You finally decided what you want to become: a yoga teacher! Or maybe you are actually not quite sure yet, but a yoga teacher training seems the right step on your path. In both cases this article can be helpful for you. If you search on Google for ‘yoga teacher training’ you will probably notice that there are a lot of yoga schools offering a great variety of yoga teacher courses. This article aims to help you choose the best yoga teacher training for you.
Before commencing on your quest for the ideal yoga teacher training for you, you must ask yourself one question: “Do I really want to become a yoga teacher?”
The answer to this question will give you a sense of direction in your search. Because if you are actually looking for a yoga teacher training to just learn more about yoga and to have a relaxed time, you might be better off with a long yoga retreat. A yoga teacher training with a reputed and serious school is no walk in the park! Therefore make sure that you are ready for the commitment. Maybe you are not sure yet if you want to become a full-time yoga teacher, or rather teach occasionally. Maybe you are looking for a course that will challenge you to grow physically, mentally and spiritually? In all of these cases, you now know what the focus of the training should be for you.
A yoga teacher training will challenge you to grow in many ways and there will be times that you feel you have taken on more than you can handle. But remember, this is part of the process. The biggest growth lies at the edge of or beyond your comfort zone!
If you want to become a yoga teacher or you want to immerse yourself into an intensive training for your own growth, make sure that the school you choose will teach you and challenge you to that level! And do not shy away from the challenge or from unrealistic expectations that you have of yourself. Countless times we get the question: Can I be a yoga teacher as I am not flexible, too old, too young, not experience enough, too shy,…..? The list can go on forever. Our answer always is: If you really want, you can!
First of all it is important to choose a yoga style. There are a lot of different styles, like Hatha Yoga, Bikram Yoga, Iyengar Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Yin Yoga and so on. Depending on the style you choose, the theory and practice will be different. It is recommended to find out which yoga style has your preference, which style gives you energy and which style makes you happy. If you teach the yoga style that brings you joy, it will be easier for you to transfer that joy to your students since you are teaching something you are passionate about. This will definitely have a positive effect on your classes. Once you have made your choice between the different yoga styles, your have a clear guideline in your search for a suitable yoga course which brings you one step closer to your goal.
When looking at the various teacher training courses that are out there these days, make sure to choose one that focuses primarily on your preferred tradition. It might be tempting to do a training that offers Hatha, Vinyasa and Yin in 200 hours, but what the course might offer in variety it will most certainly lack in depth. In order to develop the skills to teach, 200 hours is already a short time frame. Trying to squeeze in multiple styles, might leave you rich with impressions and ideas but poor in actual teaching skills and confidence.
We recommend to choose a teacher training that focuses on one style and to later on expand your teaching vocabulary with other shorter courses or workshops.
Nowadays, yoga courses are offered worldwide. However depending on your own traveling possibilities you can choose for a course abroad or in your own country.
The amount of yoga certification courses offered worldwide is very large; from America to Asia… the possibilities are endless. Studying abroad is a good option if you want to spend some time in another environment, away from daily habits and routines. Following a course in another country can also be combined with a vacation and it is an excellent opportunity to discover more of a certain country and its culture.
Should You Follow a Yoga Teacher Training in India?
We often get the question what the difference is between our yoga teacher training at the Arhanta Yoga Ashram India and the Arhanta Yoga Ashram Europe. Students wonder if following a yoga teacher training in India provides a more authentic and in-depth experience.
Of course, India being the country of origin of yoga it is wonderful if you have the opportunity to go and study there. But it is important to remember that you might get a more authentic experience somewhere in Europe instead of India. So when choosing the location of your yoga teacher training, do not only consider the country but also the entire set-up of the training. A training in a hotel in Goa might be much less authentic than a residential course at an ashram in Europe or America.
In our particular case it does not make a big difference if you study with us in India or the Netherlands. We aim to create exactly the same atmosphere, discipline and lifestyle in both ashrams. But of course we can not duplicate the unique surroundings, smells, noises and rich culture of India….
Another important point is the duration of the course. How much time do you want to spend following the course?
The international standard for yoga teacher training courses are those with 200 hours. A 200 hours yoga teacher training is designed to prepare you to start teaching yoga. Important topics that should be covered are teaching methodology (how to instruct, modify and assist), anatomy, yoga philosophy. And also a lot of teaching practice as well as working on your own yoga and meditation practice
There are intensive courses that usually last about four weeks. These intensive courses are often residential, as that helps students to stay fully focused. But there are also courses spread over a longer amount of time, making them easier to combine with daily life, family and work. The duration of these courses can be one year or longer and if you cho0se such a course it will make sense to do it close to where you live.
In our experience, it is much more important what you do and learn and not so much how long it takes. So consider the curriculum of the course well before signing up and also ask yourself how you learn the best. Do you prefer to take a longer time and study a little bit every week? Or do you learn well when you are fully focused and immersed and study every single day?
Same as the duration of the yoga courses, also the price of a yoga course can vary a lot from one course to another. When you start to google and research, you will find 200 hour yoga teacher training ranging from barely 1000 Euros to more than 7000 Euros. This enormous difference depends on who is offering the course (yoga celebrity vs a new school) and where (Los Angeles vs Kerala India).
When making your choice, it is sensible to not only look at the price, but also to check what all is included in the price, in other words to evaluate the price/quality ratio. Very important is also to check if there are hidden fees, such as examination fees, study material fees, and extra costs for accommodation and meals. And if you cho0se for a long-term course close to you, how much do you need to spend on traveling, food, extra childcare to name a few hidden expenses that might turn out costly on your end.
It is also important to keep in mind that if you travel abroad, there might be extra costs such as traveling expenses or Visa costs. Of course the fees of a yoga teacher training course depends greatly on the location. For example at Arhanta the course in India is around 1000 Euros cheaper than in Europe. This has to do with operating costs, taxes and food prices for example. The money you save on the course, partially needs to be spent to travel to India. At the end of the day, traveling to India plus the course fees might about equal what you would spend for our training in the Netherlands. And once you have considered this, you might have to go back to the previous question: Where do I want to do my yoga teacher training?
Once you have followed the previous steps in your quest for a yoga teacher training course, it is time to make a decision. A last step that can help you make the right choice is to look up reviews of your short-listed courses. What do former students say about the course, were they satisfied, what were their disappointments? Reading reviews can give you a better view of what to expect from the course and can help you find out if the course really responds to your needs or not.
I hope you found this blog useful on your path to become a yoga teacher. If you have any questions or remarks, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.
Ram Jain (ERYT 500) is the founder of Arhanta and the main teacher of different yoga teacher training’s the Arhanta Yoga Ashram offers in Europe and India.
He teaches professional Yoga teacher training courses, Yin Yoga, Philosophy, Anatomy and Physiology, and Advanced Asanas in India & The Netherlands. Ram started teaching in 1998 and he has now trained over 4000 yoga teachers worldwide.