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Top 12 Things to Consider When Looking for A Yoga Teacher Training Program


With countless Yoga Teacher Training Programs to choose from, it can be a daunting task to find one that truly delivers what they promise and is legitimate. Upon completing 16 certifications in the last 20 years of my yoga teaching and training career, I've experienced a number of "teachers" that completed a 200 hr yoga teacher training and were not successfully taught how to actually teach a full yoga class from start to finish. A few of these teachers specifically chose our yoga teacher training program to learn to teach off of the mat and were delighted by their experience. Following you will read the top 12 most important things to consider when looking for a yoga teacher training program that can deeply impact your future teaching as well as your future students experience in your classes.

Twelve Things To Consider When Looking for a Yoga Teacher Training Program

1. A Yoga Teacher Training Program/School Registered With Yoga Alliance

Listed at the top as #1 due its vital importance for a School and its attending students or trainees. Each Yoga Alliance School and its registered teachers upholds an ethical and moral code and commitment to adhere to Yoga Alliance requirements and standards in delivering high quality, inclusive, ethical and safe yoga teacher trainings/classes. In addition, each yoga schools program, curriculum and materials have gone through a thorough review process to be approved, accredited and credentialed. The benefit for each student/trainee is the ability to register with Yoga Alliance as an RYT  (Registered Yoga Teacher) upon program completion. To be absolutely positive look for a seal that displays RYS 200 Yoga Alliance or RYS 300 Yoga Alliance on their website, or check the Yoga Alliance site for their school profile specifically.

2. Endless Future Support At No Additional Cost

A top quality yoga teacher training program should offer future support upon completion at no additional cost. Often times I have encountered yoga teacher trainings offering future support at a fee of $50-$100 an hour. We have had many trainees reach out after training requesting advice about their current or prospect teaching opportunities, reference letters or asking to add us as a reference contact for employment. This should also all be done in a timely manner. Too often yoga teacher training programs fail to answer inquiries, the phone, or voicemails in a timely fashion. If this is your experience pre-training, it will most likely be your experience during and post training as well.

3. Class Size

How many people are accepted into each yoga teacher training and what is the teacher to student ratio? Why would this matter? Well, this will greatly impact the amount of individual and personalized attention, support and feedback you receive. There are many trainings out there that are all about the $$$ and quantity over quality. Unfortunately, these types of Yoga teacher trainings exist where the teachers won't know your name, don't care to try to know your name, nor remember it. Trainings where they are pumping out new teachers like McDonalds cheeseburgers are truly out there, I attended one actually. Find yourself a training where their motto is "quality over quantity" and display an intentional understanding of the pivotal role and responsibility they uphold to each person that has not only invested their money, but also their time and their trust.

4. Time Spent Practice Teaching During Yoga Teacher Training

A few valuable questions to ask any yoga teacher training program is "How much time will be dedicated to each student practice teaching? At the end of the training will I be teaching a 15 minute, 30 minute, 45 minute or a 60 minute class?" Their answer to this question should be "You will be practice teaching each day of the yoga teacher training with a 60 minute class at the end." Unfortunately there are many yoga teacher trainings out there that do not prepare you to teach a 60 minute class and only allow you 15 - 30 minutes to teach at the very end of the training. This wreaks havoc on anyones central nervous system, creating a loss for both the trainers and students. If you are not consistently teaching each day, your skills will not increase, nor will you be receiving valuable and supportive feedback from your teachers to further refine your skills.

The more reviews, the better! While not all trainees leave a review, this gives you insight into how much experience the yoga teacher trainers have, how many trainings they have offered and completed. Making the time to read all of their reviews can be quite worthwhile and give you an understanding of what you can look forward to in relation to the training and/or lodging environment offered. I recommend reading Google Reviews, Yoga Alliance Reviews and reviews left on their website.

6. Ability To Meet You Where You Are

An experienced, knowledgeable and confident yoga teacher/trainer will meet you right where you are regardless of your level of experience. They do not require you to have a certain amount of practice or experience to attend their yoga teacher training or classes. A yoga teacher training program through its expertise and curriculum, should offer a solid foundation in its ability to teach and train to a "new to yoga" practitioner, or a "50 year yoga veteran" with equally successful results all around. This is also relative to the vast difference between a yoga instructor and a yoga teacher.

7. Location

As yoga continues to evolve here in the west, so do the ever-growing options of yoga teacher training locations and destinations. Choosing an environment in a peaceful and natural setting where you can learn, grow and thrive in is key. Distraction free is crucial. Of course a ytt in the Bahamas sounds lovely...but realistically ask yourself how much of your study and class time will be dedicated to thinking about soaking up the sun at the beach, playing in the crystal blue ocean or sipping on a drink at the tiki bar? Or did you choose a location in downtown NYC where the hustle and bustle of people, traffic or sirens consistently interrupts your educational flow? Also, consider the accessibility of the location in relation to the nearest airport, lodging, and food. Does this destination yoga teacher training provide airport transportation? Will you need to rent a vehicle? My best advice is to choose a yoga teacher training that provides lodging and education in the same vicinity saving on time and expenses. Simplicity is key!

8. Teaching Off The Mat

We've covered specific time you are practicing teaching during yoga teacher training, how about this essential skill as a professional yoga teacher? Dun dun dunnnnn...teaching off of the mat. Notice, do your yoga teachers teach off of the mat? If not, either most likely they did not attend a yoga teacher training that taught the value and importance of it, or that is their comfort zone and they have yet to venture out of it. A high quality, legitimate yoga teacher training should provide trainings that teach you how to teach off of your yoga mat. Why? For many reasons honestly. If you are immersed in your own practice while teaching your class, you cannot see where your students are in their practice ie; directional or alignment cues you could offer to create more ease, comfortability and safety. Also, should you choose to make teaching a full time career, you're most likely teaching 2-5 classes a day. This can result in physical, mental and emotional exhaustion. No one is exempt of burnout on these terms. Is it more challenging to teach off of the mat? You betcha! You will develop a greater perspective, respect and professionalism through this skill.

9. Language

Within the first 5 minutes of a yoga class it becomes apparent to me the level of expertise and mindfulness a yoga teacher either possesses or does not yet possess. Have you ever met anyone in your life that has NOT experienced some form of trauma? I know I haven't. Leading with language that does not activate trauma is priority (notice, I did not type "trigger"). In yoga we are NOT shooting our torso forward, kicking our leg back, or grabbing that toe or those feet. These language cues or styles are unprofessional and much outdated. Are your yoga teacher training prospects rooted in Trauma informed/brain sensitive language or cueing? They should be, not only for your benefit, but also for the benefit of those you will be teaching.

10. Cost

Most legitimate 200 hour yoga teacher trainings average a total cost of $3000-$4000 and a 300 hour yoga teacher training $4000-$7000 without including lodging, transportation, food, unlimited future support, etc. While an online yoga teacher training may look enticing by the low cost alone, consider the many other variables you forfeit by choosing the online option ie: real time experience, practice teaching in person, learning and applying hands on adjustments, community, communal growth, encouragement and celebration. In an in person, immersive yoga teacher training experience you receive all of the above and so much MORE! Don't sell yourself, your future students, or future career short. Approach your decision with a "lower investment = higher risk & higher investment = lower risk mentality" with a quality, comprehensive program, curriculum and experienced teachers. In this case-you truly get what you pay for.

11. Immersion or Weekender

Each person has a unique and personal style in which they learn best. Immersions provide a momentum and driven, uninterrupted focus that weekender trainings do not. An immersion also provides a community with other like minded folks who become your instant students, teachers, friends and family. These people you learn from and with, while organically cultivating a close and rich community together. These relationships have a tendency to last a lifetime, because of the immersive bond created and shared leading to a transformational and memorable experience.

12. Teacher Trainer Experience Teaching In Various Capacities With Diverse Populations

How long have your yoga teacher trainers taught yoga? In what capacities have they taught classes? How diverse are their student populations? If your teacher trainers have only taught in a studio setting, that is the only training you will receive since it is the only environment and experience they know. Where do you wish to teach and what populations do you desire to serve through yoga? Believe it or not, there are many people that will never walk into a yoga studio due to their own fears or insecurities of not being good enough, or as good as the rest of the people there. Sign up for a yoga teacher training that encourages you to teach anywhere and everywhere! A yoga "studio" could be at the park, in a jail, school gymnasium, assisted living center, corporate office, back yard, AA meeting room, museum, cruise ship, football field, etc. The more options available to you, the broader your teaching path expands. Truly, the world is your oyster.


Ready To Embark on a Journey of Self-Discovery and Transformation? Join Us Today In A Yoga Teacher Program!

At Pure Yoga Teacher Training we humbly and proudly offer all of the above and would relish in the opportunity to support your teaching foundation and/or an extension of the foundation you have begun in one of our high quality and top rated 200 hour yoga teacher trainings, 300 hour yoga teacher trainings or 50 hour yoga teacher trainings we provide. Finding the right yoga teacher training doesn't have to be a daunting task and can be quite simple. You'll know....Namaste.

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