“I want a teacher training that has minimum contact hours and convenient for my schedule, I want to get it done right away.”

“I want the cheapest training that fits my budget.”

“I want to be able to complete the 200-hour teacher training at my own time and pace.”

I acknowledge and understand what it is like to have a restrictive budget and a tight schedule. However, if these are the only criteria you have to choose the right yoga teacher training for you, you are more likely to end up in a disconnected and unsubstantive poor-quality YTT program.

Here’s a short guide on how to choose a yoga teacher training course that’s right for you.

The 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training Course

What you need to do to choose the right teacher training for you

Due to the COVID situation around the world, there is a sudden influx of Online Yoga Teacher Training. Yoga Alliance (YA) has recently announced that they approve YA-registered yoga schools that offer their training online. This has led to a misuse of the approval, leading to a reduction of contact hours with the lead trainer which might compromise on content and quality of the curriculum.

I recognize that we at Sweatbox Yoga and Academy are biased on this topic and that’s only because we are proud of the Online Yoga Teacher Training curriculum we have come up with. We pride ourselves on maintaining and adhering our many trainings strictly to the standards and guidelines as stipulated by Yoga Alliance. Our next intake of Online Teacher Training is starting in November, and I want anybody joining us to make a well-educated and informed decision. In creating our 200 Hr Yoga Teacher Training Program, these are what we have thought about.

Ask many questions

We have heard from many students and the many people who graduated who were unsatisfied with their teacher trainings. My questions to them are “Did you take any class with the lead trainer before you signed up? Did you ask to see the syllabus for the training?” Most of them answered “No”.

My advice—pose as many questions to the school and find out all the information you need. Assess if the curriculum will meet the goals of your training, whatever that is, to be ready to teach, or to deepen your knowledge of the practice that you are in love with. You must try to know everything if you really want to teach yoga properly in the future. Finding out all the information before parting your money and time would be a good idea.

Don’t just base your decision solely on Yoga Alliance

“Isn’t Yoga Alliance making sure that yoga studios and schools are delivering quality teaching? Aren’t they a professional organization?” Sort of, but not really. YA describes itself as a “voluntary registry”—a list of yoga teachers and yoga teacher trainers around the world who are looking to add further credibility to their yoga experience. Registration with YA is voluntary. Registration with YA is not synonymous with quality teaching. It is still up to the yoga studios to establish the minimum curricular standards. You can see the full Yoga Alliance curriculum here: https://www.yogaalliance.org/Credentialing/Standards/200-HourStandards.

It is also important to note that, “Yoga Alliance has established a set of standards for the material that should be covered in a Yoga Teacher Training (YTT). But YA does not actually check to make sure that the teacher and teacher trainers in its registry are actually following the standards.

What does this mean for you? It means that if you choose the right yoga teacher training based on the fact that it is a Yoga Alliance-Certified Yoga School will not necessarily give you the best education to meet your training needs.

You have to carefully analyze what will give you the best outcome. Fortunately, listed below is everything you need to know to make an informed decision about what Yoga Teacher Training program is right for you.

Get to know the lead trainer

Get to know your lead trainer by taking his/her yoga training classes several times – in my opinion, at least 5 classes. Get to see her/him interact with students as well as how she/he approaches and handles students’ queries and issues. Take your time to get to know her by communicating with her/him and see if you get along. You will be spending your time with him/her and investing your money with the studio during your yoga teacher training! What you want to look for is someone who teaches in a way you like A LOT. Someone who’s like-minded to you and you can connect with and speaks to you. If you are not engaged by her teaching training, how is she going to teach you how to teach in a way that is engaging?

Learn more about the curriculum

Find out more about the curriculum and if in accordance with RYS 200 Hours Standards. Find out more about the modules, content, and structure of the training program. Even if it is online, determine what are the live-in-contact hours you have with the trainers and the pre-recorded content and other video links (Youtube, Vimeo) that you need to study on your own. We maintain high standards of integrity and ethics in our program and do not short-change you by cutting the 120 contact hours required even if you were to take it virtually. Put in the work first before enrolling with the school and you are more likely to end up with a well-rounded teacher training that does not leave any gap, one that covers “dept and width” like our curriculum

  • We are stepping up by committing to teaching 120 full contact hours to live in-studio or virtually via the Zoom platform. NONE OF THESE 120 HOURS ARE PRE- RECORDED VIDEOS.
  • We have a more than 200-pages manual which is comprehensive and informative and covers the five Educational Categories as defined in Yoga Alliance.
  • We cover every style of yoga as well as aspects of chair yoga, functional mobility training, yoga therapy, and other relaxation methods.
  • We provide you with the business of yoga such as how to market yourself as a yoga instructor to studios and private clients, how to leverage your social media and website as an engagement tool. There is our width.
  • Request to see part of the written materials for the program.

Once you find a training that fits your requirement, ask to see if they have a comprehensive curriculum, well-modulated syllabus, manual, or any other type of written material for the training. In my opinion, it is easier to teach a new skill if you have a plan. To effectively train someone to be ready to teach yoga or to help someone deepen their practice within a time frame, we need to have some written materials. In my opinion, it is reasonable for the studio/trainer to share some parts of the training material with people who are dropping thousands of dollars for education. Word to the wise, it is only fair that not every trainer or studio is willing to share their complete teacher training manual with you. Our 200-page YTT manual represents our hard work, and I prefer to share it with my students in my teacher training. Having said that, we are willing to share the syllabus, the Table of Contents for our training Manual, and an excerpt from the manual, so you can see how we think, write, and communicate:

If your potential teacher trainer does not have a manual, a syllabus, or anything they are willing to share with you, even a few pages, I think you have good reason to be dubious about their training.

Shop around

Take time to look into the costs, schedules, and written materials of the few schools you have shortlisted and get an idea of what your options are. If there are several trainings that are near to you which are starting in the next six months, take a class from them. Use this opportunity to assess if they are a right fit for you and strike off the ones that do not “vibe” with you. Focus on the remaining ones and take more classes with them. Find out the training they have done, the number of classes they have taught, and finally, ask them for some written materials for the training program. You can also check out reviews online.

What if you find what you think is the perfect training but it’s outside of your price range? Consider waiting! Save your money in the meantime. Another option is to tell the trainer that you really want to do her/his training and you have done your research and strongly believe that the training is the right fit for you. However, you are low on budget, and see if you can work out something with the trainer/studio.

Trust your gut feeling

There is a common saying “Cheap things are not good, good things are not cheap.”

If the in-person hours are too short, and the training price is expensive, you can almost be sure something is not right. Education, something which is going to make a significant change in your life is not one you want to skimp on. You have to make use of your personal instincts and try to analyze whether or not this particular yoga school is a good choice for you to take your yoga teacher training program with. This way, if things go south, you wouldn’t have to blame yourself for not following your initial guts.

Join our Yoga Teacher Training Program!

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you want to know more about the Yoga Teacher Training we offer at Sweatbox yoga academy, go over to our page. We offer a good curriculum and you will be guided by credible trainers that will guide you through the process of becoming a yoga teacher.

Good luck to you! If you have any questions, feel free to hit us up.

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.