For many students of yoga, there will come a time when they will want to delve deeper.
A Yoga Teacher Training program offers the opportunity to go there. But, with so many options nowadays, how do you know where to start?
Not all YTT programs are created equal. Ask the following questions:
1. Do you know the studio and lead teacher?
You are going to spend several hours in this space, and learning from this teacher. It’s a good idea to do research on them. Take classes there. Check online reviews and teacher’s bio.
2. What style of yoga will you learn to teach?
Ashtanga, vinyasa, yin, restorative? Some YTT programs will be very specific and will teach you a set sequence that you will memorize and know very well. Other programs will teach you strategies for sequencing and keep the door open so you can adapt. What do you like to practice? Where would you like to teach?
3. How is the training program structured?
Two weeks, five months, three years? Find the balance between something that works in your schedule and gives you the best chance at assimilating 200 hours of training.
4. Is there a maximum number of trainees in the program?
Obviously, smaller groups equals more personalized attention and feedback. More attention means you have a better chance at developing yourself as the best teacher you can possibly be.
5. Is the school and teacher registered with the Yoga Alliance®?
Anyone can put up a sign that reads “YTT, sign up now.” Currently, The Yoga Alliance® is the one umbrella association that promotes and supports the integrity of teaching of yoga. When a school is approved by the YA, it means they are agreeing to offer a curriculum that covers the minimum standards set by the YA. This no guarantee you will get high quality training, but it’s a step in the right direction.
6. How experienced are the lead teachers?
Many people can come into yoga from a dance or gymnastics background and immediately display an “advanced” practice. Many teachers can accumulate 500+ hours of training and teaching in one year. It takes years of teaching and seeing people come and go through yoga to have an idea of what works and what doesn’t. It takes years of showing up to teach to room full of people, one person, nobody, to know dedication. It takes years of studies and practice to hone the skill of teaching yoga in a way that is accessible, without diluting its essence.
7. Is the program price fair and transparent? Are there any hidden fees?
Most YTT programs costs range from $2,500 – $4,000. Some schools have additional costs for required workshops, makeups, manuals, retreats, mentoring, graduation or any other extras. Find out all fees associated with completing the program. Are there any books required? Hopefully, but how much?
8. Are there any requirements to join the program?
Must I be vegan? Should I give up coffee? Do I have to be able to touch my toes? Can I join if I am completely new to yoga? In my humble opinion, YTT programs should cater to students who are serious about yoga. You don’t have to be able to touch your toes, but you have been practicing for at least 6-months to a year, you love it, and are thirsty for more.
Beware of programs that don’t ask for any requirements and will take as many students as want to sign in. Do your research.
And, once you are in, keep in mind, the value of this program will be relative to the amount of effort you put into.
Author: Xenia Guido
Editor: Emily Bartran
Photo: Chris Sardegna/Unsplash