Yoga Teacher Training – 10 things to consider


We’ve had a lot of inquiries about our yoga teacher training recently, so we decided to post this again for anyone considering stepping into this transformational work.

You love yoga – how it makes you feel, how it connects you to yourself and the joy it brings to your life. So much that you want to offer the same joy to others, and you decide to start a yoga teacher training program. Embarking on this path is often a roll of the dice – most students newer to yoga and the landscape of teacher training are not well versed in how to choose a program. Most students stumble into a program at their home studio and are unaware of what teacher training involves, or don’t even know what questions to ask. Below is a check list of 10 things to consider when choosing a program. There are many schools in our area to choose from, and hopefully this list will provide you with a place to start gathering the information to make the best decision for yourself. Taking a yoga teacher training can be the best investment you ever make in yourself, even if you never teach a public class. Hopefully this check list will provide food for thought to anyone interested in embarking on this journey!

  1. Do your homework – research the teacher(s) thoroughly: read biographies and compare the number of years teaching, the level of training, professional certifications, and number of years in business as a school. The teacher’s personality is an important consideration, but should not be the sole basis on which to choose a school or training.
  2. Get clear on what you want from the training and go from there. Every training is different and offers its own unique focus. Teaching yoga is different than leading a group exercise class – both are valid and require different levels of education.
  3. Accreditation – check to see if the school is licensed by the State Board of Vocational and Private Schools. This should be the primary consideration when it comes to accreditation. Yoga Alliance is a voluntary organization that has zero oversight when it comes to enforcing standards, ethics, or financial responsibility. Yoga Alliance sets minimum standards for a 200-hour level certificate, but that does not ensure that a school is abiding by those standards. Yoga Schools certify students, Yoga Alliance is a registry. Completing a training means you are certified (CYT), RYT means that you are registered. State licensing is verification that the school is a legitimate business entity, is financially sound, insured, and bonded. All aspects of the training are transparent and agreed to by both parties – the school and the student, and are protected under the laws of the State of Oklahoma. If the school you are considering is not licensed, you have no financial protection or recourse.
  4. Go to several classes to check out the vibe – get to know the studio, its students and other students in the program. Is the teaching style clear, authentic and relatable? Are all the students being seen, served and given modifications so that everyone has a good experience?
  5. Compare schools – how is the training structured? Find out if the training is focused on teaching the students a rote set of sequences from the mat, or is there actual teaching methodology being offered to prepare students to teach to different populations and levels of students.
  6. Does the school offer apprenticeship opportunities? Having an opportunity to apprentice in a low pressure situation makes all the difference in learning to assimilate the material being offered in the training. As in all things, practice really does make perfect.
  7. Beware of shorter trainings and online trainings. These are becoming more and more common in the industry. The shorter length of a program means less time to assimilate the material being offered. Many students are attracted to the faster route to certification, but may find a few months later that they are less prepared to meet the demands that public classes bring. Resist the temptation to get certified quickly. It takes time to thoroughly learn any new subject – learning to teach a new subject is an entirely different process that requires a higher level of understanding.
  8. If possible, talk to students who are currently enrolled or who have graduated. This will be a great resource to get a feel for the training from someone who has experienced the process.
  9. Make sure to read through all material related to the training; the program catalog, course syllabus and enrollment agreement. It is imperative to thoroughly understand what the responsibilities are for both parties. This includes financial details and academic requirements. The enrollment agreement is a legal document that both parties sign and is enforced by State laws.
  10. Does the school include opportunities to teach during the program? Many students graduate from trainings without anyone ever seeing them teach. Real time mentoring is a must when it comes to learning any method.

Choose a program that sets you up for success, and remember that what you get out of a yoga teacher training is directly affected by the amount of effort, commitment, and studentship you put into it.