If you are thinking of completing a 200-hour teacher training (the basic Yoga Teacher certification), here are a few things to ponder before signing up:
1. Yoga Style
Vinyasa Flow Yoga, Yin Yoga, Ashtanga, Hatha Yoga, Rocket Yoga, Bikram Yoga... there are many different styles of yoga and training for one style will certify you to teach that one style.
Nowadays you can complete yoga teacher training almost anywhere in the world. What matter most to you? Going to train in sunny and paradise Asia is likely to be a beautiful and exotic experience vs. Doing your teacher training closer to home will allow you to build connections with teachers, studios and students as you train.
Yoga teacher trainings can take as little as a month, or as long as two years to finish! Picking a course duration - and by definition, its intensity - depends on your personal conditions and preference. As far as my own experience - doing teacher training whilst working full time - I was glad to have the option to pick a longer course, which gave me time to fully absorb the content. It has also allowed me get early teaching experience halfway through the course as a teacher in training, build connections and gain confidence before graduating.
Very few things come free in this day and age, and yoga is no exception! The price of a course and payment options (some longer courses can be paid in instalments) can be a factor in one's decision.
5. Whether the course is recognised by wider yoga bodies
If a course is recognised by a wider yoga organisation - such as Yoga Alliance - it means its structure and content comply with strict specifications to train well-rounded teachers who can go out in the world and teach yoga in a safe manner. It doesn't mean that if a course is not certified it is not good quality, simply that its structure doesn't quite meet the certification requirements. Be mindful that down the line some teaching positions and further training may only accept teachers who have trained through a course that is certified.
6. Course content
Whilst certain topics are common to all courses (study of asana or yoga postures, anatomy, teaching methodology etc.), some of the content will vary from one course to another. Obviously the yoga style makes a big difference, as well as whether a course is certified or not. Some courses may be leaning more heavily on developing a meditation practice or spiritual approach, whilst others are more practical. Most courses will display their overall structure on their website or leaflets, make sure to check that the content suits you.
7. Number of students per group
The group size may well influence your experience of the course and learning curve. Most organisations will be able to give you an average group size for their courses.
8. Further courses
If you are thinking of continuing your yoga training beyond the first 200 hours, be mindful that some schools or teachers will only accept students on further courses if they have trained with them for the 200 hours, or if they have trained on a yoga alliance certified course.
9. What you want to get out of it
The course, location and yoga style you pick may not be the same whether you are looking to start teaching full-time or part-time after graduating, or whether the course is a way to advance your own practice. Take time to think about what you are after.
10. Whether you are ready
Teacher training requires commitment - not only time and money, but also in terms of physical and mental capacity. The training will cover a lot of new information, regular physical practice and homework. You will need to be focused, and as such to have the necessary level of stamina and mental space to be successful.
See more from Lucie:
Advice for Starting Yoga Teacher Training
The Mudra Series:
Hand gestures used to strengthen and cleanse the body and mind in yoga and meditation practice.
Lucie teaches wonderfully soulful yoga classes across South and Central London. Get in touch with Lucie to find out more: