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200 or 300 Hour Yoga Teacher Training: Which is Right For You?

After feeling the amazing benefits of your own yoga practice, you’ve decided it is time to take the next step and become a yoga instructor.


Now, comes the time to sift through all of the vast amounts of information and trainings available.

It can be so confusing figuring out the type of training that is best for you with all of the available options, both online and in-person. 

Between the various locations, amount of time spent in training, associated costs, and requirements necessary to register, there is a lot to consider.

On top of that, there are different styles of yoga to choose from – Vinyasa, Hatha, Restorative, Yin, Yoga Nidra, and Hot Yoga, just to name the most popular options.

We’re here to help breakdown one of the major areas of confusion as you embark on this journey.

What is the Difference Between 200 and 300 Hour Yoga Teacher Training?

So, should you invest in a 200- or 300-hour yoga teacher training certification?

The 200 – hour Yoga Teacher Training Certification is the main level required to teach yoga, so if you are not currently a yoga instructor this is the training for you!

Once you receive the 200-hour certification you are able to teach at a wide range of locations and can register with the Yoga Alliance, which is an international organization that regulates the guiding values for teaching yoga and advocates for yoga teachers and schools.

The 300-hour Yoga Teacher Training Certification is for yoga teachers who want to add the necessary 300 hours to their current 200-hour certification in order to complete the 500-hour Yoga Teacher Training Certification. 

Now that we have addressed the main difference between the two levels, let’s delve deeper and break down the pros and cons of a 200-hour vs 300-hour yoga teacher training

The Pros & Cons of a 200-hour Certification

The Good Stuff 

  • Immersive Study of Yoga – All 200-hour programs provide a thorough study of the history, philosophy, physical and mental practice and benefits of yoga, physiology, anatomy, sequencing, theming, and marketing necessary to start your path as a yoga teacher.
  • Flexible to your Needs – There are a wide variety of study options available depending on your needs. You can train at a local yoga studio, online, or internationally on a full immersion experience at a variety of popular locations such as Bali, India, or Costa Rica - just to name a few of the more popular locales. Depending on the format of the training you decide to embark on, it will typically take anywhere from two months to two years to complete your training. The duration is dependent on how often the school offers their training sessions. Some meet once a week, some meet multiple times each week, and some meet monthly. With that in mind, it is important to find the perfect amount of time needed to meet your lifestyle.
  • The Experience is Truly Life Changing – As well as learning teaching methods and how to manage your business as a yoga teacher, the vast majority of your time will be spent deepening your study of the readings of yoga and your personal practice. In this way, you are able to take your yoga practice off the mat and into your life in order to share it with your future students.

The Sort of Negative Stuff 

  • A Necessary Stepping-Stone – The 200-hour training is the absolute starting point for teaching yoga. In order to teach anywhere you need to start here. That can be a con for those who want to delve into a deeper level of training right away.
  • A LOT of Information – Although this initial training may be less intense than some want, on the other hand, it can be overwhelming. Between the vast amounts of yogic information, teaching methodologies, safety precautions, and learning the business side of yoga there is a lot that will be poured into your brain constantly. 

This is where it’s important to remember why you are doing this and to BREATHE!

The Pros & Cons of a 200-hour Certification

The Good Stuff 

  • Delving Deeper – a 300-hour training allows you to deepen your study of the yoga philosophies, lifestyle, and your personal practice to be able to teach more advanced poses and breathing techniques.
  • More Marketable – Adding a 300-hour training to your current 200-hour training shows your dedication to yoga, to increasing your skills as an instructor, and allows you to teach others to teach yoga as the majority of studios require a more advanced certification to be able to teach teachers. 

The Sort of Negative Stuff 

  • Higher Cost – Just as continuing education in any field of study means spending more money, the 300-hour training is a lot more expensive than the 200-hour training. In some cases, twice as much. 
  • May Test Your Patience (if you’re in a hurry!) – If you want to add on the 300-hour training immediately after completing the 200-hour training, you will have to wait. Most 300-hour trainings require a certain amount of time teaching yoga before pursuing these teachings. (This can actually be a pro as well since it is a good idea to develop your teaching style, voice, and confidence before continuing your education).

Becoming a yoga instructor is a wonderful way to deepen your understanding of yourself, your yoga practice, and the power of the mind-body connection. Embarking on the path of teaching by taking the 200-hour training and (if you choose) adding the 300-hour training later provides a wonderful foundation to continue to build upon throughout your yoga career.

Remember, as a yoga instructor you will always be a student. Learning from other teachers, taking continuing education offerings, and constantly learning from your students. 

If you’re contemplating this path, you already know that teaching yoga provides a great opportunity to share these teachings with others through a combination of your training and your own personal experience.

Allow time to find your style, connect with your students, and differentiate yourself from other teachers. Having your own way of expressing yourself through the verbal cues and the style of yoga you teach is key to your success and your training(s) is what you make of it. 

Michelle Finerty
Michelle has been writing professionally for over a decade. She started in the business world, focusing on cross-cultural communication and technical writing, and is now infusing the teachings of yoga with modern life, blending two of her and writing. Michelle also teaches yoga. Her classes can be found online by accessing her on-demand library which is updated on a regular basis. Check it out here:
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