What to Look for in a Great Yoga Teacher Training -

What to Look for in a Great Yoga Teacher Training

August 9th, 2011 by Mandy Lawson

Teaching yoga is an extremely rewarding and fulfilling career. Once a decision is made to pursue this life-changing avenue there’s one big decision to be made: where to do your yoga teacher training.

A search online or in any yoga magazine will turn up a multitude of options for completing a yoga teacher training that meets the prerequisites to be hired at most yoga studios. The trick is sifting through all of these options to find a program that will meet your individual needs and preferences. The first question for most people is usually whether they want to do an immersion program where they travel to some remote destination to complete an intensive yoga teacher certification program on a full time basis, or stay closer to home and do their training in the evenings or on weekends amidst their regular daily activities. For many of us, the ability to go away for a month or so is not really an option, making the latter the obvious choice, but if getting away to focus on your studies is possible it can be a wonderful and life-changing experience.

If you do decide to attend classes during your “regular life” make sure that you can commit the time to your yoga teacher training. It is very important that you attend all classes and that you have time to practice and study what you are learning. If you opt for the intensive program, make sure that you will have an uninterrupted month (or however long the program is), to devote to your study and practice. Being away from home for an extended period can be challenging, but also there is a lot to be learned from venturing out on your own and living life a different way for a while.

There are many different styles of yoga practice and also and infinite number of teaching styles. Do your research on the teacher for your yoga teacher training. Make sure their style of practice and program focus are in line with your needs as a student. Some teachers focus heavily on the history of yoga and not so much on anatomy etc. Be sure to ask for testimonials from past students so you can get an idea of the “feel” of the course and see if it is right for you.

The next thing to consider is your budget for your yoga teacher training. There are a wide variety of types of training, some offer payment plans and are more affordable, some require payment up-front etc. Make sure you inform yourself about the payment options and all costs covered by your tuition when researching your training options.

Making sure that the yoga teacher training you are considering covers all of the requirements set out by the yoga alliance is also important if you want to be hired at almost any studio in North America. The description of the program should note that it is Yoga Alliance approved, if not ask and make sure.

Everyone learns differently and there is a lot to be learned from the other people in your yoga teacher training. Be sure to check in about how many people will be in your class with you. There are benefits to both large and small class sizes, however most people will have a feel of what class size will work for them.

Another thing to consider is the testing and study included with the yoga teacher training. Does the program include a final exam? Do exams encourage you to learn more or cause you a lot of anxiety? Some programs have a practical teaching exam as well as a written test, some have one or the other or no test at all. Think about what truly works best for you and will help you learn and retain all of the information that you are learning. Choose a program that will assist you in integrating the learning into your life, your practice and your ability to share with other people.

Taking the next step in becoming a yoga teacher is an exciting journey. Making sure to ask all of the right questions and considering your options for different types of yoga teacher training will assure that you choose a program that you will learn a lot from and enjoy thoroughly in the process.

By Mandy Lawson

Mandy is a yoga teacher from Canada, who lives in Costa Rica and is a graduate of Anamaya's yoga teacher training program. She currently works as Anamaya's booking coordinator for our YTTs.