Teaching Tips

How to Prepare for Yoga Teacher Training

By Kim Bassan, Pretzel Kids content writer

Congratulations on deciding to become a certified yoga teacher! 

Becoming a yoga teacher is exciting, and starting to teach yoga can change your life and open a new career. Whether you plan to pursue yoga as a side hustle or a full-time job, it will benefit you in ways you never expected! 

Because you may have loads of questions to ask before taking yoga teacher training, we decided to tell you everything you need to know so you know how to prepare for yoga teacher training. 

But before you even jump on the train towards your dream job, let’s get you certified to teach yoga! Or maybe you don’t need yoga certification to teach? Either way, let’s dive in, shall we?

Here are all the things to consider before you decide to take yoga teacher training!

how to prepare for yoga teacher training

What Is Yoga Teacher Training Like?

Have you ever fallen in love? You feel charged and euphoric, right?

Interestingly, this is what many yoga teachers say they feel like after yoga teacher training. While yoga is often seen as a stretching class, a certification course tends to take you on a self-journey adventure. Most teacher training courses consist of learning the asanas (poses), anatomy, breathing techniques, psychology, and philosophy. 

There are two general standards to be recognized as a yoga teacher via the Yoga Alliance, a membership association for yoga instructors. The first level is 200 hours and the second level is 500 hours. Yet, the Yoga Alliance is not an accrediting board so being registered with the Yoga Alliance is not required in order to teach yoga.

Besides RYT-200 and RYT-500 courses, you can also take advanced workshops or continuing education courses before you decide to go all-out yoga teacher mode. One such specialty course is right here at Pretzel Kids, where you can start teaching yoga to children without first becoming a registered yoga instructor. So, if you want to work with kids and feel this is your calling, here’s how to prepare for yoga teacher training.

Are There Prerequisites for Yoga Teacher Training?

Embarking on your first yoga teacher training journey is an exciting decision, but don’t rush into it. Yes, you can pursue your yoga certification with a non RYT school, but if you want to increase your visibility and have higher chances of getting hired as a yoga teacher, you’ll want to make sure the school you end training at is a reputable and authentic school. 

Before choosing your yoga training there are a few requirements every yoga teacher training must offer. Here are few things to consider before registering for a yoga program.

Make sure you will learn the following: 

  • Techniques and teaching methods on how to structure and manage a class
  • Anatomy and physiology to include how to properly get in and out of yoga poses
  • The benefits of asanas
  • Yoga philosophy and ethics such as mindfulness in order to develop a yogi ‘lifestyle’
  • Yoga psychology with the chakras and other basics
  • How to sequence your poses and classes

If you are going for the full 200 hours RYT, you should definitely expect to have elective hours which will require you to select your interest in a specific yoga niche such as prenatal, yin, yoga for kids and many more. The yoga world is at your feet!

Prepare for yoga

How to Prepare for Yoga Teacher Training

Here are some tips to be better prepared for your yoga certification course.

Be Familiar with Yoga Poses

If you’ve never done a yoga pose in your life, you might face some challenges when the instructor teaches about the anatomy of downward-facing dog or tree pose. While yoga is a spiritual and holistic practice, one of the most important elements of yoga is the asanas, or poses. So, you should at least be familiar with some basic poses so you’d be able to teach them to your students. Unless you have no intentions of teaching and you are just a curious person looking to expand their education.

Be Curious About Yoga Philosophy

One of the prerequisites of yoga teacher training should be an interest in the history of yoga. Therefore, you should have some sense of curiosity to learn about the philosophy of yoga and where it came from. And, if you know a word or two in Sanskrit that can help as well!

Connect With the Program Director

If you are confused and insecure, simply connect with the program instructor prior to starting the course. This is a great way to get to know your yoga teacher trainer, and feel more comfortable and confident about the yoga school. Talking to the YTT director will also provide you with information that will help clarify any confusion.

Attend Different Yoga Classes

There’s nothing better than experience! Taking different yoga classes can help you identify things you want to implement within your own teaching style or things to avoid. In addition, it may help you find a niche you want to focus on. You can come to class to conduct research, and you may just enjoy a great yoga class along the way.

Be Passionate About Helping People 

Do you want to help people be healthier and more aware? If you said yes, you’re on the right track. Teaching yoga is about sharing your passion with others and helping them build healthier habits for life.

Be Honest with Yourself

Why are you enrolling in yoga teaching training? Is it for yourself or to impress others on social media? Is it because you see it as your next career or is it just a side hustle? There’s no right answer. We’re yogis too, and this is a judgment-free zone. Just promise us this: stay honest with yourself!

Yoga teacher preparing

Is Preparing for Yoga Teacher Training Necessary?

Yoga teaches you to trust the process when it comes to succeeding in your yoga teacher training. With this said, it is important to first determine if becoming a yoga instructor is a good investment. If the answer for you is yes, well then, come to class prepared so that you can become the best yoga teacher out there!

Reasons to Prepare When Getting Ready to Learn Yoga at Training

1. You’ll be More Apt to Avoid Injury

Generally, yoga is a healthy and safe activity. In fact, yoga has many great benefits that can help alleviate pain and injuries. However, if performed incorrectly, yoga can cause injuries. 

To prevent injuries, we recommend starting slow with some basic poses. Stay humble and listen to your body! 

2. You’ll Gain Confidence (in yourself and in your decision!)

If you did your homework then you will most likely know that starting yoga teacher training is a major commitment. But, if you’re prepared, you will be more confident in yourself and with your decision to embark on this journey!

3. You May Discover Your Yoga Niche and Who You Want to Teach

A yoga niche is expertise in a specific category. Finding your yoga niche gives you a way to set yourself apart in the crowded yoga space. But besides teaching students that align with you and earning more money as a yoga teacher, you will also love what you do!

4. You Won’t Feel as Overwhelmed

Yoga can help reduce anxiety but if you’re overwhelmed with too many things at once, even the superpowers of yoga may not be enough. The keyword here is balance

Yoga will help you deal more effectively with stress, and by preparing yourself for your teacher training, you may feel less anxious about embarking on a new journey. 

Woman doing yoga

How Do I Know If I Am Ready for Yoga Teacher Training?

You are not alone. There are many people who ask this question. In fact, some yoga teachers are still doubting if they are ‘worthy’ of teaching yoga. When people wonder if they are ‘good enough’, it’s akin to a phenomenon called ‘The Imposter Syndrome.’ 

Yoga, however, helps increase confidence. So, if you are one of these people who struggle to believe in yourself, let us tell you this: YOU ARE AMAZING!

Just remember this: There is no perfect timing to start teaching yoga. Yoga teachers come in all ages, shapes and colors! If there’s a will, there’s a way. If your heart is telling you to do yoga teacher training, then you should follow your heart. But, take your brain with you too because you do need to be in a mentally and physically healthy place in order to become a yoga instructor

Is Yoga Teacher Training Difficult?

This is a matter of perspective and approach. A better way to look at it is like this: a certification course is a way to get to know yourself and immerse yourself in learning a new skill. 

To that end, yoga teacher training may be physically and mentally challenging if you practice too much, let your ego win, or do yoga poses that your body is not ready for. This can also cause injuries. This is why we highly recommend preparing for yoga teacher training.

On a different note, yoga training requires a lot of self-reflection and awareness, so don’t be surprised if you shed a tear or two on the mat. We highly recommend bringing a journal and a box of tissues.

How Long Should I Practice Yoga Before Taking Training?

The yoga journey is as diverse as the colors of the rainbow. Perhaps you have developed a rigid and consistent practice for years. Or, maybe you’ve only been practicing yoga for a month. (Who said love at first sight is not real!?) The bottom line: there’s no specific requirement as to how long you should practice yoga before you start teaching. 

In fact, you don’t have to do splits or walk on your hands in order to become a good yoga teacher. Do you have the desire to teach yoga? Do you have the time and resources? Are you ready to help and share your passion with people? If you answered yes to these questions, then enrolling in a TT course, even an online yoga teacher certification, may be perfect for you. And if you are still hesitant about starting this new career, you may want to consider  teaching yoga for kids! In this way, you get a taste of what it’s like to teach without investing too much time or money!

Yoga teacher meditating

The Most Important Thing About Preparing for Yoga Teacher Training! 

Get excited!!!!

Preparing for yoga teacher training in order to become a teacher is a vital step in getting the most out of yoga teacher training. 

We are excited for you! Are you ready?!?

About Kim: Kim Bassan is a content writer at Pretzel Kids. She’s also a yoga teacher and a communication and publishing student at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. Kim is originally from Israel but moved to Canada with her family and little puppy Moana. In her free time, she’s busy hiking or doing downward-facing dog with Moana!

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