When you feel called to take a 200 hour yoga teacher training (YTT), it can feel like the absolute most exciting time. But then when you actually start to research your YTT options, the sheer magnitude of choices can feel overwhelming.
How do you know which yoga teacher training is right for you? How can you tell a good YTT from a bad one? How do you choose location, price point, yoga styles, and teachers?
So many doubts come up during your research that it can feel like there are more questions than possible answers available. But it actually shouldn’t be so hard to choose the right yoga teacher training for you.
Because practicing (and teaching!) yoga is such a profoundly personal experience, you should choose a YTT that resonates with your personal preferences. But there are certain things that you should keep in mind when you choose your course.
Not sure what you need in a course? Make Sure Your YTT Covers These 8 Essential Topics
When you’re choosing a 200 hour YTT, pick a program that has these eight crucial points.
Hands down the most important thing to consider when you choose a yoga teacher training is who is actually training you.
Does your teacher or teaching team have a solid background in yoga? Has he or she been teaching for a long time? What settings have they taught in? Is this their first time leading a YTT?
These are critical questions to ask. You’ll want to choose a teacher(s) who is experienced but also up-to-date with modern teaching practices.
These are critical questions to ask.
An excellent teacher trainer is someone who is professional but also approachable, disciplined but also lenient, knowledgeable but also open-minded, and skilled but not arrogant.
Keep in mind that just because someone is an excellent yogi, it doesn’t mean that they are excellent at conveying the practice or how to teach the practice. You need a teacher that has strong communication skills, organizational abilities, and a vast education.
It’s ideal if you’re able to practice with your teacher(s) before signing up for a whole 200 hour yoga teacher training with them—whether that’s in person or online. This will help you to make sure that your yoga styles are a good match.
Of course, you want to find a YTT that meshes well with what you want to offer when you start to teach. So if you’re looking to teach yin yoga, it’s probably not the best idea to take an Ashtanga course.
What Is Yin Yoga? Here’s Everything You Need to Know About This Practice
You’ll want to find a training that offers the style(s) of yoga that you want to teach. Make sure that each style that you are hoping to offer is covered in depth—not just in practice, but in teaching methodology as well. Doing a lot of restorative yoga can be great and deeply relaxing, but it doesn’t necessarily ensure that you’ll feel qualified to teach it.
What Is Restorative Yoga? Here’s Your In-Depth Guide to This Soothing Practice
So make sure that the course you choose extensively covers the yoga style or styles that you want to teach. And make sure that the lead trainer(s) teach in a way that resonates deeply with you, because ultimately, they will teach you to teach in a similar way.
Also critically important is that you and your trainer(s) and school have a shared meaning of the practice. Of course, no two people view yoga exactly alike but there are certainly different mentalities when it comes to the practice.
Some practitioners view yoga as a sweaty workout to get toned. Others view yoga as a deeply spiritual and meditative practice. As you can imagine, teachers in these varying lineages will teach in drastically different ways.
So be sure to find a school and trainer(s) that shares a common understanding of your meaning of yoga—whatever that may be.
Yoga Alliance is an international governing body that regulates yoga teacher training courses across the globe. They lay out specific standards and regulations that YTTs must follow in order to be certified through their program.
While there is definitely controversy around whether or not it’s necessary for a yoga teacher training to be certified with Yoga Alliance, there are many yoga studios, retreat centers, etc. around the world that will not hire yoga teachers unless they are certified through Yoga Alliance.
So it won’t hurt you to take a Yoga Alliance certified training, but it may hurt you if you don’t.
There are certain topics that are essential to any yoga teacher training. While Yoga Alliance lays out specific topics that must be covered in their courses, not all YTTs are created equally and some courses may excel in certain aspects but severely lack in others.
A good yoga teacher training will extensively study and explore anatomy and biomechanics, asana variations and modifications, teaching methodology and language, sequencing, yoga history and philosophy, and the business of teaching yoga. A good YTT will also spend a great deal of time having students actually practice teaching.
If the course you’re looking at doesn’t cover these topics in-depth, it might be wise to find another course that does.
Make Sure That Your YTT Covers These 8 Essential Topics
Not much tells the story of an experience quite like a review. Of course everyone has different likes and preferences so not every yoga school will have 100 percent stellar reviews.
But if a school has a significant amount of negative reviews, you can likely expect that you will probably have a negative experience with them too.
Contrarily, if a yoga teacher training has countless exceptional reviews from a wide range of students, you can expect that the course that they offer follows a good curriculum and produces good yoga teachers.
This is another deeply personal preference. Do you feel comfortable practicing and learning around 75 other students? Or would you prefer an intimate experience with more one-on-one time with your teacher?
Many YTTs will let you know how many students they allow to attend a single training, so make sure that that number jives well with you.
A lot of local yoga studios offer yoga teacher training courses. And a lot of schools offer YTTs internationally as well. So you have to consider: where would you prefer to train?
You can study over the course of months on the weekends near home or you can take a more retreat-like training and go and study for a few weeks in a tropical location.
One is not necessarily better than the other—it’s up to what you prefer. So get clear about what you would like and then narrow down your YTT choices based on location.
Just like yoga, choosing the right yoga teacher training is a deeply personal experience. What one person loves, another may hate. So you have to choose a YTT that resonates with you personally and how you wish to teach yoga.
While there is an overwhelming number of options out there, there is a perfect yoga teacher training just for you. If you look out for all the right things, you will find a fabulous course that you’ll love.
Join Nomad Yoga for a 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training in Hatha, Vinyasa, Restorative, and Yin Yoga in a magical paradise location.
All Nomad Yoga teacher trainings are led by experienced teachers and teach a variety of yoga styles and traditions.
We dive heavily into anatomy and biomechanics, asana variations and modifications, teaching methodology and language, sequencing, yoga history and philosophy, and the business of teaching yoga. And all of our trainings spend extensive time focusing on practice teaching so that you graduate feeling confident and ready to teach.