Yoga Teacher Training - The Ultimate Guide | SweatBox Yoga
Everything You Need To Know About Yoga Teacher Training
Hey there, future yoga teacher! If you are looking for a way to know more about yoga teacher training before actually diving into it, then you’ve come to the right place. It’s normal to feel a bit nervous and overwhelmed especially if you are about to partake in a new journey such as this. Fortunately, your enthusiasm to take this major step is already a great advantage on your end. So, where do we start? Let’s begin by talking about yoga. A lot of people nowadays are becoming more and more interested in yoga practice. In fact, according to a 2020 article, there are about 300 million yoga practitioners globally. Many of us have added it to our weekly routines to enhance our lifestyle. It’s scientifically proven to be beneficial to our health since it improves our mind and body. It helps reduce physical pain and also stress and anxiety. It’s the kind of meditative exercise that not only strengthens us physically but also mentally and spiritually. With the world getting crazier by the minute, who wouldn’t want to engage in such a peaceful workout to temporarily free us from it? Now, let’s cut to the chase. You are here because you either love yoga or it intrigues you deeply—much so that you would take the further step of mastering it. Becoming a yoga teacher is a great opportunity and responsibility. It requires time, dedication, and passion. However, don’t forget the highlight of becoming a yoga teacher—undergoing a yoga teacher training certification course.

What is yoga teacher training?

Yoga teacher training (YTT) is the process of learning the art, philosophy, anatomy, and physiology of yoga. The training is rigorous indeed but it is also very educational and impactful. It will provide you will all the knowledge and experience that you need in order to teach your future yoga students. Upon completing the teacher training courses, you will be receiving a Yoga Alliance-certified title of being a registered yoga teacher. Yoga Alliance is the official organization of yoga instructors that sets the standards for many yoga studios to follow. The certification makes it official but the essence of becoming a successful yoga teacher comes from experiencing the teacher training program itself. That is why before you jump into the yoga teacher training course, make sure what your intent really is. Are you really willing to become an instructor or are you doing it for the sake of getting certified?

How long does it take to become a yoga teacher?

The duration of the teacher training depends on the kind of program and yoga styles that you would choose to take. Some yoga studios usually offer 200-hour yoga teacher training courses while others offer up to 500 hours. It may seem long or overwhelming, but the good thing about this teacher training is that you can learn at your own pace. You can manage your time especially if you have other commitments such as work or school. The important thing is during classes you remain attentive and focused so that your learning progress will flow smoothly. For a more detailed overview on the yoga teacher training process, do look at our how-to guide on how you can become a yoga teacher.

What to expect from yoga teacher training

Getting into yoga teacher training, especially if you are a beginner, may seem overwhelming and intimidating. You will be practicing a workout that requires precise and sometimes challenging movements and you will also be doing them in a studio with other strangers. But don’t worry, it’s completely normal to feel a bit anxious. To help you out, here are some things you must know and expect from what happens in yoga teacher training courses. Knowing what to expect will somehow lessen the nervousness that you feel and it will help you prepare better! For more specifics, do have a look at our post on what to expect from yoga teacher training courses.

Challenging yoga classes 

Upon taking a 200-hour teacher training program, do expect that it’s not going to be easy. You will be exercising your body and your mind to its limits. You will be taught the various yoga styles (of your choice) and movements that you will have to dedicate yourself to learn and master. Also, your head will be “buried in books” because just like at an academic school, you have to stuff yourself with all the information about yoga. Given that yoga is such a broad type of workout, there will be lots of memorizing. Don’t feel pressured though, as long as you are focused and willing, you will get the hang of it.

Managing your time and priorities

Whether you are taking the teacher training full-time or part-time, you will have to learn to balance your time. You need to dedicate yourself to your yoga teacher training course and at the same time not neglect your other responsibilities. Try to organize your schedule and set your priorities straight so you will not end up feeling burnt out or dejected that you overlooked the other things you needed to do because of yoga practice. Expect that by taking this training, it is possible that it will eat a lot of your time.

Facing your fears

Getting into teacher training will help you face your fears and break their walls. A lot of things can happen in a yoga class that will push you out of your comfort zone. For example, there are some who hate public speaking but will learn how to talk in front of a crowd (especially when you are learning how to teach yoga). Others beat their fears by learning difficult yoga poses such as a headstand. These things might seem small but they actually leave a huge positive impact on every person’s progress.

Making new friends

Meeting new people is hard especially for those who have phobias in being in an event where there’s a lot of people. However, joining yoga teacher training will allow you to establish a relationship with your fellow students. You will find out that there are like-minded people like you in spite of your other differences. You will get to form new friendships that will most probably last even outside the yoga studio. This is an opportunity to create more wonderful relationships in your life. For more details on what to expect from a yoga teacher training course, you can check our other blog article here.

How to prepare for the yoga teacher training course?

Now that you know what to expect, it’s time for you to do the preparation. The world of yoga is waiting for you with open arms and you should be running towards it prepared and ready. This way, you will get to perform better and progress faster.

Study the basics of yoga

Teacher training students are not required to be total yoga experts as they take the program. You do not need to be very experienced or perfectly knowledgeable about yoga to undergo the training. However, it is important that you study even the basic yoga asanas at least. Familiarizing yourself with the basics of yoga will allow you to understand the lessons of the teacher training course better. You will get to catch up better and absorb what the instructors will be teaching you. Being prepared before a class is a good attitude to practice, even in yoga.

Consult professionals and teacher training graduates 

It’s always good to ask questions! Learning from other people will widen your perspective and give more insights. Try to speak to yoga teachers, experts, and those who have survived the yoga teacher training. Learning about their experience will certainly be of use to you as you train to become a future yoga teacher.

Create your own support system

Try to form a good support group outside of the yoga circle. Let your family, friends, and colleagues know about your journey towards teaching yoga. Tell them of your goals and aspiration. You will be able to gain more confidence and high spirits knowing that there are people out there that are rooting for you—regardless if you pass or fail.

Write on a journal

Many people have been doing this these days. Keeping a journal allows you to keep track of your plans in life. It is a way to be reminded of your goals and to check if you are consistently following through to achieve them. Having a journal is a personal and intimate way of talking to yourself which eventually leads to self-reflection. It opens door to mindfulness and enables you to monitor your progress in your journey and to see whatever is there for you to improve for the better.

Organize your schedule

Taking part in hours of this course will affect your routines and priorities. It will eat a lot of your time so you must learn how to balance it. Organize your schedule so you will not be forced to compromise or neglect any commitment in your life. It is very important to be responsible when it comes to handling your tasks and activities. Try to set a date for everything that you do just so you can keep things in line. Be sure to be prepared and ready before you grab that yoga mat. Once you feel like you are good to go, it will be easier for you to go through with the teacher training. For more detailed stuff, do check out our guide on how to prepare for YTT. This guide is especially applicable for Yoga Instructor Courses for beginners.

Things to consider in choosing the right yoga teacher training course

Knowing what to expect and how to prepare for the teacher training course is good but it doesn’t stop there. There are many teacher training courses aligned with the Yoga Alliance but you have to choose the best one for you. It’s not just about choosing either a 200-hour teacher training or a 500-hour one. Becoming a yoga teacher is not easy so it would be better to take the course that resonates the most with you. You need to take the program that will really help you develop your learning and understanding of yoga practice. But with so many teacher training courses out there, how will you know which is the right one for you? Find out below:

Yoga style

As you would know, yoga is the type of workout that is very broad. It has a lot of classifications and variations which cater to different types of people. The different styles of yoga such as Hatha, pranayama, vinyasa, asana, and others also bring various benefits to the body. Find out which style and philosophy of yoga suit your taste the best. Think of which yoga style you would like to practice, master, and teach to your future yoga students. Yoga is more than just an exercise, it is a personal one that you will be learning for hours so make sure it’s the type that works out the best for you.

The credibility of the trainer

If you are going to learn yoga for 200 hours, it would be best to learn it from someone with a high-quality teaching methodology. By choosing a yoga school and teaching course, also consider their yoga instructors very carefully. Learning yoga is fun but can also be very challenging since your body and brain has a lot to take in. Imagine dealing with so many poses, memorizing their names, and integrating them into your mind. You need a yoga teacher or teachers that are more than capable of guiding you to a progressive understanding of yoga practice. Their teaching must leave an impact on you. You can try talking to some of the instructors to get a first impression and even attend some of their yoga classes so you can observe the way they teach and present themselves during.

Size of the class

Considering the class size is a much bigger issue than you think. Practicing yoga requires space for you to focus and think better. Executing precise movements should be done with proper breathing techniques and a mind that’s at ease. You would be able to do that if you are not in a room that is crowded with students. Besides, as mentioned above, yoga is such a personal type of workout. Yoga teachers and instructors usually want to teach their students in an intimate way—which is more possible if the class is smaller in size. This way, they get to guide each and every student carefully. Having more students will only split their focus even more.

Course Curriculum

The things that you will learn from a teacher training course is the philosophy, anatomy, and physiology of yoga. You learn its history and its many variations such as asanas, pranayama, Hatha, vinyasa, and many more. But learning all these technicalities is just the tip of the iceberg. Understanding yoga is also about finding your inner self and developing your spiritual journey. Yoga is a great way to change one’s life for the better. By learning it you are already making an effort to improve yourself and your lifestyle, which in turn, you will also be doing to your future students once you finish the course and receive your certification. For a more detailed take on this, do check out our guide on how to choose a yoga teacher training.

Usual misconceptions about yoga teacher training

There are a lot of misconceptions about yoga teacher training. These might affect your mindset towards the training program which can possibly lead you to back out. It’s important to know these false claims so you would know the real truth about YTT.

You need to be a total yoga expert before taking the course

Some say that you need to be really good at doing yoga movements and poses before you train to become a teacher. That’s not true! A lot of yoga practitioners learned to do complicated poses during the actual teacher training. Don’t beat yourself up, everybody is trying to learn here and there is always room for improvement. Soon enough you will be surprised to see yourself doing a headstand for the first time.

It’s too costly or expensive

Some people presume that taking a full 200-hour teacher training course will cost you a lot of money. Well, yes it is quite expensive. However, what we’re saying is that this is a great investment! You will have to take a dip into your savings for this but as long as you choose a good yoga studio and you take the course seriously, it is going to be worth it. You can try cutting back on some unnecessary purchases and find other ways to gain more income in order to not be totally upset over spending so much of your income for payment on this. The good thing about taking a teacher training course is that it’s going to give back to you double what you have invested in it.

You need to have practiced yoga every day for one or two years straight

Some people say that prior to taking yoga trainer courses you must have done yoga every day for the past one or two years. No! As we have mentioned in the first one, you don’t have to be an expert on yoga before you train to become a teacher. It’s good if you know some basic yoga asanas to get you started, but you don’t have to be very experienced in practicing yoga as a requirement. You will get to do and learn yoga all the way through the yoga teaching classes.

Are you ready to become a yoga teacher?

Yoga is such a beautiful and fulfilling exercise. It not only strengthens you physically but it also improves your mental and spiritual stability. The regular practice of yoga will certainly enhance your life and will positively affect your other activities. So, the chance of being able to learn it, master it, and teach it to other yoga practitioners is a major thing to be grateful about. Training to become yoga teachers may be intense and difficult but once you fight through all the challenges and stick your head in the game, you will not regret anything. Studying to become a yoga master will develop your perception of yoga and of life. Life, as we know it nowadays, is getting crazy. A lot of things have been happening which is why you need to have a strong mind and spirit to get through them. By aspiring to become a yoga teacher, you are not only making a change for yourself but also for the world. Do you want to ask more questions and information about yoga teacher training? You can check them out below, or check out our main website. For yoga rates, you can check them here on SweatBox Yoga’s yoga teacher training page

Frequently Asked Questions

New to ashtanga? Here are some frequently asked questions to give you more information that you need about practicing ashtanga yoga.

Yes, a beginner can train to become a yoga teacher. You don’t have to be experienced or knowledgeable in yoga to do this. The only problem you will possibly have is feeling nervous about attending yoga classes for the first time. Beginners are capable of learning about yoga and if you consistently focus on school and devote yourself to it, not just for the sake of the certification, you may find yourself teaching yoga to your own students in no time. You can read this article about yoga teacher training for beginners if you want to know more.

You will know which is the best yoga teacher training based on the type of yoga you want to master and the curriculum that the yoga studio offers. Make sure that their program is aligned with the standards of Yoga Alliance and that their yoga teachers are credible and more than capable of teaching you about yoga. The best training course is the one that you think will be providing you with the best learning experience.

Generally, a 200-hour yoga teacher training course costs about one thousand to three thousand dollars. It totally depends on what kind of training program that you are looking for. Remember, you do not necessarily have to go for what is cheapest. Always consider the quality and credibility of the yoga studio that you will be training in. 200 hours of yoga teacher training is no joke as well as the amount you will be paying for it, so it would be smart to choose the one that will make you feel it’s worth it.

About the Author​

Lynette is fully dedicated to the support and empowerment of the growing community of committed yoga students and teachers. As one of the Lead Instructors for Yoga Teacher Training, she is here to share tips on how to grow your profile as a yoga teacher or build a yoga business either physically or digitally.