7 Must-Ask Questions for Choosing theRight Yoga Teacher Training Program

Photo Credit: Donte Tatum Photography

Curious about yoga teacher training? Finding the right program can determine whether your experience will be
life-changing or mediocre. Read on to find out the key questions you should ask as you’re researching your options.

1. Will the program help you become a skillful and versatile teacher?

Get familiar with the lead trainers’ teaching styles and make sure their approach resonates. Ask whether the curriculum will train you to teach a set sequence or empower you to sequence in your own unique way. If you’re only trained to guide students through a particular sequence in a branded style, you may be limited as to where and what styles of yoga you can teach.

2. Is the program in-person, virtual, or a hybrid?

While it may be tempting to sign up for a 100% virtual training due to the potentially lower cost and the convenience of learning from home, technique-oriented content such as asana (postures) tends not to be as personalized when taught in a completely virtual format. In-person and hybrid 200 hour trainings generally offer the most satisfying experience for trainees. If you’re considering a program that’s 100% virtual, be sure to ask about the ratio of synchronous (live) to asynchronous (recorded) content. The more asynchronous content a program contains, the more disciplined and self-motivated you’ll need to be to complete it.

3. How long will it take to get certified?

Some programs will certify you to teach in just a few weeks, but that means sessions often last for 8-10 hours, day after day. Considering the average adult’s attention span is about 20-60 minutes, after a certain amount of time the information simply won’t stick. If you’re eager to complete your training as quickly as possible, remember that there’s a lot to learn in a 200 hour training and it’ll likely be mostly new to you. The key to retention and absorption is shorter sessions that meet consistently (typically weekly rather than monthly), allowing you to circle back to key concepts until they’re second nature.

4. What is the teacher-student ratio?

Consider how you’d feel in a teacher training class of 20 versus 60+. A lower teacher-student ratio allows for personalized instruction and more meaningful connections with your fellow trainees. Ask the lead trainers about the level of individual feedback and mentorship provided on your practice, teaching, sequencing, and future teaching plans. If they thoroughly address your questions, that’s a good indication they’ll value you as an individual rather than just another name on the roster.

5. Is the school fair and upfront with their pricing and requirements?

Teacher training tuition typically ranges from $2,500 – $4,000. However, many schools add extra hidden costs for required workshops, makeups, manuals, or in the case of residential programs, accommodations. Find out all fees that are associated with completing the program so you know what your true cost will be, and confirm the school’s attendance, pricing, and refund policies so there are no surprises should the unexpected happen. This will also give you insights into the program’s level of organization and professionalism.

6. What do graduates say?

Recent grads are one of the best sources for information about the quality of the training. They can share their first-hand experience and give you a sense of whether the program delivers what it promises. The primary teacher should be happy to put you in touch with graduates for a phone or email exchange. Be sure to also check the school’s Yoga Alliance reviews.

7. Is the program a Registered Yoga School (RYS) with Yoga Alliance?

Yoga Alliance is the yoga community’s largest international standard-setting organization and their Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) credential is the most widely recognized in the field. Even if you aren’t sure you want to teach, it’s wise to invest in a program that will enable you to get your RYT. Search on Yoga Alliance’s website to verify the program you’re researching is a Registered Yoga School (RYS) in good standing.

Kerry Maiorca, E-RYT 500 – Passionate about making yoga accessible for day-to-day living, Kerry is the Founder of Bloom Yoga Studio. Kerry has been teaching yoga since 1996 and training teachers since 2011.

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