When I decided to do my first yoga teacher training, I chose to go to the cheapest place for the shortest time (online courses did not exist yet, so off I went to India), with a focus on Ashtanga and Hatha (which I didn't know much about, I was a vinyasa girl), and had never heard of the teachers or seen them teach online etc. I was genuinely surprised that I didn't get taught how to teach, or anything in the Ashtanga practices past being contorted into shapes that injured me. The philosophy module was excellent, and the pranayama and meditation, but I had no more idea of how to sequence a self practice than when I started the course, or of how to get poses to benefit the average (Western) person.
Embarking on a yoga teacher training journey is an exciting step towards deepening your practice and sharing your love for yoga with others, but I had fallen right into the most common mistakes people make when choosing a Yoga Teacher Training. So let's go through these mistakes so you can avoid them, and make the right choice for you, your goals and your practical considerations
1. Neglecting to Research the Program's Focus and Style
One of the most significant mistakes people make is overlooking the program's focus and style. Each yoga teacher training program has its own unique approach and emphasis, whether it's Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Yin, or another style. Take the time to understand the program's philosophy, teaching methods, and the specific style you resonate with. Ensure that the program aligns with your personal preferences, goals, and aspirations as a yoga teacher. A 200hr YTT will cover the basics of teaching, but if you love vinyasa yoga, check the lead teacher does too. If you're interested in alignment, check this is covered properly and that their teachings are up to date (no, you do not imagine you are between 2 planes of glass in triangle pose)
Take the time to review the program's curriculum, attend sample classes if possible, and inquire about the teaching methodology. This will ensure that you choose a program that aligns with your values and teaching aspirations.
2. Failing to Consider the Experience and Expertise of the Faculty
The instructors leading the yoga teacher training program play a crucial role in shaping your learning experience. It's important to research the background, experience, and expertise of the faculty members. Look for instructors who have substantial teaching experience, a deep understanding of yoga philosophy, anatomy, and alignment, as well as a teaching style that resonates with you. Their knowledge and guidance will significantly impact your growth as a yoga practitioner and future teacher.
Consider the unique selling proposition (USP) of the training and trainers. Are they known for their expertise in a specific aspect of yoga? Do they have a distinctive teaching methodology or philosophy? Choosing a program that resonates with your goals and values will enhance your learning experience.
3. Overlooking the Program's Structure and Curriculum
Understanding the difference between intensives and modular learning can help you decide the format that suits you best. Intensive programs typically compress the curriculum into an immersive, full-time experience, allowing for a deep dive into the practice and teachings. However, it can be a lot on your body and mind to keep pushing and absorbing for weeks at a time. On the other hand, modular programs allow you take breaks and apply what you learn and experience, and some are even self-paced. But, obviously, does take longer to finish the course
A combination of both can be advantageous, allowing you to absorb the knowledge intensively while having time for integration and self-reflection in between. Evaluate the program's schedule, duration, and location to ensure it aligns with your availability and commitments. A comprehensive curriculum that covers asanas, pranayama, meditation, anatomy, philosophy, and teaching methodology will provide a well-rounded foundation for your teaching journey.
4. Focusing Solely on Cost
While cost is a factor to consider when choosing a yoga teacher training program, it should not be the sole determining factor. Opting for the cheapest program available might seem like a good idea to save money, but it could come at the expense of quality and depth of education. It's crucial to strike a balance between affordability and the value you will receive from the program. Look for programs that offer a well-rounded curriculum, experienced teachers, and positive reviews from past students. Remember, a thorough and transformative training experience is a long-term investment in yourself.
Bonus Tip: Not Considering Practical Aspects
In the digital age, the concept of yoga teacher training has evolved. While an in-person component is still the best way to learn, hybrid yoga teacher training programs that combine online and in-person elements have gained popularity. This approach offers flexibility without compromising the benefits of personal guidance and hands-on experience. We can't all live in an area with yoga trainings on our doorsteps, so committing to an in-person part of the training and doing rest from home is a great way to practically get the most out of your training. Look for programs that offer a well-rounded curriculum blending the convenience of online learning with immersive practical sessions to create a comprehensive learning environment.
Choosing the right yoga teacher training is a significant step on your path toward becoming a skilled and knowledgeable yoga teacher. By avoiding common mistakes and considering factors such as a hybrid approach, style and USP, learning objectives, price, and the distinction between intensives and modular learning, you can ensure a transformative and enriching experience. Take the time to research and choose a program that resonates with your goals and values, and embark on a journey that will not only deepen your practice but also empower you to guide others on their yoga path.
Remember, becoming a yoga teacher is a lifelong process of growth and evolution, and the right training program is your foundation for success. Choose wisely and embark on a journey that will change your life for the better.
Do you know what type of yoga training you want to take? Do you want to learn how to use your voice and presence well, to understand alignment properly and how to transition between poses effectively and gracefully? Do you want to know how to structure and sequence a class so it energises or soothes? Do you want to learn from teachers with decades of experience, and who know how to build a business? My teachers have been in the yoga business for over 25 years, and I have been teaching full time for 7 years, building a successful business in a country where I can't even teach in main language. We will teach you to hold space, unique teaching methodology that is proven to ignite and inspire, and empower you to create sequences that serve you without being a copy of anyone else, and so much more. In person for 1 week and also live online modules
Choose your training wisely, because ultimately, you are choosing yourself