So you want to be a yoga teacher!  Amazing!  Maybe you already have a program in mind you want to attend or not sure what to look for. The following post will cover some very important questions to ask before signing up.

If you aren’t familiar with the lingo let me clarify this first before we continue.

YTT = Yoga Teacher Training program.
YA = The Yoga Alliance

Ok I think we’re set now, so let’s begin!

Financial Investment

Let’s be real – the cost is factor for most people and YTT program can be rather expensive.

I would say the average cost of a yoga teacher training program ranges from $3300 to $3500 plus taxes.  If you are planning on doing your training away – commonly hosted in Costa Rica and India – you must also include travel accommodations, unless otherwise noted.

Good news though is that most studios will offer you a payment plan to break it down into smaller more manageable chunks (no need to have to remortgage your house or follow a strict Kraft Dinner diet for a year).  If you are lucky to be scouting the program out early enough you might be discover an early bird’s discount and save a hundred or two dollars.

Time Investment

The minimum hours of study you need to complete in order to qualify as a yoga teacher is 200 hours.  At time of writing how the broken down can vary from program.  You would often see the majority of hours being in class learning mixed with hours of observing other classes, attending classes and maybe assignments.

Changes coming to the the YTT program by February 2020 is that 160 hours minimum are in class and up to 40 hours can be completed online.  I’m excited about the online portion because currently online studies is allowed so it shows that the yoga alliance is changing with the times.

We all have different learning styles but I’m all about taking courses online.  Of course some things in the program are meant to be digested in person.

Is the program Yoga Alliance certified?

You’ve already heard me mention the Yoga Alliance in this article already but you might not be familiar with it.  To learn more about the Yoga Alliance click here.

Being certified by a Yoga Alliance training is so important if you are planning on teaching at a yoga studio or fitness centre.  It may be lesser important if you are planning on taking on private clients at home.  If you aren’t familiar with the Yoga Alliance I suggest your own research to learn about more of what they do.

A word of caution….

Here’s what I strongly want you to consider if you are going to invest this kind of money.  If the program costs the same why wouldn’t you want it to be certified by the main governing body of the yoga world?  Who knows what the future holds, right?  Maybe down the road you want to run your own YTT program or become part of the studio’s faculty.  I didn’t even have this on my radar but now I’m part of Life Yoga Studio’s YTT faculty.  Trust me coming from certified program will open more doors to you in the future.

Also really important to know.

Teaching training programs are becoming more and more commonly offered in the yoga industry for two main reason: already having potential leads (from their existing client base) and it’s a great income generator for the studio.

Unfortunately not every studio owner is honest about having their program certified through the yoga alliance even IF they claim they are.  Do your homework – check this out yourself by contacting the YA.  The Yoga Alliance International (there’s a Canadian one but you want to make sure you follow the international one which is based in the US) is the governing body of yoga instructors and studios.  You want to be certified under the YA especially if you have plans in opening your own studio, teaching for someone else or planning on offering workshops or your own training some day.

What is the experience of the faculty running the program?

Check out the faculty aka the teachers of the YTT program ahead of time.  Do they currently teach at the studio?  Attend one of their classes and see if you like their style.  I completed my YTT program in 2011 which was instructed by the amazing Barb Leese (google her) – she was a former dancer turned yogi.  I’m always in awe when I’m in her presence.  I had been loyal attending her classes for two years and I just really loved everything about them.  She made me fall in love with yoga.

One of the perks of taking the YTT program at Life Yoga Studio is that you get a variety of different instructors with various backgrounds and experiences which is kinda cool.  At Life Yoga Studio’s YTT I teach the modules on yoga for seniors, gentle yoga and the business of yoga.  Three topics I’m completely passionate about and have a lot of hands on experience in.  You will probably never catch me teaching the philosophy of yoga or anatomy because they aren’t my strengths.

What happens if I miss a class during the YTT program?

If you are planning on completing your 200 hr YTT program you should be fully dedicated in doing so.  The Yoga Alliance has a strict requirement that each student to complete their 200 hours in order to be certified.  Life happens – we all know that.  So what is the studio’s policy for missed classes?  Some particular outcomes might be attending the missed session in their next year’s program.  Or signing up for an in-house workshop.  If the studio doesn’t specifically have a policy on this it’s your job to inquire beforehand especially if you have the intentions to start teaching immediately after the program is completed.

Will you have an opportunity to teach at the studio that is running the YTT?

Think of this question as does this program offer co-op?  You know hands on experience.

Or do they just hand you your certificate after the program is over and say “good luck!”

One of the perks of the YTT program offered at Life Yoga Studio – the studio I teach classes and are part of the faculty – is that the owner Ali guarantees that each graduate will have the opportunity to teach at least three class in-house AND be put on the sub list.  Trust me we always need high quality backup.  Plus you start building your yoga resume right away.

If the program you are currently taking or planning on signing up doesn’t offer this perk it’s not necessarily a deal breaker – it just makes things a hell of a lot easier if it does.

What are the perks of this particular YTT program?

What kind of perks is the studio offering while enrolled in their YTT program?  For example, I think it would be pretty standard for all programs to offer a free yoga membership while in the training program.  You are expected to be practicing regularly while enrolled.  Another perk might be discounts off of studio memberships or in-house workshops and retreats.  A perk to look for is an early bird special – usually at least a $100 off if you sign up before a certain date.  Some studios will even offer a free membership once you have committed to their YTT program even if it doesn’t start for a few more months.

Not everyone who signs up for a YTT program is interested in becoming a yoga teacher.  Many do it because they want to deepen their practice.  In fact from my personal observation both as a YTT student and part of the faculty the majority of the attendees don’t go on to teach.  Don’t let this discourage you if you have strong plans to teach after completing your yoga teacher training – it’s mostly by choice: lack of time or just not getting themselves out of their comfort zone to start teaching.

My advice to each and every student once they have completed the YTT is to get out there and teach.

I’ll write more about this in another post in the very near future but if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email at Leah@HealthyFinish.ca.