What’s the Difference between a 50- 100- and 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Certification?
If you want to become a yoga teacher, there are countless different options. Some schools offer yoga certification courses spread out over a couple of years. Other schools offer more intensive and immersive training’s. To help you find out what kind of training duration, location and setting would fit you best, you can also
In this blog, you can find out more about the difference between a 50-, 100- and 200 hours yoga training.
How Long Does it Take to Become a Certified Yoga Teacher?
Due to the rise of influence and popularity of yoga, institutions such as Yoga Alliance USA have set out to define standards. These standards define as to how many hours a yoga teacher training should entail and what topics should be covered. Due to these efforts, a 200 yoga teacher certification course has become a well-accepted international standard for aspiring yoga teachers. 200 hours of training are considered the minimum training required to start teaching. After completing such a training, you can register with a international or local yoga association as a so-called RYT-200.
Please note that legally, you do not need a 200-Hour RYT certificate to teach yoga. But many yoga studio do require their instructors to have a 200 hours certification. However, we do absolutely recommend following a 200 hour yoga certification course before starting to teach professionally! It is an essential first step, from which you can keep evolving as a teacher. Yoga and teaching yoga is a life-long path of learning.
Is a 50 or 100 Hours Yoga Teacher Certification Enough?
Is a 200 hours yoga teacher certification is required in order to follow a 50 hours yoga teacher training? And is a 50 hours yoga certification is enough to start teaching yoga? We often get these questions!
Our answer to the first questions is: It depends…. but better yes.
Our answer to the second question: It depends…but mostly not.
The answer depends on two factors: Do you want to teach yoga? And where (in which setting) do you want to teach?
Do you want to teach yoga professionally at a studio or want to open your own studio? If yes, we advise you to first follow a 200 hour yoga teacher training. Not only because 200 hours certificate will open doors for you to teach. But also a 200 hours yoga teacher certification course is designed to give you a strong practical and theoretical foundation. You will practice yoga and meditation daily and intensively study yoga philosophy and anatomy. And you grow your skills and confidence as a teacher – as you will spend everyday three hours on hands on teaching practice.
All this essential information can not be taught in just 50 hours. With only 50 or 100 hours, you will (likely) lack the skills and confidence to teach well.
Most 50 hours courses are follow-up courses. In which you acquire extra knowledge and skill that have not been covered in the 200 hours course. Foundational information isn’t covered anymore, and you are expected to already possess certain teaching skills and foundational knowledge.
So then why should you follow a 50 or 100 hours course, after completing a 200 hours yoga teacher training?
According to international standards, RYT-200 yoga teachers are required to log a minimum of 30 hours of related training every three years. At least 10 hours must be contact hours, the rest may be also non-contact hours. Important to know is that training hours prior to registration do not count as Continuing Education.
50 hours courses are suitable to fulfill these continuing education requirements. And of course they help you add depth to your knowledge and a greater variety of skills to your teaching vocabulary.
In which case can a 50 hours yoga certification be sufficient?
Are you a coach, therapist or personal trainer and want to incorporate some yoga elements in your work? In this case, a 50 hours Yin Yoga or Yoga Nidra course (for example) might suit your purpose. And a 200 hours yoga teacher training might not be necessary. That being said, sometimes people complete their training ‘in-reverse’. You might complete a 50 hours course first and then decide to also sign up for a 200 hours course.
And if you do not want to teach, but instead want to learn in-depth about a certain area or style of yoga for yourself? Then a 200 hours yoga certification isn’t needed to attend. We do not refuse people who want to learn. You are welcome to follow any of our 50 hours Continued Education courses, such as the 50 hours Yin Yoga, 50 hours Vinyasa Yoga, 50 hours Advanced Hatha Yoga and 50 hours Yoga Nidra courses.
Is it possible to combine several 50 hours or 100 hours yoga teaching certifications?
No, unfortunately that is not possible. In order to be registered as a 200 hour yoga teacher, multiple training’s cannot be combined.
This being said, some schools offer a 200 hour or 300 hour yoga teacher training in several modules. After completion of all modules, you receive the appropriate certificate.
We hope that we could shed some light on this frequently asked questions and help you decide how many hours to choose for your yoga instructor certification course. Another resource that might be useful for you:
About the Author
Ram Jain (E-RYT 500) is the founder of Arhanta Yoga Ashrams and the main teacher of the different yoga teacher training’s the Arhanta Yoga Ashram offers in both Europe and India.
He teaches professional Yoga teacher training, Yin Yoga, Philosophy, Anatomy and Physiology, and Advanced Asanas in India & The Netherlands. Ram started teaching in 1998 and he has trained over 4000 yoga teachers worldwide.