By Kim Bassan, Pretzel Kids content writer
Have you been thinking about enrolling in a yoga teacher training? Are you wondering: what is yoga teacher training like? Well, you’ve come to the right place!
We’ll show you the ins and outs of yoga teacher training, as well as what to expect and what to look for in a yoga certification course. Plus, after a teacher training course, you’ll learn about yourself as well as how to teach others. So if you’re looking to get your yoga teacher training certification, this one’s for you!
What Is Yoga Teacher Training?
Are you wondering: what is yoga teacher training like? If you want to put it into simple words, yoga certification is the process where you’ll learn how to teach yoga.
While the practice of yoga is quite simple, there are many ways to teach. This is why 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. 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.
What Do You Do in Yoga Teacher Training?
While many people think that training means a bunch of yogis doing pretzel shapes, teacher training is much deeper than that.
In a yoga certification program, students acquire knowledge about the ancient history and philosophy of yoga, breathing and meditation techniques (also known as pranayama), teaching methodologies (such as vinyasa, yin, Hatha and more) and last but not least, you’ll learn the proper way to sequence and practice poses (alignment and posture cues).
What to Expect in Yoga Teacher Training
Oftentimes the most unexpected thing happens when you least expect it! Well, this is what instructor certification is like.
While you can expect to learn how to teach people to move in their bodies, you’ll also learn how to teach breathing exercises, how to teach yoga philosophy and much more. Yoga teacher training will also take you on a self-journey.
So, be ready to discover, create and meet yourself. Your certification program starts on the day you sign up but it never ends. And that is the miracle of yoga: once you open a door, you open a new world of possibilities to learn from!
If you feel a fire in your belly calling you, yoga teacher training will lead you one step closer to your dream job.
What to Look for in a Yoga Teacher Training Course
If you decide to take a leap of faith and go on a personal growth adventure, it’s time to choose your yoga teacher training school. But first: What should you look for in a yoga teacher training course?
How to Choose Yoga Teacher Certification
It’s important to evaluate and choose the best teacher training for you. And, once you’ve completed your basic training, you can expand your certification with continued education and specialize with Yin, Pre/Post-Natal, Kundalini and so on. The next level is often an additional 300 hours which will bring you to your 500 hour certification.
But, if you’re a fitness lover, parent or yoga-lover and you don’t have an extra 200 hours to spare, you might want to consider becoming a children’s yoga instructor. Pretzel Kids, for example, offers a simple course which will help you start teaching kids yoga right away!
Model and format of the program
While yogis are known to be shaped like pretzels, yoga teacher training has many shapes and forms! From part-time, fulltime, online courses and more, every school offers a different format. You need to ask yourself what schedule would fit best with your life and goals. And remember: Yoga teacher training doesn’t mean you have to put your life on hold. It can be fast and easy.
Choose your speciality
What are you passionate about? Let’s break down the myth of yoga as it doesn’t have one type of practice. As a 2016 American Yoga study found, yoga is gaining popularity at a rapid pace. And, yoga is for everybody and every BODY. It’s also flexible enough to offer a practice for people from all walks of life, in all stages of life! If you’re passionate about therapy, pre/post-natal or kids yoga, you can find a way to express that passion through yoga. (two birds with one stone!)
How Much Does Yoga Teacher Training Cost? Is It Expensive?
Yoga teacher training costs will vary depending on the level of your certification, the school you choose, and the format of your program. Yoga teacher training can get pricey if it is done in an #Instarworthy location but can also be very affordable if done in an online format. In any case, investing money in yoga teacher training can have a good ROI if done correctly – especially if you have a yoga niche that distinguishes you from the rest of the pack.
For example, if you love working with children you can become a kids yoga teacher and join the Pretzel Kids community to get the whole package! This includes your own webpage, marketing resources, mentorship and endless work opportunities.
Did we mention it’s a dream job already?
Yoga teacher training costs will vary according to the program and provider. Most full-length 200 or 500-hour teacher training courses will cost you anywhere between $2,000 to $7,000, or you can get certified to teach kids yoga for less than $500 and start earning money instead of spending it!
Is Yoga Teacher Training Worth the Money?
If you are in the yoga, movement, health, self improvement niche or you’re someone who’s looking to take on a new challenge then YES, yoga teacher training is worth the money. Why? Because:
- While yoga teacher training may seem like a huge monetary investment, it is actually investing in yourself.
- Yoga teacher training helps you to grow and upscale your income – either as a side hustle, supplementary income or a soul project! (So yoga teacher training is actually a really good ROI)!
- Yoga teacher training can be a peaceful escape from your 9 to 5 job. If you are looking to break up your routine and bring some spark to your life or others, teacher training will open the door. (It’s not a coincidence that teaching yoga has been shown to create the do good, feel good phenomenon)
All of these benefits speak for themselves but don’t just take our word for it.
What Is Yoga Teacher Training Like?
We’ve already covered that taking a teacher training is a life transforming experience. But now let’s get down to the nitty gritty details. But before we begin, your expectations should match the program that you decide to go with.
Time & Schedule
If you’re going for the mystical retreat, you will usually find yourself waking up at 5 am for an intense and rigid schedule. However, if you decide to go with the online teacher certification option, you will get an open schedule to study in your free time!
The flexibility of the program will change according to your yoga teacher training program. Online YTTs offer greater flexibility to accommodate your busy schedule compared to studio programs which require you to be present at a specific time and place (usually comes with a pricey charge). However, if you are on a budget there are online good alternatives that don’t fall short (plus, they come with tons of flexibility!)
All yoga teacher trainings will involve physical practices, how to teach a yoga class, how to create classes and how to deliver content. As the industry continues to grow, your program may include a module about the business of yoga.
Tips on how to succeed in yoga teacher training
Ok, so you are ready. It’s time to start your journey. How can you succeed in teacher training?
- Set intentions for your YTT: what are your values and goals with this training
- Be open and be honest with your instructor.
- Let your instructor know if you are struggling or need any help! As yoga teachers themselves, they will be supportive.
- Accept differences. Being receptive to different people and work styles will also help you when you transition into teaching. As human beings we are naturally different (and that’s what makes us unique), which means every person you interact with may have a different perspective or opinion. (This is also part of the yamas & niyamas – Acceptance)
- Ask questions: we are here to help you! As YTT providers, our mission is to educate future teachers to be the most educated and professional as possible. Don’t be shy, ask questions!
- Be curious and keep learning. There are many well-known and reputable resources such as Yoga Journal or our blog!
- Practice, practice, practice! Don’t be afraid to connect with other yoga teachers to get their feedback. Grab a partner! The more you practice, the more comfortable you will feel to start your business as a yoga teacher!
How Long Should I Do Yoga Before Taking Yoga Teacher Training?
Some yoga schools require a certain amount of experience or previous background but yoga is more than just the practice. Yoga is a lifestyle and a beautiful philosophy to live by. So, if there’s a will there’s a way! The beauty is that you don’t need anything besides a body and you can do it anywhere, anytime.
However, as teacher training is a monetary and energetic investment, it is recommended that you have some sort of confidence that this is a path you’re committed to.
Can a Beginner Do Yoga Teacher Training?
As mentioned, your will is your power. If you desire to become an instructor, go that way. You don’t need to be a professional yogi to become a yoga teacher. You can start right here, right now. So no, you don’t need to touch your toes or bend like a pretzel to become a yoga teacher. In fact, you can START TODAY!
Should I take yoga teacher training?
As you probably learned by now, teacher training is something that will change you and your life. There are many things you can expect from a yoga program but your experience will be unique according to WHICH ROUTE YOU DECIDE TO TAKE. Even if you just want to deepen your practice, teacher certification opens up opportunities to connect with yourself!
And, if you’re ready to share your talent, make a positive impact, and enjoy financial freedom, becoming a yoga teacher is for you! ?
About Kim: Kim Bassan is the marketing and content intern 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!