new yoga teacher
How to Overcome Self-Doubt as a New Yoga Teacher
January 13, 2015

Beyond Asana: How to Choose a Yoga Teacher-Training Program

yoga teacher training

Consider the following six factors when choosing a yoga teacher training.

Yoga teacher trainings (YTTs) are a commitment, and the decision to choose a program can be daunting. Open any yoga magazine, enter a yoga studio, or browse online and you will find an overwhelming amount of information about teacher trainings. When choosing your program, consider the following:

1. Expectations

Are you looking to teach, deepen your practice, or simply gain a greater understanding of yoga? There is no wrong reason for taking a YTT program, but it is important to know why you are beginning this endeavor.

2. Style

As a yoga teacher, you give your students a part of yourself; and teaching what you love is the easiest way to be a transparent teacher.  Take training in the style you enjoy. There is no point in training in power yoga if you love restorative classes. Keep in mind some styles, such as Bikram or Iyengar, require you to train with a studio certified in that specific style.

3. Location

Do you have commitments that require you to stay home? Or will this be an opportunity to travel? These are important considerations. If you cannot leave your area, there is no point looking into the YTT in the Bahamas. On the other hand, if you want to go explore India, this a great place to start inquiring into YTT programs.

4. Time

Teacher-training programs vary in length. Some are held for a one-month intensive; some last six months to a year. If you cannot take time off from your weekday job, you will need to find a program that holds trainings on evenings and weekends. Most YTTs require students to attend all sessions. Be informed about the time commitments of a program.

5. Cost

Cost is a reality. Just as teacher trainings vary in length, they vary in price. Be realistic about how much you can spend. Sometimes students believe that once they become a yoga teacher, they will make a lot of money. Teaching yoga is a difficult way to earn a living with no guarantee you will make back the cost of your teacher-training course. If money is tight, ask if a program offers work trade, early bird discounts, or payment plans.

6. Certifications

Many studios will only hire teachers trained by a Yoga Alliance certified studio. Yoga Alliance sets the standards for yoga teachers and teacher training programs. If you want to be able to teach in a variety of places, be sure a program is Yoga Alliance certified.

When you find a program that interests you, talk to the graduates of the program. Take yoga classes from the teacher trainers. If you don’t like the teacher’s style, you may not enjoy the training.

Ultimately, follow you intuition. Teacher trainings are the tip of a rich iceberg. When you start your yoga teacher training, you embark on a lifelong journey. Yoga is a living art that will change and deepen as your interests and knowledge expands. Enjoy the journey.

Kimi Marin
Kimi Marin discovered yoga over a decade ago looking for an activity to complement running. Over time, yoga became a way of life. Kimi teaches yoga to help others find clarity in their mind, body, and spirit. She guides students through their practice by riding the waves of breath, continually aligning breath and body into a rhythmic flow of consciousness. Kimi has a master’s degree in literature, and loves to combine the power of stories with yoga. She often weaves the myths and stories about various poses into the class. Her transformative Yogic Lore workshops are a fun combination of stories, asana, meditation, and mantra. Kimi was featured in Origin Magazine’s Inspire Series, was the featured ambassador for Ahnu Footwear June 2013, and her writing has been published on several blog sites. When Kimi is not teaching or writing, she can be found playing in nature with her dog and husband. Learn more at