I have narrowed down the choosing process to five simple questions that you should ask yourself while trying to decide on the right teacher-training course for yourself!
How long should my course be?
200-hour? 300-hour? Perhaps even 500-hour? These numbers determine the length of each yoga teacher-training course. Typically, most yogis start with a 200-hour course, and should you want to teach, most yoga studios require teachers to have a minimum of 200-hours YTT.
A 300-hour course is usually more suitable for intermediate or advanced yogis as it delves further into asanas and anatomy. Some schools also require that the participant first complete a 200-hour course before taking the 300-hour.
It is also possible to do a 500-hour program where you combine a 200-hour and 300-hour successively. Bear in mind though, that with more hours into the course, the longer the length of time you will have to spend. A 200-hour course is typically 20 to 30 days long, while a 300-hour course is between 30 to 40 days. A 500-hour training course will require you to attend for up to 70 days long.
What types of yoga should I teach?
What styles of yoga are you most interested in practicing and teaching? The most popular yoga teacher training teaches in the Hatha yoga tradition, but other styles are fast gaining popularity too. If you are into an athletic style of yoga, perhaps an Ashtanga yoga teacher training is most suitable for you. If you’d like to focus on awareness, breath and meditation, you might like to try a Kundalini yoga teacher training. Another popular yoga style is Bikram yoga popularized by Bikram Choudhury with Bikram yoga schools opening all over the United States and worldwide.
Whichever types of yoga that you choose, be sure to pick one that clearly resonates with you and your practice. It is important to choose a style of yoga that you are able to maintain in your daily practice.
Where should I go?
Once you’ve determined the type of yoga training course and the hours, the next thing to decide is the place where you will obtain your certification. You may want to choose to do it locally, but if you are interested in traveling abroad, there are some great destinations that offer a great yoga teacher training course.
For most yogis, India is still the more popular choice as a yoga teacher-training destination. With yoga schools situated in Dharamsala, Rishikesh and Kerala, there are many options you can from. Bali is also a popular choice for yogis wanting to immerse in their training amidst lush greenery and serene nature. Yoga teacher training Costa Rica also has come up as a popular destination in recent years, especially for yogis in the Americas region. In Europe, Spain is often the destination of choice for teacher training.
Wherever in the world you choose, do remember to check your school’s accreditation. Read reviews of past participants to find out what others have experienced. Do check whether the school is certified by Yoga Alliance as this gives a good benchmark on the reputability of the establishment.
How much should I spend?
With courses costing a hefty sum, it is important to consider whether or not you can afford the teacher training program that you are considering. Most, if not all yoga teacher training courses offer an all-inclusive package. This means, that along with tuition, the program covers accommodation, as well as food. However, the price of a program varies.
The two factors that most often determine the overall price of a teacher training are the number hours as well as the place of training. A yoga-training course in Asia, for example is much cheaper than one in Europe. A 200-hour yoga teacher training in India may set you back by about $1,500 USD, but this figure may double for the same hours in Spain.
That said flight tickets are often not part of the package, so it is important to also factor this in when calculating the cost of your training.
Why am I doing this?
Lastly, it is also important to consider your intentions for participating in a YTT course. Unlike a yoga retreat, a yoga teacher-training course is not leisurely and relaxing. For the most part, participants wake up early in the morning for practice and then lectures, and spend a lot of time studying. There will be limited time for sightseeing, although some programs do offer these activities. They are generally asked to observe a yogic way of life, which means adopting a vegan lifestyle and practicing meditation.
If your intentions are not aligned with these practices, sitting through such process day in and day out for weeks on the end may prove to be quite challenging and fruitless at the end.
Go in with the right mindset and make your teacher training experience a worthwhile one!