Yoga Teacher Training 101
Welcome future yoga teacher. You’ve landed in the perfect place.
Below are the must-knows to get started on your yoga teacher training journey. Sit back, grab a glass of something, and enjoy…
The practice of yoga is INFECTIOUS.
It starts with one class. Then a class pass. Then an unlimited monthly package – which basically means you’re hooked.
A few months pass by… and you and your yoga practice are now having a serious love affair. Like full on make out session. How did you ever live without this practice. I ask myself the same thing everyday. Don’t feel weird.
Fast forward a few more months… stress levels are decreasing, the body is more relaxed, relationships are richer, the body is stronger, and you feel blissed out. Or as like to call it – yoga stoned.
And now you wonder to yourself, how can I take this to the next level. How can I enrich my life with more yoga, more practice, more spirituality, more self-love, and more, more, more….
Well yogis, that more is yoga teacher training.
This more can be translated into a whole lotta yoga emotional ish:
- Deeper practice.
- A better understanding of yoga’s history.
- A stronger connection with oneself and a higher power.
- A coping mechanism for personal life drama.
- Or just to d something for yourself – simple as that.
For all of these reasons, many people find themselves pondering the idea of yoga teacher training. And regardless of the reason, it’s always a good idea. Whether you envision yourself teaching or simply learning for the sake of knowledge and self-love – it’s all worth the journey!
The vast majority of 200 hour yoga teacher training programs cover the same topics.
Here’s what to expect:
- History behind yoga.
- The ancient lineage.
- The methodology and alignment of postures.
- Sanskrit terms for postures.
- Meditation and breathing techniques.
- Self-practice and how-to do it.
- Health & Wellness.
- Ayurveda – the sister science of yoga.
Just like the many types of yoga, there are many different types of yoga teacher training programs and different levels of certification.
Programs can vary from a 30 day intensive, an 11 month training, or a mixed mode of weekends and week intensives. There is a program that can accommodate everyone’s schedule, yoga style, and finances. Take the time to research what it is that you need!
If just starting out on this quest – here’s the deal:
- The 200 hour certification is the first certification – it’s the only way to teach yoga.
- The 300 hour certification is in addition to the first 200 – this can be completed separately and usually is.
- The 500 hour certification is a combination of the above two. I don’t recommend doing both at the same time but if you got the time and energy, go for it yogi superman!
Once the 200 hour yoga certification is completed, then teachers can expand upon their education with additional workshops and certifications. Such as:
- Pre-Natal Yoga
- Yoga for Back Pain
- Restorative Yoga
- Yin Yoga
The amount of education is endless which is why we are all forever students!
Yoga Alliance is the organization that certifies and registers all yoga teachers who have completed their training. When researching yoga teacher training programs, it is extremely important that they are a RYS – registered yoga school. This means that Yoga Alliance (the mothership of yogis) approves of the program and will award certificates upon completion.
- For more information about the certification process – click here.
- To search for registered yoga schools with Yoga Alliance – click here.
- A great resource for worldwide yoga teacher training programs can be found at yogaworks or YOGANONYMOUS.
Okay so we just got through all the technical blah blah…. now let’s get to talking about how you can become a yoga teacher!
30 DAY INTENSIVE PROGRAM
Intensive is the key word here!
Students can expect to be training ALL DAY – from sunrise to sundown. A typical day can include 2 yoga practices, meditation, teaching methodology, anatomy, and lecture. The structure is very strict and intense. Be prepared to be fully immersed in the yoga practice and lifestyle.
- These can be found throughout the world. Literally ALL over.
- Cost is between $3,000 – $7,000 and – usually – includes the training tuition, accommodations, meals, books/ study materials, and sometimes excursions. Flight is never included in the program cost so this must be taken into consideration.
- Popular programs (that I know of) are: Anamaya Resort and Nosara (Costa Rica), Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health (Massachusetts), Ananda School of Yoga & Meditation (California), Pranashama Yoga Institute (Bali), Himalaya Yoga Valley (India, Spain, Thailand, Ireland), Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres (worldwide locations)
The programs listed barely scratch the surface. If looking for a specific location to complete the program, DO RESEARCH. Yoga programs are spread far & wide with endless possibilities.
MIXED MODE PROGRAM
Mixed mode is a combination of weekend workshops, week-long intensives, or continuing education and assignments. This style format is great for people who work full-time, part-time, are in school, or simply can’t commit to a 30 day training program. It provides flexibility and a taste of the intensive format.
- Mixed mode programs can be done locally or through a program in another location.
- Cost will vary depending on location, length of intensives, and overall program ($3,000 – $7,000).
- Programs like this can be found worldwide – in faraway lands and also right in your home town. A few examples are – The Lotus Pond (Tampa, FL), Dharma Yoga Center (NYC), Kripalu (Massachusetts).
As said above, these programs are a small glimpse into what is offered.
PART-TIME OR YEAR LONG PROGRAM
These programs are great for people who cannot commit to an intensive program, taking time off work, incurring extra costs for travel and accommodations, or for people who simply want to take it slow. Every program has it’s benefits that speak to individuals and their specific lifestyle – this is the beauty of yoga teacher training!
- Cost will vary but is typically between $2,000 – $4,000 and includes the tuition and study materials.
- This style format is dramatically less expensive due to no travel costs, accommodations, or included meals.
A local program is a great way to stay within your community, practice with a teacher you connect with or have studied under, and obtain a job quickly after graduating.
The key to this type of program is to research who the teacher is and what their credentials are, what the format will be, if guest teachers will be introduced and involved, and what level of education you will be receiving (this is important for all programs but especially if staying local).
- Local programs in the Tampa/ St. Petersburg area include: The Lotus Pond (where I completed mine), The Body Electric w/ Jade Skinner, St. Petersburg Yoga, Bella Prana, White Orchid, A Yoga Village.
TRAINING WITH A WELL-KNOWN YOGI
Like every industry, yoga has it’s celebrities – the people who grace the cover of Yoga Journal, have a million + followers on social media, get endorsed by products and companies, and simply make us all jealous/ in love with them and their lives!
Unlike some industries though, yogis have the ability to meet and study under these famous people. The relationship between yoga teacher and student is the same, regardless of fame or fortune. These people are still human and are upheld to teach and pass on the yogic traditions.
- As expected, these programs are a bit more costly and usually fall under the category of either a 30 day intensive or mixed mode program.
- The program cost will typically fall between the $4,0000 – $10,000 range.
- Famous yogis that offer teacher training include: Shiva Rea, Tiffany Cruikshank, Kathryn Budig, Meghan Currie, Briohny and Dice iida Klein, Noah Maze, Baron Baptiste.
If choosing to study with a famous or well-known yoga teacher, please make sure to connect with this person, their practice, their style, and the teachings they are offering. Don’t choose someone simply for their status – this relates to everything in life but especially when deciding where to spend your time and money.
SPECIFIC STYLE PROGRAMS
Like the different styles of yoga, one can also choose a program based on the style they like to practice and want to teach.
If choosing a program based on a style or method, make sure to ask yourself, Is this what I want to teach?
For example, someone could have a strong Ashtanga practice but want to teach general Hatha Yoga. Or someone could practice a Hatha/ Vinyasa style but want to pursue a certification at Kripalu.
If unsure of what style to pursue, try the below tips:
- Start to pay closer attention in your yoga classes.
- Listen to the teacher’s style, their cues, watch the flow of the classroom, and observe the type of people attending the class.
- Branch out from your typical yoga class and choose a few different styles to experience.
It’s incredibly important to experience different avenues of yoga, it’s a giant industry with so many options and millions of practitioners! You’ll know when you’ve found the one that sparks your inner fire…
This article is a brief overview that barely scratches the surface of yoga teacher training and all it encompasses. It’s totally OKAY to be overwhelmed, scared, uncertain, indecisive, etc.
I was there too.
Just know this – yoga is so much more than movement. It’s a community of likeminded people that are connecting, breathing, loving, and raising the vibration of this world – one yoga class at a time. Don’t ever feel intimidated or fearful of your practice not being “strong” enough. You + your magic yoga carpet is all you need.
The rest will fall into play…
Enjoy the journey yogis, it’s an amazing ride!
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