Choose a Yoga Teacher Training that is right for YOU!
Yoga Teacher Training is an investment of both time and money, but more importantly it is an investment in your health, your growth and your spirituality. This investment in yourself should be made with careful consideration. With almost every local studio offering Yoga Teacher Training it can be difficult to know which program to choose. All too often the choice gets boiled down to time and money — where can I complete the training in the least amount of time with the least amount of money?
It can be daunting to do a quick Google search for Yoga Teacher Training in your area and turn up 15-20 results, all with very minimal information available on their websites. A decision this important shouldn’t be made without further research. Below are some ideas to help you research Yoga Teacher Training programs and find the one that is right for you.
Visit the studio and learn as much as you can not just about the types of classes that are taught, but about the environment. Every yoga studio environment is different, from the style of classes that are taught to the atmosphere of the studio these things are important when considering the time that you will spend at that studio during Yoga Teacher Training. How does the staff treat you when you arrive at the studio? Is the space clean and inviting? Is there a space dedicated to training or will you be expected to clear out of the classroom during public class times? Are there facilities for you to store your food (lunch, snacks and drinks) that you’ll need for those long training weekends? Is there space to be alone during breaks if you need processing time? Is there outdoor space that you can use during your breaks?
Take classes at the studio. Think of it like buying a new car. You wouldn’t buy a car without test driving it, would you? Do you like the style of classes taught at the studio? Were the teachers at the studio trained at that studio — do you like their teaching style? What seems to be the focus of most of the classes at the studio (alignment, intensity, more meditative, philosophical)?
Make an appointment to talk to the lead trainer. There’s only so much you can learn from a studio’s website. One thing you don’t often learn is the background of the lead trainer. Take the time to meet with the lead trainer in person, either one on one or at any Open House type events offered by the studio. You’ll be spending a lot of time with the lead trainer, you’ll want to know that the two of you can communicate openly with each other. You should also find out what qualifications the lead trainer has and what level of training has the lead trainer completed?
Is the training program a Registered Yoga School (RYS) with Yoga Alliance? Not all Yoga Teacher Training certification programs are equal. Programs that are registered with Yoga Alliance have met certain standards in curriculum development. If you attend a program at a Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga School you will be eligible to register with Yoga Alliance as a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) upon completion of your training. Many studios will not hire teachers that have not completed a Yoga Alliance approved training. Know this information before you choose your program!
Talk to graduates of the program. You’ll find at least one teacher at the studio who is a graduate of the program. Ask to talk to them, find out what they thought. Were they pleased with the training they received? What did they feel was the best aspect of the training? What did they feel could be improved upon? Don’t be shy, ask them everything you’d want to know — how much time did they spend on homework, etc. If you can’t find a teacher at the studio who graduated from the program, ask the studio owner or program director for a list of graduates and their contact information, then send some e-mails to those graduates! And, if all else fails, check out the school’s profile on the Yoga Alliance website and read the reviews there.
What are the requirements for certification? Believe it or not, not every program even requires that you student teach before graduation. You could graduate from Yoga Teacher Training having never taught an actual yoga class before you have that certification in your hand. Find out if you’ll be teaching. What other requirements are there? Reading? Homework assignments?
Size matters! What is the typical class size for the program? Is there a maximum limit of trainees in each class? Consider the attention you’ll get in a larger vs smaller class size. Consider the amount of practice you’ll get in a larger vs smaller class size. Consider the amount of bonding you can do in a larger vs smaller class size. Think about your own personality type, are you outgoing and work well in a large group or are you more quiet and reserved and would do better in a smaller group. Will you feel seen and heard in a larger group, or will you tend to keep your opinions and questions to yourself. Remember, the more of YOU you invest in your training the more you’ll get out of it! What’s the best setting for you shine?
What’s the time commitment? How long is the training? Do you meet once per month or every weekend? There’s often A LOT of new information coming at you during training weekends, and it takes time to process, practice and internalize that information. Is one week between sessions enough for processing that much new information and putting it into practice? Or would you be better served with several weeks between sessions to put your new skills into action?
How much does it cost? Of course, the financial investment is a big factor. Are there payment plans offered to help with tuition? Are there scholarship or work-study opportunities available that you can apply for? Are there discounts available that you can take advantage of? Is the price of the training comparable to other trainings in the area that comparable in what they are offering?
I hope this has provided you with some ideas to consider when researching Yoga Teacher Training programs and that you feel inspired to do the work necessary to find your perfect training! I am proud of the program I’ve developed at Inner Spring Yoga and would love the opportunity to speak with you more about it.