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How to Choose the Right Yoga Teacher Training Program

by Elaine Clara Mah

The go-to resource to prepare for your yoga teacher training. Find all you need to know about the top destinations and take your practice to the next level.
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So you’ve taken yoga classes for a while now and it’s become apparent that teaching yoga is the next step for you. You are now looking for suitable yoga teacher training courses that can help you deepen your practice. 

But with the vast availability of yoga instructor certification around, how do you begin to choose one that is best suited for you?

Don’t fret! We have narrowed down the choosing process to five simple questions that you should ask to help decide on a yoga teacher training course. 

How long should my course be?

yoga pose

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 yoga teacher training course. Note that, should you want to teach, most yoga studios do require teachers to have a minimum of 200-hours teacher training.

A 300-hour teacher training 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 teacher training course will require you to attend for up to 70 days long.


What yoga style should I teach?

yoga pose

What styles of yoga are you most interested in practicing and teaching? The most popular yoga teacher training teaches in the Hatha yoga, but other styles are gaining popularity fast, too. If you are into an athletic style of yoga, perhaps an Ashtanga yoga teacher training is more suitable for you.

If you’d like to focus on awareness, breath and meditation, you might like to try a Kundalini yoga teacher training. If you’re looking for a challenge, Bikram yoga may be a good option to consider.

Whichever types of yoga  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 to do my training?

yoga teacher training in India

Photo credit: Pratham yoga

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 great yoga teacher training courses.

For most yogis, India is still the go-to choice as a yoga teacher-training destination. With yoga schools situated in Dharamsala, Rishikesh and Kerala, there are many options you can choose from.

Bali is also a popular choice for yogis wanting to immerse amidst lush greenery and serene nature durigng their training.

Recently, Costa Rica has also come up as a popular yoga teacher training destination, 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 to train, do remember to check the school’s accreditation. Read reviews of past participants to find out what others have experienced.

Also, make sure to 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 and 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 from about $500 USD, but this figure may double or even triple 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 total cost of your training.


Why am I doing this?

yoga pose

Lastly, it is also important to consider your intentions for participating in a teacher-training 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 mornings 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. Also, participants are generally asked to observe a yogic way of life, which means adopting a vegan lifestyle and practicing meditation during the course of the training.

If your intentions are not aligned with these practices, sitting through a teacher training day in and day out for weeks on 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!

Hero photo credit: Loka Yoga

Looking for a professional teacher training course that is easy on the wallet? Choose one of the affordable yoga teacher training and make your dream come true without breaking the bank.

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