A Guide to Choosing the Best Teacher Training Program

Yoga Teacher Training programs are everywhere these days. Whether you’re interested in becoming a yoga teacher or you just want to learn more about yoga, here are some factors to consider when choosing the best teacher training program for you.

Do you want to deepen your practice?

If you can’t get enough yoga and want to learn more, deepen your practice, or spend more time doing yoga then a teacher training program might be the perfect fit.

More and more programs now open up certain parts of their training to the public. If the training time commitment seems to be too much of a leap but you still want to learn, look for a program that offers weekend immersions, modules, or one-day workshops. If you really love the experience there are always options to sign up for the full training during the next enrollment cycle.

Do you want to be a teacher?

If yoga has had a profound impact on your life—like it’s saved your life—then maybe you already know you want to be a yoga teacher. Now the only question is, which program will you take?

If you really want to teach, make sure that the program you are going into places a large emphasis on how to teach. Find out how much time you get in class to practice teach and how much feedback you’ll be receiving from your lead trainers. To be a good teacher, you have to practice. Make sure you get that opportunity in your training.

Do you want to find community?

A great reason for taking a teacher training program is to build community. If you’re looking for a new community of like-minded yogis, find out how much the program emphasizes outside events. Some teacher training programs have you and your fellow trainees participate in community service projects, which offer great opportunities to deepen your relationship with your local community.

You’ll also want to consider the structure of the training. Some trainings are offered in weeks-long intensive formats, while others are spread out over the course of a year or more. For the purposes of building community, shorter, more intense programs tend to build tighter bonds amongst trainees.

Do you want to do more training?

Are you already a yoga teacher looking to continue your training? Advanced Teacher Training programs can be tricky to vet because they are all so different. Make sure you really know the teachers leading the program and the style of yoga you’ll be learning. Check to see how much of the program is dedicated to practice teaching and receiving feedback—some programs are almost entirely content-focused and offer little time for practice.

You’ll also want to consider the program format. If one of the reasons you want to take an advanced training is so that you can advance your career as a yoga teacher, then it might be tough to swallow a 3-year program. Just because a program is longer doesn’t mean it is better.

If you’re unsure about the quality of the 300-hour training down the street, talk to former students to get their take on how the program helped them advance their own teaching careers.

Finally, make sure the program you want to take has a unifying thread. Sometimes, advanced trainings compile a bunch of interesting topics together and come up with 300 hours of content but there is no thread that ties it all together. You end up learning a lot of techniques but then have little guidance on how to bring everything you’ve learned together in a way that feels authentic, beneficial, and practical.

Regardless of your motivation for taking teacher training, make sure you do your due diligence when it comes to researching potential training programs. Yoga teacher training programs are an investment of your time, your energy, and your money and you want to make sure that you are investing these precious resources wisely.

Ashley Zuberi trains and mentors yoga teachers to create thriving independent yoga teaching careers. As a full-time yoga teacher with a former professional career in marketing for yoga companies and experience developing and leading teacher trainings across the US, Ashley uniquely understands how to blend the spirit of yoga with the realities of business. She is the founder of Inhale Thrive, an education company dedicated to providing high-quality, affordable continuing education for yoga teachers. She writes extensively about yoga philosophy and the business of yoga at inhalethrive.com and is currently working on her first book — a modern, thematic interpretation and teaching guide of the Yoga Sutra. Ashley is a mama, military spouse, Ohio native, and has lived in 6 states in the past 6 years.

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