Becoming a yoga teacher is a popular thing to do these days. Sometimes a training is attended simply to better personal practice or with the hopes of going out into the yoga world and teaching. With increase in demand comes an increase in supply. Studios and retreats offering yoga teacher training courses are innumerable, which makes the decision process of where to train quite daunting. Not only is there the question of where, local or even international, but what style, what time of year, is it yoga alliance certified, etc. Here are some considerations that helped me chose a 200 hr yoga teacher training.
First, decide when in is the right time to do your training. With a simple google search, you’ll be able to find a training at any time of the year, so there’s no pressure about when you’ll be able to get off work or what aligns with your schedule. In my case, I had a two month window to work with which I am grateful for because it narrowed down my options right away. Time-wise there are a few options. There are intensive trainings which range from two weeks to a month or six weeks. Personally I think, anything less than a month would really be rushing it with thousands of years of knowledge to skim. The other option, which would have to be local, is to find a long-term training. I have seen these look something like this: 9 months of training on Saturdays for a few hours with breaks for holidays.
The next consideration if it isn’t already blazingly clear to you is to decide upon a style of yoga to train in. Ashtanga, Anusara, Hatha, Vinyasa, Bikram, and the list goes on. Maybe you already have a preferred style of practice, and even better, a well-loved studio, great! Decision made. But if you just read that list with a wrinkled brow, then I suggest you do a little research. Chose a style that you enjoy practicing and one that you think will be employable in your area (teaching Bikram to seniors isn’t going to fly.)
Once you have your heart set on a style, seek out a well-respected studio or teacher. Again, google searching is oh-so-helpful. This is where location plays another key role. If it’s feasible and you’re fortunate enough to have abundant studios in your area, then hopefully you can find a training close to home so that you can save money on room and board. On the other hand, you could turn your training into a little vacation in some beautiful place (Costa Rica or Thailand for starters.) Do a cost analysis, in my case it made more sense to buy a plane ticket and train in a far away location than in the US.
Once you’ve narrowed it down to a few- do more google research! Check out who your potential trainers have trained with and in what styles. Send emails or call and ask as many questions as you wish. You’ll be investing a large sum of money, so get some facts. If possible, by all means go attend some classes and then stay after class and ask more questions! If you can’t go in person then search for an online class on YouTube or iTunes or email and ask for available resources.
Most importantly, after all of the research, contemplating, pros and cons lists, emails, long talks with yoga teachers and friends, and you have made a decision, then the final thing to do is to let it go. This was the best advice given to me before my training by a former yoga teacher. We had a long talk in the parking lot after class and I think she could tell that I was nervous to train, wondering whether I was personally ready, worried how I would compare to other students (I know I shouldn’t have , but it’s natural,) and she simply told me to go into it with no expectations. That really calmed my mind and anxiety.
Hopefully these tips have helped you in your path to a training. It’s an amazing thing to do and with so many trainings out there, you’re sure to find the right fit for you. Take it seriously, but at the same time remember that you’ll be doing and learning about what you love.