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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.