Yoga Teacher Training 101

Yoga Teacher Training 101 - Pin now, read later!

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.

 

Yoga Teacher Training - Everything You Need to Know

Pin now, become a yoga teacher later!


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.
Yoga Teacher Training 101 - Pin now, learn how to become a yoga teacher now!

Pin now, learn how to become a yoga teacher now!


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!


Serious Must-Know:

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!

Yoga Teacher Training 101 - Pin now, learn how to become a yoga teacher now!

Pin now, learn how to become a yoga teacher now!


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.

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.

DO RESEARCH!

Yoga Teacher Training 101 - Pin now, learn how to become a yoga teacher now!

Pin now, learn how to become a yoga teacher now!


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).


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.

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.

Yoga Teacher Training 101 - Pin now, learn how to become a yoga teacher now!

Pin now, learn how to become a yoga teacher now!


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!

If needing more yoga teacher inspiration, check out my articles here:

49 Discussion to this page

  1. Gosesh says:

    Useful Blog ! Thank you for the greats information. Now I’m thinking about to join the yoga teacher classes.

  2. Sheri Green says:

    Informative article. The main peculiarity that I found in your article is it so generous.A guide like article. Recently I used to read a similar article like this. So, I would like to share this with the readers of your article: http://ayugreen.com/top-yoga-courses-kerala/

  3. It is really wonderful to see people like you talking about Yoga. Yoga is, undoubtedly, the need of the time to promote peace and well-being across the world. It is important for all of us who are engaged in yoga to spread the light of happiness, health and harmony and let others to have the taste to physical health and inner peace.

    Thank you for sharing such as wonderful post with your readers and admirers.

    Love and Peace

    • The Journey Junkie says:

      Thank you for the kind words and couldn’t agree more with your thoughts on spreading yoga…. the more we demystify the practice, the more people feel welcomed into the community! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

      and keep spreading the yoga love too!

  4. Alina Josef says:

    Nice Article with good information, Thank you for sharing this article for Yoga Teacher Training…

    I will go to India next month, for Yoga Teacher Training. I have booked my 200-hour course with AYM Yoga School in India. This information will be very useful for me.

    • The Journey Junkie says:

      Hi Alina, glad you like it / took away great info from it! Have an incredible experience in India, it will most certainly be a trip of a lifetime! Safe travels 🙂

  5. Nice Article with good information, Thank you foe sharing…

  6. Liam says:

    This is great, so helpful…thank you so much for sharing this article for yoga teacher training…

    • The Journey Junkie says:

      Hi Liam – you’re so welcome! I truly hope it helps you on your journey, please feel free to ask questions!

  7. Jeny says:

    This is great, so helpful…thank you so much for sharing!! I’ve decided on a 200 hr YTT in Bali in January and I want to prepare as much as possible. What book(s) do you suggest? I’d like to familiarize myself with the deeper meaning of terminology, different styles and any basics that’ll help give me a jump start for the training. Would love your suggestion. Thanks!

  8. Edward says:

    Thanks for sharing this great article for yoga teacher training ….

  9. Anil Mokamsingh says:

    I got the names mixed up (Anna instead of Allison) mentioned on http://www.thejourneyjunkie.com/contact/

    Sorry for that ….

    Kind regards,

    Anil

  10. Anil Mokamsingh says:

    Dear Anna,

    Tnx for the comprehensive exploration on differences in the teachers courses (200hr & 300 hrs). And your website and everything around it (social media, photos etc) look absolutely beautiful. A question that comes to my mind is, while looking so professional, whether you feel the urge to take the full 500 hrs course? What would that add to what you do (or feel) now? I’am asking because I’ve done yoga for years now -just for me in my onw house, not as a professional – and lately I am starting to look around for a teachers’course and I see all these different styles and levels (200 hrs, 300 hrs).

    Kind regards

    Anil

    • The Journey Junkie says:

      Hi Anil, you’re so welcome and thank you for the kind words (making me blush)!

      So here’s the deal and what I’ve come to learn after a year into teaching…. your 200 HR is a necessity if you want to teach yoga, but your 300 HR and any further education is more for your personal growth and teaching knowledge. The majority of the yoga community could care less if you have a “300 HR certification”, but it’s a great experience and opportunity to dive deeper into the yogic studies.

      With that said, I definitely don’t recommend doing both at the same time. It’s kinda like your undergrad and master’s educations, they should be split up with a sprinkle of real life experience placed in-between the two. Does that make sense?

      I have the goal of doing my 300 HR in an intensive, off the beaten path format… because my first training was here at home while continuing to work full-time. So anyway, hope that helps and feel free to reach out with any other questions!

      • Anil Mokamsingh says:

        Dear Allison,

        Yes, your explanation makes sense. Thank you very much for taking your time answering my questions. And I am sure you’ll find the right 300 hr (advanced) teachers course.

        Namashkar,

        Anil

  11. lela says:

    Hi Allie,

    Thank you for the great blog post! Really love your whole site 🙂

    I’ve also been sitting on the idea of A TTC for over a year now and the desire hasnt gone away which is prompting me to just do it. I booked onto an intensive training course in Goa, India but due to a family bereavement I had to cancel my application- timing just wasnt right.
    Taking a fresh start with it I am very much interested in coming to the US to do my yoga teacher training. It’s between NYC and San fran cisco but I was wondering if there were any you could recommend as America seems to be a goldmine of yoga schools/studios and courses. I would like to find a well rounded training course with lots of emphasis in vinyasa style. Any suggestions would be awesome!

    Keep doing what you’re doing on here, its so inspiring!

    Lela xx

    • The Journey Junkie says:

      Hi Lela – if the desire is still lingering, it means it’s time to start! And so sorry to hear about your family and forfeiting the other training, glad you can still make it happen now.

      Coming here is a great idea, there’s loads of yoga schools & a lot of incredibly educated teachers. I’m not very educated on the programs in NYC or LA, but maybe look into vinyasa style teachers you like or admire, then see if they have programs in those locations.

      Take your time choosing a program as it’s a big investment, both money and time, and make sure to enjoy every moment of it (it goes by so fast)!

      Sending loads of positive yogi vibes your way babe, have a great weekend!

  12. Ashlei says:

    Thank you so much. I found a school but I know 2017 looks like it will be my year to registrar. Your post definitely made everything clearer.

    • The Journey Junkie says:

      Hi Ashlei, you’re so welcome! Good luck with your teaching training journey – it’s so incredibly magical! Let me know if you have any other questions 🙂

      Happy Holidays – xoxo!

  13. Lowell says:

    Hi,
    Thank you for your awesome knowledge and experience. It is so Helpful!! In jeevmoksha yoga rishikesh india i got a scholarships for teacher training, and it is really helpful at the time of i was facing financial crisis. Thankyou!

    • The Journey Junkie says:

      Hi Lowell.
      That’s amazing you received a scholarship to your yoga teacher training! Congrats!

      Thanks for stopping by the blog, reading the yoga goodness, and leaving some love.

      Have a great weekend – xoxo!

  14. akeeraace says:

    Yes Yoga it is good think for both women & Men. Yoga help us to make healthy body……

  15. Astrid says:

    Allie, I have been really wanting to do my yoga teacher training. I have been doing yoga off and on for 9 years. I moved to small town and my gym saw that I did yoga really well and offered me a job to teach. I just got my certification online, making me a bit insecure of teaching. I did however overcome my fear of standing in front of others and teaching. Public speaking is one of my biggest weaknesses but teaching yoga was very comforting and gave me confidence. However, I did eventually stop teaching this class because I felt uncomfortable with not knowing enough to provide some answers. Do you get a lot of questions from your students asking why this hurts or this feels weird? I would just tell them to stop doing anything that causes them pain and remind them it was not a competition. I am hoping someday in my future I am able to get my real certification to be able to teach again. Thanks for providing the different kinds of training options.

    • The Journey Junkie says:

      Hi Astrid. Thank you so much for reaching out and stopping by the blog. I totally understand your concerns around not knowing enough information, I still feel like this even with my teacher training certification. Yoga will forever be a study, a practice – you literally could never stop learning. So with that said, I don’t think you should stop teaching but instead – educate yourself as much as possible from your home. I would buy a few books, read online articles, attend a workshop or two, and then apply that information to your classes.

      You will always have students that ask the type of questions you mentioned above, and regardless of being a teacher or not, they’re always hard to answer. I use my best judgment in the situation and a lot times, refer them to someone else or something else. Yoga teachers are not doctors, therapists, or anything of the sort (even tho people think we are), so we need to continue to refer the students to professionals.

      Also – I would look into a teacher training that’s more spaced out like ones at Kripalu…. not a massive 30 day intensive. If that’s not an option right now, keep educating yourself and yes – start teaching again! I’m sure people need your light & love 🙂

      Again, thanks for stopping by, have a great day – xoxo/

  16. Michelle says:

    hi! I just found you on Pinterest and I am on my way to a journey of a yoga beyond Asana program with my current yoga studio. It’s like a program before teacher training. It’s one workshop weekend a month ( 6 hours) and then I have four 90 minute classes added on to that. Yoga has changed me and I love the way it makes me feel. Maybe I might become. A teacher someday; although I am 42 years young.

    • The Journey Junkie says:

      Hi Michelle, thanks for stopping by and finding me!

      The program sounds amazing and you will fall head over heels with the yoga studies and practice. I’m so happy you are taking yoga further, this decision definitely won’t disappoint you. And trust me, yoga teacher training will probably be right around the corner for you.

      And 42 years young is a great age to start, there’s never a wrong time to begin the journey. I did my YTT with my mother in-law who’s 52 years young 🙂

  17. Paresh Soni says:

    Hi Allie,
    This is an extensive and detailed information every yoga teacher training enthusiast should read. Thanks for the information. And yes your posture and photographs are stunning. I’m making an exclusive website for yoga teacher training aspirant. I hope to take your interview some day on my blog. You have a great blog here. thx.
    Paresh Soni recently posted…How To Know If You Are Ready For Yoga Teacher Training ?My Profile

    • The Journey Junkie says:

      Hi Paresh. Thank you so much for the kind words! Let me know when you build your website. Have a great day!

  18. rowena says:

    6 months into a daiy home practice and I have been going to a weekly class for slightly longer. I am hooked ! How good do you have to be before you could consider a course ? Thanks !

  19. Awesome post you got there. Although yoga helps improve the body it is still not a substitute for medicine. But it is a way to keep yourself fit and healthy in a more fulfilling manner. Visit our site to learn more.

  20. Jessica says:

    I am just playing with the idea of taking a teacher training, thank you for your knowledge and experience. So Helpful!!

    • The Journey Junkie says:

      Hi Jessica. I played with the idea for over a year. If the idea keeps coming to you, please pursue it! It’s a life changing experience whether you want to teach yoga or not. Let me know if you have any other questions!

  21. Shiva NAnd says:

    Very accurate readings, thank you dear Yogini!!

  22. Em says:

    Thank you for thus article. I’m thinking of career change, and yoga teacher training cross my mind. Been practicing on and off for 10 years now, and want to take it to next level! Living in Bali but moving to Jakarta soon.

    • The Journey Junkie says:

      Hi Em. You’re so welcome! I know when the idea of becoming a yoga teacher came to mind, I was thoroughly confused by all the options – it’s a bit overwhelming. And you should 100% go for it, especially because you’re not a newbie to the practice. And aaaaah Bali, I’m so jealous! I absolutely love it there 🙂 Thanks for stopping by friend!

  23. Raquel says:

    Thanks so much for the info! I just recently started taking yoga classes, and I’m ready to be fully immersed! My only problems are that I work full-time, and I am drowning in student loan debt. Do you know of any scholarships available for teacher training?

  24. L.Aschmoneit says:

    hiya! Wow! Soooooo happy I just found this! I’m going to an information night at the studio that I’ve been practicing at for the last 5 years! Excited! Nervous!! Anyhow, had NO idea about the RYS! Can’t find my studio on this list, you bet your yoga-booty I’ll be asking for their credentials! High five! And off I go! Shanti

    • The Journey Junkie says:

      Hello, so happy you found my blog abd that it helped! That’s awesome that your home studio is offering teacher training, that will be a great experience and opportunity for a future job! I hope the information session went well. Good luck with your training!

  25. Dakota says:

    This is a great post. I have been thinking about taking the teacher-training plunge, and this makes me a little less nervous. Thanks for sharing!!

    • The Journey Junkie says:

      Hi Dakota. I thought about it for a few years and finally took the plunge too! I highly suggest taking your time when researching a program and choose one that you connect with. So happy I could help out! Let me know if you have any more questions 🙂

  26. Anna Su says:

    Hi Allie, great post full of useful and honest information. I’m traveling around the world with my son and just researching some teaching centers in Mexico and Central America so I will use your useful tips to narrow down the search. Hope one of them comes with a great nanny too. Lol! Happy travel A + O xoxo

    • The Journey Junkie says:

      Hi Anna Su. I’m so happy this was helpful to you. Good luck finding one with a nanny, let me know if you do (that would be amazing)! Have fun traveling with your son, safe travels! xoxoxo

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